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How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop {Feathers my pattern for September.}


Here is my pattern design for September. As you may have seen, I’ve been drawing and painting feathers all month, so it’s seemed appropriate to turn them into a pattern. I pieced this pattern together from my sketchbook (see below). I wanted this pattern to be much tighter than ones I’ve designed so far this year. This tighter pattern, required more playing and arranging in Photoshop becauses once I thought the pattern was “set” and I tried repeating it, things would overlap and I’d have to readjust and try repeating it again.

If you know Photoshop and want to try creating a pattern, I’ve included my steps below.

Creating a pattern in Photoshop:

  1. Scan artwork
  2. In Photoshop: separate each element of your design into different layers
  3. Within your artboard, create the area for your “repeat” using guides. (translation: use guides to create a box within your artboard. You can expand the canvas size before this step.)
  4. Arrange your elements. They can go over the guides.
  5. On a separate layer outline the guides to make a box.
  6. Create a group with the box and element layers – call it “original”
  7. Duplicate the “original” group. Drag to the right so the left edge of the box touches the right guide
  8. Duplicate the group again. Drag to the left so the right edge of the box touches the left guide
  9. Select the three groups and duplicate them. Drag the 3 duplicate layers up, so the bottom of the boxes touch the top guide
  10. Duplicate the three groups again. Drag them down, so the top of the boxes touch the bottom guide
  11. If any adjustments need to be made – delete all but your “original” group, make the adjustments and repeat steps 7-10
  12. When you are happy with your repeating pattern, hide all the layers with the box outline.
  13. Crop to the guides to create your “repeat.”


Below, you can see my boxes. The center box is where I have my guides (which are not visible).

Slight variations on my feather pattern.
No distress in the background. 

Distress shows yellow.

Which one do you like best? 🙂

Copyright 2015 Eileen McKenna. All rights reserved.

Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Watercolor Artist, seascape painter, collector of creative inspiration. Sign up for my newsletter to receive the free pdf "Watercolor Basics"! Visit:

16 thoughts on “How to create a repeating pattern in Photoshop {Feathers my pattern for September.}

  1. Hi Eileen, thank you for the pattern instruction. I’ve not made a fabric pattern before, so this helpful.
    I love your feathers, I like both prints. Are you going to have some fabric made?

  2. Beautiful pattern. I like both prints, they have a different and unique feel to them. Thank you for sharing the process.

  3. What a beautiful feather pattern 🙂 I really like it! Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Infinity dreams award. If you would like to take part, please do 🙂 My post is here

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