Add Background Texture to a Pattern

This tutorial shows a quick and fun way to add a little texture to the background of a Pattern.

For this particular pattern, I only have one decorative Motif that I’m using, and the Pattern will be created with Illustrator’s Pattern Maker Tool.

I’ll be using this very same Motif to create a “silhouette” shape.

With this Motif selected, open the Pathfinder Panel, and select the option: Unite

This operation will “flatten” this artwork and assign one color that exists in the Motif.

A quick tip, for using this silhouette motif in the background, is to lower it’s opacity, so it doesn’t compete for attention with the main motif.

In my Transparency Panel, I reduced the Opacity percentage to 17%, which should allow for a nice subtle texture, once a background color is added.

Check out this Video below for a quick demo on Creating this Pattern in the Pattern Maker Tool.

Once the Pattern is completed, it’s time to test it out.

I already added some colors to my Swatches panel. I will need to choose a background color, because the Pattern I created has a transparent background.

Copy and Paste in Front the background shape, and then choose the new Pattern Swatch from the Swatches panel.

It is very likely you’ll want to make some tweaks, once you see the results of your test. In this case, I think there are too many open spaces, and I want to fill in the background a little more.

To make edits, you just need to double-click the Pattern Swatch in the Swatches panel, to reenter the Pattern Editing Mode.

I decided to reduce the size of the silhouette shape, duplicate it a couple of times, and play with the placement of these shapes, including overlapping them, until I got the desired result.

You can keep experimenting, reentering Pattern Mode to play around with placement, until you find pleasing results.

This type of pattern is perfect for at home printing projects, my personal favorite being Origami Gift boxes.

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