Photoshop Tutorial – Make a Seamless Repeating Pattern

Many times you may run across a pattern that you would like to make into a seamless repeating pattern for backgrounds etc., or you may create such patterns. Here you will learn how to do just that.

Repeating Pattern

We will start by making the pattern. If you don’t need that part of the tutorial and you already have more than one repeat of the pattern on your canvas, move on to Step 12.

Resources:

Floral Image from stock.xchng

Mim’s Art Deco Brushes from adobe.com (free registration required)

Autumn Gradients – download here


Step 1

Open the Floral image in Photoshop

Image>Image Size – set the width to 800, auto height, click OK

Duplicate the background layer

Step 2

Image>Adjustments>Invert

Double click on the layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Gradient Overlay settings:

Swirls Gradient Overlay Settings

Step 3

Create a new layer

Select the Brush tool and deco_circle brush from Mim’s Art Deco brush set

Set the size to 319px (important that you use exactly this size)

Set the foreground colour to white

Place the shape over the image so that it completely covers the white box, click once

Rename the layer ‘deco circle’

Step 4

Create a new layer below the deco circle layer

Select the Ellipse tool and apply the following settings:

Ellipse Tool Settings

Set the foreground colour to grey #5B5A5A

Click once on the canvas to create a grey circle

Select the Move tool and move the circle behind the deco circle

Zoom into the image and use the arrow keys for precise alignment

Step 5

Double click on the deco circle layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Gradient Overlay settings:

Deco Circle Gradient Overlay Settings

Right click on any layer in the layers palette and click Flatten Image

Image>Image Size – set the width to 400, auto height, click OK

Step 6

Create a new file using the following settings:

New File Settings

Copy and paste the pattern into the new file

Duplicate the layer

Step 7

Move the duplicate layer to the right of the original

Ctrl + T to transform the object

Right click within the transform box and click Flip Horizontal

Make sure the images are precisely aligned next to each other:

Image Placement 1

Merge the 2 layers together

Duplicate the layer

Step 8

Ctrl + T to transform the object

Right click within the transform box and click Flip Vertical

  • This next part is down to personal choice and how you want your pattern to end up – I moved this layer quite a way down from the top part of the image. However far you decide to move it, do so with the arrow keys so that it stays perfectly in line with the top image

Image Placement 2

  • Now I want to move the images apart horizontally too, so merge the two pattern layers, duplicate the layer. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and drag out a selection as shown below.

Selection 1

  • Hit the Delete key. Move the selection using the arrow keys to the other half of the image, select the other pattern layer and hit the delete key. Now move the patterns apart as required.

Image Placement 3

Step 9

Fill the background layer with black

Right click on any layer and click Flatten Image

Step 10

Image>Image Size – set the width to 500, auto height, click OK

Duplicate the layer

Image>Canvas Size – apply the following settings:

Canvas Size Settings

Turn off the visibility of the background layer

Duplicate the copy layer

Move the new layer beside the first layer – you can either guess the distance or work it out using the guides and ruler tool – it depends how precise you want to be.

Merge these 2 layers together

Duplicate the layer

Move this new layer below the existing layer, placement the same as above.

Step 11

When you have all patterns placed as required, you should have a complete pattern of 4 florals and most of another pattern both horizontally and vertically, all perfectly aligned.

Right click on any layer and click Flatten Image

Select the Crop tool and crop the image as shown below – NOTE: This doesn’t have to be precise, but you have to crop off the top and left side of the pattern and make sure you keep parts of the second pattern both horizontally and vertically to match the patterns up:

Cropped Image

Step 12

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag out a selection across the top of the image as shown below – make sure the selection goes right to the very top of the image:

Selection 2

Edit>Copy (Ctrl + C)

Edit>Paste (Ctrl + V)

Select the Move tool, and using the arrow keys move the selection down until it matches perfectly with the beginning of the second pattern

Step 13

Make the background layer active

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag out a selection in the same way down the left side of the image – once again, making sure the selection goes right to the left of the image.

Edit>Copy (Ctrl + C)

Edit>Paste (Ctrl + V)

Select the Move tool, and using the arrow keys move the selection to the right until it matches perfectly with the beginning of the second pattern

Step 14

Turn off the visibility of the background layer

Your canvas should now look something like this:

Cropping Area

Select the Crop tool and drag out an area from the top left corner, that should snap to the inside edges of the pattern strips

Double click in the selected box to crop the image

Restore visibility to the background layer

Delete the other 2 layers, leaving just the background layer

Pattern

Step 15

Edit>Define Pattern

Give the pattern a name and click OK

Step 16

Test it out!

Create a new file around 1000px x 1000px

Duplicate the background layer

Double click on the layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options

Click on Pattern Overlay

Your newly created pattern should be the last pattern in the current palette

Step 17

If you wish to save the pattern

In the Patterns palette, right click on the patterns you don’t require and click Delete, leaving just your newly created pattern or patterns

Click on the small arrowhead top right of the pattern palette and select Save Patterns. Save in the normal manner by navigating to the file you would like to save it in, give it a name and click OK.

The finished project:

Pattern 1

Here are a couple of other ways you could arrange the basic pattern – the method of making it seamlessly repeatable is always the same, but the possible variations are endless.

Pattern 2

Pattern 3


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and that it has helped with understanding how to make repeating, seamless patterns that can be saved and used over and over.

Please leave any feedback comments you have on this tutorial below.

Carol

I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked