Sometimes, a design looks better when there’s more of it. But if you have the perfect design, is it possible to repeat the image to make a pattern? You’re in luck. It’s definitely possible, and we’ll show you the way. Here’s a relatively simple technique for using Photoshop to create a repeat without requiring a textile design plugin. The steps are taken from an online column by Frederick Chipkin, the author of Adobe Photoshop for Textile Design. Note: This is to create a pattern with a tiled effect. Unless you’re using an image with a borderless white background (like mine), the image won’t necessarily match up along the edges (a seamless repeat). If you’re looking to create a seamless repeat, check out this tutorial for making seamless repeats using Photoshop Elements, or this tutorial for repeats with Picmonkey.
1. Starting in Photoshop, open the image you want to be the basis of your repeat, then modify the canvas (in the top bar, click ‘image’ then ‘Canvas Size’ to reflect the size of the fabric you want to print (35″x35″ for example). This should create a white area around your image.
2. Using the rectangular Marquee tool, select the area for your pattern repeat.
3. In the Edit menu, drag down to choose “Define pattern.” In the dialog box, name your pattern and click ‘OK.’
4. Deselect the Marquee (‘Select menu’ -> ‘Deselect’ or on a Mac, hold ‘control’ and click the area).
5. Go to the Edit menu and drag down to ‘Fill.’ In the Fill dialog box, next to ‘Use” choose “Pattern.” You can now choose your selected image as a custom pattern. Click OK.
6. The area of your canvas around the original image should now be filled with your pattern. Congratulations! You have successfully repeated an image to make a pattern. Now, head to Spoonflower, upload your design, and create something beautiful!
As noted above, the new image might not ‘match up’ on the right/left and top/bottom, so there is a tiling effect. If you’re looking for how create a seamless repeat, check out this tutorial using Photoshop Elements, or this tutorial using Picmonkey.