In this tutorial, I want to show you how to make three types of seamless striped patterns in Illustrator. We are going to make horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, and diagonal stripes using the pattern tool. Let’s get started!
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How to make a seamless horizontal striped pattern in Illustrator
We are going to start with a seamless horizontal striped pattern. This is really easy to make, so open Illustrator and create a new artboard. The size of the artboard is not important for this pattern.
Set the fill color to one of the two colors you want to use and remove the stroke. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a stripe. Mine is 4 inches wide and 1 inch in height.
Duplicate the stripe and change its fill color to the second color you want to use. You can hold down the Alt key and click on the first stripe to duplicate it. Also, hold down the Shift key when you move it under the first stripe to align them. The two stripes have to be perfectly aligned.
Group the two shapes together by right-clicking on them and selecting Group (Ctrl + G) from the menu.
Select the shapes and go to Object > Pattern > Make.
This will open the pattern tool. Your pattern should already be seamless, so click on Done to save it.
Don’t delete the two shapes yet.
Your pattern will now appear in the Swatches panel. If you want to edit it, just double-click on the pattern swatch and it will take you back to the pattern tool menu.
If you want to test it, use the Rectangle tool to create a large rectangle. Apply the pattern by changing the Fill color to the striped pattern swatch.
How to make a seamless vertical striped pattern in Illustrator
We are going to use the two stripes to create a vertical striped pattern. Select them and rotate them using the Rotate tool. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate and change the angle to 90°.
Just like before, go to Object > Pattern > Make or drag your shapes into the Swatches panel. The vertical striped pattern will appear in the panel.
You can test it by drawing a shape and applying the new pattern.
How to make a seamless diagonal pattern in Illustrator
The seamless diagonal striped pattern is a little bit harder to make. We will use the Line Segment tool and the Blend tool to create it.
Make sure your artboard is a square. Mine is 12 by 12 inches, but you can use a smaller one.
Using the Line Segment tool, draw a line that’s larger than the artboard. Hold down the Shift key while you draw to create a straight line. Set the Fill color to none and select a Stroke color. Also, make the stroke larger. I’m using 40pt because I have a large artboard.
Go to Object > Transform > Rotate and set the angle to 45°.
Make sure that the line is larger than the diagonal of the square.
Using the Selection Tool (V), move the line to the upper left corner of your artboard.
Create a copy of the line and move it to the lower right corner of the artboard. You can use the Move tool for this. Select the first line and go to Object > Transform > Move. Enter the full width of your artboard for Horizontal and the full height for Vertical. Click on Copy to move a copy of the line.
Select both stripes and go to Object > Blend > Make. This will create the initial blend of the stripes. Don’t worry if you can’t see stripes yet.
Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Change the Spacing to Specified Steps and enter the number of stripes you want. If you want to create a seamless pattern, use an odd number of steps.
Select the stripes and go to Object > Expand. This will turn the object into line segments. Go to Object > Expand again to turn the lines into shapes. You will only be able to crop the pattern when you have a fill color and no stroke.
Use the Rectangle tool to create a background that is the size of your artboard. Use the Align tools to align it to the artboard. Send it to the back ( Shift + Ctrl + [ ).
We will delete everything that’s outside the artboard. So copy the background (Ctrl + C) and paste it on top of your stripes (Ctrl + F). Make sure that the rectangle on top is also perfectly aligned to the artboard.
Select everything and go to the Pathfinder tool. You can open it from Window > Pathfinder (Shift + Ctrl + F9). Click on Crop to delete the stripes that are outside the artboard.
Select the striped pattern and drag it to the Swatches panel. You should have a seamless diagonal striped pattern.
Draw a shape that’s larger than your artboard and apply the pattern to test it.
Tip: If you want to recolor your patterns, double-click on the pattern swatch in the Swatches panel and select the stripes or the background using the Selection Tool (V). Change the Fill color and click on Done to save it.
Hope you’ve enjoyed making seamless striped patterns in Illustrator. Please let me know if you have any questions.