creating fabric from kids artwork

At least once every couple of weeks, when I pick Emily up from daycare, I get handed a stack of her artwork. This gets added to the pile of paper with scribbles, splodges and stickers that we’ve created at home together. And then what do I do with it? Until now, not a lot. Some has been turned into wrapping paper or cards but most is just sitting there. I can’t bear to throw it out (although it’s starting to get ridiculous) so I had an idea for preserving some of it: turn it into custom fabric.

Making fabric from kids' art

I started by scanning this bubble-wrap printed piece (I’ll write a post about bubble wrap printing soon but I got the idea here).


Then in Photoshop I set about turning it in to a repeat pattern. This is the tutorial I used and although she’s using black line drawings, the principles are the same. I’m no Photoshop pro but this is how I did it.

  1. Open your scanned artwork in photoshop. Use the marquee or lasso tool to select the part of the image you want to use. I chose just one bubble.
  2. Paste your selected image in a blank file sized 1200px by 1200px. Duplicate the layer and arrange them to your liking. Add more images if you like – I added another coloured bubble.
  3. When you like your finished design, save it. And then select Layer > Flatten image.
  4. Next, choose Filter > Other > Offset and set Vertical to 600 (Horizontal to 0) and make sure  Wrap Around is selected.
  5. Now you can fill in any white spaces with some more of your motifs if you like. Flatten the image again.
  6. Apply the Offset filter again but this time set Horizontal to 600 and Vertical to 0.
  7. Fill in the white spaces again if you like.
  8. Now, if you like your final pattern you can make it repeat. Select Edit > Define Pattern and name your cool new design.
  9. Open a new, larger file. As in the tutorial, I used 3150px by 2700px.
  10. Select the canvas and then Edit > Fill. Choose your pattern.
  11. Marvel at your design.

Once I’d finished my design I uploaded it to Spoonflower and ordered a $5 swatch. We love it so will be ordering some yardage soon for a very special project.


If you’d like to order some of Emily’s Bubble Fabric you can! Isn’t that cool?

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