So Many Patterns: Trying out Spoonflower

As if I needed something to do. But I'm curious. And gathering information about materials is always helpful for the future. I've known about Spoonflower for a few years. It's a platform where you can upload your designs and from them they print a variety of fabrics, gift wrap, and wallpaper, depending on whatever you or your customers desire.

I dreamed a little carving of an owl, which then became the basis for my first design. I called my shop everbird, which may be found at:

This is my little "heart owl" design. A direct link is here:

After you upload your design, you must order a sample before you can offer it for sale. I needed gift wrap, so I bought a roll. The wrapping paper is high quality and quite thick, appropriate even for bookbinding; it handles well with PVA. I have since made my design a little smaller, but here is the original, used to wrap book covers on these Coptic journals. These two are at nevermindtheart here, if you would like to get one.

I stamped my original carving inside.

If you don't have a specific project in mind yet, ordering an 8" x 8" swatch of the fabric of your choice is the way to go at only $5. Not needing three more rolls of wrapping paper, I tried the swatches for the next three designs. In order: the Basic Cotton Ultra, the Kona Cotton Ultra (a little brighter white and a little thicker than Basic), and the Performance Piqué (a stretchy knit). There are many other choices, including chiffon, fleece, canvas and more.


crow walkabout


You can also order a box of fabric samples for $3. It was hard to resist. (1.31.19: Yes, the paper samples are in there, too!)

The patterns are all print-on-demand. You also don't have to offer your design for sale. You can keep it private and just use Spoonflower as a printing service for your projects, which is kind of cool, too. But if you do, you must fill out tax forms and wait for them to be approved before you can start selling. It took a few days for my forms to clear, probably because it was late December and there were holidays to work around.

For my everbird shop, so far anyway, I'm going to keep the designs simple; they are made from handcarved rubber stamps that I've stamped, scanned, and colored in Photoshop. These stamps are small: Birdmates is 3.75 inches/95mm; Heart owl is 1.25 inches/30mm; Crow is 1.5 inches/40mm. I use plastic erasers or one of the Speedy-Cut, E-Z-Cut, Soft-Kut style printing blocks. Some crumble and nick too easily, so I choose one with a hard surface.

Julie Chen used Spoonflower as a printing service for the cloth covering her collaboration with Lois Morrison, A Recuerdo for Ste. Ostrich. When I asked her recently what she liked or disliked about the process she wrote that "Spoonflower was easy to work with and the colors came back reasonably accurate to my original." She also added that she liked only having to order small amounts at first so she could see what the design looked like "before committing  to a huge amount of yardage." She did caution that small text does not look good because the Spoonflower's resolution is so low, but affirmed that images work just fine. 

All the imagery, yours and the millions of others on Spoonflower, can be made as wrapping paper, or you can back the fabric with mulberry paper for book cloth. This platform opens up endless possibilities for bookmaking. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

These three plus heart owl are now available if you would like to get your own on wrapping paper, wallpaper, or fabric, here at everbird.

P.S. While you are there, you might like to see my friend Dianne's Arts and Crafts designs: