Design Your Own Fabric

I LOVE fabric.  I am always happy to go fabric shopping regardless of whether I actually need any fabric.  I can have a perfectly good chair that suddenly needs to be recovered when I find THAT fabric.  Shoot… I’ve bought chairs simply to have something to re- cover!

So imagine my excitement when I discovered SPOONFLOWER!!  Spoonflower is amazing. Not only are there a ton of amazing fabrics that you can’t find anywhere else, you can also design your own!

So, when it came time to get sheets for Caleb’s nursery I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at fabric design.  Let me say this, it’s actually ALOT harder then I thought it would be.  Of course, I have basically no artistic ability so that serves as a significant impediment.


If you can draw or doodle you will be leaps and bounds ahead of me.  If not though, here’s how you can design your own fabric through Spoonflower with not an ounce of artistic ability!

  1.  Create your Graphics | Creating graphics for fabric is super simple if you can draw or doodle your own designs by hand.  For the drawing impaired though, I recommend using photographs.   Find a photograph that has an image or shape you would like to use (and that you have permission to use).  Next, use software like Photoshop or Pixlr (free) to separate the graphic from the background  OR you can take the easy route: print the photograph, cut out the image carefully, and then scan it back to your computer.

    This was my beginning image. It’s a photograph my husband took (he gave me permission to use it!)
  2. Setup Your File | After you have your graphics separated from the photograph, open a new file and set the dimensions at 8″ by 8″ and 150 dpi (1200 pixels x 1200 pixels).  This size will upload correctly to Spoonflower.
  3. Create your Design | Drop your graphic into your new file and begin to experiment with the orientation.  You may choose to only use one simple graphic as in my example below, or you can have several graphics.   The Spoonflower website has several different repeat options available which means that all you have to do is design one “block” in your 8″ x 8″ box.

    This was my design that I uploaded to Spoonflower
  4. Save File | Spoonflower requires files to be uploaded as TIF, JPG, PNG, or GIF which can cause some problems when it comes to printing.  For example, I only used two or three colors in the fabrics I designed but when I converted them to JPG files and uploaded them to Spoonflower, Spoonflower recognized nearly twenty different shades. You can check what colors Spoonflower is recognizing by selecting the Change Colors option in the left hand panel.  This same panel will also allow you to replace the various shades with one consistent color.  An alternative, and easier option, is to use the Save For Web option in Photoshop.  Select the PNG-8 option in the drop down menu and set the number of colors to the appropriate number (2 or 3 in my case).
  5. Upload to Spoonflower | Create an account and upload your file to Spoonflower.  Then, once uploaded, you can choose from the different repeat options (basic, half-drop, half brick, center, and mirror).

    I chose the half-brick repeat and ordered a yard to turn into a change pad cover for Caleb’s nursery.  I also used several of the duck’s to create a coordinating fabric for his mattress sheet.

IMG_1851See my other designs on Spoonflower:

2 thoughts on “Design Your Own Fabric

    1. Thank you SO much Nancye! She is definitely where it all started. She was/is never afraid to tackle a project and always made it seem fun instead of work!

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