How I Create My Spoonflower Fabric Designs- Part 1

For over a year, I wanted to make a post about how I create my fabric designs for Spoonflower, but I never had the opportunity to sit down and write about it. There are other ways to learn how to create fabric designs on Spoonflower, including reading The Spoonflower Handbook (Which I never read, thus I cannot vouch for how helpful it is, but thought I’d mention anyway), but I thought I’d talk about how I do it.

My way is, I think, different than other ways I know of because I taught myself how to use Photoshop and I’m not as advanced in using it as people sometimes think. I also favor drawing on paper instead of painting in Photoshop only because I have better control over my drawings using paper and pencil than I do digitally. Because of this, I create my designs by combining my basic knowledge of Photoshop and drawing on paper with a pencil.

Side note: I do not receive any financial compensation for anything I linked to in this post for the exception of my fabric designs on Spoonflower.

There are two types of designs I like to make, one that is a full drawing (A complete, finished drawing) and one that is a half a drawing (Only half the drawing is finished). For this post (Part 1), I’ll talk about how I make a full drawing and will talk about how I create a design using only half a drawing. (Post 2) I uploaded and created the fabric design on Spoonflower in third post.

Since it’s easier for me to explain how I create a fabric design, I’ll start using a fabric design I already finished and explain the process I go through to make it. For this post, I’ll explain how I made a fabric design called Cinderella’s Glass Slipper…

cinderella-glass-slipper

This design that, as of this post, is a new design that I created, but I’m using it as an example because I was able to document the step by step process I went through to create the design. The completed design can be purchased on Spoonflower here.

Ok! Now onto my fabric design!

The first thing I do is I draw the design on paper.

cinderella-shoe-drawing

Like I said before, I like to draw on paper with pencil. Normally I don’t color my drawings on paper before I scan it, but sometimes I do. It depends on what I plan the design to took like once finished. Usually, my rules are if I want the design to have bright, flat colors, I color the drawing it in Photoshop. (I did this with the design I will talk about in part 2 of this post series) If I wanted the design to have shading, I color it before I scan it and then clean it up in Photoshop. Of course, I do break these rules, but generally that’s what I like to do.

In the case of the drawing I did for Cinderella’s Glass Slipper, I combined coloring the design and in Photoshop. I colored it on paper before scanning it and cleaning it up in Photoshop. I did this because, although I wanted to have the vivid colors Photoshop has, I wanted the design to have the shading I can create using colored pencils.

Once I was done coloring the drawing on paper, it looked like this…

cinderella-shoe-fabric-design-drawing-paper

After I finished coloring the drawing, I scanned it using a scanner. The kind of scanner I use is a VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner…

fabric-design-scanner

This scanner was purchased about three years ago and was originally purchased so I could scan the drawings I did on paper that was larger than 8 inches by 10 inches. This scanner has come in very hand over the years and still works. I purchased this scanner off amazon, but the look of it has changed. The most similar scanner to mine I found on amazon right now is this one.

It is very important to mention that, although I love my scanner, it can be very touchy. My scanner has the ability to scan at three levels of DPI (Small, medium, and large) and can be adjusted to whatever size is needed. The problem with my scanner is that when it is set to scan at the medium and large sizes, it does not like to scan very fast, especially when I set it to scan at a higher DPI. It’s common with these scanners to be so touchy (The reviews on Amazon agree with me) but I like it and don’t mind how touchy it can be. Unless I’m in a hurry. Then I hate it.

I’m afraid I don’t remember the exact numbers the DPI sizes on my scanner are because I lost my paper that talks about the differences between the sizes, but whenever I scan a drawing I plan on using as a fabric design, I like to set my scanner at the medium or large sizes because it gives me a better, more detailed scan.

Once I scanned the drawing, I uploaded it to my computer.

cinderella-shoe-fabric-design-example-1b

Once the scanned drawing was uploaded to my computer, I began to edit it. You can probably see from the scan above, I needed to crop the top of the scan, clean the edges of the shoe so it will be white, and adjust the colors of the drawing so they can be brighter. So, I began to work on it in Photoshop!

After I was done editing and coloring my drawing, it looked like this…

cinderella-shoe-fabric-design-example-6b

Now that my design drawing looks the way I wanted it to, I was ready to upload it to Spoonflower. Before I talk about how to upload the designs on Spoonflower, I will talk about how I create a design with only half a finished drawing before I talk about uploading it on Spoonflower.. Those post will be coming soon. :)

That’s all for now and thank you for reading!