Boot camp: The Best Way to Size Your Designs for Weekly Contests

SEP 7, 2015 updated Apr 27, 2021


You're feeling especially creative, so you decide to try your hand at entering one of Spoonflower's weekly design challenges. You picked the perfect theme, now it's time to start designing. All of the sudden, panic sets in. What size is best? Where do I begin? Fear not! In this post, we'll discuss how to size your designs just right for the standard fat quarter contests, swatch-sized "disty" contests, and even one-yard contests. Read on to find out how to master sizing to create a winning entry for any design challenge theme!


How to size designs for the weekly contest

Most contests default to a fat quarter preview, which is what the community sees during voting. So the trick is to make sure the elements in your design will be easily recognizable from a canvas of this size. If you're using a design program such as Photoshop, it's a good idea to set the canvas (document) size to 21" x 18" which is the size of a fat quarter. 

Bigger button

Once you upload your design to Spoonflower, the preview will default to a fat quarter view, which accurately reflects how your design will appear in the contest. If your design has lots of fine detail that you're worried won't shine through at the fat quarter scale, just click the 'bigger' button to enlarge your design until you are satisfied. 

bigger contest view

Enter in contest

Once you're happy, go ahead and enter your design into the contest of your choice using the "Enter in Contest" option to the left of the preview. 

contest entry preview

Once you enter a contest, Spoonflower provides a preview so you know exactly what your design will look like. It's important to note that we do not recommend editing your design after submitting it, as that can cause the voting thumbnail to break. You also won't be able to upload a revision once your design has been entered so be sure the version you're submitting is the final version. If you don't like how your design looks in the entry preview, consider withdrawing it and re-entering later once you've made your modifications.  

don't forget to vote for your design!

Now all you have to do is wait for voting to open, then vote! We totally won't judge you if you vote for your own design. 


In fabric design, the term ditsy doesn't mean scatterbrained. Rather, it refers to small scaled, non-directional scatter prints. The motifs in your design ideally shouldn't be larger than half an inch to an inch in scale. So for our "ditsy" contests, Spoonflower typically calls for designs to be formatted in the swatch (8" x 8") size so that those fine details you worked so hard on will not get lost.  

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 1.22.01 PM


one yard border design

Occasionally, Spoonflower will throw a curve-ball with a one-yard sized contest. Often these are border print contests, but they could also be cut-and-sew contests as well. For these, you'll want to set your document size to 42" x 36." Once your design is uploaded, select the "one yard" view. The larger the preview size, the harder it is to see those details, so keep this in mind when designing.

Once you have sizing mastered, you're half way there! Always remember that the size that may be perfect in a contest, may not be the size you want to ultimately have your design at in the marketplace. Once a contest is over and the results are final, you can always adjust your design back to the size you want it to be permanently. Feeling confident? Find a contest theme that speaks to you and enter now!


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