How To Make Repeating Patterns With Photographs
Repeating patterns, how you can make them with photographs.
Repeating patterns are used on items like; wallpaper, floor covering, curtain material and decorative wrapping paper.
These are designed to have a pattern repeat over and over again, without showing a starting or finishing point.
They can be soft and subtle or brash and bold, as long as they are ever repeating patterns.
The softer designs suit products like floor covering and wall parer, the louder work on fabric and wrapping paper.
Chose a photo to make a repeating pattern
This is how I use photographs to make generally loud repeating patterns.
First I chose a photograph, and it can be absolutely anything, although some will work better than others.
The one I chose for this is a photo of some shrubs with red berries.
The berries look like holly, but I don’t think it is, it doesn’t look like holly, and it’s only September.
First I created a blank canvas the same size as the photo. It doesn’t have to be the same size, but it does have to have the same aspect ratio.
I reduced the original to half the width, and half the height. That’s a quarter of the main photo, in area.
Assembling the repeating pattern
I pasted the reduced version of the image into the top left of the blank canvas, just above.
At this stage there’s just the one part in the otherwise white image.
Next I pasted the same reduced version of the image into the top right of the emerging picture.
Then I turned it horizontally so that it mirrors the top left corner.
At this stage the new image is beginning to take shape and is half of it is completed.
So I paste the reduced image into it again, this time to the bottom left.
This time I turned the newly pasted part vertically, mirroring the part above it.
To complete the new picture I again paste the same reduced version of the original photograph.
As the bottom right is the only blank part remaining, that’s where it goes.
To finish the repeating pattern I turn this newly pasted part both horizontally and vertically.
The result is a seamless image that will repeat endlessly.
Stitching the finished pattern together
Once the repeating pattern has been completed, let’s see how it works.
To do this I just repeat what I’ve done already, but using the assembled image rather than the original photo.
Start with another blank canvas, either the same size of the finished image, or four times larger.
If you opt for four times larger, the sides should be twice the length of the image you created.
Should you use the large canvas, use the full sized finished pattern image.
If you use the canvas the size of the pattern image, then reduce the image size.
I would use the smaller canvas, and scale down the image, because the file size will be smaller.
You will end with an image like the one above, fitting together seamlessly.
Some more examples of repeating patterns
Below here I’m showing you several more repeating pattern examples that I’ve created.
Most of these were created some time ago just for my own amusement.
I think some of them might be suitable for gift wrapping paper, but a bit loud for other uses.
Have a look and see what you think of the project.
Try it yourself
Most of the photographs here are in 3:2 aspect ratio, but the last five are in 4:3.
Now, try it with some of your own photographs, you may create interesting and useable patterns.
In the images that I’ve created, I used complete photographs.
However I expect If you used part of a photo, it would work just as well, perhaps better.
Just remember to adjust the size of the blank canvas you use, to the size of the part photograph.
You probably have some photographs which don’t work well as photos, they might make recurring designs.