One of the hardest things about new crafting/sewing/decorating projects is picking a fabric color scheme. No matter if you are making a quilt, designing a room, or just trying to make things match and coordinate.
There are just so many options both at the store and oftentimes in our own fabric stashes. I know I can get so lost trying to pick fabrics for a project that I just get overwhelmed and give up all together. Colors and fabric choices can make or break a project (hello, Project Runway!). And picking a fabric color pallette that really sings can just be so daunting.
THANKFULLY! I have a super simple solution!
This is a tried and true method. I have been doing this for years and it is fabulous! And easy! This is what most graphic designers use when designing their beautiful art, so why reinvent the wheel?
The secret? Pre-made color schemes and pallettes.
Simply go onto Pinterest (just do a search for “color schemes”or “color pallettes” or check out my board “Colour“), Design Seeds, Chip It! By Sherwin-Williams, or some other color pallette website (just Google “color schemes”or “color pallettes”) and find a color scheme that you love.
Once you have a pallette you love, then you have two options.
Option 1 – Print out your color scheme (in color, of course) and head to your local fabric store (or your own stash!). Using your pallette, pick out one fabric for each color on the paper.
Sometimes the ladies (or gentlemen) at the cutting counter will let you cut a small swatch to staple to your paper color scheme, not necessary, but can be helpful, especially if you are shopping around. I always cut a small swatch and staple it to the paper after I get home anyway. Then I keep all the color schemes in a binder for future reference.
Option 2 – Use an online fabric store and follow the same method as in Option 1, only you can just reference the color scheme on your screen instead of printing it out. I love to use Fabric.com because of their “Design Wall” feature. I can browse through TONS of fabrics, search for anything specific, or just narrow down my searches until I find what I am looking for. When I find a fabric I like I just click “add to design wall” and then I can see all my fabric choices in one place. I also like that I can browse at my own speed (or after my kids go to bed) and I don’t feel like I am rushed in a store. I also love that I don’t have to pull down huge bolts of fabric or feel bad about putting them back on the wrong shelf, don’t judge, you do it too.
Now there are some problems with ordering fabric online. You don’t get to feel it so you might be getting fabric that is stiffer or doesn’t lay as well as you were thinking it would. Also, sometimes the colors are a little off in the photos, so the real life fabric may not be exactly what you thought it would be. One other thing is that you should pay close attention to the ruler at the bottom of the fabric photo, this tells you the size of the pattern.
Tips – When you are choosing fabrics don’t get too lost in what other colors are in the pattern. If the main color of the print matches one of the colors on your pallette and you like the fabric, then go with it! Try squinting at the fabric and see what the color is then, that is what people are going to see.
If you have a navy blue color on your pallette and you find a navy blue fabric with teal polka dots, consider wether the secondary color (the teal) works with the rest of the scheme? Does it add anything of value to the pot? Does it distract or enhance? Do you LOVE it?
Sometimes I have to find a few options for each color on the pallette and then pick whatever options best mesh together. Sometimes I fall in love with one fabric that matches one of the colors in my scheme and the rest of the fabric choices stem from this one central choice.
It’s really not rocket science. It can be a little confusing, but with this method everyone can pick out a winning fabric color scheme.