3 Tips for Shopping the Spoonflower Marketplace

JUN 26, 2019

With a growing library of over 1 million designs in the Spoonflower Marketplace, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to find the perfect design. But what if we told you it didn’t have to be that way? Over the years, Sheena Bean, the creative entrepreneur behind custom swimsuit company Naisish Handmade, has mastered the art of creating a cohesive product line featuring designs from Spoonflower. Whether you’re planning a new product launch or just looking for a new design for your next DIY project, we can’t wait to see how Sheena’s tips help you find just the right design.

3 Tips for Shopping the Spoonflower Marketplace | Spoonflower Blog
Sheena’s custom swimsuits stand out in the crowd with a little help from the colorful designs she finds in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Featured Design: Bohemian Paradise

Aloha from Oregon!  I’m Sheena from Naisish Handmade and I’d love to share with you how I choose fabric prints for my swimwear line and how I maintain a congruent and cohesive look for my brand amidst the thousands of design options available on Spoonflower. Navigating the Spoonflower Marketplace can be overwhelming at first glance. There are so many different designers, each with unique inspiration, distinct color stories, and individual styles that can feel like an ocean of ideas crashing and competing for your attention. While at one time, the sheer number of options inundated me, I have found three steps that help me choose my designs and help contribute to giving Naisish the feel and aesthetic that I aim to maintain.

3 Tips for Shopping the Spoonflower Marketplace | Spoonflower Blog
Featured Design: Beach Girl Kit

The first thing I do before picking designs is to think about the four words that I use to describe Naisish’s style – tropical, whimsical, bohemian and cleanIf the design I’m considering doesn’t fit into at least two, and ideally three, of these categories, it’s a no-go. Using these four categories as a primary filter allows me to easily look past designs that don’t mesh with my brand.

Featured Designs: Bohemian Paradise | Confetti Dots

Pro tip: Keep your designs organized by saving them in collections. See how to create a collection.

The second thing I do that helps me wade through the Spoonflower Marketplace is to try to find specific artists that create designs that consistently align with the “look” I’m trying to achieve. Designers like Holli Zollinger, Jen Florentine, and Tasiania are three of my go-tos when I need to find something that my customers will love. Working with designers over a long length of time allows me to have a good idea of what kind of patterns/prints they are drawn to and sticking with specific artists makes it easy to mix and match prints within established color stories that work beautifully together.  

Featured Designs: Tropical Maximalism | Soul Surfers | Adobo Kantha

The third thing I do when spending time on Spoonflower looking for a design is to consider the actual garment I will be making featuring the specific design. If it’s a baby or toddler-sized swimsuit, I know that large scale prints might not be the best choice. If it’s a swishy dress, I might look for a print that’s fluid and feminine, instead of something rigid and geometric. If I am creating something for a customer who is an Instagram influencer and has a curated Instagram feed, I will often send her pictures of fabrics that I think will work well with her Instagram colors and feel. Because each item that I sew is custom ordered, I am able to put a lot of thought and intention into each piece and into considering which prints will best highlight the unique characteristics of that item and the person who ordered it.

Pro tip: If you find a design you love that isn’t the right scale, you can send a message to the designer via their Spoonflower shop to request a custom scale change!

Spoonflower is so much more than just a fabric website. The way that Spoonflower brings independent designers and makers together has opened new doors and windows for everyone who utilizes its services and platform. Naisish would not be the company it is today without the creative opportunities that Spoonflower affords. Supporting a US based business that has an eco-friendly print processes and makes it easy for designers and makers to thrive is one of my favorite parts of running Naisish! Now excuse me, I have swimsuits to make!

3 Tips for Shopping the Spoonflower Marketplace | Spoonflower Blog
Featured Design: Confetti Dots

Ready to try out Sheena’s tips? Shop the Marketplace for your next design and then be sure to test out the fabric finder to help you pick just the right fabric for your next project.

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  • Does the filter in Spoonflower allow for multiple filters, i.e. graphic+blue+large+animal? This is where I have a problem finding what I want. FYI….I’m still looking for the large chicken I once purchased that filled a fat quarter. I’m embroidering it and will frame. I’m interested in more large print animals. How do I find them? Thanks.

    • I believe the filter does allow for multiple filters.

      When searching for your chicken, have you tried refining the results on the right by topic, choose animal, then farm, then hen. If you’re having trouble, try using the term “panel” instead of “large-scale” and the previous filter suggestions. If you purchased something a long time ago, it might not be still on the site, but you could sort by “newest” and go to the last pages and search forward.

  • I hadn’t realized before that the scale of a design could be changed! That will help if I want to use a particular design when sewing a little dress for my disabled cat – only small-scale designs will “work”.

  • Fantastic tips! It is clear from the stunning examples of her work that Sheena has got this figured out! 😉