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2 Minute Tutorial: 1 Element, 3 Looks

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager

How do some designers appear to turn out jobs at lightening speed while yours seem to move along at snails pace?

Floral Elements Repurposed

Answer: They re-purpose.

They do it cleverly whereby elements are deconstructed and rebuilt in a different, usually unrecognisable new composition. It allows them to be time efficient and more productive than if they hand drew every single element a print required from scratch. It also means that clients can pay less for designs than they would if they were to cover the designer’s additional hours spent painting every component.

It’s smart, right?

So how does it work? Scroll to discover our three examples, all re-inerpretations of the one element.

Original Design

Take a floral element (or in this case,  a set of two elements).

Use the lasso tool to cut out the bunches, foliage and ditsy flowers and separate them onto different layers.

To do this simply hold Command + X to cut, and Command + V to paste onto a new layer.

Left Flower

This is the left flower separated. See how many different shapes there are?

Right Flower

This is the right flower separated. Now you have an additional 11 pieces to work with.

Mash Up Bunch

Here’s a re-configuration of the original set!


This example demonstrates repurposing at it’s most basic level.

There are many ways designers reinvent their elements within a design and many things to be wary of.

Want more ideas on how to create floral bunches with separated elements?  Check out this post.


+ Repurposing is a mainstay of the industry. You don’t need to illustrate every element you are using in a design. And by repeating particular flowers you can create better cohesion, anyway.

+ Photoshop proficiency and these types of industry-specific, time-saving techniques give your business a competitive edge.

Want our absolute best Photoshop tricks for illustrated textile design? You can find them here.


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