Happy Inktober, designers! While sewists are busy prepping their handmade Halloween costumes this time of year, designers across the world are staying busy with daily drawing prompts provided during the month-long Instagram challenge. We love seeing how the Spoonflower community is participating in the annual challenge — be sure to tag your Inktober sketches with #spoonflower — but have you ever wondered how you can turn your daily Inktober drawings into a repeating design for your Spoonflower shop? Spoonflower designer Gaia Marfurt is no stranger to Inktober (be sure to follow her Instagram feed this month to see her sketches!) and is here to show you how to turn your daily sketches into repeating patterns with the free design program GIMP. Ready to get started? 

Gaia: There is no more October in my life… there is only Inktober! I draw and work so much in this month! Today I can’t wait to show you how to use your Inktober illustrations to create repeating patterns for your Spoonflower shop.

Turn Your Inktober Sketch into a Pattern: Part 1

1. To get started, you’ll want to create your illustration filling a tile with the shape of a square. This way it will be easier to create a pattern once your drawing is complete. Using a pencil, draw an 8” square and then draw a diamond within the larger square. Divide the diamond into four quadrants.

Split your diamond into your equal quadrants.

2. Following the Inktober prompts, draw an illustration with a pencil and then use ink to finish it. If you prefer, you can go straight to ink! Just remember to keep all of your design elements within the four quadrants.

Start drawing with pencil or pen!

3. Once your drawing is complete, it’s time to import your image on your computer. First, be sure to erase the pencil the best you can and then digitize the image with a scanner. Remember to import the image with a high resolution (300dpi is the best).

Turn Your Inktober Sketch into a Pattern: Part 2

1. Open your image on GIMP. If you prefer, you can also use this technique in Photoshop, but please keep in mind the instructions will be slightly different.

2. Change the “brightness and contrast “ of your illustration so the black is a true black and the white is a true white.

3. Select all the black details in your design with GIMP’s select by color tool (in Photoshop Select>Color Range). Then copy and paste them onto a new transparent layer. Select the original layer and fill the entire canvas so it’s white. You now should have one layer with all the design details and one layer with a white background.

4. Duplicate the layer with the black design and flip the duplicated layer with flip in GIMP’s toolbox (in Photoshop Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). This will add a bit more interest to your design in the end.

5. You are now ready to do the “offset” of this new layer! Find the window of the offset on your software — in Gimp it’s in the Menu > Layers > Transform > Offset and in Photoshop it’s Filer>Other>Offset — and put half the size of the width of the canvas for X and half the size of the length of your canvas for Y. If necessary, move the first black layer to adjust the center design elements.

6. You now have a pattern! Export the file as a JPG or PNG and upload it on Spoonflower.

7. If you’d like to add colour and textures to your design, you can learn how with my tutorials on Skillshare.

How are you participating in Inktober this year? Be sure to tag your sketches with #spoonflower so we can reshare throughout the month.