How to create a pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Want to learn how to create a pattern, but don’t know how? Follow my simple process in this blog post to learn how to create a pattern today.

  1. Create a new artboard of any size in Adobe Illustrator. I would recommend at least 2000px x 2000px.
  2. Click File > Place to import your favourite vectors and assemble a rough pattern. I imported my own drawings as transparent PNGS, which is another option for you.
Example of a rough pattern I created using my own drawings
  1. Select all your pattern items and click Window > Pattern Options.
  2. Within Pattern Options, click Make Pattern from the burger menu and name your pattern.
  3. In the Pattern Options dialog box, uncheck Dim copies to: and Size Tile to Art; leave Show Tile Edge and Move Tile with Art ticked.
how to create a pattern in Adobe Illustrator
Pattern Options dialog box
  1. Experiment with the Tile Type and different settings to suit your pattern.
  2. Rearrange your pattern items to improve your overall pattern design.
  3. To exit Pattern Options, click Done at the top of the screen.
  4. To return to Pattern Options and make further adjustments, click on your pattern in the Swatches panel.
  5. If you wish, you can also fill in some of the gaps in the pattern with different shapes.
  6. When you are happy with your pattern design, click Done again.
  7. To apply your new pattern, draw a rectangle to cover the artboard. Then click on your new pattern swatch to fill the rectangle.
  8. Depending on how you want the pattern to appear when scaled, click Window > Transform. You can either select Transform Object Only from the burger menu, which means that only the object being scaled transforms; or you can select Transform Pattern Only, which means only the pattern changes. The most common and the default option is Transform Both.


If you use Transform Pattern Only, you must divide the height and width by 2.

how to create a pattern in Adobe Illustrator
To divide the height and width by 2, add /2 beside the width and ensure the link icon is on

Finally, the following is an example of the pattern I created, using the steps above.

My pattern


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