Intro to Pixlr for Fabric Design

Photoshop is one of my favorite tools to design with, but it's a really complex program to learn and it can be prohibitively expensive. That's why I use an app called Pixlr in many of my classes and why I created this class to help you get started. 

Pixlr is a web based app, which means you don't have to download anything to your computer. It all works right in your web browser and you can use it on any kind of computer. It's simple to learn and there is a free version you can use that has all of the features you will need to accomplish all of the projects in my classes and lots more. I am a big fan of making things accessible so you don't need to invest a lot of time, money or frustration in order to just get started and see if you like something. Pixlr ticks all of those boxes and that's why I am teaching this class.

After I had demonstrated something using Pixlr in another class, I had several students ask me if there was a good basic tutorial for how to use Pixlr. I realized that there really wasn't a great intro class, so I wrote this one.

Why is this class free?

I understand that taking a class is an investment. You invest not only money, but time, energy and attention to learn something new. You might not know if you have the patience to design fabric or learn a new app. You might never have taken an online class before. You might never have taken a class from me before. What if you don't like it? What if the format doesn't work for you? I get that it's a lot of new things to try sight unseen, so I want to give you an opportunity to check it out. This class is also full of fundamentals. I don't want to have to repeat the same basic information over and over in future classes, so I want this to be accessible to everyone to refer back to from lots of different classes. That makes it easier for me to create new classes and easier for you to get the information you need anytime.

So this class is my investment in you; it's your chance to check it all out. I hope you will LOVE it and come back for more classes knowing exactly what to expect from me and my classes. I am planning lots of future classes that all build from here.

What will we cover?

This class goes through the Pixlr app step by step. Because I primarily teach about designing fabrics, the focus of this class is about using Pixlr for fabric design, so I go in to detail on the tools that are most useful for those tasks and techniques and skip over the tools that are designed for photo touchups or effects.

Every lesson has a video demo showing a set of tools in action, followed by a recap that breaks down vocabulary and steps so they are easy to understand.

After I have gone through all of the groups of tools, the last section of class shows you three sample projects so you can see all of the tools in action and understand the workflow from start to finish. You can follow along with these projects and practice using the tools to create your own designs.

What if you don't want to design fabric?

Even if you aren't interested in designing fabric, this class is an awesome introduction to working with a really simple but powerful design app and the tools I will show you are absolutely not limited to fabric design. If you need to create graphics for your Etsy shop, fun social media posts, or you are just interested in learning more about digital graphics, you will learn a lot in this class! Plus, Pixlr is really similar to Photoshop in a lot of ways, with many of the same tools and concepts. Everything you learn in this class will give you a step up if you ever want to learn Photoshop in the future.

Table of Contents

Why Pixlr for Fabric Design?
A Tour of the App
The Tools
The View Tools
The Layer Tools
The Select Tools
The Color Tools
The Draw Tools
The Fill Tools
The Embellish Tools
The Fix Tools
Three Quick Projects
Make A Polkadot
Draw Something
Quilt Label

About Becka Rahn, instructor

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 served on the boards of directors of the Weavers Guild of MN, Hennepin History Museum and as the state rep for the Surface Design Association. I was also a 2016 member of the international Etsy Sellers Advisory Board and an Etsy U Instructor from 2019-2021. You can find me, all of my social media links, and more at my website:

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 teach 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 spend a lot of time thinking about pixels.

Technology, experience & pre-requisites

Technology: You can watch and read the class lessons either on a computer or iPad/tablet. To follow along and do the projects in class, you just need an up-to-date web browser and internet access. I recommend you do that hands-on part on your computer since the Pixlr app is completely different on an iPad/tablet. A scanner is optional but helpful. No other software or equipment is needed.

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.


Work-at-your-own-pace: You can do the lessons at any time and come back to them whenever you like. All you need to do is log in to your Coursecraft (created when you register for class) and your classes are saved there always.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Nothing! I teach about Pixlr because I like it and I think it's an awesome tool. I don't get any kickbacks, affiliate links, promos, gifts, discounts, sponsorships or bonuses. All instructions and opinions are also my own; I don't represent Pixlr in any official capacity. It's just me and a laptop in a tiny little studio in Minnesota.

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. You just log in to your Coursecraft account and your class will always be there.

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