Welcome to Fuller by Design, where we explore what it means to lead a creative life. Because the truth is this - life is what you make of it. So let's make, every day. For life.

When You Stink at Drawing and Design

Halloween Pillow 1  

It’s no secret that I have very limited skills in the drawing department. I’m fascinated by people who can draw - I’m convinced the skill lies not in the hands, but in the connection between the eyes and the brain. I really think that people who can draw well have a different (and better, in my opinion) way of interpreting what they see that allows them to render what they see into a two-dimensional drawing.

That skill is not one I possess.

Nor is graphic design, for that matter.

It’s not that I’m absolutely terrible at design (like I am at drawing), it’s just that it takes me an incredibly long time to work through the intellectual decisions necessary for good design. I can do it, slowly and steadily, but it’s super inefficient and the results are mediocre at best.

Which you’d think wouldn’t be a problem, being married to a graphic designer, right?

Not so much.

Because when I want a cute little picture to hang up for a holiday or to turn into a throw pillow, he’s not so inclined to oblige.

And honestly I can’t blame him. He’s been more than willing to help out with all my business design needs and I’m very grateful for that. I’m probably not the worlds best client. (Probably? Let’s be clear. I’m not.)

Plus he does all my business design after hours, after he’s already put in a full day as a graphic designer. So while I feel slightly justified being picky and annoying with my business stuff, I rarely ask him to design something just for fun.

So that’s where today’s post comes in - I’m sharing some of my favorite sources for great printables.

I’ve found printables to be a great solution to the gap between my desire for interesting and fun images and my limited graphic design skills.

Sometimes I print out inspirational messages for myself, like this one that hangs on my office door.


source: The Handmade Home


And I’ve made a few holiday framed prints that I use for decorating.


source unknown


I’ve had a lot of fun combining vintage printables from The Graphics Fairy with fabric and turning them into decorations, like this Halloween pillow.


vintage image source: The Graphics Fairy


It’s really quite easy, Karin (who runs The Graphics Fairy) makes the images very easy to work with so all you have to do is download them and insert them into a computer program that can handle graphics. I’ve resized and printed quite a few of them through Microsoft Word and they’ve come out great, so you don’t need any fancy design program.

If you want to print the images permanently on fabric, you have to use a special kind of fabric that’s made to go through your printer without scrunching or jamming, as well as accept inkjet printer ink without smearing or running. I’ve used a few different brands over the years and they’ve all worked equally well. Jacquard is a trusted brand in fabric crafting so I highly recommend their inkjet fabric.

Putting printables on fabric couldn’t be easier and once you’ve printed it out, let the ink dry and heat set it, you can sew with it just like any other fabric.

Next week I’ll walk you through how to take a printable, printed out on fabric, and turn it into a pillow. Easy peasy, even if you’re a beginner sewer, you can do this!

Ready to search out some fun printables for the holidays, or even just for the everyday?  Here are some sources to get you started:

The Graphics Fairy - Karin has a little bit of everything, but her vintage images are really special - she’s got some amazing images that go back many, many, many years

The Handmade Home - Ashley is a designer who generously shares her talents with her readers - you’ll find holiday-specific printables as well as general home dec and even homeschool related images

Tatertots and Jello - Jen is big in the home-dec-with-a-focus-on-kids blog world and curates tons of different printables for holidays and all throughout the year

Everything Etsy - Kim compiles lots and lots of printables for every season, you’re sure to find a great image for your next project here

Happy hunting for a fun image for your next project - just don’t fall into the printable vortex! (it’s all too easy, I assure you)

Next week I’ll walk you through how to turn a printable into a pillow by using inkjet fabric for your main image, and fabric scraps for the rest of the pillow.  Don’t have any inkjet fabric on hand? Order some now, gather up your fall-inspired scraps (or pick some up here), and join me next Friday for the rest of the project!

Silent Sunday

When Handmade is a Really Bad Idea