How to Create an Organic Repeat in Photoshop


So you're in Photoshop wanting to make a repeating pattern. You're staring at that Offset button...and it has that smug look on its stupid face again. "Yessss... you have to click me to make a repeat in Photoshop,"  it leers in that mathematical way it does. And THEN...from the View menu comes a unicorn!  What's on the unicorn, you ask?! GUIDES of Organic Fury!

Okay, okay, they're really just Photoshop guides. You got me.  Today you'll learn how to use guides to help you create your own repeats without using that Offset Method that most people learn by. 

Why should you trust me?

I was an in-house designer for 10 years (2006-2016) for two textile companies, including Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  We did repeats all the time and there's nothing faster than doing it organically.  I can't say every designer there did it this way, but many did. (Yes, even your favorite designers need their designs fixed by professional pattern technicians/stylists!)  If you really want to make your own repeats, use this method. 

However, I really only recommend putting your stuff into repeat for services that need it like Spoonflower, or if it's specifically requested.  Otherwise, don't waste your time.  It's actually way more annoying for in-house artists to fix your repeat and make it the correct scale/size/spread that works for their market.  Mock Repeats (or not technical repeats) are the way to go. But if you must...

Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

Tired of the Offset Method? Try this tutorial on creating repeats organically.

Tired of the Offset Method? Try this tutorial on creating repeats organically.

How to create an organic repeat in Photoshop. An organic repeat is just making a repeating pattern by hand and not using any of the razzle dazzle functions like Offset (UGH) within said program.

You can view it above , but I'd suggest clicking on that itty bitty HD button to view it on Vimeo so it's not blurry.