Simple Paper Patterns for the Non-Designer

Although many scrappers have passing fantasies about becoming a designer, most of us leave it right there, happily scrapping away with the designs of others. I tried my hand at kit designing a few times and I wasn’t any good. I decided to keep to templates and let others supply my kit addiction.

However, there are times when having a few pseudo-designer tips and tricks up your sleeve can come in handy.

Today I want to show you a VERY SIMPLE tutorial for creating your own paper pattern. Really, it doesn’t get much easier! And on Saturday, I will show you a little less simple trick for designing paper patterns (though still easy!)

I wanted to scrap with Chunlin’s beautiful Smile, It’s Your Day kit from the April Digi Files. It’s so gorgeous with all its colors and artsy elements.

As I was creating my page, I felt like it was missing something. I decided I wanted another paper under the photos, one with more of a pattern to it. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to create my own. I wanted some kind of floral background, so I looked through the elements and chose a few of the flowers.

I then created a new 2×2 inch document (in PSE 11, but the process will be the same for most programs) and placed my flowers on it, resizing the flowers as necessary/desired. I was careful not to let any of the edges of the flower go past the edge of my document.

Next, I lowered the opacity of the background paper because I knew I didn’t want a solid white background. I lowered it to about 25%. I then merged my layers: LAYER > MERGE > VISIBLE. I didn’t flatten my layers because I would have then lost the lowered opacity of my background paper.

With my completed 2×2 square, I created a new 12×12 document and dragged my square onto it.

I then turned on my grid lines (VIEW > GRID) and made sure my SNAP TO GRID was selected. This ensures that when I line up my squares, they will “snap” to each other and be lined up correctly.

Next I simply duplicated my layer a few times. After three squares, I merged those layers together (now having a 2×6 layer) and then duplicated that layer. And so on. I kept a white background layer just so it would be easier to see.

Once I had finished covering my whole paper, I hid the background layer (making sure everything looked the way I wanted it to) and then I deleted it all together, leaving behind my new patterned paper (with a semi-transparent background).

Here is the paper zoomed in:

Finally, it was time to add it to my layout. I placed the paper over my other background paper and then using a soft-edged eraser, gently erased around the patterned paper, leaving only the part I wanted visible. The final result was just what a wanted! All-in-all, creating this very simple paper took me just a few minutes.