How to Make a Light Box for Quilting

Updated May 22, 2018

Quilters mark their patterns using a variety of methods. One way to mark your quilt top is by laying a pattern on a light box and laying the fabric over it. The light illuminates the pattern and quilters use a specially made white or silver quilt-marking pencil to trace the lines in the pattern so that it is reproduced on the quilt fabric. Commercial light boxes are available from dozens of sources, but you can make a very inexpensive version in minutes. You'll save quite a bit of money, and will be able to mark your quilt top with ease.

Purchase a poster frame that is at least 24 inches across. Get the kind with Plexiglas instead of real glass. Remove the frame edges and keep the Plexiglas sheet.

Open the back of the touch light and insert the correct size batteries. Replace the battery cover. Push on the light surface to make sure that the light is working.

Place the touch light inside a box that is at least 12 by 18 inches. Push on the light surface to light the light. Place the Plexiglas sheet on top of the box.

Lay the quilt pattern on top of the Plexiglas sheet in the centre. Use small pieces of tape to secure the pattern to the surface. Lay your quilt top on the pattern and mark your top with a quilt-marking pencil.


Touch lights are often found in dollar stores. They are used to hang up for additional lights in closets or dark corners.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster frame
  • Cardboard box
  • Touch light
  • Batteries
  • Quilt pattern
  • Tape
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About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.