Updated in August 2017 for Adobe Photoshop CC.
There are many ways to make a seamless honeycomb pattern in Photoshop and today I will show you my favorite technique. Once you understand the method used in this tutorial, you will be able to experiment with different sizes and even other shapes, like triangles.
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I’m very new at this and very nervous, so please excuse my mistakes ?
Here’s how to make a seamless honeycomb pattern in Photoshop. Scroll down for the written tutorial.
How to make a seamless honeycomb pattern in Photoshop
To start, open a new document and choose the size and resolution you want. I’m using an 800 x 800px canvas at 72ppi. I’m going to start with a transparent background, but you can also use a white background and delete it later. I use a transparent background because I want to be able to recolor the pattern.
Set the foreground color to black or your favorite color and create a hexagon using the Polygon Tool. Make sure the Sides are set to 6.
Create two new hexagons by duplicating the original polygon and align them with the first hexagon. Leave a gap between them. You can leave as much space as you want, just make sure the gaps are the same size.
Tip: Turn on Smart Guides by going to View > Show > Smart Guides. This will help you align the shapes.
Duplicate the first two layers and move them on top of the first three hexagons.
Duplicate the two hexagons that are on top and move them under the three hexagons.
This is how your honeycomb will look like:
Using the Move Tool, select the three hexagons that are in the middle and move them slightly up and down and left and right until they are centered. The pink smart guides will appear on the screen when they are centered.
Now that we have the honeycomb made of seven hexagons, we will have to crop them. To help you do that, turn on the rulers from View > Rulers (Ctrl + R). Also make sure View > Snap (Ctrl + Shift + ; ) is checked.
You will have to add two horizontal rulers and two vertical rulers.
Select the hexagon that’s on the left side of the top row (number 1 in the image). Click on the top ruler and drag a guide until it reaches the middle of the hexagon. You will feel it snapping into place when it’s in the middle.
Do the same for the hexagon number 2.
Select the hexagon labeled 3 in the image above and drag a vertical guide from the ruler that’s on the left side. You will feel it snapping into place when it’s in the center of the hexagon.
Do the same for hexagon number 4.
Now we will crop the honeycomb pattern. Use the Crop Tool to select the area that’s inside the guides.
Click on the check button that’s on the upper right side of the screen to save the changes.
To save the seamless honeycomb pattern, go to Edit > Define Pattern.
How to make a hexagon background
We are going to use the seamless hexagon pattern and create a background for your graphics.
Make a new canvas and choose the size you want. Using the Fill Tool, recolor the background layer.
Create a new layer and go to Edit > Fill and choose the honeycomb pattern from the drop-down list.
Let’s change the color of the honeycomb pattern. Create a new layer that’s on top of the pattern layer and change its color using the Fill Tool.
Use a clipping mask to change the color of the hexagon. Make sure the solid color layer is selected and go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt + Ctrl +D).
If you want to color only a few hexagons, like I did in the featured image, you can do so by using the Fill Tool and clicking on each hexagon that you want to recolor. Make sure that you do this on the original hexagon background and the clipping mask is hidden.
That’s it! You now have a honeycomb pattern to use as a background for your website or to use in your projects.
Was this tutorial helpful? Learn how to make more seamless patterns here.