It can be difficult to get your head around how seamlessly repeating patterns work. Any objects that ‘fall off’ one side must reappear on the opposite side of the pattern tile, much like the retro arcade game Asteroids. This allows the pattern to continue over an infinite area, by enlarging the pattern area as the tile graphic is duplicated. Thankfully there’s a clever technique that can be used within Photoshop that makes the process of creating custom patterns easy. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a repeating rustic themed pattern with the help of Photoshop’s Offset filter.

How to Create Repeating Patterns in Adobe Photoshop

The pattern I’ll be creating in this tutorial makes use of some beautiful paintings from The Watercolor Bundle, which is just one of hundreds of premium design resources that are available to Access All Areas members. A selection of illustrations are randomly composed into a pattern tile that seamlessly repeats without any gaps.

Since this pattern will be created from several individual illustrations, an easy way to open them into Photoshop is to use the Load Files Into Stack script, which will automatically place each graphic onto a separate layer within one document.

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9 Comments

  1. Great tutorial! I just wanted to add something from my own experience as a textile designer. The offset values are easier to manipulate for textile design if the document DPI becomes 254dpi. Textile repeats are usually even divisions of 64cm width. If you use 254dpi, then moving art around means just typing in “6400” for 64cm, “3200” for 32cm, etc.. And another textile repeat go to is doing a “half-drop” repeat which allows you to vary the pattern more with less elements. In a half-drop repeat, the entire repeat section is moved over and then down by half the length. So using the easier to plug-in numbers you get when you use 254dpi and get simpler number values makes it so much easier. Go metric!!

  2. Wow! That was awesome! I’m still learning a ton about Photoshop (aren’t we all?), and this was so fun and useful! Thanks, Chris!

  3. OMG, I’ve been looking for a tutorial on creating seamless patterns in Photoshop that I could UNDERSTAND and follow for ages! This was so easy – thank you SO MUCH!

  4. Thanks ! Please do more on textile applications – like color separations etc . Your tuts are very simple and effective , thanks again!

  5. This is very cool! I think repeatable patterns were one of the first things I tried to learn in PS! LOL Thank you!

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