Do you want to see how I assemble my PDF patterns at home? Unlike most people, I print and assemble my patterns many times. When I draft a pattern and place it in the proper format, I print my pattern. Then if I have any changes, I revise, print and assemble the pattern again. I don’t have a large-format printer at home. The way you print and assemble a pattern at home is the way I print and assemble my patterns. I think this is a good thing because I catch a lot of errors and find areas of improvement just by doing it exactly as what my customers would do. Sometimes I have to print and assemble MANY times. Therefore, speed is paramount. The best way is to have a large-format printer at my disposal, but since I don’t, I think this method works for me.
Some people stack their printed pages together and use a rotatory cutter to cut all the edges/margins off. But for my printer, I can’t do it because the pages don’t always print at the exactly same spot. I think it has something to do with the printer feeder. Hence this is a good alternative.
One disclaimer though—I am not saying this is the best way to assemble print-at-home patterns; in fact, this method has some pitfalls. But what makes up for it is speed.
It might not be for you, but I’d like to share this with you anyway in case you find it helpful too.
I learned this method of assembling print-at-home pattern from a German video that Rita referred me to. (Rita is my friend and trusty proof-reader for almost all of my patterns. Thank you Rita!) The video is in German; not that I understood a word of it, but I was able to just see what she was doing.
The bummer is that I no longer have the link. If any of you know the original video, I’d love to link to it so I can give the lady proper credit. I knew some of you must know! Thank you Deva. The video is here. Please go over there and give the video a thumbs up!
Assemble PDF Patterns the Quick Way
Make sure the pages you print are correct. You should see all four lines of the rectangle on the page. On this page, I trim the corners so that the cut touches the very corner of the rectangle. The angle does not matter at all, so you can do this quickly. Bam bam bam bam!
You might notice that I didn’t cut all four corners on this page. I know that for the very outer corner (on Itch to Stitch’s patterns, that would be one without the quarter circle), I will not have to align it with any other pages, so I did not cut it. Actually, you would not have to trim some corners too, but that would require me to plan and think about the sequence of my assembling. By the time I finish planning and thinking, I would have trimmed many corners, so for all other pages, I just go ahead and trim all the corners.
Assembly time! I use a glue stick. I used to use scotch tape, but once I tried glue stick, there’s no turning back. I found that this brand of glue stick, Pritt, is durable and the pages don’t come apart. You probably can’t easily find it in your country (mine comes from Costa Rica), but I am sure you can find a good brand where you are. If you like to tape, it’s perfectly fine too.
I apply glue on one margin. Precision is not necessary when you put on the glue. If you put some glue beyond the line into the pattern, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll see that the pages actually do overlap, so the glue would be under the margin of another page. Just don’t put the glue on the table. It’s a bit of a mess if you do.
Now let’s put the other page next to the first one. You line up the very corners of the two pages like this:
A close up:
(Now that I am looking at the photo, I think I was half a millimeter off, but I’ll live.)
You keep repeating the process for the same row.
Then you start a new row. The idea is exactly the same: you line up the corners.
On the next one, you’ll have to glue/tape two sides.
Keep doing it until the whole pattern is assembled!
So what’s not to love about this method?
You see here? Some of the lines are covered. For this one, it doesn’t take a genius to connect the end of one line on one page to the beginning of another line on another page. I think I can manage it.
Some other lines might be more covered. For example, this one runs along the margin and it is curvy, so it’s more tricky. But my paper is pretty thin and I can see through it. Even if I can’t see through it on the table, I hold it up with a light behind, and I can see through it.
This could be a deal breaker for some people. Some of you might not mind.
So that’s all the good, bad and ugly of a quicker way to assemble a PDF pattern at home. What do you think? Do you want to give it a try?