How to Design Your Own Fabric (in Gimp)




Introduction: How to Design Your Own Fabric (in Gimp)

About: I am the mother of 2 boys. I love to make things for them and the rest of my family and friends.

For my sister's upcoming baby shower, we have decided on a cupcake theme.  Unfortunately, all cupcake party supplies seem to have HAPPY BIRTHDAY written all over them.  So, it is a given that a lot of the decorations and what not will be handmade.  
To get the fabric I would need to make the things, like banners, napkins, tablecloths, etc. I am using my new favorite website, .  
You design your own fabric, they print it, you get it.  It is amazingly high quality, and somewhat fast.  The only downside is the cost (starting at $18 a yard) is more than I normally spend on fabric.

Step 1: Open File in Gimp

I like to use Gimp for photo editing because it's easy, and FREE to download.

You can download it here:

Spoonflower wants uploads to be at 150 dpi.  So, under "FILE" at the top of the page, click on "NEW."  When the box comes up, you determine the size.  I want my image to be a 2 inch square.  Under advanced options, you need to change it to 150 dpi.  That means 2 inches on the computer will be 2 inches on the fabric.

Step 2: Background Color

Using the Bucket Fill tool, select a color and click inside your square to change the color.

Step 3: Open the "Pattern" Image

Under "FILE" at the top, click on "OPEN AS LAYER."  For my pattern I am using a cupcake that I purchased in a pack at Peppermint Creative.  You can view their kits here:

The cupcake is much bigger than the 2 X 2 square, so I had to scale the layer.  When I first opened the layer, all I could see were the sprinkles on the cupcake.  On the top under the "LAYER" tag click on scale layer.  I know that by square is 2X2, so the biggest side can be no bigger than 2 inches.  As long as the little lock is closed it will stay in proportion.  Then click Scale.

Step 4: Fine Tune

If you want to change anything, now is the time.  You can change the background color to match better, scale the image so more of the background shows, and another image into the square...

Step 5: SAVE

Under "FILE" Click save as.  Spoonflower supports several extensions, but I always go with the basics.  Type the name you want to give the file then a period and the extension.  Mine looked like this:

Step 6: Upload File at Spoonflower

Go to Spoonflower.Com and click on Designs.

When the new page comes up, click UPLOAD, then it works like any other image hosting site like facebook, myspace, photobucket, etc.  

When the design is upload it will tell you what it will look like in different sizes on different types of material.  You can also change the way the print is repeated.  Fiddle around with it until it looks good to you.  

Step 7: Purchase

After that it works like any other online store.  You add it to you cart, but it and they ship it.  You get a discount for ordering your own fabric, but there are tons of fabric that other people have created that you should look at.  I only really make my own when I can't find what I need/want.  Here are some of my favorites:

Girly Ks
I made that for a new maybe Kiley.

I did this one for the tractor contest.

When it gets to you cut it, sew it, and enjoy it.  

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