Premium Tutorial: Illustrator Seamless Patterns

illustrator seamless patterns

Secrets of Making Illustrator Seamless Patterns

If you ever tried making your illustrator seamless pattern, you probably have failed to make it tile perfectly. Things get even harder when the pattern is random and chaotic.

In this tutorial, I will show you my own unique technique of creating seamless patterns and tiles effortlessly. I will start with a leaf and show you how to create a pile of leaves with different shades. After that, I will reveal my trick to make it tile seamlessly. With this technique in hand, you will be able to create your own wallpaper patterns.

Difficulty: Basic - Intermediate tutorial
Requirements: Adobe Illustrator

What will you get?

    • Instant download of PDF e-book (10 pages)
    • Easy to follow with screenshots
    • Learn about using Symbol Sprayer
    • Discover the trick to create perfect seamless patterns
    • Learn to use illustrator pattern swatches to create repeated tiles
    • Source file for easy reference
    • 30 days money back guarantee if not satisfied

Tutorial Preview:

1. After you have drawn the graphic you would like to repeat, open up your Symbols Palette(Windows>Symbols). Select your graphic and drag it into the Symbols Palette to create an instance. Leave this object aside as we will not be using it anymore.

2. From your Tool Palette, select the Symbol Sprayer and click and drag to duplicate more symbol instances.

3. Under Symbol Sprayer, you can find the Symbol Sizer. Select it and click on the symbol instances to resize it. By default, the tool will increase the size of the symbol instances. Holding down the Alt/Option will decrease the size of the symbol instances. To change the settings for Symbol Sizer, you can double click on it to open up the Options window.

4. Now we will randomly rotate the leaves. Select the Symbol Spinner and click and drag in one direction to rotate it. Arrow icons will appear to indicate the direction it will spin towards. Repeat this for all the leaves until you get a pile of scattered leaves.

5. To create a variety of tones for the leaves, we will use the Symbol Stainer. Select a dark tone of green for your Fill in the Tool Palette. This will set the tint color. Click on areas you would like to tint with the chosen colour and spread it out evenly.

6. Next, we will use Object>Expand to expand the symbol instances. This will break it up into editable instances. By default, Illustrator places the symbol instances in a group after expanding it. Hence we will need to ungroup it by pressing Ctrl/Command+G.

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for LadyAngora
    LadyAngora June 9th

    fantastic! thanks so much for making this available… patterns have always thrown me, so this tutorial will come in handy. i look forward to your other premium tutorials!

  2. Gravtar for Eric
    Eric June 11th

    Awesome, thanks so much.

  3. Gravtar for Eman
    Eman June 11th

    very clear,intersting and useful,thanks.

  4. Gravtar for iStockdiary
    iStockdiary June 13th

    Thanks! My second Premium Tutorial will be coming out very soon. Remember to subscribe to my RSS so that you won’t miss it.

  5. Gravtar for Olisa in Germany
    Olisa in Germany June 19th

    Thank you very much for this great tutorial! Very uselful! Can’t wait to try it out!

  6. Gravtar for Sybille Yates
    Sybille Yates August 30th

    Would this tutorial also work for AI9? Thanks, SY

  7. Gravtar for Vectordiary
    Vectordiary August 30th

    Hi Sybille, I’m afraid Illustrator 9 doesn’t work as it doesn’t support symbol sprayer.

  8. Gravtar for Sybille yates
    Sybille yates August 31st

    What a pity! But thanks for the quick answer, give me a shout when you write one day a “seamless tutorial” for AI9. SY

  9. Gravtar for Lolly
    Lolly September 6th

    I want to make seamless patterns with complex swirls and flowers (I have something like what I want to make as the background to my website now). I have downloaded and purchased many.. but want to make something similar to what I use as my background (swirls and dashes on a large scale that). Will this tutorial help me create something like that?

  10. Gravtar for Vectordiary
    Vectordiary September 10th

    Hi Lolly, this tutorial will teach you how to make the 4 edges tile with your pattern. But for your pattern, you will still need to know how to use illustrator to draw the swirls and dashes. For such a complicated pattern, I will work on the edges and use my tiling technique to make sure they tile before working to the center of the tile.

  11. Gravtar for madhan
    madhan May 22nd

    thanks for u tutiorial it hepls me more to work in banner and other

  12. Gravtar for julie-anne graham
    julie-anne graham February 28th

    fantastic! worth the membership for this tutorial alone, has helped immensely! many thanks ja

  13. Gravtar for Anna Gagnon
    Anna Gagnon April 29th

    Hi! I really enjoy your website and I added you to my blog roll. If this is not okay for any reason, please contact me and I will remove your name. Thanks so much for all the great posts!