Surface pattern design is not just for the professionals! If you’ve ever browsed our Marketplace for unicorn, confetti or even motorcycle fabric, there’s a good chance you’ve been curious to know how designers have created their seamless repeats. Today we’re putting the tools into your own hands (professional, aspiring or otherwise) with a simple step-by-step tutorial that shows one way to create your very own seamless repeat design, no fancy editing software required!
Step 1: Create your drawing. The key is not to let any of your artwork go off the page—keep it contained!
Step 2: Cut your paper in half. Once you have your drawing how you’d like it, cut your paper in half lengthwise using a craft knife or scissors.
Step 3: Swap and tape. Switch the two pieces of paper without rotating them and tape them together on the reverse side.
Step 4: Cut your paper in half again. Using the same process, cut your paper down the middle widthwise.
Step 5: Swap and tape. Switch these two pieces of paper without rotating them and tape them together on the reverse side.
Step 6: Brainstorm. You will now see that you have bisected your art in both directions and there will be an empty area in the middle of your drawing. You’ll need to fill in the blank space.
Step 7: Keep designing. Use your pen or pencil to add to your design so there aren’t any gaps and the spacing of your artwork feels consistent. You can continue to add design elements throughout, just remember to stay off the edges.
Step 8: Color your artwork. Use markers, pencils or crayons to color in elements of your pattern if you’d like. Leave the background white for best results.
That’s it! Scan your artwork into your computer as a JPG at 150 DPI or higher, and upload* the file to Spoonflower as a basic repeat. You now have a seamless design that’s ready to turn into fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap. For more inspiration and tips such as how to choose a color palette for your new repeat, check out our 12 Day of Design blog post!
*You may wish to “clean up” any stray lines in Photoshop or Illustrator before uploading to Spoonflower.