How to Turn Your Drawings into Vector Art

Hi all! Hope your week has been going splendidly (it’s Friday, YAY)! Today I have a another simple video tutorial that is going to change your life…well, if you’re a designer that is. And, as an added bonus, I’ve thrown in some graphic freebies for you! Learn how to turn your drawings into vector art using tools in Adobe Illustrator, and download some pretty floral frames.How to Turn Your Drawings into Vector Art

When I was studying graphic design in college, we learned a lot about the history of design, how to talk about our work, and how to critique art—all useful skills to have a designer! One thing we were taught almost nothing about—how to USE design software. When a critique of your work was made, and you didn’t know how to technically alter the design you just had to learn it yourself. So, while I acquired a wide knowledge of design theory through school, I gained my technical skills though personal experience and LOTS of YouTube tutorials.

Today’s tutorial utilized a tool I knew nothing about for probably a whole year into my design studdies (embarrassing), and now I use on a (literally) daily basis! Seriously, the Image Trace tool will change your life! It makes it so incredibly easy to turn those drawings and sketches into vector art.

If you liked the floral frames I used in the tutorial, it’s your lucky day! You can download and use them for all kinds of fun projects of your own.

How to Turn Your Drawings into Vector Art


I’m a big fan of drawing flowers (obviously), and I think they give these frames a fun vintage feel. They would be great on a wedding or bridal shower invitation!

What kinds of drawings do you like to do? Do you use the Image Trace tool, or skip the middle-man and use a graphics tablet?

Miss Mandee Signature



*I am linking up to these parties


13 Comments on How to Turn Your Drawings into Vector Art

    • Mandee
      July 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks Lorelai! I’ll definitely come check it out. 🙂

  1. Meredith @ The Palette Muse
    July 18, 2015 at 10:21 am (8 years ago)

    I always love your designs! I’d love to try this myself, but don’t have adobe illustrator. For someone who’s just getting started with something like this, do you recommend illustrator, or do you know of other programs that might be easier/less expensive? Thanks so much!

    • Mandee
      July 19, 2015 at 9:53 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks so much Meredith! Yeah, Adobe Illustrator is a pretty penny, especially if you’re just starting out. A lot of people (including me) start out in Photoshop. Many of the tools are similar, so it’s great for getting to know Adobe programs. Photoshop is the one program you can usually purchase separately and without having to get a subscription (I think I got my first version at Sam’s Club or Costco for like $60). For really basic design, you can use free, online programs like PicMonkey or Canva, but you probably already know about those. Hope that helps! Feel free to email me ( if you have any more questions. 🙂

      • Meredith @ The Palette Muse
        July 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm (8 years ago)

        Thanks for the info! I do usually use picmonkey right now for photos, but I’d love to do more with drawings too. Maybe I’ll have to bite the bullet soon… 🙂

  2. Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    July 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm (8 years ago)

    I have been dying to figure this out, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. It is appreciated so much. BTW, love your graphics, they are always creative and gorgeous.

    • Mandee
      July 19, 2015 at 9:54 pm (8 years ago)

      Oh my gosh, you are too sweet! Thanks so much for the kind words. Glad the tutorial was useful!! ^_^

  3. Jenni
    July 25, 2015 at 4:57 pm (8 years ago)

    I love the image trace tool. Learning to turn my drawings/handwriting into vector images was HUGE for me as a designer. The Adobe Shape CC app for my iphone has actually changed my vector loving world lately. I simply take a snap of a drawing and it will trace it for me and let me upload to the cloud where I can access with illustrator to clean it up. SO easy.

    • Mandee
      July 27, 2015 at 11:42 am (8 years ago)

      Oh, no way!? I’ve never heard of that app before. My goodness, that sounds amazing! Thanks for telling me about it—you probably just changed my world too! 😀

  4. Sarah Simpspn
    December 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm (8 years ago)

    Love love all of your tutorials, they are so user friendly and easy to follow! You’ve changed my Illustrator experience! Ive been experimenting with image trace and for some reason I’m messing it up and need help. When I get to the changing colors step the fill color changes my entire box and only in grey scale. Or when I change the stroke color it only changes bits and leaves black lining. Help!

    • Mandee
      December 29, 2015 at 8:37 am (8 years ago)

      Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me, and I’m glad my tutorials have been useful to you. ^_^

      After you’ve done the image trace, make sure to go to Object>Image Trace>Expand. Otherwise, it will change the color of the whole box instead of just the image.

      As for the grayscale problem: check what color mode you’re in. Click on your color panel (if you don’t see it in your sidebar, go to Window>Color), and click on the little menu button for that panel in the upper righthand corner (the symbol is a little arrow and some small horizontal lines). There, you will see options for Grayscale, RGB, HSB, CMYK, and Web Safe RGB. Select RGB if you are creating an image to be used on the web and CMYK if you’re creating something for print.

      Hope that helps!


  5. Janie Pruitt
    February 20, 2017 at 11:11 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much for doing these tutorials! I am new to Illustrator, and it can be a bit overwhelming, but your videos are a life saver. I had a file that was already an SVG file, but it wasn’t pulling up in Design Space. I watched this tutorial and fixed the issue. You saved me a lot of hair pulling. Again thank you so much!

    • Mandee
      February 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm (7 years ago)

      You’re very welcome Janie! It makes me so happy to hear that my tutorials have helped! There’s always something new to learn, and I know I appreciate when I can find a quick fix to my problems as well. 🙂


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