Block Printing/Design

A Feedsack Inspired Terrarium Fabric

May 13, 2014

Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun doodling so I wanted to share what I made for this week’s Spoonflower contest. The theme is Terrarium and I almost didn’t enter anything because the subject matter seemed way too “out there” for what I typically like, but I love natural things so that sparked some further research.


photos via The New York Public Library and Flickr member Josh Le0

I found this terrific post by Design*Sponge on the history of terrariums and that really got the juices flowing. Terrariums are pretty vintage as it turns out! Nature? Old things? That’s me after all! So I started sketching out some ideas and it slowly all started coming together.


Once I had my idea solidified in my sketch book I drew out a larger version in pencil (then traced it in Sharpie) to finalize the motif that I would make digital.


I’ve been using Photoshop for years and years, so that’s usually my go-to program when it comes to any kind of digital art, but I’m learning that Illustrator is truly the best option for certain things. It was so easy to scan in my motifs and then click the magical image trace button to make my designs into a vector that I could add color to. It’s brilliant I tell you.

It took me longer to try and figure out a repeat pattern than anything else. That’s definitely the hardest part! I had one particular vintage feedsack print in mind that I was trying to emulate but it just wasn’t quite laying out as easily as I had hoped so I went for more of a tossed layout instead. I was on a serious time limit since I discovered the competition really late in the game (I had just a few days to meet the deadline) so I’m not 100% happy with the layout I chose, but I’m definitely proud of the overall print!


I had originally picked a much different color scheme but right as I was about to submit my design I noticed many other people had come up with the same colors! At first I was a little upset, but I’m really glad that happened because I love the new colors so much better. It makes the print look MUCH more vintage and feedsack-y (lol) and that’s what I wanted from the get-go.

There are so many other incredible designs that were submitted (I think I voted on 9 favorites total!) but if my design happens to be one of your favorites, please consider voting for me!


Follow this link to the voting page and select any number of favorites that you like. The voting system couldn’t be easier! You don’t have to log in or make an account. Just click the check mark to select your favorites and push submit (the order of entries changes with each page refresh so it might take a few moments to find me). …but you kinda have to hurry since the voting ends soon, sorry for the late notice!

I’m waiting on my color swatch to arrive in the mail so I can make this print available for purchase regardless if I win or not, but it would sure make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside if my design was a top pick!

I’ve added a few more designs to my Spoonflower shop recently and have many more planned for the near future. I’m having so much fun exploring this new medium and can’t wait to push myself and see what I can create 🙂