A logo with a white top quarter and a turquoise bottom three-quarters. There is a yellow ribbon going through both the white and the turquoise sections at the top with white cursive text in it that says "Design Prompt." Below the ribbon, in the turquoise section is the #10 in white sans serif font, with the word “STEAMPUNK” below it in all capital letters in a serif font.

We’re 10 days into the #SFDesignADay SpoonChallenge! Today’s design prompt is brought to you by Sharon Turner (aka Scrummy), an avid Spoonflower Marketplace contributor with a knack for Steampunk designs. 

Futuristic steampunk towers and birds fill a hand drawn design. The towers have doors and compartments and clocks.

Sharon: I think of steampunk as a mash up of mechanical Victorian fantasy and grungy science fiction. Visually, the aesthetic is really cool and all about the details. (Check out some steampunk inspiration on Pinterest!) My favourite things to draw are animals and architecture so I combined the two and created some tower ‘stripes’ with birds!

A hand-drawn steampunk tower and bird illustration in process on a Wacom tablet.

My design started with an ink drawing which I scanned at high dpi and vectorised in Adobe® Illustrator®. I changed up some of the details and elements using my Wacom. Once I had the repeat in transparency, I coloured this digitally in Adobe Photoshop®. That’s the bit I love to do the best! Colours can make or break a design.


Pro tip: When doing a design with lots of detail, don’t get lost in it. Back off, zoom out. It has to look good from a distance and as a repeat! Negative (empty) space is just as important as all those twiddly bits you spend all that time perfecting. And if it’s a super busy pattern, consider reducing the number of colours. I love colour and love to use a lot of it, but it can be distracting sometimes in an ornate pattern.

A render of what scrummy's Steampunk Towers would look like on fabric. The design has columns of blue towers with doors and compartments. Their are red robotic birds in cages in some of the towers. Scrummy’s Steampunk Towers design printed on Faux Suede. Shop this design now in Scrummy’s shop!

Inspired? We want to see what you create! Be sure to tag your designs influenced by today’s SpoonChallenge technique with #SFDesignADay on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!