I just realized I have hit over 1000 posts on my blog. Wow, I need to go celebrate!
Today I wanted to put together a little tutorial to show you one way I create a simple seamless, repeating pattern that can be used to make custom digital paper. I love making my own digital paper and once you see how easy it is to make your own you might get addicted. :-) If you like the paper I made in this tutorial you can download it on the bottom of this post.
I usually use designs from one of my favorite site, The Graphics Fairy, but yesterday I was trying to find clipart of some fall leaves and I came across Clker.com which has public domain free clipart for download. I just found this site and can't vouch for it, but it has some cute clipart so I wanted to share the link with you.
I did a search for Thanksgiving and decided to use a cute pumpkin in my tutorial today.
When you open your clipart in Photoshop/PSE, make sure you remove any white background. I double click on the clipart in the layer pane to turn it into an editable layer so I can remove the white.
Use the magic wand to select the white area around the clipart, then press delete.
Once your clipart has a transparent background, you can create your seamless pattern. Create a new document, 600x600 pixels with a transparent background.
Add the clipart to the middle of the document. Resize to taste.
Go to Filter, Other, Offset and put in -300 and -300 and make sure "Wrap Around" is selected. Now you can see that the pumpkin is on the edges of your document.
Add a single clipart in the middle. You can adjust the size/angle by free transforming it (Control-T or Cmd-T in Mac). You can also add more than one, in different positions, but that is a different tutorial. :-)
Go to Edit, Define Pattern and give the pattern a name and save it.
To create a sheet of digital paper, make a new document 12x12 inches, 240 pixels/inch with a transparent background.
Click the "G" on your keyboard to select the little paint bucket (not the gradient) and select Pattern and find your new pattern.
Click on the new blank document to add the pattern. Some of my pumpkins are missing part of their stem. If your pattern doesn't look perfect, go back and make sure you put the clipart in the middle of your blank document before using the offset filter. You might have to move it around a bit to get a perfect seamless pattern.
As you can see my pumpkins don't line up properly on the document (they are cut off on the left) and that annoys me. But there is an easy fix!
Free Transform that layer and resize and move the pumpkins until they fit.
Add a color fill adjustment layer under the pattern to add a background color. I clicked on the orange of the pumpkin and then made the final color lighter.
I really wanted the pumpkins to be smaller on my paper. To do this, go back to the pattern you made and make it 300x300 pixels (Image, Image Size).
Save this pattern and put "small" in the name.
Now the pumpkin size is perfect! But the background needs something, it is too boring.
I made a pattern of dots similar to the way I made the pumpkin pattern, and I added them to the paper. I added a color fill layer to the dots layer so I could play around to get the perfect color combo. I also lowered the opacity of the dots layer so they would be subtle. You could add stripes or anything else you want to your paper. And if you save it as a psd file with all of the layers you can create different color versions.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making your own custom digital paper. If you want the pumpkin paper I created in this tutorial, click here for an instant free download.
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.