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Designing - Variation on a Theme

11 May 2015 09:00

Two weeks ago, I showed you how to create a fabric design using coloured papers.

Today's blog is a variation on that theme.

If you want to create a similar design, but with plain colours instead of the tiny patterns I used last time, you can do this in Photoshop, instead of cutting up small pieces of paper. 

How to Create your Design in Photoshop 

  1. Open a blank canvas. (Click on File/New/blank file in the top left corner of your screen.)

      2. Set the size at 15cms high, 4cms wide and the dpi at 150. (Make sure it's on dpi and not dpc) Colour mode should be RGB, but I think that is the default mode.

      3. Click on View/Grid. Set the grid lines to 1cm apart or so that you have a vertical line down the centre of your canvas.

      4. Place a selection of shapes of different colours and sizes on the middle vertical grid line. This is where your creativity comes in!

              To add a square:   Click on the rectangle tool on the left of your screen, then on rectabgle at the bottom. Put the cursor where you want the top left corner of your square and drag until you have a square.  It will be the colour that is in the colour square at the bottom of your screen. Leave it like that for now.  We'll change all the colours together.

               To add a circle:       Click on the rectangle tool. (You won't need to do this if you've just added another shape.) Click on the ellipse tool. On your canvas, drag a circle.

               To add a diamond;  Click on the polygon tool. Set it to 4 sides. Drag a long, narrow shape on your canvas.

               To add a triangle:    Click on the polygon tool. Set it to 3 sides.  Drag the shape.

       5. If a shape is not quite the right size or not in quite the right place, you can alter it by clicking on the move tool. You can use this to move a shape, or, by dragging the corner or side handles, to turn it round or make it bigger or smaller.

     6. To add colours, click on the rectangle tool. In the bar at the bottom, click on the arrow on the colour box. Click on the colour of your choice. Then click on the paint bucket, followed by the shape you want to colour.

     7. When you're happy with your design, crop it close to the design elements, or leave a gap, depending on how close you want the columns to be in your final fabric. OR......

     8. Add more columns. You may need to make your canvas wider to do this. Click on Image/resize/canvas size and increase the width. By clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the dialogue box, you can select where the extra canvas goes.

     9. Create another column, or columns in the same way as in no. 4

 One great advantage of creating your design in Photoshop is that it is much easier to make changes. If you want to change a colour or the whole colour scheme, add a shape in the middle, etc., you can.

      10. Once you're happy with your design, merge all the layers (you may need to do this as you go along,or you may end            up with way too many!) and flatten the design.

      11. Save it as a Jpg. You can change the size here, if you've decided bigger or smaller would be better.

      12. Upload it to our web site. You have another chance to make your design smaller here, and you can also play with the            repeats.  A single column may be better repeated at a half drop, whereas a number of columns may be OK with a                  straight repeat.

      13. Order your fabric!