Quick! Run to your recycling bins and pull out your cereal boxes, pasta boxes and frozen pizza boxes.
These boxes make outstanding patterns and templates for your most frequently sewn items. I have cereal box templates for bibs, burp cloths, eye masks, dishtowels, and fabric boxes.
If I am cutting three or more of one design, I will raid our recycle bin for the thin cardboard that can be found on food boxes. It's easier to cut than cardboard from boxes, sturdy enough for tracing over and over again, and basically free (well not really free, but you've already paid for and eaten the food, so why not use the box too?).
This is just one way to extend the life of your patterns and make sure you are tracing your image accurately onto your fabric. You can also use the cardboard back to make notes such as elastic length (as in this photo for my vintage eye masks).
Anyone else have a favorite craft tip to share?