In this tutorial we’ll be creating a repeating pattern using a couple of illustrations from Fotolia:


abstract clematis flower illustration isolated on white

abstract pink flower illustration isolated on white

The idea here is to make sure that the edges of the document leads seamlessly into a duplicate. To do this we’ll be making the ‘outer design’ and then filling in the centre.

Setting Up

For this image I’m going to use a document that’s 1000 x 1000 pixels. It doesn’t have to be a square but when I’m doing something like this it’s how I prefer to work.



I want things to be quite regimental in this image so I’ll create a set of guides to help find the centre:



Pre Photoshop CC users will need to use the New Guide option and make guides 50% horizontal and 50% vertical

Add the ‘Outer design’ Element


I’ve added and resized the flower, I’ve also added a mask at this point too as I’d like to add a background layer later.

You can see that I’ve used the guides to add the flower to the centre, it doesn’t have to be exactly in the middle but I think my final pattern will look best if it is.

Offset the ‘Outer Design’

For housekeeping I’ll convert this layer to a Smart Object:


To split this element up and to have it seamlessly repeat go to the menu: Filter > Other > Offset


The Horizontal and Vertical figures in the dialogue box should be half the document size. In this case 500 and 500 pixels.

This offsets the layer and creates a seamless pattern.


Because this is a Smart Object the Offset Filter is added as a Smart Filter, meaning it can be changed again should I wish by double clicking on it.

Add the ‘Inner Design’ and Background

By pushing the design to the edge I now have a large blank area in the centre. As I did before I’ll add a flower element and add a mask to this and a texture to the back of the design elements.

NB: I’ve been careful to add a background that repeats or has no obvious pattern.



Define The Pattern

So that I can use the pattern later I need to add it to the Patterns in Photoshop. To do this I choose: Edit > Define Pattern


There was no need to flatten the image or select multiple layers, Photoshop will define the pattern from what’s visible. Name the new pattern:


Using The Pattern

For this example I’ll create a new document 3000 x 3000 pixels:


I’ll create a New Layer and fill it with white. For the pattern to show the layer must have pixels on it.

Open the Layer Effects from the FX menu, or double clicking the layer in the Layers panel:


From the dialogue box that appears I’ll click the down arrow next to the pattern and click the pattern I just made:


The layer will fill with the pattern, I can adjust the size with the Scale slider:


Patterns are used throughout the Layer Effects, here I’ve used them inside a live Text layer:


As always, a huge thanks to Eric for supplying this tutorial. Stay tuned for next week and in the meantime, check out more of his tutorials on his website, YouTube and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter should you wish to get in touch with him!