The Instant Design Generator

One great thing I really love about working at Urban Threads is that everyone on the team is always trying to think of new and more innovative ideas for us to try. Themes and styles come from all over and combine in crazy weird ways to bring you exciting and sometimes slightly bonkers new designs. Sometimes, though, our brains just can’t cope with all the possible awesome combinations.

Like on Fridays. After lunch. When all you really want is a nap but what you really need is an idea. You know those days.

Lucky for us, we have a super secret, ultra high tech way of creating new bestselling designs, and today dear readers, we’re going to share our secret with you. Try and contain yourselves, because I present to you…

The Instant Design Generator!!

Behold the Awesome.

Pretty high tech, hu? Those are the best post-it notes money can buy. Or lunch money can buy. Same thing usually.

So how did this start? One enterprising day at lunch, we got into a great conversation about this little video, or what the design world calls “Put A Bird On It!”. Despite the fact that it made the design world cringe and look a little sheepish for awhile, we are not beyond putting birds on things. We’re not too proud to admit it. Nor should you, really, since you guys are the ones buying the birds and presumably, putting them on things.

C’mon, raise your hand if you’ve put a bird on something.

You at the back. Put that hand up.

We also have another phrase around here at the office. It’s called “Put A Gear On It”, and it generally refers to our penchant for making anything and everything Steampunk. If you haven’t noticed, we’ll try steampunk-ing just about anything around here, and to be honest, you guys are to blame. Just when we think we’ve run out of things to steampunk, you always come along and come up with something to add gears to that we never would of thought of.

It’s one of the many reasons we love you guys. You’re just as crazy as we are.

So… put a bird on it… put a gear on it.. what other possibilities exist in the exciting world of design? We set about one lunch break to find out…

I'm a dedicated fan that everything should one day be zombie-ified.

It was just too much fun once we started out. We had two categories: one was random objects and things, the other, stylizations for those things.

Everyone chipped in! Granted, after too long, things started to get weird, and suggestions more and more bizarre. We drew the line at “LOL-cat-ifying” everything for humanities sake. Still, we had faith in our newfangled design generator!

We were sure it would produce glorious things, and we could all take the day off and go eat cupcakes, and soon we’d all be rich and living on yachts. Or something. We might have been a little fuzzy on the details at that point. Too much Red Bull combined with illusions of grandeur might not have been a good match.

So, once everything was written down and sorted accordingly, we arrive at our marvel of engineering, worth I think, a second look:

Notice the quality of craftsmanship, once again. We're schmancy around here.

Let’s try it out…

What has our splendiferous machine produced? Nothing but solid gold bestsellers I assume…

Erm.. hmm. Let’s translate these, shall we?

Gold, surely! Nothing but class all the way. Who wouldn’t want to buy cross stitched bacon?

So, let us test to see how well a few of our ideas translate…

Yup, there they are, in all their glory!

Oh, ok, so the steampunk lolly could use a little work, and I’m not sure Chuck has reached the right level of awesomeness, but I’ m sure there are solid ideas in there somewhere. Perhaps. Maybe.


Ok ok, so the machine needs a little tweaking. But I’m SURE one day, probably after lunch, when I’m out of sugar free Red Bull and in need of an idea, this thing is going to produce sheer awesome-sauce.

You be ready for it…

BTW… any contributing ideas and/or themes? Feel free to submit styles and stuff in the comments (“give it goggles”/ferrets!), and I’ll write them down and add them to the generator.

Together people, we will build the ultimate machine. First embroidery… then, the world!


**I might have had Red Bull today…

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27 Responses to “The Instant Design Generator”

  1. 1

    slime it, cowboy it, patchwork it, put it on a unicycle!

  2. 2
    Marty Gear says:

    add Bats (Did you expect anything else from me?)

  3. 3
    Dirce says:

    Neato Styles – make it evil, “magic” it, in space

    Stuf & Things – toasters, hippos and vikings

    Eaxamples – EEEEEEEVIL toasters, magical hippos and space vikings!

    • Elfie B. says:

      Seconding the “evil”. Evil unicorns and angelic dragons. Let’s throw the 80s in the blender!

      (Hey, is the “will it blend” concept trademarked?)

  4. 4
    Niamh says:

    hahahaha… I see Space Vikings being the next big thing

  5. 5
    liz says:

    I’m a Georgia PEACH living in Canada (Maple leaf)…

    Come-on, I’d love to see a steampunk Peach… or Maple leaf… either or both.

    Can you steampunk the nicknames for all 50 states?

    I know I’m among thousands, but I love ya’ll.

    • Heather the Awesome says:

      Virginia- Steampunk Generator
      North Carolina- Cogs in a North pointing Line…or Yankee Cogs
      South Carolina- Cogs in a South pointing Line…or Southern Rebel Cogs

      • liz says:

        Some of the state nicknames would pose quite a challenge and might be down right impossible in some cases. However, the state proper names could be steampunked or zombie-fied… even vampire-ized. There’s got to be gear-heads, zombies, and vampires in at least all 50 plus the territories. Dare I say, all over the world?

  6. 6
    Christi says:

    BUNNIES!! I just checked you have no zombie bunny.. I think a series of rabbits like was done with the ducks.

  7. 7
    Mariah says:

    Greyhounds! Because everyone needs a dog that is a bump on the floor. =^_^=

  8. 8
    Cookie says:

    I am so down with the crosstitch bacon! Also magic hippos and toasters sound too fabulous & the 80’s blender.

  9. 9
    Cathy says:

    If these haven’t been added already I think in the “Neato Styles” you should add Art Neuveau it, Knot it (celtic), and Sketch it (the bean stitch outlines are AWESOME)!

    As for the stuff and things, I would love more Thistles (just like bats, there are never enough), Shamrocks, Luckenbooth, Owls, and Dragons.

  10. 10
    Kathleen says:

    Create a line of dark fairytales!
    Everyone is into Alice; maybe it will be cool to do something with another character?
    You guys have done a new look at little red, maybe cool to expand this idea further?

    Another thought is to have dark guardian angels?
    Dark lighters ones who protect the dark ones?
    They could be made up with magical signs and other evil stuff.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!!!

    Dark Greetings

  11. 11
    Toni says:

    A sun, similar to the Doodle Sun, but steampunked! Maybe one giant gear for the sun with some smaller gears “in orbit”?

  12. 12
    Amanda says:

    There is an artist named James Christiansen (I think I spelled his last name right). And he does painting with highly detailed very imaginative characters. Probably his best known book is Voyage of the Basset. I love his work and think it could lend itself very easily to what you’re doing.

  13. 13
    Heather says:

    I always joke with my husband about the fact that I couldn’t love two more opposite things. Being Pagan and loving steampunk. Show me that mix. Also I love you too!

  14. 14
    Nina says:

    Great brainstormin’ method! I enjoyed that! Don’t forget Cinderella, Noddy & Big Ears {I guess copyright would be an issue there- even in Noddyland eh?!], Hippies, ’70’s glam rockers, farmers, Doc Martens, Mods, horses and dogs! More dogs definitely! Not just the “fashionable” bow-wows but Pointers, Setters, Spaniels etc. More designs that look hand-stitched too please! Am lovin’s Sarah Walton’s stuff on Flickr and Sam Crow’s “stitched art” kinda stuff. Ain’t us humans great??!!!

  15. 15
    Devon says:

    Okay, seriously, make that Robo-dino and I will buy it and stitch the Sh*t out of it. It is a running joke in my house whenever there is a loud noise my toddlers ask what it is and we say, “I think it is a robot dinosaur” and they freak out. They think it both hilarious and terrifying. It goes back to the dino exhibit our zoo puts on everysummer with these scary lifelike animatronic dino’s that scare the beejezus out of small children. One zoo worker mistakenly thought that telling my children not to be afraid of them, that they were really robot dinosaurs would help things. Right. So, to make a long story longer, if I could stitch up a few robo-dino’s on everything they own it could maybe be a bit more hilarious and less terrifying.

  16. 16
    DiBat says:

    Blackwork fill and borders (Elizabethan)or Redwork (Victorian?) of Gears, robots, zombies

    ZOMBIE BLACKWORK!!!!! OMG… I would make an outfit with that!

    Knotwork Zombie eating knotwork victim entwined?

    Needs more elephants. And rhinos? please… an ‘armored rhino’ oooo…. a steampunked mech elephant and (separately) rhino.

    Thank you for the Zombie Survival Merit Badge. I am going to make up a bunch as a ‘prize’ for an SCA ( event. My hubby is running invading zombies vs the locals. The last time it went over VERY well… but I think these patches will be awesome. I’m going to try to squeeze in the year. 😉 Different colors for each event we can get… ooo… maybe extra resurrections for each patch you are wearing… hmmm…

  17. 17
    DiBat says:

    Also, could you consider a ‘unicornate seahorse’??

    Basically, a regular seahorse, not a mere-horse, with a unicorn horn coming out of it’s forehead. Zombie-fied?? Steampunked? Gothed?

    Ooo… spooky-fied

  18. 18
    Missy K. says:

    I love it. What a great design idea. I may have to do that when I’m creating stuff. Ha, ha.

    To Add
    Cameo-it – make it into a cameo
    Unicorn-it – add a horn to it.
    Baby/in training-it – this may already be on your list, but I didn’t see it.
    50’s style-it
    Chinese Zodiac signs. I love the one you did for the year of the rabbit, want to see more.

    You haven’t made a robo dino? I thought you had.

  19. 19
    Stacy says:

    Wing it (add wings like bat, dragon, butterfly, angel, fairy…)
    Frankenstein: if you get this, pull a second thing and combine
    Doodle it (i love the doodles so much)
    Chibi it
    Applique it
    Lace it

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