Hey guys, time to learn stuff!
This is how we make all of our patterns. We use these plastic cutting boards from IKEA. They’re both sturdy and pretty flexible, and you get two of them for less than $3.00. They’re easy to cut and punch holes in (as you can see in the photos demonstrating how our various tools work with it), and are ideal for patterning armor. Heck, you could use these to make armor if you really wanted to (and at about the same price as craft foam, it’s a much sturdier alternative).
Anyways, once we get our pattern all drawn out and make sure it works and looks nice in leather, we just trace it onto the plastic and cut it out. Then, when we’re making product, we just grab them out and can trace the pattern onto the leather, complete with marks for all of the holes we need to punch. This stuff holds up way better than pattern paper, tagboard, and even cardboard. you can throw it around the shop, beat up on it, step on it, get it wet, and it’ll still work just fine.