4 Steps to Designing Digital Wallpaper + Free Monthly Download

Last year in April, I started making free monthly desktop and mobile phone wallpapers every month until the end of the year. I started this year undecided if I'd continue monthly wallpapers. But I realized I missed making these for you, so I thought I'd make one for March.

You'll have to excuse the random monstera theme as it was something I happened to paint and thought they would make a nice digital wallpaper. In fact, in order to keep this design process sustainable for me, I'll probably be making wallpapers out of watercolor paintings that I have already painted for fun or for projects. Hopefully there are no objections to me repurposing my own work ;)!

I also wanted to share a basic breakdown for the steps I take when designing these wallpapers. Maybe you're curious or are looking for a basic workflow in order to design some for yourself. In any case, I hope you find it helpful!

4 Steps to Designing Digital Wallpaper

Step 1: Digitize your Artwork
Digitize your paintings using whatever method you are comfortable with. You can take a photo of it or scan it. My current workflow uses a scanner but taking a photo of it with your smartphone or a camera works just fine! (I used a camera to snap a photo for this blog post on digitizing, if you want to check it out)

Step 2: Clean Up in Photoshop
Clean up image and save each element as its own .PSD file to be used in the design. Below you can see that I painted two monstera leaves on one sheet of paper (left), and I cleaned it up so each leaf is separated into its own file (right).

Digital Design 1b.png

Step 3: Design in Adobe Illustrator
This is the fun part! Bring .PSD elements into Adobe Illustrator and design. You can see in the image below that each of the leaves in the design are its own file (see the box/frame with an 'X' through it). I like the flexibility of moving elements around and even modifying colors in digital programs - notice that I muted down the color of the leaves for the wallpaper.

Step 4: Export for Sharing
I like to create a desktop version and a mobile lock screen version which you can see in the two different sizes in the screen shot above. I export these wallpapers as .png or .jpeg files and then run it through tinyPNG.com to make sure the file size is compressed and optimized (and not too big!)

That's it - your files are ready to be shared. I like to test them on my own desktop and mobile phone before sending it out, just to be sure that it's looking ok on my device.

March Wallpapers_thumb-mac.png

If you're looking for this wallpaper and want to use it on your desktop or mobile screen, just fill out the form before and I'll send you a link to the downloads right away! You'll get both desktop and mobile wallpapers in a calendar version and no calendar version.