Create Your Own Children's Fabrics (Using Adobe Illustrator & Spoonflower) | Gina Mayes | Skillshare

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Create Your Own Children's Fabrics (Using Adobe Illustrator & Spoonflower)

teacher avatar Gina Mayes, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Preview


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Create A Repeat Pattern


    • 8.

      Export File


    • 9.

      Upload to Spoonflower


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class you will learn the process (from start to finish) of creating a children's themed surface pattern and uploading it to Spoonflower in order to create your own fabrics (wallpapers and gift wraps too!)

Anyone with a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator CC and a desire to create unique and fun fabric designs is encouraged to join. You will need to create a free account at if you don't already have one, in order to upload your design to Spoonflower and save it for later into your very own design gallery.

Once you finish your project and upload your design, you can purchase a swatch of your fabric to proof it and make your designs for sale, order your own fabric to make crafts and garments or you can just keep making designs and add them to your gallery/shop on your own. No fabric/printer proof purchase is necessary to participate in the class, but I will walk you through the steps so you know how to do it in the future.

You can use this knowledge not only to create children's fabrics but really fun gifts like photo quilts, home decor pillows, blankets - so many things you can create once you learn the process!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gina Mayes



Gina Mayes is an illustrator residing in Mansfield, TX (USA) and originary from Tamaulipas (Mexico). Her use of vibrant color palettes and fun, whimsical themes have been greatly influenced by the artisan work and folkloric art she grew up surrounded by.
She loves spending quality time with her husband and three children, drinking chai tea, enjoying a good book and drawing ... a lot.

Here are some quick links to my social media & blog sites:

Find me on Facebook

Find me on Instagram

My Spoonflower profile

My Blog

My Shop

See full profile

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1. Class Preview: Hi. My name is Gena Mace and I am a Children's illustrator and surface designer. And in this class, I will walk you through a process from start to finish on how to create a fun design on a realist rare. And then you will a blow that design to spend flower so that you can create your own fabrics, wallpapers and get for us. This class is open to anyone with a very basic knowledge of Adobe illustrator Creative Cloud Edition, and it started to create your own fabrics. Your class project is to create a repeat pattern with the Children steaming mind and uploading it to spoon flour. And for this, you will need to create a free account at spoon flour that come, if you don't already have one. Can't wait to see all your fun patterns. 2. Intro: Hi. My name is Gena May cinema Children's illustrator and surfaces signer. And what got me started on this journey of career my fabrics was the fact that I would go to stores and look for five hours to make things for my kids. And I couldn't really find anything that wowed me. So I thought I was just being picky or something. But I started looking around like having someone etc. And I found really, really cute fabrics. And I started asking the shop owners like, where did you get your fabrics from? And they started telling me about this one website cold spoon flour where you can go and create your own fabrics and print them on the man. So I was like, I have to do this and I started the minute. And here is a sample of my fabric. This is, uh, my happy flowers fabric on really cute ready leggings. And this is my sweet mon fabric on a really little kid blouse. So, anyway, these are things that you can make really easy to make, and the best thing about deciding for Children is it is the most forgiving medium ever. You don't have to have a perfect pattern. You don't have to have a very refined sketch. All you have to do is have lots of fun creating it because the kids will love it. So let's get started. Here are some of terms that you will need For this class. You will need Adobe Illustrator Creative Con Addition. But if you haven't have a previous version of Illustrator, that'll work too. You will need pencil and paper to do your sketch, or you can drop directly into illustrator whatever your preference is. Also, I use bamboo welcome tablets and times, but you don't have hired for this class. You can just use your mouse to create shapes, so it's not a big deal of you Hot one. 3. Inspiration: So let's talk inspiration one of my favorite ways and actually my go to way of giving inspired It's actually looking at Children's books because they have such amazing textures and colors and everything. Like, for example, this one. I just love the contracts between like the burnt oranges and like the warm color palette. And like I love this teal, it just like, really calls to me. I love the watercolor textures, and so I'll start writing down a list of things that call to me from a particular illustration or I also go to Pinterest, and there's different places where I can draw inspiration from. So here it has the list of things that you can use. One great source of inspiration is a printed pattern block, because a feature surfaces saying from over the world every single day, and I promise you cannot stop Looking at This website is just so great. Also really good tool to uses Pinterest because you can keep everything really organized on your boards by style, by color. Pull it by trend. If you want to do Jonas fabrics, whatever. You can just really use that tool to keep everything neat and organized for your future reference, and another thing to do is to just look at your surroundings, look at nature for reference and just pick out like the really cool colors of nature, things that really call to you. Write that down, start brainstorming your idea something little the details and designs and textures that you want to use for your fabric and middle elements and start sketching. 4. Sketching: said. Know that you have your inspiration down that you worked on your expression board or list of things that you want to include in your sketch. Go ahead and start dropping. Now remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. You just want to draw elements that you really want to include in your fabric design. You don't have to have anything really refined or perfect. Just, you know, have fun doing it. I suggest doing the floral being just because joining flowers so lot easier from some people. But you can do just whatever inspires you so long. This is the Children's thing for this one project and, for example, I already have a sketch here ready? It's just the hasem floral elements, like little flowers and foliage and things like that. So at this point, I'm pretty happy with, you know, all the elements and 1/2 and so I am going to take a picture of it with my camera fund and just transfer it to my computer. Now, if you don't have a camera flowing, you can use a scanner, of course, and a bloated that way. And so once you finished with your sketch forehand uploaded and open it in. Adobe Illustrator 5. Digitize: All right, So now that you're in Adobe Illustrator, go ahead and click on, create a new document and you will select for wet 1000 by 1000 pixels. This will only apply for this particular instance for created something for spoon flour. If you are creating something for print or for a vendor a client just make sure to you seem like a, um, and for print, you know, instead of RGB caller. So, uh, this one that we're doing a screen ready rgb for a wet. So go ahead, click and create, and it will create the new document and you're going to place your art work. So click on place and then you find the path to your sketch place it it I'm rece icing it just so that it fits my art board and the aiport is that white break up square behind the artwork and what it is just like your canvas. Anything that goes outside of it will not show up and you're drawing. So I'm creating a new layer and what I like to do is play with capacity because I want to see in my less of my drawing and I want to see the lines I'm creating on top, really clear. So I'm guarding my pen tool, and I'm just going to start digitizing this tracing over my drawing, and I'm just gonna use it like a loose sketch. I'm just going to create shapes on top of that I'm gonna make make them a little bit rounder. And the holding of the pencil is that you can really a justice curse. So it's really, really easy to just create something really clean much cleaner than your sketch. Obviously, you can tell on mine, and you can do so many adjustments. Like here you have your smooth tool. Like I'm just gonna make l a bit brown door. And if that doesn't work, right, Like the way you want it, you can go in, adjust the curvature. There we go. That's a little bit better. A just can play all with all these options here. All right. So I'm going to create uh, not right. Tingling lips. Yeah. So I can make the center of the flower, and then I'm just gonna trace over the leaks real quick, So just create these shapes on top of my drawing, and this is something that you would just repeat over and over. Just go and trace over all the shapes that you created when you're sketching. And, um, what I'm going to do is step by drawing each little leaf and shape. I am just going to a copy and paste. So here I'm gonna group this Nerva, and I'm just going to copy and paste it. So I'm gonna duplicated basically. And I am going to rotate and place where the other leaf iss very. And now I'm going to make sure that my flower shows up on top. So I'm in a range this object to be at the front. There we go. So if you want to do this with a pen tablet like a drawing tablet, make sure you use your paint brush tool instead of the blood brush tool, and I'm gonna show you why. Look, here's the line with that brush. And here's what the blob and see the difference. Like when you check the outlines, the brush stays online, which is what you want. The blob becomes a path or a shape, and that's not what you want, because if you want to change the brushes or make any adjustments. You cannot do that anymore once you create that as a shape. So make sure that whenever you're drawing drawing with your, um, paint brush tool. So now you just repeat the process over and over again. You distress over the rest of your sketch. If you have some shapes that look similar, just don't do those copy and paste them. Make your life easy. Sometimes I don't even draw by hand. Sometimes I just go into, illustrate and start sketching with my pen tablet. If you have one, that's a fun and fast way to do it. It just a life saver and just takes last time. That way, just make sure that you're using your paint brush tool, your pen tool or your pencil tool, but never the blob because you want to be able to adjust things later on. At brushes are effects, and if you convert these shapes this lines into paths, you might not be able to make those adjustments later on. 6. Color: all right, So now that you have all your shapes and order, go ahead and start coloring them. I will pull out the web swatches because we want all the course to be in RGB and just try to find the colors that you really want to use. You probably already braced, armed on a color palette. Just use that here. I'm just going. I was kind of lazy and it didn't do that step, but, uh, I'm trying to find the right colors. Also, I am using some brushes. This set is called ink brush pen, and I got this one at creative market dot com. You don't have to use this one. You don't have to buy this, but you can just use your illustrators watch. Um, not swatches brushes. There's a lot of a big variety that already comes with illustrators. Just play with those. I will share a list with the links of where I am getting the's brushes and which ones I'm using in particular. So you can see that in the class description as well. So just go ahead and finish coloring your sketcher pattern here, and we will create the repeat pattern once everything is colored 7. Create A Repeat Pattern: All right. So now that you have all your shapes colored in, what I like to do is just take everything out of my art pork and putting on the side and start drawing in all my shapes one by one. You don't have to do this step. You can just rearrange however you wanted. But it's just really helpful for me to do this. I'm here. I need to group this role area. And I am going to flip this. I just want this one flower facing the other way because everything is facing this way. There we go. So you just need a dragon, your objects, space them out. You don't have to, like be a really, um how can I say this? Not specific. But you just don't spend too much time doing this. It doesn't have to be perfect. You just kind of drag, you know, whatever you feel like, it should go trying to give it a nice flow and space out the big objects. And then just feeling with the little objects one by one. And, um, yeah, just start trying to see where things fit in and, um, see, like here have shapes with same shapes like this. Lee. The leaves are the same shape. It's just different colors. And I just kind of rearrange it like one facing up or down. And here you have my whole pattern already most of it done. So you will notice these objects and I'm pointing out they are sticking out of the edges. And so what I'm going to dio is copy and paste them in the same place spacing place, and that I am going to use my corn. It's my ex n Y core Nets Teoh, make them repeat at the bottom of the opposite edge. Here. Is this the y, not X Here. There you go. So now if there's some thing sticking out at the top, it should group here at the bottom and same thing over here. If it repeats on there, if it sticks out on the right, I need to place it on the left. Here we go. So you just keep on chicken. Your pattern for things that stick out your place is in place. Paste them in place and just add, you know, your co ordinates. So, um, company pacing place on 1000 pixels or subtract one, the inner girls and pixels or whatever the size of your campuses. But don't worry too much about like where things are going just have lots of fun that the real goal is to have a very nice flow. And now, if you really don't know how to get your design a child friendly look or where to start, you just have this flowers. A good way to do it is to do Kawai style is just really simple shakes, round eyes, lots of smiles and you just end up with this really fun and cute design. 8. Export File: all right to know that I'm pretty happy with my pattern. What I'm going to do is export it optimized for spoon flour. So I will click on, uh, making sure, of course that my documents rgb color and I'm going to expert us, and we're gonna do PNG check the box that says use our reports. Now, I am going to put our medium resolution. Now, This only applies first bone flower and not for print. And I will click. Ok? Oh, wait a minute. Here. You can have a choice to do transparent or white. Right now I'm going to do ah, white background color, but you can leave a transparent. That's okay. So you just hit. Okay? All right. And you're done. So just remember, always export to PNG's or J Pecs Horsemen flower it Also, I think you can use E. P s files and AI files which are the native the maid of files for Hillshire. But, um, it works a lot better with P and G's and J pegs for the previous. Whenever you upload it to spin followers say is that possible? Always sewed up a medium resolution 150 pp at RGB color, and this will only apply for swim flower. If you're working with a client or someone else, it will be a different format. It will be for print and not for Web, and you will require ah, high resolution, which is 300 BP. I so just keep that in mind. 9. Upload to Spoonflower: it's. And now you go to spoke Florida com log in and then you will click on deciding upload, and you will choose your design here in us. And now you will confirm your copyright. Obviously, you create this from scratch, so just go ahead and check that box and click on upload file. And so now it will load, Um, a preview and you'll see your, um, fabric. I am. You can see the tests. Watch here, You And here you can choose how it looks as a yard, how it looks as a fat corner. And I like to check the yard view just to see how dense it is. And like, I have any spaces that didn't look right. And here you just rename your pattern. However you want to name it and you feel out only information. Here are some tax um s e o up to my stags that you can put in so that people can look for your fabrics and I want to my thumbnail to agree those crop I like that. Wait. Yeah, you can just choose a thumbnail view Whatever you want to dio Now here iss another pattern that I created already, and you will notice that no objects go over the edge. I just leave really very little space between the edge and my objects. But nothing goes across. So everything is inside the bounding box inside the art board. But nothing goes over. And this is cool too, because what you can dio is that you can play in spoon flour with the repeat options here, for example, I have it at 1/2 drop. This is a basic which you will do if you have obviously crossover. But if you don't, if you just don't have anything that repeats or close over the edges, you can play with the half. Drop the half break view. You just kind of look at the mountains here so that you can see where it is and you can send her. You can create a centered the sign or do a mirror image as well. So right now I'm gonna go put it back on the half drop, which is what I liked. All right, so I'm gonna show you also thinks that you can do besides fabric, you can do wallpaper and, uh, also you can do get craps, which is really cool. I love this. And you can make adjustments as well on the views for your what a person get. Perhaps you can make it smaller, the pattern smaller. You can make it bigger just by changing the DP I So I get like this. I'm discussing this. 10. Final Thoughts: All right, So you are done with the class. Now it's time to do your class project, and I have a bloated or attached, if you may. Ah, pdf file with outlined of this step by step process that you need to take in order to complete your project. It has a link to the resource say use like the brushes that I used for the pattern. And also, I will ask him information on how you can order your printer proofs or you're such prus of your fabrics. If you wanted to do that, you don't have to. You just can keep creating fabrics and just have him in your design library. It's putting flour, or you can make them for sale and started your business that way as well. So I will show you, give you some information how to do that as well. So congratulations. Keep creating and can't wait to see what you come up with.