Design-A-Day SpoonChallenge Day 9: Free Software

MAR 9, 2016 updated May 20, 2021
Today's #SFDesignADay comes to you from 2015 Spoonflower Staff Challenge Winner, Eloisa Docton, better known as Natitys in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Eloisa is proof that expensive design software is not needed to create beautiful, bold surface patterns. Eloisa is stopping by the blog today to talk about her favorite free design programs for creating fun, playful designs without breaking the bank! 
#SFDesignADay: Open Source. Original designs by Natitys, available on www.spoonflower.comFox Forest Blue by Natitys. Available on Spoonflower

Eloisa: Before learning Photoshop and Illustrator, I would search online for countless hours online for easy tools that would allow me to create my designs. To this day, I still recommend using these over expensive programs to start off, because they help you make fun creations without the large investment and the big learning curve. These online programs are also easily accessible, and very user-friendly, people of all ages can play with them!

One of my favorite online tools is Canva. On this website, you can specify the size of your image, select from hundreds of free design elements. You can just visit the website and run with it! Before making any designs you create with Canva for sale, be sure to do your homework and take note of Canva's Terms of Use policies.
Looking for some inspiration? How about these:
Jude placement designed using
personalized illustration designed to be printed onto fabric and sewn into a placemat. ©Fusion Books via
artwork designed using by Eloisa Docton
 "Jude" artwork for stretching canvas. ©Canva Layouts via
Jude Kitties repeating pattern
 Repeating kitties would make awesome Sprout Patterns baby leggings! ©Fusion Books via
Another free program I love is Picmonkey. The great thing about this program is that you can use PicMonkey's connection with Spoonflower to save designs directly to your design library. Check out this tutorial (and these from our Help center!) to help you get started, and be sure to share your creations with me using the hashtag #SFDesignADay!

Eloisa DoctonEloisa works as Spoonflower's Chief Fabric Procurement Specialist. She is a Fashion Design Graduate, and she started her online business, Natitys Design in 2001. When Eloisa's first child was born, Natalie, she started making custom boutique baby bedding. In 2007, she moved away from baby bedding to Infant Car Seat Covers and extended to other gear; Natitys Design products have been offered in the USA, Canada and Japan since then with celebrity clients the likes of Tori Spelling, Jennifer Garner and Julia Roberts. Keep up with Eloisa here on her website and pick up some of her adorable designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace



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  • Thanks Amy! It’s a great site! Something to note is that, of course, as it comes with everything, it’s always best to look for permission when using designs not created by yourself, Canva has great, user-friendly permission options that would fit everyone’s needs, they can all be found in their help page: