DIY Pounce Powder: How to Use and How to Make a Pounce Pad

Practice makes perfect. That is the rule of thumb if you are trying to use anew item in your sewing projects. Do not expect to apply different chalks and powders like an expert on your first try. It will take some time to get the right touch.

The name of the product may have you thinking that you need to dab the pounce pad over your fabric. That is not the case. When you have the pounce pad in place just gently wipe it across your quilt stencil and you should have good results.

To learn more about pounce powder, how to use it, how to make it just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to make sure you can create your pounce powder and use it correctly once you do.

What is a Pounce Pad for Quilting?


The pounce pad is a little packet of powder chalk that can be made of several different materials. You do not need a lot of chalk in the container to use the pounce pad correctly.

All you do is dip the pounce pad into the chalk or other powdered mixture and wipe the chalk over the quilting stencil you are using. What the pounce pad does is transfer the chalk onto your fabric in the shape of the stencil design you want to have on your quilt.

You do not need to tap or dab the pad to transfer the chalk. A light but firm wiping motion should do the trick and get your pattern design transferred clearly and without gaps or other mistakes.

After you are done, you can embroider, sew or even machine sew the thread over the chalk without ruining the fabric. The chalk is not hard to remove once you have your design finished.

How to Make a Pounce Pad


The pad is simple to make, you just need to have the right materials to use to get the job done. Once you have gathered those materials. You can use an old baby sock or t-shirt for the main material.

When you have those clean fabrics ready to go, just cut them to size. The t-shirt may need a circular can to use as a drawing guide to make sure you get enough material for your pounce pad.

Don’t make the cloth too small or you may not have enough room to hold the pad. Once you get the sock or t-shirt cut, add in about a tablespoon of powder. Make sure the color you use is not the same as the fabric you are trying to work with. The color of powder you use should be in sharp contrast to the color of the fabric.

After the powder is in place, pull the edges of the t-shirt fabric or the sock together so that the powder does not come out. Use a rubber band to hold the fabric ends closed at the top and you should be good to go.

There should be more ways to make one but these two methods will get you started and you can find other methods as you go.

DIY Pounce Pad Tips

Tips are great as they help you find short cuts to doing different tasks. When it comes to making pounce powder or pad the tips you get may save you time, hassle and frustration.

Here are a few tips for you to consider using:

  • Pounce pad - just about any fabric you have lying around the house will work. You can get rid of scraps of fabric by turning them into pounce pads.
  • Brush not pad - one way to avoid using up valuable time making a pounce pad is to get a foam paintbrush from your spouse. Foam pads work well and are better designed to wipe the powder on your fabric.
  • Making the chalk - if you do not want to grind your charcoal or other powder ingredients just buy powder charcoal to mix with your other ingredients which can be talc.
  • Mixing - find a clean plastic but little container to mix your ingredients. Make sure it has an easy to seal lid. Close the lid and just shake the mixture till you have the color you want. You may need to add more of one ingredient over the other to achieve that color. A Ziploc bag may do as well.

How to Fill a Pounce Pad

Filling a pounce pad doesn’t take a lot of special equipment. If you are making your own then all you need is a little measuring spoon or regular flatware teaspoon or tablespoon.

Fill those items with the amount of powder you want in the pounce pad and then close the fabric up with a rubber band. For pre-made pounce pads, all you have to do is put a little powder in the lid of the pad and dip your pad into the powder.

How to Use a Quilt Pounce Pad


The first step in using a pounce pad is to make sure you have a comfortable yet firm grip. The last thing you want is for the pad to come out of your fingers and make a mess on your fabric.

If that happens, it is a good thing that most pounce pad powders can be brushed, washed or ironed away. After you find that perfect grip, dip the pounce pad into the powder. That is if you are using a pre-made pad.

If you are using a homemade one the powder is already inside the fabric. Next, you just wipe the pad over your quilting stencil. There is no need to bang the fabric with the pad. A firm wipe that is not too hard or too soft should do the trick.

Once you are done you can sew away. There is one word of warning though. If the powder is the brush away style you may want to only mark a short stretch of your stencil at one time.

The reason for that is the chalk or powder may brush off the unfinished design before you get to it. Brush away chalk is convenient but it requires a little more work on your part.

FAQs on Pounce Pads and Chalk

  • 1. Which color Quilt Pounce should I pick?

If you are buying your powder you may find that the manufacturers only make one or two colors. You need to pick the color that doe snot blend in with the color of the fabric you are using.

  • 2. What is the difference between the Quilt Pounces with Chalk and the Ultimate Quilt Pounce?

The former brand is a brush off style of pounce powder. It is easy to get rid of but may make it harder for you to sew. The latter brand is like tailor’s chalk and needs to be ironed off.

  • 3. What is the difference between white and blue chalk?

The only difference is in their color. The two kinds are made of the same chalk ingredients and the blue only has a blue pigment added to the white chalk. The blue is non-staining but double-check before you use it. Be careful as the yellow powder may stain your fabric.

  • 4. Do I need a different pounce pad for each color chalk?

It is recommended that you use a different pad with every color of the pounce powder you work with. If you don’t the leftover powder may mix in with the new and make it harder for you to see the lines.

  • 5. How long does the chalk last?

Generally, 4 ounces of powder should last you at least through 2 good sized quilts. How much you use up depends on how heavy you apply the chalk.

  • 6. I can't see my lines, what's wrong?

There are several reasons for this result. First, you may not have placed enough powder on your pad. Some pre-made pads need priming before they will work as claimed. Take the time to make sure the pad is fully primed before using it.

A second reason is that you used the wrong color of powder and it blended in with the color of the fabric. The third reason is that you may not have been firm enough when you wiped the pad across your fabric.

  • 7. Am I supposed to "pounce" the pad onto the stencil?

You are not supposed to tap or dab the pad when trying to make the stencil design appear on your fabric. If you do your lines may not look that good, have gaps or just do not transfer the design well enough.

The correct way to use a pounce pad is to tap the stencil and fabric once, then follow the stencil by wiping the pad across the fabric. After 4 inches, you should tap again and wipe a second time. Keep doing this until the design has been transferred

  • 8. How do I stop my chalk lines from disappearing?

To keep the chalk in place and to keep it from disappearing on you, you can take some hairspray and from a distance of about 8 inches, just lightly coat the chalk. You do not want a heavy coat as the liquid from the hair spray could also wipe away your lines.

  • 9. Can I wash off the pounce powder?

Yes, you can. Some varieties wash off your fabric once you have finished sewing the design in place. Check the label before you buy as some there varieties brush off or need to be ironed off.

  • 10. Is there any particular way I should store the pounce pad when I'm not using it?

The recommended way is to turn the pad upside down when it is not in use. That way any leftover powder inside will not over-saturate the pad.

Where to Buy a Pounce Pad


If you are not the handy type and do not want to make a mess mixing up the powder or grinding it, buying a pounce pad is the way to go. There are a lot of outlets that carry pounce pads, so your task of finding one is not going to be that difficult.

Joann’s has them and that may mean that Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other fabric and sewing stores will have them as well. You can also check the sewing section of your favorite department store as they may carry these pads and their powder for you.

There are a lot of options on the internet if you like to buy without leaving the comfort of your home. Then if you want to make your own you should be able to find all the ingredients you need just as easily. Make sure you buy a tool to help you grind the chalk, charcoal or other ingredients you want to use.

Some Final Words

Using pounce powder correctly is a way to simplify your quilt making. The design should stay on after you use the powder making your sewing a lot easier to do. You should have fewer mistakes as you can clearly see the design as you work.

If you are handy and want to save a little money, you can also make your own. It is more of a time-consuming task than a difficult one. The hardest part is choosing the color you want to use and getting that color just right.

Your DIY pounce pad does not have to be elaborate or fancy. The simple design is usually the best design to work with.

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