trace around

trace around (something)

To drawn an outline around something that is resting on or pressed against a flat surface. If you put your hand on the paper and trace around it with a pencil, it kind of looks like a turkey! Murder detectives used to trace around victims' bodies with chalk, though the practice is almost entirely relegated to pop culture these days.
See also: around, trace
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

trace around something

to press something against paper and draw a line around the edges that are in contact with the paper. Trace around this piece of material and cut out a new pattern. If you trace around the edges carefully, you will end up with a good drawing of the outline.
See also: around, trace
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
For any of the cuts you've produced, simply cut through the meat to find the bone, and then trace around it with your knife, staying as close to the bone as possible (Photo 9).
But it disappeared without a trace around the 1940s, when Manchester Collieries was taken over by the National Coal Board during the nationalisation of the mines.
Use a knife to trace around the tin and create a paper circle for the bottom of the tin.
Use a paring knife to trace around the tin and create a parchment circle for the bottom of the pan.
Then, with a the photograph down, have them first trace around all their white shapes; " ballpoint pens seem to work best for tracing shapes.
1 Trace around a star, transfer to the sheet of card and cut out neatly with a Open out the card, place the template on the card on the cutting mat and cut 3 Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the shape you've cut out but smaller than the card.
Be sure the part is aligned correctly to the action (not the stock) and trace around the part of the bottom metal that touches the stock.
Place the pie plate face up on the bag, and use the marker to trace around the bottom.
PRO TIP: When working with dark hues, precision is important--so dab your pinkie in a bit of concealer, then trace around the edge of your lips to erase smudginess.
Later the Romans came and departed, leaving little trace around the Mersey.
A Coast Guard official said, " In a display of seamless coordination, the suspect boat was intercepted by ICGS Sangram in the wee hours of Monday and apprehended later in the morning while Navy ship Kondul provided support to the entire operation." It may be recalled that a Pakistani fishing vessel had on the New Year's Eve sunk without a trace around 365 km off the same Porbander coast in mysterious circumstances after being intercepted by the Coast Guard on high seas.
*For an even circle, use a pencil to trace around a 12-in, plate onto parchment.
Kennedy Gardens also has barrier controlled residential parking with electric car charging points, new street lighting and an impressive new sculpture, after customers were asked to trace around their fingers to make a "Tree of Hands".