How To Make a DIY Light Table For Tracing

Make your own light box for tracing pictures, items from a nature walk, or your child’s name. Great for learning fine motor skills, art concepts and more. See how a DIY light tracer is just plain fun!

Learn how to make a DIY Light tracing table for tracing objects, names, anything!

How To Make a DIY Light Table For Tracing

science activities for kids

Have you ever used a light table for tracing? There are so many benefits to tracing for even your tiniest learners.


  • Trace shapes
  • Fine motor skills
  • Excitement of a glowing light behind the paper
  • Discovering the outline of an object
  • Builds confidence in drawing

Kindergarten & First Grade:

  • Trace letters, complex shapes
  • Trace leaves, flowers, etc. Study their shapes and structures
  • Recovering “ruined” artwork (trace over the original that was damaged
  • Learn how to draw perspective
  • Draw more detailed objects

We absolutely love our light tracer It was given to us and quite honestly just sat in the garage for awhile. I didn’t really know of a use for it until I started really getting creative with my PK1 Kids’ schoolwork. Now I can’t live without it!

But not everyone has a light tracer on hand. No need to miss out on the benefits of having one. You probably have everything on hand right now to make your own.  Or spend a few dollars at the dollar store and get your kiddos tracing!

Gather these items:

– Clear Casserole Dish

– Light Sources: Battery powered candles, flashlights

– Objects or pictures to trace

– Tracing paper – or white computer paper.

DIY Light Table

Light up your candles, flashlights, etc and place them under the inverted casserole dish. You may want to dim the lights to make it easier to see (and a little more exciting!) Place or tape your objects or picture to trace on top of the casserole dish and top with a piece of tracing paper or plain white paper.

DIY Light Table

If your light source is small, you may need to slide the dish back and forth to get the light directly under the part that your child is tracing.

DIY Light Table Tracing for Preschoolers


I hope you have a great time using your DIY Light Table! What other uses for it did you find?

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Fun Amazon Finds For This Printable:

Here is a free printable you can use with your new DIY light box! Enjoy 🙂

Free Puppy & Kitty Picture For Light Boxes (Heavy Outlines)

🙂 I hope you like this free printable! Please share it if you do and help me grow my little website! 🙂

2018-11-21T15:00:23-07:00October 29th, 2015|Arts & Crafts, Ideas|26 Comments


  1. […] DIY Light Table For Tracing Leaves, Art & More […]

  2. Kim November 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    We have never used a light table. This looks easy enough to put together. We will be trying this soon. I hope you will come by Made for Kids and share this. It will be live tonight at 10pm EST.

  3. Emma November 1, 2015 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    This is the simplest idea for a light table I’ve seen! I love the idea of using it to trace nature, too!

    • pk1admin November 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks! Once we had one I kept thinking of all sorts of things to use it for. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Shreyashi Ganguly November 3, 2015 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Hi, I found this link from the chaoticbliss homeschooling link-up. This is perhaps the easiest light table idea I have seen. I draw a lot of cartoons to make in to animated flip-books for orphanages. This will definitely help speed up the process and bring a lot more smiles to those children.

  5. Branson November 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic idea! Fall is the perfect time for this and I wouldn’t have even thought to try!

  6. Deborah Mesa November 5, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Wow, I love the DIY light box! Genius idea! Now, to finds some leaves!

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Thanks! I hope you have fun tracing your leaves! 🙂

  7. Jenn Roberts November 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    This is a brilliant idea! My kids are so big on tracing right now. I’ll have to show them this! Thanks for sharing and for linking up!

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Ooooh I hope they have fun tracing! There are so many things you can do with this – come back and tell me if you think of any more applications!

  8. Tai East November 7, 2015 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Love the DIY light table! Super cool! Thanks so much for sharing! GOD bless you! 🙂

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

      So glad you liked it, thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings right back at ya! 🙂

  9. Keri November 7, 2015 at 10:06 am - Reply

    This is a great idea! I’ve used my phone under glass as a light too. It’s a fun way to trace patterns for crafts too.

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:15 am - Reply

      I hadn’t thought about that, a phone would totally work in a pinch! 🙂

  10. Kim November 7, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks for linking up at Made for Kids!

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

      Sure thing, thanks for hosting! 🙂

  11. Irina Vakulchik November 8, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    This is perfect for kids. It is easy to see and in return they will become more confident artists. This would be such a great idea to do with letters or numbers. I love it. Will be trying this with my 4 year old. Thank you for sharing at #learningkid.

    • pk1admin November 10, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

      So glad you liked it. Yes, tracing numbers and letters is a perfect application. Even tracing coloring book pages or line art does build confidence. It’s such a great moment when they take their paper off the light and get excited that they drew that! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  12. […] DIY Light Table For Tracing Leaves, Art & More By: PK1 Homeschool Fun […]

  13. Eva/ Kid Minds November 11, 2015 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Oh my, I didn’t realize it’s so easy to make a light table at home. We will try it today!

    • pk1admin November 11, 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

      Oooh fun, come back and tell me how it went! 🙂

  14. […]  Tracing Leaves by PK1 Homeschool Fun […]

  15. Diona Navarro November 11, 2015 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    So excited I found this!! You had me at diy!! I’ve been wanting to do this with my kids for the longest time.

  16. Learning Kid Link-Up #19 November 12, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

    […] My feature this week: DIY Light Table For Tracing Leaves, Art & More […]

  17. Sarah Eliza November 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    So clever! 🙂 pinned and tweeted!

  18. […] 39. Trace leaves from a nature walk. Use a light tracer or make your own! […]

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