Take a look around you, how many patterns do you see? They’re everywhere; on wallpaper, phone cases, shirts, cushions and so much more. You cannot go through a day without seeing a single pattern. Sure you can make one beautiful image that can be used once, or you could repeat your design infinitely which in turn will increase the possibilities of usage for your designs. Not only this but It’s hella fun to see your design turned into a pattern. Continue reading to find out how you can create simple patterns plus grab your free wrapping paper printable!
Create a simple image
The first step is pretty obvious, you need something to make a pattern from. This could be an existing image you have or you could create one from scratch. The best pattern making images have one main subject and then around 2 to 6 individual extra elements surrounding it. Sometimes you can get away with just one image if you want to make a clean simple pattern however I find the more elements the more seamless the pattern appears.
For this example I’ve created a quick simple leaf pattern in procreate and repeated the two different leaves multiple times using different colours within a palette. It’s important to use a solid colour background and to keep everything within the canvas
2. Preview the Pattern
Once you’re happy with the design you’ll want to bring it to life as a pattern. For this stage I don’t use any fancy software. I found a great free app called pattern maker that allows you to preview and manipulate your pattern and even zoom in and out to see the effect at different sizes. Surprisingly, I found some features of this app more complex than the illustrator pattern making functionality, such as reflecting the image. You could stop here if you just wanted an iPhone wallpaper or something that would be fine in a low resolution. If you want to learn how to take your design further and create actual usable patterns, keep reading!
3. Create the pattern
For this you will need to export your image to illustrator. To do this on procreate save your work for Photoshop and then simply right click the file to open it in illustrator. Here, you can get complicated. For seamless patterns there’s a process you can work with which involves copying the pattern and halving it on the top and bottom and then filling it in the centre. Also you can use the transform feature to create reflecting copies like in the pattern maker app but for this tutorial we want to keep it simple.
Once you have your image in illustrator select Object>Pattern>Make and a control panel will come up at the same time as showing a preview of your pattern. Title your pattern and play around with the tile type and even the width and height if necessary. Click done at the top and that’s it. To find your new pattern use the swatches panel, simply create shapes and fill them with your pattern!
4. Use your pattern
Now that you have created your simple pattern you start using it. The easiest way to do this is to print it off on your home printer on just a piece of A4 paper and wrap up small presents.
I hope you enjoyed learning to make a simple pattern
If you like my patterns be sure to please check out my portfolio below