Boot Camp: Decoding Wallpaper Design

AUG 31, 2015 updated May 27, 2021

While fabric patterns can repeat in every direction and come in a variety of sizes, designing for wallpaper requires you to always have the width of the roll in mind. Wallpaper rolls have to match up, so the repeat has to be very precise.

Since Spoonflower wallpaper rolls are 24 inches wide, your design’s width has to divide evenly into 24. For example, designs that are 24, 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. Length doesn’t matter as much because rolls can be printed up to 15 feet long, so you have plenty of room there. What if my design doesn’t divide evenly into the 24-inch width?

Your design will be resized automatically if it’s not evenly divisible into 24. If your design file is pretty big the system might scale up, or scale down your design if you don’t have enough pixels to work with. Double-check the dimensions to the right of the preview to determine how much the scale has changed.

Your wallpaper, fabric and gift wrap settings are independent from each other, but If you needed extra precision, you could upload copies of the same design and only order it on specific products.

Can I make a mural using Spoonflower wallpaper?

Yes, it’s possible to make a mural, but it takes some careful planning, some powerful software and a really big file.

Let’s say you wanted to make a mural that is 6’w x 4’h. Since wallpaper rolls are 24 inches wide, you would need three custom rolls that are four feet long — Spoonflower can print short rolls too, you don’t have to buy a full roll. With your high quality file open in Photoshop, you would need to divide it into 24 x 48 inch sections, and upload each one separately. Then each section would print on individual rolls. This may take some finagling to get it right, and test swatches can help you determine if your mural is lining up properly before committing to the full project.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for designing for wallpaper? Please share in the comments below!

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  • There is no 8 inch pattern tiling option! You get 1,2 or 4 tiles across… no exceptions. Someone needs to correct this post. It has caused me a lot of work fixing things to fit the now prejudiced against 8″x8″ tiles system 🙁

    • Hi Tammy,
      We apologize for any frustration our site may have caused! To create a design with an 8″ repeat across the width of the wallpaper, you’ll want to make sure your design is 8″ wide and set at 150 dpi prior to uploading to Spoonflower. If you’d like to send us an email at help@spoonflower.com with a link to your design, we’d be happy to assist you further.

  • I have tried posting an image that’s two rolls wide, and there was a big problem with the edges. I may have the numbers wrong, but it was like this: the rolls were something like 24 1/2″ wide, with 24″ showing the uploaded image and the last 1/2″ repeating the first 1/2″. This makes sense when the repeat is 24″ or less, in which case laying down one roll over another with a 1/2″ overlap means the image on the overlapping part matches what’s underneath it. But when the printing from 24″ to 24 1/2″ repeats the printing from 0″ to 1/2″ on the each half of a 48″ image, the overlap doesn’t match at all, and it would be disastrous for the underlying part to show. Laying the second roll the tiniest bit too far to the right would reveal that unmatching strip interrupting the continuous image. And even with absolutely perfect alignment, if the paper isn’t 100% opaque (and I don’t think it is), that overlap mismatch would show.
    I tried to get around this by making my two uploaded images 24″ wide but repeating after 23 1/2″, and asking people to trim off your (very visible) 1/2″ edge of repeat. It meant the rolls would effectively be less than two feet wide, but it was the only solution I could think of. Would it be possible for you to allow bigger files to be uploaded and split them yourself into rolls for 48″ repeats or larger? Or somehow to create a template that could be filled in and uploaded to avoid this problem?

  • 1. At the moment your wallpaper resizing algorithm is still broken such that it won’t let you have odd-numbered integer repeats other than 1. So that 3 lots of 8 inch example remains impossible (unless the file is pre-packed with 3 copies of the image across the width to fool your system into treating it like any other single 24 inch repeat).
    2. The mural could be uploaded as a single file with the panels repeated above and below each other but the printed roll would then have to be cut up accurately (possibly by including a visible guide line between the panel sections) before reassembling the pieces in the correct order on the wall.