Posted on 19 Comments

I’ve been Spoonflowered

bbut703 Fabric

This little button on the left was made last year, by me, from polymer clay. You can learn a bit about it here, if you wish. The button itself isn’t as important as the image of the button, and what eventually became of that.

When I was first designing, I wanted it to have an interesting, artsy background that also had some significance to me. I’ve tried tiling my cane designs in the past and using them as backgrounds, but that wasn’t really what I was going for this time.

So, I pulled this button image into Paint Shop Pro, kaleidoscoped it in an interesting manner, added a “cross process” effect of my own design, tiled it, and came up with the image on the right. And I did use it as my website background for a while.

When I started making handbags, I got to thinking… Wouldn’t it be cool to make myself a bag with a pattern designed by me, in fabrics also designed by me? A bag to match my website?? Ok, that’s totally the geek in me talking, but still – fun, right?

Fabric Fabric

I knew I wanted the main bag fabric to be that website background design, but I was also going to need some stripes, and a lining. So I took that original kaleidoscoped image and further manipulated it to come up with these two, slightly darker patterns. I now had three digital images, all derived from one little picture of a button.

To turn the digital images into fabric, I headed over to Spoonflower, uploaded the images and ordered a fat quarter of each. In a few weeks, I had my own custom-made fabric.  It was that easy.

New fabric

Pretty cool, eh? It came out darker and less yellow than I’d expected, and much of the interesting detail in the original image was lost – you can’t see any of the little aqua bits, for example. But I think to some extent that is due to my own lack of experience in preparing the images ahead of time. If I had it to do again, I’d most likely enlarge the motif so that the details wouldn’t be so tiny, and I’d do a little research into the best way to save digital images so that the true colors are preserved for printing.

Minor disappointments aside, I was quite pleased, and more than a little excited to be holding pieces of cloth with my own designs on them.

New handbag

And next time I leave the house, I’ll also be jazzed to be carrying my new bag, made from that cloth. Is that cool, or what? Admittedly the geek-factor of my bag matching my website no longer applies since the website looks different now, but I think I can live with that.  Heh.

New handbag

As I write this, Spoonflower is still in beta, and not open to everyone. You can get yourself on their list by visiting the website, and you can entertain yourself on their blog, while you wait for your invitation.

I should also warn you – a fat quarter is not cheap. It costs more than a full yard of the latest designer quilting cottons to hit the market. As the cuts get larger, the cost per square foot does get easier to swallow, though. Slightly.

My advice, if you plan to try this, is to do your homework ahead of time so that you are submitting the absolute best quality image that you can. The Spoonflower blog has a useful FAQ (try not to ignore the image prep tips like I did).

I think it would be cool to be able to sell these, but given that the fabric costs three times as much as what I usually use, I’d have to sell these bags for practically $70. Not sure I’d have many takers for that price. For now, I’m happy to have the one and only one, and to be able to retire the prototype bag I’ve been carrying around (which I like, but it lacks the pockets & roomier interior of my more recent design).


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Posted on 19 Comments

19 thoughts on “I’ve been Spoonflowered

  1. OMG Lisa, this is so fabulous. You are one talented lady!

    See what Karen has been blogging about: Saturday Morning Tea

  2. My friend, you are beyond a computer geek, you are an artist.That bag and fabric is awesome. And YOU made everything for it. Awesome indeed.

    See what Kathi has been blogging about: finally some things finished

  3. I LOVE your fabric! I would so buy some, how cool that you designed it from one of your polymer clay buttons! The bag is awesome. I have my spoonflower invite, but I have zero clue how to use my photoshop. Maybe one day I will figure it out and have my own fabric, too.

    1. They suggest copyright-free clip-art as a source for those who don’t really feel comfortable modifying images. If you really want to try to make your own fabric, you should look into that.

      Or, if you draw well, doodle something and scan it into the computer (or have a copy shop do it).

      Where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂

    2. Oh, and just to prove what a lousy salesperson I am, I neglected to mention that I actually sell clip art books, and that they are all on clearance right now. If the idea interests you, feel free to have a look.

  4. Lisa,
    I love your geekiness. It is wonderful to live vicariously through you. Great fabric design. How cool to have something completely designed and made by you.


  5. Your fabric is lovely, and the bag is just awesome! Vive la Geek!

  6. what a beautiful bag…. although I have to say, I am secretly dissappointed that we will no longer be carrying matching bags 🙁


    See what Jen has been blogging about: It’s a BOY (shocking!)

    1. Heh, yeah, I am kinda disappointed about that, too. How silly! If it weren’t for the fact that that bag was smaller and lacked pockets, I bet I’d still be using it. I’m sure it will make an appearance again sometime 🙂

  7. That spoonflower business is great! Whoever came up with the idea of letting everyone design their own fabric was genious!

    Your design turned out great! And the bag looks wonderful. Nice work!

  8. Hey, Lisa! Your bag came out beautifully! Nice to hear the story behind the designs, too.

    1. Thanks, Kim! I’m thinking of ordering more of that main fabric – I’m thinking it has “dressy skirt” written all over it.

  9. Hi – I’ve seen you on Lindsey’s Cuteable site and OMG I love your button.
    I’m bogged down doing about a thousand PE bags at the moment (that’s what it feels like anyway) so I can’t allow myself to think of anything yummy like buttons, but I will be wanting some for my denim button squidgy bags I make!
    If you ever want to print onto A4 size fabric (maybe for a matching purse?) try for printable cotton. It’s completely colourfast and really nice to work with.
    Hope you drop by my blog – I think we have similar outlooks to life!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Emma, and for the complement! I’m planning to add a whole bunch of new buttons to my website this weekend, so maybe you’ll see something that goes nicely with your bags 🙂

  10. […] Here are some folks who’ve blogged their Spoonflower expreriences: Jinjur, A Little Hut, Polka Dot Cottage, Thaneeya, and moi.    CraftyPod #75: All About Spoonflower, with Stephen Fraser: Play […]

  11. just got here after seeing your bag on spoonflower’s front page and really liking it. Wanted to get one myself, but then saw how much you would have to charge for it 🙁
    Anyway – just want to tell you that I LOVE the bag!

    1. Thanks, Nicole, I’m surprised to see that they’re still showing the bag on their home page a year later! Very cool. And it’s got me thinking that maybe it’s time to make some more fabric 🙂

  12. […] New handbag Image by lisaclarke This bag is special because not only did I make up the pattern for it, but I also designed the fabric. Blogged here. […]

  13. […] Fabric Image by lisaclarke This will soon be the main fabric for a new bag. It’s a design that I manipulated from an image of a polymer clay button that I made. I’m also currently using this image as the background on my personal web site. Blogged here. […]

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