A PATTERN WORKSHOP WITH STEPH STILWELL
Hey, I'm Steph Stilwell, an illustrator and designer based in Brooklyn, NY! Today I'm taking over a Papergang blog post and going to teach you how to make a groovy pattern! Let's get started:
These directions can be used the good ol-fashioned way to make a pattern by hand (which can be repeated through the magic of a copy machine, tracing, stenciling or stamping). Or if you’re technologically savvy, you can create your tile in a program like Photoshop and repeat it using the program. Either way, the directions remain the same, just the supplies are different.
Prepare your canvas! Decide what shape you want your piece of paper to be that you work on (for you beginners, squares are a good place to start for when we get to measuring). Once you have the sheet of paper you’re going to work on, measure and mark halfway both vertically and horizontally.
Start your pattern! Draw as much or as little as you’d like, overlapping, or not. The only rule is do not let anything run off the edge.
Cut it up! Once you’re content with how much you’ve drawn in the center of your tile, cut it into four pieces using the halfway marks you made in step one. Then, swap each of the pieces diagonally (check out the diagram!) Now tape down your pieces in this new place.
Finish up! You might notice that now the center of your tile is empty, and so once again you can fill in that empty space as much or as little as you’d like - but again, don’t draw anything that touches the edges! Also, if you tile your pattern and there seems to be some gaps or awkward empty spaces, you can swap the tiles diagonally and rework into them as many times as you need!
And that’s it! Now you have a tile that can repeat endlessly! What should you do with this tile? Well, you can photocopy it and paste your newly made pattern all over your home. You can make your tile into a stencil or a stamp and cover whatever surface you can get your hands on. And if you’re one of those technically savvy folks, you can print your pattern on just about anything imaginable and even make your own desktop background demonstrated below! (Psst, click on the pattern above to download it and set it as your own wallpaper)
You can print out Steph’s handy pattern sheet below, so you can stick it up on your pin boards and refer to it when a moment of pattern inspiration strikes!
If you’re a creative with something to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Check out our ‘contact’ page for more information!