Patterns & How to Use Them
As more and more SWAPS go up on the site, more will include patterns for tracing, usually on craft foam. Patterns will be in PDF files, just as all the other printables. I’m doing this as it will help maintain the proper sizing of the final product, as well as because turning them into PDFs greatly reduces file size without affecting clarity. 
 
Below is an example of the patterns I will be uploading. This particular pattern is for PB&J sandwiches. 
Depending on just how many SWAPS you intend on making, as well as how many people will be using the patterns, I have two recommendations. 
 
If only one person is going to be using the pattern(s), and for a limited quantity of SWAPS, then simply printing the file on card stock and then cutting the pattern(s) out should suffice. As you use them to trace, the edges will eventually begin to fold in from the repeated pressure, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re only making twenty-five SWAPS. 
 
If you want your patterns to be more durable, to be able to stand up to more use, then I suggest following this procedure instead: 
 
  1. Print out the file on card stock and carefully cut out the pattern(s). 

  2. Trace them on cardboard. I recommend cereal boxes or other similar material. (Trying to use corrugated cardboard is not recommended, because not only is it a great deal harder to cut with precision, but also because the edges will always be rough.) Thin, flat plastic can also be used, such as container lids or pre-cut fruit packaging. 

  3. Cut out the patterns from the cardboard or plastic. 

  4. These more durable patterns should last you a great deal longer and can even be saved for later use. 
 
Including patterns allows me to help you make a great deal many more SWAPS well, instead of only sharing printable options. This way, your finished product will look the way you want them to, even if you aren’t the best at drawing. 
 
Quite often, patterns can and will be used for more than one type of SWAPS, so don’t be surprised if you see the same pattern used repeatedly.