In May 2009, Scroll Saw Goodies and Scroll Saw Village presented a class on designing your own scroll saw portrait patterns using the free program GIMP.  The class was a huge success and prompted another class.  This time using the free vector graphics program, Inkscape.  With the popularity of these classes, we decided to create a website dedicated to designing scroll saw patterns.  This is the exact same information presented on Scroll Saw Village, but in an easier to read format.  Discussions and questions can still be directed toward the Scroll Saw Village forums where they’ll be promptly answered by staff and others who have already taken the classes.

Creating Scroll Saw Portrait Patterns With GIMP

GIMP LogoGIMP is a free bitmap/raster based graphics and photo editing program that will allow you to create your own custom portrait-style patterns.  Turn a picture of a loved one into a very unique keepsake.  This class will take you through each step of the process.  Soon you’ll be creating your own one-of-a-kind portrait-style patterns.  (This class is also available on DVD)

  • Introduction - Introduction to pattern making and GIMP.
  • What Makes A Good Pattern – We discuss different styles of patterns and look at reference material.
  • User Interface Tour – A quick tour of the program. We’ll look at tool pallets and major sections of the program. We also discuss basic navigation through your project.
  • Creating a Workspace – We’ll create a workspace and do any of the preliminary tasks before we roll up our sleeves and dig in.
  • The Base Pattern – The meat of the pattern making process. We’ll use filters to establish a base pattern for us to work on.
  • Islands, Peninsulas and Lakes – The elements that make up scroll saw patterns. We’ll talk about how to handle delicate areas and create unique shapes that form our pattern.
  • Facial Features – We discuss various facial features and a couple tips to bring your portrait to life.
  • Final Touches – We wrap things up by checking our work and learn to export our pattern for distribution.
  • Bonus Demonstration – This is a 3 part video demonstration where we take the project from picture to pattern.

Making Scroll Saw Patterns with Inkscape

Inkscape LogoInkscape is a free vector based graphics program that has the flexibility of designing anything from key-chains, ornaments, to intricate fretwork clocks.  This class teaches the fundamentals of using this powerful program to create your own custom scroll saw patterns.  (This class is also available on DVD)