Tutorial: Tile Pattern Design

I love patterns and love to create them. I see them as a way to make our world a more colorful place. If you look closely you’ll find that are patterns all around us: floor tiles, a fence, tree leaves and window sheds – all create patterns.

Surface design DIY tutorial

Geometric Tile Pattern Designs

There are many ways to design a pattern. One that I like in particular is the Geometric Tile Pattern Design. It is a simple and fun technique to create colorful patterns of your own, based on designing just one tile and then rotating it to create the pattern. You can’t always tell how the full pattern will turn out, and the fun part is putting the pattern together one tile at a time, and reveal it as you go.

How to design your own Geometric Tile Pattern:

You can draw by hand or by using a computer. If you draw by hand you’ll need to later scan your design and continue to work on the computer.

Use a square template or drawing surface for your tile. Fill the surface with geometric shapes – lines, circles, squares ect.

design scrapbook paper

Designing the tile

After you finish designing your tile, duplicate more copies of it (scan your design to the computer if you drew it by hand).

Put together the pattern in two phases:

1. Create a large tile using 4 small tiles: Place one tile as your base for the pattern. Each tile needs to be rotated 90 degrees in comparison to the previous tile. Clockwise or counter clockwise, it doesn’t matter, just pick one direction and stick to it. Take another tile, rotate it and place it under the first tile. Rotate the next tile and place it next to the 2nd tile. Rotate another one and place above the 3rd tile, to complete the layout or the large tile.

surface design DIY tutorial

Rotate to create a large tile

2. Duplicate more copies of your large tile and align them in rows and columns to create the full pattern.

Design a Geometric Tile Pattern

Building the full pattern design

Some tips and tricks:

  • Creating a tile pattern is about experimenting. Try drawing different shapes in various directions and see what patterns you get each time.
  • Keep the tile design simple – use a few geometric shapes in plain colors. The complexity of the pattern is created once you rotate the tiles and put them together.
  • Diagonal lines work very well for these patterns.
  • Pay attention to what you draw in the corners, as this is the point where the tiles join to create the pattern.
how to make a repeat pattern

Finished geometric tile pattern

What to do with your finished pattern:

  • Print and create unique wrapping paper, gift boxes and greeting cards.
  • Print and make home decor like desk organizers, paper flowers and ornaments.
  • Use for digital scrap booking.
  • Use as a background or a design element on your blog.

What would you use your patterns for? Share your ideas on the comments below!

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