Create a Design Using Photos
Using a photo is probably one of the simplest ways of creating a design to use on fabric. You can see how I've used photos in the blog posts Design your own Fabric Using Photos and Make a Cushion Using a Photo . This is basically taking a photo and printing it onto fabric. However, you don't need to stop there. You can use photos in other ways.
I always love a view of something, especially a church. seen through a gap in the trees, when the trees form a frame for the view. I decided that such a view would make the basis of an interesting fabric, for a dress or curtains. This is the view which started my 'collection' of photos for such a fabric design.
I started looking out for similar views. In the end, many of my views are taken from a river bank and some don't contain a tree frame. I selected 15 which I thought might be suitable. Including them all would have made a large file, and each view would only have appeared once (if that!) in the finished item. So a bit of culling was required.
Do you find that making decisions about what to include - or what not to include - crops up all the time when you're designing? So many options! For today, though, I'm only going to use one photo - the rest can wait for another day.
I used Photoshop Elements to create this design, as it has more features than Paint.net.
Create your Fabric Design
- In your software, open a new blank canvas. Set the resolution at 150dpi and the size about 20cms square. (You can always alter the size of your canvas if you change your mind.)
- Select a background colour and fill the canvas. I picked a pale cream from our colour chart, then made it paler in the colour wheel in Photoshop.
- Open your photo; this will be in a new canvas. You can just copy and paste this, but I think it looks nicer if it's softened a bit. So, click on Cookie Cutter (or press C) and select an appropriate shape. I wanted an oval, so I used the speech bubble. Click on the shape, then position the shape over your photo. When you're happy, click on the tick.
- You may want to crop your photo a bit, depending on how much blank space is left round it. Then copy and paste it onto your first canvas.
- Now you need to get rid of all the hard edges!
I did this in two stages (although there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between the two!)
First, I got rid of the sharp corners by painting over them. I picked up the yellow from the background and varied the size of the paintbrush, using a larger brush first, then a smaller one to get more detail. I wanted a 'faded' edge, not a sharp one.
You will have two layers at this point. Once you start working on more than one layer at a time, you will need to merge the layers.
- The second stage was to use the smudge tool, again changing the size of the tool to give a more natural look.
- Now you can flatten the image, upload your design to the web site, select a repeat and order your fabric.