We were so delighted to join our friends of Makers Collective at their annual business conference, The Makers Summit, in Greenville, SC in early March. The good folks of the Makers Collective sure know how to present an amazing event, and we're delighted to have them stopping by the blog to share a few of their favorite projects from this year's conference. First on the list is the business card wall that made a beautiful visual guestbook for attendees and was the backdrop of many meetings as folks "framed" their cards. Today, Makers Collective Creative Director and Co-Founder Lib Ramos stops by the blog to show us how they created the most 'grammed area of the event, and she includes instructions for making your own business card wall!
Lib: This year at The Makers Summit, we wanted to come up with a better way for people to connect with other attendees. We talked about several different guestbook kinds of ideas and landed on the idea of creating a business card wall using Spoonflower wallpaper. Judging by the number of business card wall photos under the #makerssummit hashtag on Instagram, it was a hit!
We’re sharing how to create your own repeating pattern below, but if you like the one we made, you can also purchase it here.
Step 1: Draw some shapes.
We needed a pattern that was pretty simple, so that business cards would really stand out. We looked to this and this for inspiration, but needed more playful shapes that would be the right size for business cards. Our friend, Cory drew a few frames and elements for us. He sketched his frames with a blue pencil, then finished them with a Sharpie.
Step 2: Scan and clean up sketches.
After scanning his sketches, Cory used a great trick to remove any traces of blue and give us a crisp dark line.
With your image open in Photoshop, select Image > Adjust > Hue/Saturation. Choose Blues from the second drop down menu, and move the Saturation slider all the way to the left, and your blue lines will disappear.
Step 3: Arrange your shapes.
Start with a square document. Since Spoonflower wallpaper has a set width of 24" per panel, you’ll want to create a document at a width that goes evenly into 24 inches. Our document was 24” so that we could design it full size and have fewer repeats. Create an arrangement of shapes you like, focusing on the center of the document. Keep anything from touching the edges of the square.
Step 4: Use Photoshop to make a pattern.
For this step, you need to work with a flat version of your file. If you’ve been working with multiple layers, flatten the image (I like to save a copy at this point, just in case you want to go back later). Note the size of your document in pixels. Ours was 3600 pixels square.
Go to Filter > Other > Offset
Enter the number in both boxes that is half the pixel width of your document. Choose the Wrap Around option.
Step 5: Fill in the gaps.
You’ll see that your design has been shifted to the outer corners of your document. Fill in any gaps remaining in the middle. We added a few more frames and geometric shapes to tie into our event decor. Once you’re happy with the result, save the document.
Step 6: Test it out.
Upload your pattern swatch and use Spoonflower’s preview tools. Choose the basic repeat option and it will show you your finished pattern!
Personally, I like to preview my patterns on a larger scale first to make sure I’m happy with how it turned out. To do this, choose Edit > Define Pattern. Create a new document the size of your final application (for us, the size of the doors) and select Edit > Fill. Choose Pattern from the Contents drop down menu in the fill dialog box. Your newly created pattern will be the last swatch in the palette.
When you say OK, your document will fill with your newly created seamless repeating pattern.
We used the Spoonflower Woven Wallpaper because of its adhesive backing and the fact that it’s both repositionable and removable. These features made installation a lot easier and made our venue feel comfortable about us covering surfaces with it.
Here are a few other ways to adapt this idea for your event or home, whether it’s a birthday party, a crafty gathering, or just part of your decor.
Scale it down.
Attach wallpaper to smaller board or a sheet of foamcore so that it’s portable. Folks can attach their business cards with colorful map pins.
Let your friends draw or write in the frames with (washable) markers and create a completely unique work of art.
Chop it up.
Cut out individual frames and use them as stickers on any surface. You can showcase photos on your fridge, use them as temporary frames, or create a mini gallery wall.
Lib Ramos is the Co-founder/Creative Director for Makers Collective, a non-profit based in Greenville, SC. The Makers Collective empowers creative entrepreneurs while cultivating a supportive community around them. The organization hosts large and small events, including Indie Craft Parade and The Makers Summit.