Fabric Design: The Color Class

This class has one focus: answering all of your color questions.

One of the most fun, and maybe most challenging parts about designing your own fabrics is working with COLOR. 

How do you know what colors to choose? 
How can you match a color to coordinate with something?
What if they don't print the way you want them to? 

Color is one of the first choices you make when you are starting a new fabric design. So we start this class with choosing a personal color palette, working with your color intuition or the colors that are your signature. We'll talk a little about color theory and how you can use color to create mood and feeling in your designs. Next, we'll look at color trends and where to find them. Is your target audience a trend setter or a trend follower?

We'll deep dive into how we talk about color digitally. Do you know what a HEX code is and why you care? You will! The next lesson focuses even more specifically about color and Spoonflower. I will share with you everything I know about quirks, tips, and troubleshooting when it comes to color and Spoonflower fabrics. We'll learn about tools for managing colors in your designs, tools for putting together color palettes inspired by color theory or the world around you, and tools you can use to help make sure the color on your screen is the color you expect to see on your printed fabric.

This class is about tools, not inspiration.

This isn't a "color inspiration" class and you won't be making mood boards with me. There are already dozens of tutorials, tools, and resources out there to help you with that and I don't need to re-invent it.

This class is about what you do with the colors once you've got that inspiration. That's where I think the tutorials always come up short. They help you pick out a set of colors, but they don't tell you how to get them into Photoshop or use them to make a design. I want you to understand the vocabulary, how the color tools work, and what the code numbers mean so you can get the results you want. I also try to make sure that you know enough about color vocabulary to use whatever design software works best for you. I demonstrate with a variety of different apps, so it's not just how to do these things using Photoshop.

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Table of Contents

Finding your Personal Color Palette
Some Basics of Color Theory
Trend Setter or Trend Follower?
The Digital Color Language
Specifics about Color & Spoonflower
Color Woes and How to Fix Them
Translating your Signature Colors to Digital Codes
Managing Colors in your Design Software
Turning Color Exercises into Patterns
Making a Wearable Design Tool
Where does Color Take You from Here?

It's a Spoonflower Master Class, online edition.

Back before 2020, when teaching and taking workshops in-person was a thing we did, I taught a popular workshop called "The Spoonflower Master Class". It was so much FUN, but it wasn't very accessible to many people because of so many factors like cost, technology, travel, and time. And I wanted to fix that. So I'm bringing it online! 

Starting with this color class, I'm breaking the Master Class up into a series of smaller classes, each with a specific focus. It's like a customizable Master Class: you can take the parts that are interesting to you and skip the others if you want to. You can work at your own pace. You don't have to travel or have a laptop you can bring with you to class. And even better than an in-person class, you can come back and review any part of class at any time. I'll still be there to answer all of your questions; there are interactive elements and a way to post comments and questions in every lesson.

  • This is seriously the best class I have ever taken. Tons of great information presented clearly and enthusiastically. Inspiration everywhere from Becka and Spoonflower!

    — A student from the first Spoonflower Master Class

It's not just a TV show.

Also, and I think this is the most important, this class isn't like a TV show. There are videos inside many of the lessons so I can screenshare and show you a step-by-step demonstration. But it's not just video. Each lesson is like an in-depth tutorial with an article to read, assignments and projects for you to try, links to more information, questions and quizzes. I wanted to make something that worked with more kinds of learning styles, and I know I get really impatient watching videos and thinking "When are they going to get to the point?". I don't learn very well from just video, so I was thoughtful about when I used video and how the combination would make a class that would work for more people.

Technology & skills you need for this class.

Technology: You can watch and read the class lessons either on a computer or iPad/tablet/phone. To follow along and do the projects in class, you just need an up-to-date web browser and internet access. 

There is no specific design software you need for this class; you can work with the one that is most comfortable for you to use. I do demos in the videos in class using PicMonkey, Pixlr, and Photoshop, but almost everything I show you will work in nearly any graphics program you choose.

Skill level: Beginner. You don't need any special skills or experience for this class. You should be comfortable with computer basics like navigating a website and uploading a file. You don't need to know how to sew.

I recommend you complete my Spoonflower Step One class before you take this class if you are unfamiliar with Spoonflower. It's a free class and it covers the basics of how Spoonflower works and what it's all about.

About Becka Rahn

I have been a fan and designer on Spoonflower since I ordered my first design in 2008. I am the co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook, a how-to guide to designing your own fabrics, wallpapers and gift wrap using Spoonflower, and I have taught a regular series of Master Classes at Spoonflower's HQ in Durham, NC. I have a degree in education, so being a teaching artist is one of my passions.

I am based in Minneapolis, MN where I work as a full-time artist and teacher. My art work ranges from novelty prints to gallery exhibitions. You can see a gallery of my work at my website, as well as links to my Etsy shops specializing in knitting puns and digitally printed accessories. I have received a number of grant awards for my work and I partner with many other arts and non-profit organizations to do community projects. I have been on the boards of directors of the Weavers Guild of MN, Hennepin History Museum and served as the state rep for the Surface Design Association. I was also a 2016 member of the international Etsy Sellers Advisory Board and I am an Instructor for their new Etsy U program. You can find me, all of my social media links, and more at my website:

I spend a lot of time thinking about pixels.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?

Once you've enrolled, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need and you can come back and refer to it any time.

If I have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at

Even though the class is available 24/7/365, please know that I am not online 24/7 and I haven't yet taught my canine intern to answer emails. I will do my best to respond quickly.

So how much does Spoonflower pay you to do this? Do you work for them?

Spoonflower and I are really good friends, but I don't work for them and I don't get any commissions or kick-backs for teaching classes that feature Spoonflower. We have worked together on many projects, including The Spoonflower Handbook, and I am a HUGE fan and Spoonbassador, but I produce, support and teach these completely on my own. All instructions and opinions are also my own; I don't represent Spoonflower in any official capacity. It's just me and a laptop in a tiny little studio in Minnesota.