How to make Moodboards by Numbers

How to Make a Mood Board for Beginners

Step-by-step easy guide to making Moodboards by Numbers for Fashion Designers

When I had my first daughter, I was so incredibly excited. Our house was filled with boy stuff and I was definitely feeling outnumbered by all the guys in the house. The first thing I did after we found out we were having a girl was jump on Pinterest and start pinning a bazillion pins. And of course, I picked the exact colors I wanted for her room. Hot pink, purple, orange, yellow and light pink. I was so excited that I had her colors all picked out, so I hit the stores and started looking for baby things to match. But I found nothing! They didn’t have mermaids or an octopus, or even tons of orange fish. They had pastels, butterflies, and pink chevrons. Lame. So, with my little mood board in hand, I jumped on Etsy and started buying all the Heather Ross fabric I could afford at the time. I used that as a base to make her bedding, little decorative pillows, and quilt. I also jumped on Ravelry and bought some patterns to knit her an octopus and fish. Her room was ADORABLE! And one-of-a-kind. And it all started with a mood board.

5 Easy Steps to Make a Mood Board

Mood boards are the foundation of any good design. Fashion designers use them whenever they design a collection. Costume designers use them when they want cohesive colorways or are trying to match a historical period. Magazine editors use them when they need all the articles and fonts to match the same mood for the issue.

Not a lot of people really know how to use them, but mood boards can greatly enhance your designs!

These mood boards are as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Follow along with these five easy steps and you’ll be making mood boards in no time!

Step One: Choose a grid.

Pick a nice size to fill up with all your favorite designs and inspiration. Now is not the time for minimal…five squares isn’t enough, aim for 7-17 blank spots. Use atleast 13 if you’re planning an entire collection, if gives you room for all the color swatches.

Step Two: Add some nature

This is where we add our favorite ideas from nature. Are you inspired by the cold, winter wonderland or maybe the hot sandy beaches? Pick out some visuals that you like…it could be seashells, holly berries and leaves, mountains and river rocks. Maybe some really pretty geodes. Think outside the box a little and add whatever inspires you in nature.

Step Three: Add fabric

Pick the fabrics you love and want to add to your designs. Like, I added that Heather Ross fabric to mine. Bonus points if you already own the fabric and can take a picture of it to add to your mood board. Making a wedding dress? I added satin, embroidered chiffon and vintage lace to the mood board I used for my sister-in-law’s wedding dress.

Step Four: Pick the main colors

These are the 4-7 colors that you want to highlight in your designs. As a rule of thumb, add a neutral color…black, white, gray, tan colors all count as a neutral. Neutral colors help tie in the other colors by giving your eye a place to take a break from all the colors. I never count neutrals against the number of colors I use. Generally though, I save blacks and darker colors for adult things and boy colorways. If you don’t use them right, they can look too harsh. Use them as pops of color, unless you’re going for a gothic theme.

Download this free, easy pdf guide that also includes pre-made mood boards for Fall 2017 and Winter/Spring ‘17-’18.

Woot! FREE Trend forecasting to use in your designs!

 Step Five: Make a catchy name

This is how you can quickly convey your entire mood board. Pick two words that represent what you want to be the takeaway. Romantic Florals, Summer Days, Winter Wonderland, Wanderlust, Star Wars. You can pretty much imagine what all of those would look like, right? And all it took was two words.

Now that you know how to make a mood board, go forth and make a million! If you like to make moodboards for fun, ask to join my Pinterest moodboard group and you can share with us! If not, still follow along on Pinterest and you’ll get free inspiration whenever I pin new moodboards that I think you’ll like.


If you want to learn more about Fashion Design, check out Fashion Design Bootcamp where we go into more depth and help you learn the skills you need to stand out as a fashion designer.

Happy Designing my Lovelies!

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