Announcing May’s Design Challenge Themes

APR 2, 2021 updated May 18, 2021

Spoonflower’s Weekly Design Challenges encourage creativity by inviting our community to submit designs around a theme and vote on favorites to win weekly prizes. See what design challenges are coming up and which designers were crowned grand-champion in past challenges here.

Be sure to visit the blog to learn more about Spoonflower’s Design Challenge rules and moderation process.

May Design Challenge Themes

Seashells | Entries due by April 27

Come out of your shell and show off your best designs featuring these exquisite exoskeletons! Whether you are able to walk the shore and search for inspiration, visit your own shell collection from past vacations or rely on research to show you these beach beauties, we want to see the great diversity of seashells represented!

These sea sculptures can be shiny and smooth or rough and textured. Their unique patterns are thanks to the animals like hermit crabs that call the shells home at times. As the creatures grow, new layers or “growth bands” sprout up on the shell to make room. While no one is 100% sure where shells’ pearlescent colorings come from, some thoughts include influences like the temperature of its watery home or what it’s resident snacks on. 

Entries will be previewed on a 21″ x 18″ fat quarter. Submissions close April 27 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Voting begins April 29. Winners will be announced May 6. See official rules.

Embroidery Template | Entries due by May 4

Photo features Spoonflower Ambassador Robert Mahar’s kit Personalized Blackberry Heart

Have you found yourself taking up any new hobbies recently? DIY Kits are a great way to kick start a new creative outlet and none have been more popular recently than embroidery projects.

Embroidery kits often include a piece of fabric with a pre-printed design to help guide the crafter as they follow the printed lines and fill in shapes with stitches to create a prescribed composition. This is where you come in! For this challenge, artists will create a template for future embroidery masterpieces.

Your design should fit on an 8″ X 8″ swatch and we suggest that the art to be embroidered should be contained within a 6″ circle (download our template to get you started here). This way, the swatch can easily be stretched over an embroidery hoop that is a bit smaller than the swatch (a 6″ design and hoop will work perfectly together). Once it is stretched the crafter can embroider the design and add texture and color to your design with their stitching. What a collaboration! 

Did you know you can set your Marketplace designs for sale on a specific fabric type and fabric size? Ensure your designs are set to swatch and your preferred fabric (we suggest Petal Signature Cotton or Linen Cotton Canvas for embroidery), and then select the “Save this Layout” button to save these settings for your customers.

Looking for some inspiration? We love Spoonflower Ambassador Robert Mahar’s kits and Small Business Grantee Pop Lush visited our blog recently to talk about her DIY kit design process

Please note: The design challenges are meant to inspire fresh, original ideas, so using anything in your design that isn’t uniquely yours like imagery from the public domain or clip art you purchased will be disqualified. Please visit the blog to learn more about Spoonflower’s Design Challenge rules and moderation process.

Entries will be previewed on a 8″ X 8″ swatch . Submissions close May 4 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Voting begins May 6. Winners will be announced May 13. See official rules.

Moody Tropical Flora Wallpaper | Entries due by May 11

Picture this: Night has fallen on a tropical paradise and you can’t help but notice the slight shine to the leaves of a nearby rubber tree and the unmistakable shapes of monstera leaves peeking through the darkness. What if you could bring this serene outdoor scene indoors (minus the mosquitoes and humidity)?

This week, we’d like you to explore the greenery of the tropical landscape through a shadowy lens. This sophisticated moody trend for home decor is perfect for wallpaper or bedding in a room that you’d like to transform into a nocturnal paradise escape! 

This challenge will be previewed on a roll of wallpaper so think big and don’t forget to also check out our top tips for creating large scale designs for wallpaper.

Entries will be previewed on a roll of Spoonflower wallpaper. Submissions close May 11 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Voting begins May 13. Winners will be announced May 18. See official rules.

Charcuterie Board | Entries due by May 18

Pass the pâté, order up some olives, and curate the most epic charcuterie board you’d love to share with family and friends. Get creative and show off the perfect combination of flavors, while keeping in mind that aesthetics are key when laying out these artful party platters. 

While a charcuterie board of breads, meats and cheeses with accents of dried fruits, nuts and your favorite pickled vegetables may come to mind, this trend can also include more contemporary takes. We’ve seen innovative spreads that redefine these displays using breakfast foods, taco fixings, s’mores ingredients, and so much more. Our mouths are watering just thinking of the possibilities! No matter what foods you use, composition and color will be most important to creating designs that are both appetizing and eye-catching.

Entries will be previewed on a 21″ x 18″ fat quarter. Submissions close May 18 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Voting begins May 20. Winners will be announced May 27. See official rules.

Grand Prize

One Grand Prize Winner each week will receive $200 in Spoondollars. The winner will also receive additional exposure in our email newsletters and social media mentions.

Second Place

The 2nd place winner will receive $100 in Spoondollars.

Third Place

The 3rd place winner will receive $50 in Spoondollars.

The rest of the top 10

4th through 10th place winners will receive a $20 Spoondollar credit.

All of the top 50

Each of the top 50 entries, determined as set forth above, not receiving one of the foregoing prizes will be automatically proofed for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (approximately a $5 value) (the “Runner Up Prize”) if winners are verified sellers.

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  • I also use beads to embelish my embroidered pieces, I don’t have any examples as they were all given away without taking photos. I started printing on fabric 10 years ago when the fabric printers came out and selling in a local quilting shop and painting on fabric and quilting 20 years ago. Some of those pieces are on my web site under quilting.