If you wonder how to make a seamless repeating pattern in Procreate wonder no more: the technique I’m about to show you take about 10 seconds to set up.
To make a repeating pattern in Procreate you create a square canvas with a square shape that functions as a template in which your design stays within. Next, you duplicate the template and design 4 times and position them in each leftover corner.
Sounds confusing? Well, this technique is much simpler than the technique you find elsewhere on the internet… Once I explain everything will make sense. Let’s start learning this easy technique!
1. Create a new canvas in Procreate
First, you need an appropriately sized canvas.
- Open Procreate and hit the plus button in the top right corner
- Next, hit the plus button of the newly popped-up panel again to customize your canvas
- Put ”5000” in the width and height section. The number doesn’t matter as long as it’s at least 2048 pixels big. Make sure both numbers are the same: we want a square canvas
- The higher the number of pixels, the fewer layers you’ll have to work with
- For the DPI you fill in ”300” if you want to print your pattern. If you want to keep your pattern for online use only you can put ”72” in there
- The higher the DPI the fewer layers you’ll have to work with
- Hit Create once you’re done
What size should my canvas be?
If you’re going to have your pattern printed, go to the website of the company you’ll use for prints. They should have information on how big your files should be. RedBubble for example has an entire section dedicated to appropriate file size. Always use 300 DPI for printing, and 72 DPI for online use only.
Learn here what the best canvas settings in Procreate are!
2. Create a square
Now that you have a newly opened canvas you pick a black color and drag the color from the color picker to your canvas and release it so the entire canvas gets filled.
- Hit the transform button (arrow button)
- Go to snapping
- Enable snapping and magnetics
3. Rotate your square
Now that we are still in transform mode, you see that the square has two handles: a green one and an orange one. The green one rotates the pixels, and the orange one rotates the bounding box.
The bounding box is important because this is how we tell Procreate how we want to transform (edit) our shape.
- While still in transform mode, you’re now you’re going to rotate the square so that it’s 45 degrees rotated, using the green handle on top of your square.
- Next, you grab the orange handle, which is the handle that rotates the bounding box, and rotate it back to a square (0 degrees) just like in the following picture:
4. Scale down the square to fit the canvas
While you’re still in transform mode,
- Select uniform
- Scale the square down so it fits precisely onto your canvas. Each point of the square should touch the border of your white canvas. The orange guidelines will pop up if it’s an exact fit
Exit transform mode by tapping on the layer’s panel.
5. Lower the opacity of the square and create a new layer
Next, we lower the opacity of the square so it’s easier for us to work with. To do this, you:
- Select the layer with your square
- Click on ”N”
- Lower the opacity to about 25%
- Hit the plus icon to create a new layer
- Draw your pattern within the square guide on the newly created layer
Now you can start drawing your pattern. You can use as many layers as you like. Make sure to not draw directly onto your square, as this is only a guide and will be deleted later.
Make sure that the design will be inside the square. Don’t accidentally go outside of it as this will mess up the repeating pattern.
Here’s my example:
Remember that since we’re using a high-resolution canvas your layers are limited, so you might have to merge layers as you go.
6. Merge your designs and group your layers
- If you haven’t already, merge all of your designs onto one layer
- Select every layer you want to merge > pinch them together to merge
- Select both your square and merged design layer, and hit Group
This new group will be your original layer. You can name it to avoid confusion later.
7. Duplicate your original pattern
Slide the newly created group to the left and hit Duplicate
8. Drag the duplicated group to start the repeating pattern
Next, you’re going to hit the transform button (arrow) and drag the duplicated group to one of the corners. Since snapping is still on, your square guide should snap easily to exactly fit the white part.
If it’s a perfect match you’ll see the orange guidelines pop up. If it’s not a perfect match, the black squares will overlap resulting in a darker edge.
Make sure to line up the squares perfectly. The following image is wrongly lined up as you see an overlap of the squares:
9. Repeat step 7 to fill the leftover white parts
Once again you’re going to duplicate the original group and drag the duplicated group toward the other white corners and line them up perfectly. Repeat this until you filled every corner.
You should have 5 groups in total, including your original group.
10. Delete your square guidelines
Next, you uncheck the visibility of your squares. You may also delete them if you wish. Do this in every single group until there are no more squares visible.
11. Fill in the gaps
Now we create a new layer by hitting the plus icon. Now we can fill in the gaps. Just make sure to not go outside of your canvas. Keep within the whites.
I added some sparkles in my example:
12. Save your repeating pattern because you’re done
Now you’re done! Your pattern is now a repeating seamless pattern. Save your pattern:
- Go to Actions (wrench icon)
- Go to Share
- Hit PNG or JPEG
If you now put the same image next to itself it’ll reveal a repeating seamless pattern!