This is a simple step-by-step guide to show you how to make a repeating pattern. It's the first of a three part guide to different techniques. All we want to do is share the basic principles with you, so you can be creative in whatever platform or medium you usually use – we won't be showing you how to design or how to use software. (If you want software tips, we really recommend lynda.com). This week's technique is great for free-style, loose patterns and dense, irregular patterns. What's really great about it is that it works equally well if you're designing on a computer or on an old-fashioned piece of paper ... nice.
1. Start with a rectangle or a square. (It has to be a regular shape). Draw a simple design in the middle of the shape but don't allow it to touch the edges.
2. Cut the shape into four.
Remember: in all stages of pattern design, accuracy is key. Everything must match up seamlessly or you'll run into serious problems.
3. Rejoin the quarters. Swap left for right, and top for bottom. Each of the four corners now has a section of the design.
4. Fill in the blank centre of the shape with anything you fancy but again, make sure your design doesn't touch the edge.
5. Now tile/repeat and you have a seamless pattern. That's it, you're done!
Change the colour, go crazy ... stay tame ... you're now a pattern designer.