Spoonflower Fabric by the Yard: 5 Creative Fabric Projects for Pattern Lovers (Minimal Sewing Required!)

image shows three bolts of fabric. Two bolts are brightly colored cactus patterns while one is a black pattern with gold moons. Caption says "Spoonflower Fabric by the Yard: 5 Creative Fabric Projects for Pattern Lovers"

Have you ever printed Spoonflower fabric by the yard?

If not, prepare to have your pattern loving, fabric hoarding mind blown. But honestly, if you are a fabric hoarder, and you’re super into patterns, you’ve probably already heard of Spoonflower fabric by the yard..  

(oh – ps – full disclosure – I’m not an affiliate of Spoonflower (I’m not sure if they even do that?) but I do have a Spoonflower shop where I sell fabrics with my designs. If you choose to purchase fabric or home decor products from my shop, I will make a little bit of money from those product purchases.)

As I mentioned, Spoonflower sells fabric by the yard, which makes it a great place for independent artists and surface pattern designers to sell their artwork through the fabrics on Spoonflower. 

It’s certainly not the cheapest way to get fabric, but it’s super cheap compared to the old traditional ways of printing fabric, which usually involved having to order a whole bunch of bolts from a printer in China. A long, expensive and risky process. And not one accessible to the artist who doesn’t need thousands of yards of fabric.

Printing fabric by the yard is possible due to digital printing methods. This means that instead of the traditional method of laying down each color screen by screen, or layer by layer, a single digital file with all of the colors in the artwork can be submitted and printed directly onto the fabric.

The ability to print exactly what you want on a piece of fabric, especially considering how many different fabrics are available, is a serious game changer whether you are into art crafting or running a creative business. Fabric can be an element you bring into your branding in fun and unexpected ways. 

This post explores a few fun ways you can incorporate fabric projects into your creative life – whether you create your own fabric designs or use fabrics you already have. 


Framed Fabrics

I love framed fabric – it’s one of my favorite kinds of fabulous fabric art projects. That’s because framed fabric becomes art in itself.

I have a 24 x 36 framed and matted piece of fabric in my living room that is literally just a fabric sample with a bunch of my different designs laid out as patchwork. For me, it’s bright and cheerful, and reminds me of where I am in my fabric design journey (the beginning, my friends).

image shows a piece of patchwork fabric in a large white frame.

I’ve also seen lovely vintage pieces of fabric framed whether in a floating frame, or traditionally framed and matted. Fabric can be incorporated into shadow boxes as well, so keep your mind open to using fabric when visioning wall art.

Another idea I recently had was to print the template of a to-do list on a large piece of fabric and have it framed so that I can use it as a whiteboard for my business. Having a large visual reminder of what I have going on is really helpful for my particular learning and working style. This idea is a brand new one, so I will keep you posted on how it’s working out for me.


Fabric Gift Wrap

OK, so fabric is a bit of an odd choice for some gifts, but for others, it is absolutely magical. It’s one of the best things to do with fabric without sewing – it adds such a special touch, with minimal effort.

I know there are some beautiful ways of tying fabric gifts, but even if you are simply wrapping a book in a swath of fabric and tying it with a beautiful ribbon, fabric adds a sense of textural and tactile luxury. 

I found this lovely and calming Youtube video showing the Furoshiki Japanese fabric wrapping method. Try this simple way to make a gift extra special and personal. It looks like a standard 24X24 bandana size was used to wrap the gift in the video. I grabbed one of my poppy pet bandanas and it worked perfectly because these doggy bandanas are just so darn tootin’ cute!

image shows a box being wrapped in a fabric scarf in the furoshiki fabric gift wrapping method.



Make a Patchwork Quilt the “Spoonflower Cheater Quilt” Way

A modern (and easy) spin on the scrap fabric quilt, the cheater quilt is actually the “Fill a Yard” option from Spoonflower. Because this layout creates a yard of fabric with 42 squares, it results in a patchwork pattern. You can get really deliberate with this and choose each square for your cheater quilt with designs that are complementary, building cool patterns within the grid of squares. 

image shows a piece of patchwork fabric Spoonflower cheater quilt

Then, you simply choose the fabric you want for your quilt, select the number of yards you need, choose an alternate fabric design for the other side of the quilt (either a solid color or an understated ditsy pattern is common, but this is your quilt), and print away. 

If you’re a quilter, you know the drill – you’re going to have to hoist all of this up onto your quilting frame – but the beauty is that you didn’t have to sew all of these patches together first! 

With this cheater quilt method, you can simply tie your quilting ties, and any stitching is totally optional. This is a fun project for an older child or a young adult who is excited to create something of their very own – from choosing every patch design, to tying the quilt. Just be sure they have some support, supplies, and patience along the way. 

Side note: another way to utilize this cheater patchwork Fill-a-yard option is to make little fabric coasters. I sometimes just cut up my cheater quilt fabric (because I don’t really quilt, I just print it this way to sample my designs) and wrap up tiny gifts for my kids. They often end up keeping the fabric swatches as coasters. 


Stitch your own pillows using Spoonflower fabric by the yard

I know I mentioned minimal sewing in this post – and this is one of those sewing projects for the home that isn’t too terribly overwhelming so I included it. 

Sewing pillows is pretty easy – especially if you have a sewing machine. But even without a sewing machine, pillows are actually not that hard to stitch together with a needle and strong thread. As long as you have a toasty beverage, an engaging podcast, and some time, you can totally sew your own pillow covers. Just be sure to get a properly sized template for the pillow insert you’re using. 

Pillows are fun to make because they’re like little soft canvases in your space with endless artistic possibilities. You can go full maximalist color in your designs, or make something neutral and understated; pillows make it easy to change up your decor without spending a ton of money.

A few years back, my gift for all of the littles of the family was a pillow sewing fabric project. I printed some cute animals on fabric, gave an animal fabric pair to each of my nieces and nephews (for the front and back of the pillows), and then set up a time where we could sew pillows together. It was such a fun gift because we also packed in a memory making experience. The pillows were all sort of an organic round “blobby” shape so we didn’t have to worry about any 90° angles or anything.


Make Your Own Fabric Toys with Custom Spoonflower Fabric

This one is so near and dear to my heart. I love making fabric toys, and this can be one of those small fabric projects that makes a lifelong impact. One of my favorite fabric toys of all time was Pointy Kitty. If I’d had access to Spoonflower fabric by the yard back in 2006, I wonder what Pointy Kitt would look like now!

Pointy Kitty, a freebie sewing template from Wee Wonderfuls, is a project that inspired and challenged me. This sewing (hand stitching, really) project reconnected me with the search for coordinating fabrics I loved (mainly from the little bin of fabrics I had at home, tbh), it showed me that a freebie download could be a total gift from the heart, and it allowed me to make something really special for my daughter at a time when money was so tight and I was in the beginning stages of my freelance design career in 2006.

This is the project that made me wonder how on earth those designs got onto fabric? And it helped me realize the power of digital downloads. Both of these realizations have guided my art passions and projects..

And now, I present: Pointy Kitty, in all of her glory, nearly 20 years later. Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she just the perfect Coraline-level sort of disturbing? 

fabric scrap project

I recently visited my daughter in Spokane, and she and her sweet fiance put a basket of goodies in my room to welcome me. Sitting in the basket was Pointy Kitty, a relic my daughter knew I would love to see and revisit. 

At the time I sewed Pointy Kitty, I didn’t have a sewing machine (still don’t, ha!). And I was so broke. But I had time in the evenings after my young daughter went to bed. So I downloaded this free pattern, collected a couple of vintage buttons from my stepmom for the kitty eyes, and sewed this little kitty whose head is a bit too heavy for her body, and perhaps her front leg could have used a bit more stuffing. What I am saying is that Pointy Kitty sort of falls flat on her large cute face. 

We all do sometimes… But I cherish this sweet project and I love that my daughter still does too. 

There are tons of free and affordable patterns and templates for toys that you can make with fabric. Fabric toys for kids, fabric toys for pets – fabric toys for you and me. Let’s be real, fabric toys are just so… retro and nostalgic.

Though there are so many more fabric art projects out there in pattern land, I hope this little list inspired you to dig through those fabric bins in your closet and give some new life to something in storage. If you’re more inclined to seek out fabric craft ideas to make and sell, I hope this list helped to plant a seed of possibility – maybe an idea of where you might like to spend your energy in such an endeavor.

Annnnd.. A Bonus Spoonflower Project for the Very Skilled Seamstress.. 

image shows a cactus themed purse created with Spoonflower fabric by the yard.As an add-on to this very fun and crafty blog post, there are some truly beautiful ways people are utilizing Spoonflower fabric by the yard, and though I am not listing this fabric project one as one of the “easy” projects for this particular list (this would be a pretty advanced project for a professional seamstress), I wanted to share this super cute purse made from my Desert Succulence fabric on Spoonflower. My sweet cousin Ada ordered my fabrics, brought them to her seamstress friend, and created this sweet purse for me. It was a gift I will cherish forever!

Spoonflower makes it possible to make some really unique one-of-a-kind fabric gifts, and the sky is the limit on what you can create with fabric using your own designs – or mine – or anyones!

Though I haven’t tried all of these fabric art projects, I wanted to leave you with a list of other little Spoonflower tutorials because there are some really amazing fabric projects on there that I want to try, so maybe you will too! Check these out:


Spoonflower Tutorials

I hope this dive into fun fabric projects using Spoonflower fabric by the yard was helpful in bringing a spot of inspiration, color and excitement into your world. If you are designing your own fabrics, even if you are designing to license collections with larger fabric brands, I highly encourage you to test print your designs on a few different Spoonflower fabrics. They may not be the exact same quality, but seeing your colors and contrast in print on the textile really makes it real and helps you to see what is translating well onto fabric and what is not.

Wishing you fabulous fabric crafting magic!


Other posts you may enjoy:

Awesome Custom Home Decor Art You Can Design Yourself

7 Artist Inspired Gifts for Your Art Inspired Friends and Family

Surface Pattern Design Basics for Every Aspiring Pattern Designer