How to Create Large Scale Projects from Digital Art

lettering Dec 26, 2019

Transform your designs from Procreate to larger than life signs without ever picking up a ruler! 

Like me, you may have been here before: You create this great sketch or design on your iPad and when it comes to making it in real life, you find yourself without the undo button measuring guidelines, erasing, redrawing, and desperately trying to recreate your digital artwork on a larger scale. I’m here to show you how you can take your digital designs and transfer them to any type of surface: chalkboard, wood or even a wall without any measuring! 

Tools & Materials


Step 1: Design and Save

Create your design in procreate and save it as a PDF. It is important that before you begin, you create a custom canvas that is the same dimensions of the sign you are working with. For my final project, my sign is 24”x48”, however at the standard 300 dpi, this canvas file is too large so I had to lower my dpi to 200 (This is okay since you won’t be needing a super high quality print!) Once you have your design sketched out, save it as a PDF and send it to your computer using your favorite file share program, I personally use Dropbox.

Step 2: Print from Adobe Reader

Open the PDF of your design on your computer in Adobe Reader. Reader will automatically create a file the exact dimensions of your sign so you are ready to print it to the actual dimensions of your final piece. The secret is to use the “Poster Print” feature under the “Page Sizing and Handling” setting. (If you prefer to work in Illustrator, this feature is also called “Tile Print” ) This will break up your design into many 8.5”x11 pages. 

Step 3: Tape your design together. 

Once printed, tape your papers together like a puzzle

Step 4: Transfer to Your Board

Here is where the magic happens! Take out your transfer paper and lay it between your sign and your printed design. I love Saral paper because it is wax free so it wont leave any residue and can be erased just like pencil. Bonus: it comes in black AND white for both light and dark surfaces. Make sure that the graphite/marking side is facing down so that it will transfer your marks. Tape everything in place so your design does not move. Begin tracing your printed design using a pen or pencil with medium pressure. When you have traced your whole design remove the transfer paper and reveal your design exactly as you imagined it on your iPad, but bigger! Many people have asked me “…but isn’t tracing cheating?!” and my answer is always “No!” Work smarter, not harder folks. You are taking YOUR OWN design and essentially blowing it up to fit your needs. 

Step 5: Paint your design

Now you are ready to paint! I prefer to hand paint my extra large signs to avoid streaks, but for smaller projects paint markers are a great option for painting too!

Step 6: Erase and Enjoy

Let your paint dry overnight and go back and erase any left over guidelines from the transfer paper. Any stubborn lines can be removed with a damp lint free cloth. Don’t throw out your papers! Saral paper can be reused over and over for many projects to come! You can even keep your design handy if you ever want to make another one.

I’m Paige from @_theblankpaige. I am a K-8 Art Teacher in Chicago by day, and all things lettering by night/weekends/school breaks. A few years ago I realized I was teaching my students to be creative but I had completely lost my own interest in creating. I was determined to reignite my passion and decided to dive into lettering. Flash forward 3 years, what once were uninspired blank pages have transformed into not only my favorite past time, but also a small business creating hand lettered art to share! 

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