Calling all photographers! If you’ve been dreaming of a unique and affordable way to print your photos, we’ve got just the thing for you. With the help of Spoonflower team member Todd, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of printing your precious photographs on fabric to showcase your memories, and all for a fraction of the price.
Hopefully yesterday you were able to scan your sketches into the computer and nail down your design elements (if not that’s okay, get caught up here) because today it’s time to get digital! While professional designers frequently use Photoshop or Illustrator to whip up designs, Spoonflower is not just for pros! Here is a handful of our free favorite tools and apps.
Sketchbook is a great mobile tool for freehand drawing and creating designs from scratch that is available for both Android and Apple devices! Both SketchBook Express and SketchBook are free, and they offer add-on tools you can purchase.
Lots of brushes, pens, markers and other drawing tools.
You can create custom canvas sizes up to 2500 x 2500 pixels which prints at 16.7 x 16.7 inches on fabric.
Ability to create layers and use blending modes.
We’re half way through the 12 Days of Design! Need to get caught up? No worries, you can find all previous posts and catch up at your own pace here. Now that you’ve started sketching your artwork, select your design elements by narrowing down or adding to your preliminary sketches. You will want to make the focal points for your design at this stage, isolating and focusing on the standout features of the overall design. With your elements complete, you will arrange them into the pattern you are creating. Your elements can come together in many combinations, so pay attention to what you’re drawn to visually as you’re creating each element. You may find that once you start, less is more, and that’s okay, too!
You have your inspiration, theme and color palette, so it’s time to choose a medium for creating your design. Don’t be afraid to experiment! You can create with any tools or supplies you like, from crayons to puff paint to digital design software. Mix different ways to create—make a collage of photos and words from a magazine, scan a painting to add digital graphics and text overlays, or bust your fabric stash to add texture and depth to a drawing. Just be creative and have fun. Follow along with us today as we go into depth about a few of the most popular techniques designers in our community like to use.
Welcome to the busiest time of year for designers and makers alike. On Spoonflower, now’s the time shoppers are picking out fabrics and papers for handmade gifts, decor, and stocking their handmade shops for the busy season. As a designer, you need to be ready with an updated shop and fresh designs to compete with all the other show-stopper designers in the marketplace. However will you prepare? We’ve rounded up our favorite tips and tools where you’re a designer or just looking for quick freebies to get you through the season and support indie designers and makers in the community.
Free calendar printables
Gold Glitter texture pack
We are so delighted that you have been working on creating a textile design over the last few days of our SpoonChallenge! Now that you've created a digital file and have uploaded your design, explore the abundance of free, high-quality design tools and resources available online. We've rounded up a few of our favorites, but please let us in on your favorite tricks of the trade in the comments!
PicMonkey is a free image editing tool that allows you to resize your files, add graphics and text to images, and even create collages. You can actually access PicMonkey directly from our site when you upload your image–Eloisa's blog post shows you a sampling of what you can do!
Pattern Observer is geared toward helping you take your surface design to the next level. While their blog is chock full of interviews, advice, and even textile history, they also offer comprehensive e-courses that will take you from creating your design portfolio to honing in on creating sketches that you can sell.
MAKE IT IN DESIGN
Make It In Design also offers courses, tips, and a vibrant community of fellow designers. There is truly something for a desinger at every level on this site, including issues of MOYO Magazine, their quarterly publication dedicated to surface design.
Creative Bloq delivers tips, inspiration, and resouces for all types of design–graphic, web, 3D and more. They've rounded up 2500 Free Resources for Designers, featuring typography, graphics, and even Photoshop ad-ons!
Today we say "see ya later" to our weekly Bootcamp posts with one last tip–how to navigate your Spoonflower Studio. When you sign in to your Spoonflower account, or head to Spoonflower.com while still signed into your account you land on your Studio. There's lots of information shared on this page and this post is to help you understand what it all means, and how you can update this page to show only what you want to see!
You're feeling especially creative, so you decide to try your hand at entering one of Spoonflower's weekly design challenges. You picked the perfect theme, now it's time to start designing. All of the sudden, panic sets in. What size is best? Where do I begin? Fear not! In this post, we'll discuss how to size your designs just right for the standard fat quarter contests, swatch-sized "disty" contests, and even one-yard contests. Read on to find out how to master sizing to create a winning entry for any design challenge theme!
STANDARD CONTESTS: SIZED AT A FAT QUARTER
Most contests default to a fat quarter preview, which is what the community sees during voting. So the trick is to make sure the elements in your design will be easily recognizable from a canvas of this size. If you're using a design program such as Photoshop, it's a good idea to set the canvas (document) size to 21" x 18" which is the size of a fat quarter.
Once you upload your design to Spoonflower, the preview will default to a fat quarter view, which accurately reflects how your design will appear in the contest. If your design has lots of fine detail that you're worried won't shine through at the fat quarter scale, just click the 'bigger' button to enlarge your design until you are satisfied.
Once you're happy, go ahead and enter your design into the contest of your choice using the "Enter in Contest" option to the left of the preview.
Once you enter a contest, Spoonflower provides a preview so you know exactly what your design will look like. It's important to note that we do not recommend editing your design after submitting it, as that can cause the voting thumbnail to break. You also won't be able to upload a revision once your design has been entered so be sure the version you're submitting is the final version. If you don't like how your design looks in the entry preview, consider withdrawing it and re-entering later once you've made your modifications.
Now all you have to do is wait for voting to open, then vote! We totally won't judge you if you vote for your own design.
DITSY CONTESTS: SWATCH VIEW
In fabric design, the term ditsy doesn't mean scatterbrained. Rather, it refers to small scaled, non-directional scatter prints. The motifs in your design ideally shouldn't be larger than half an inch to an inch in scale. So for our "ditsy" contests, Spoonflower typically calls for designs to be formatted in the swatch (8" x 8") size so that those fine details you worked so hard on will not get lost.
ONE YARD CONTESTS
Occasionally, Spoonflower will throw a curve-ball with a one-yard sized contest. Often these are border print contests, but they could also be cut-and-sew contests as well. For these, you'll want to set your document size to 42" x 36." Once your design is uploaded, select the "one yard" view. The larger the preview size, the harder it is to see those details, so keep this in mind when designing.
Once you have sizing mastered, you're half way there! Always remember that the size that may be perfect in a contest, may not be the size you want to ultimately have your design at in the marketplace. Once a contest is over and the results are final, you can always adjust your design back to the size you want it to be permanently. Feeling confident? Find a contest theme that speaks to you and enter now!
Today's Bootcamp post goes hand-in-hand with our current SpoonChallenge content. While working on your collections, as instructed by Bonnie Christine, you'll want to upload them to Spoonflower and add them to a collection in your Design Library. Here, our help team walks you through the step-by-step process of doing just that!
Why put designs in collections?
Creating collections is a simple process that allows you to keep your designs organized and grouped together based on color palette, theme or even season.