Ever wanted to create a seamless pattern background on illustrator? Here’s a tutorial to help you create your own pattern.
First prepare the graphics you want to place in your pattern.
Create a square that is 72px x 72px. (NOTE: Dimensions can be whatever you want it to be as long as each side is equal. The color of the square shouldn’t matter. We are going to remove the stroke and fill in the last step. I only kept it colored so I know where the edge of the square is.)
Place grab one of your graphic element on the left corner of your square. It can be placed in any orientation.
Select your graphic. Copy and paste in front (Windows: ctrl+f)(Mac: option+f). With the copied graphic still selected, go to your Transform window. On the “X” input box, type “+72px” right after the current numbers that is in box. Press Enter. This will move the copied graphic to the right 72px.
Select the graphic on the right and copy and paste in front. Go back to the transform box, and on the “Y” input box type “-72px”. Press Enter. This will move the graphic down by 72px.
Now, we’re going to copy and paste in front the current graphic. Go to the Transform window again. On the “X” input box type “-72px” after the current numbers. Press Enter. This will move the copied graphic to the left by 72 pixels.
After we’re done doing the corners, we will place in the graphics that will fill the top, bottom, left, and right sides.
So first, we would need to grab the graphic we want to place in the top. With that graphic selected, we would need to copy and paste in place.
With the copied graphic selected. Go to the Transform window. On the “Y” input field , type “-72px”. This will move the copied graphic to 72 pixels to the bottom.
Now, we’re going to add graphic on the right and left sides. Copy and paste in place the graphic element on the right. (NOTE: I changed the color of the square because it was bothering me.)
Repeat Step 8 and Step 9 to add more graphic elements. Remember the top and bottom needs to be mirrored. Same as the left and right sides.
On the center, you can design it however you want. Here’s my example.
After we are done placing all the graphic elements the way we like, remove the stroke and fill of the square.
(NOTE: If you want to have a colored background you need two squares. One for the background color and another for the blank square. The blank square needs to be on the very bottom of all the layers)
Select all the graphic for your pattern including the blank square.
Open the Swatch window. With the graphic for your pattern selected, drag them to the swatches window.
On the swatches window, you will see your graphic copied as a swatch. You can now draw a square, click on fill and click on your pattern on the swatch window.
There you go!
Creative ways to use this technique:
- http://www.gelaskins.com/ – custom iphone skin
- http://www.spoonflower.com/ – print your own custom fabric
- Stationary – Wedding invitations, Thank you cards, etc.