12 Days of Design: Day 9 Discover Repeats

JAN 9, 2017 updated Jul 9, 2021

So — you’ve gone through all the hard work of creating a design and that’s great, but you’re not done yet! It still needs to repeat.  A fun feature of Spoonflower is that you can set up your preferences on scale and repeat for each type of product (fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap). An image can be large scale for fabric and then smaller scale for gift wrap. We also offer 5 different types (basic, half-drop, half-brick, mirrored and centered) of repeats that let you use one simple element to create a fabulous design. Let’s go over each one. 

This is an example of the basic repeat, which will be the default repeat on the design when you first upload it to your Spoonflower account.

The half-drop repeat will place every other column of your design repeat 50% lower.

The half-brick repeat will place every other row of your design repeat 50% to the left.

the gray text you see here is a watermark, and will not print onto the fabric.

Your design can be centered on fabric or gift wrap (not wallpaper for obvious reasons!). We will not alter the size or dimensions of the design. If the size of the design does not match the size of product, the space around the edge of the design will be left unprinted.

The mirror repeat will place your image facing edge to edge in a reflective way.

You can also preview various repeat options on wallpaper, too, and get a feel for how they’d look in a room.

You may be thinking… what if I have a more complicated, scattered design where the edges of my elements go off the borders, but I need it to align seamlessly when it repeats? That’s a little more tricky. If you’re quite handy with Photoshop and think you’re ready for a more advanced design task, you can try creating a seamless repeat digitally. Check out our video below to learn one method for achieving a seamless repeat:

Don’t have Photoshop but still determined to create a seamless repeat? It is actually possible to do this by hand, but your design needs to be on paper. Here’s a tried and true method shared by Julia Rothman on the Design Sponge blog. 

Are you hanging in there with us? You can catch up on previous days here to make sure you’re up to speed. Be sure to share your designs with us using hashtag #12DaysofDesign, and ask any questions that come to mind in the comments below!

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  • Hello,

    I\’ve been working and working at learning the seamless design technique. I\’m a longtime use of PS but keep getting stuck after the \’magic wand and then delete\’ step…I receive a message saying \”could not complete your request because source and destination documents are the same\” and am then not able to drag my copies layers onto the screen. I followed all of the steps exactly as instructed. Feeling frustrated because I have several designs that are ready to go! Any help will be so appreciated…thanks so very much!

    Julie Ireland Pomeroy

    • Hi Julie, Theresa here! Is the layer you\’re trying to edit (magic wand select and delete unwanted areas) separate from your background layer? You want to make sure that the rasterized object is on its own layer for this step to work and for you to easily be able to duplicate the motif. Let me know if that helps!

  • When I get the printed fabric back, does the pattern repeat print out with exactly the same placement that’s shown in the thumbnail preview (once scale, repeat pattern, fabric and yardage have been selected)? Is it possible to specify just how I’d like a pattern placed on a select number of yards?

    • Hi Lauren,
      Generally speaking, the design preview page will reflect how your design will lay out after you have selected the fabric type and size you would like it to print on. The thumbnail that is represented in the shopping cart or on your packslip does not accurately reflect how a design will lay out. If you are setting up your design to be centered across the stretch of yardage, you would need to set your size dimensions at 150 dpi at the size of fabric you are printing your design on to. For more detailed information on how to lay out a design you are uploading to our site, reach out to our help desk at help@spoonflower.com.

  • Ann E, Alburn

    I have the same problem. My designs are a bit complicated and trying to find a way to find a good breaking point for a repeat pattern is more than a bit of a challenge. Any help would be so appreciated. Thank you.

  • Gena Galenski

    Thank you.
    (1) Could you offer a repeat starting with a design in Illustrator and then moving it into photoshop? I want to learn how to avoid or delete that SEAM LINE that mysteriously shows up. It has devastated me to the point that I do not design / upload anymore because I just don’t know how to avoid it or get rid of it. Although I re-did my butterfly design and am going to try again . . . soon . . . very soon . . . If I felt confident in that line NOT showing up, I would be designing and uploading a lot of my designs. I love this. It, toy poodles and redwoods are the essence of who I am. And, a little more.
    (2) I did not see anywhere to sign up for You Tube videos as mentioned at the end of this video. I was about to and then it – or something seemed to disappear.

    Many thanks, Designer Gena

  • Needed this video; thanks! Never worked with Photoshop previously so appreciated the tips!

  • Totally appreciate this video. New to Photoshop, so this has made it easy to create a repeat. (Oh so much easier than doing a repeat on paper. )
    Thank you.