How To: Making A Chevron Stripe Repeating Pattern in Photoshop

Chevrons are like everywhere these days. This classic zig zaggy pattern has become a very big hit with designers and shoppers alike. I’ve seen it damn near everywhere from drapes to wallets from refinished furniture to fingernails. It’s looking like chevron stripes is trending big time.

I hope the trend lasts because I think chevrons are a pretty fun design. I decided to make a chevron patterned digital download for scrap booking and screen printing enthusiasts, but in order to do so I had to find out how to divide the chevron tile just so that it repeats across any width and down any length without any unnecessary copying and pasting. No one, especially me, wants to do more work than they have to!

I did an initial search on the internet but I couldn’t find instructions on how make a seamless repeating chevron stripe pattern in Photoshop. There are tutorials for making chevron stripes in Photoshop, but I didn’t find one that allowed me to make it into the repeating pattern that I do so love. Taking what I already know from creating a diagonal line repeating pattern I was able to create a seamless repeating chevron stripe pattern.

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Now that I’ve made it I can use this pattern anywhere anytime in Photoshop and my saved patterns are much better off for it. So here’s how you can make your very own chevron stripes to use over and over again because it’s fun… once it’s done!

Instructions

We’ll use Shape Layers (Yay!) to create an easily editable chevron pattern.

Creating Your Pattern

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  1. Open Photoshop. Create a new square document. Width: 400 px Height: 400 px -> Name it chevron-stripes -> OK.
  2. Create a new Shape Layer by selecting the line tool from the toolbox. Select Shape Layers from the line tools.
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  3. Draw a vertical line exactly 1/2 the width of your document from the top of your canvas to the bottom. Per this example, make the line width 200 px.
  4. Transform your line by rotating it 45 degrees.screenshots-chevrons-03
  5. Drag your diagonal line up to the very top left corner of your canvas. Do not go over the top left and do not leave any white space (not even a pixel!). Zoom in as close as you need to make sure you have placed the outside left edge of your line at the top left corner of your canvas… exactly!screenshots-chevrons-04
  6. Duplicate your diagonal line layer. With the new line layer selected, go to Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal.screenshots-chevrons-05
  7. Drag your new line to the top right corner of your canvas. Again, do not go over the top right and do not leave any white space (not even a pixel!). Zoom in as close as you need to make sure you have placed the outside right edge of your line at the top right corner of your canvas… exactly!
  8. Name and link your diagonal line layers: diagonal top left, diagonal top right. These linked layers are your top pair of diagonal lines. At this point you should see a very perfect point towards the center top of your canvas.screenshots-chevrons-06
  9. Drag a new vertical guide to the center of your canvas. Make sure that it is exactly in the center. Use View -> Snap to help you achieve perfection here.
  10. Create a new layer. Draw a vertical gray line 100 px less than your first lines. Per this example, make the line 100 px wide.screenshots-chevrons-07
  11. Rotate your gray line 45 degrees. Line up the top point of your diagonal line to your center guide line.screenshots-chevrons-08
  12. Duplicate your gray line layer. Change this layer color fill to black. Go to Edit -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal.
  13. Turn off/Hide your gray line layer.screenshots-chevrons-09
  14. Drag your new diagonal line layer to the center of the canvas. Line up the top point of your diagonal line to the center guide line.
  15. Turn on your gray line layer. Make sure the overlapping lines match up perfectly. The top points of both lines must meet exactly at the center guide.screenshots-chevrons-10
  16. You now have another perfect point. Now change the gray line layer fill to black.
  17. Name and link your second diagonal line pair layers diagonal bottom left, diagonal bottom right.screenshots-chevrons-11
  18. Now you can move these linked layer pairs up or down to give less or more space for your alternate color stripe. I like my stripes to be fairly even. To achieve this move the bottom diagonal pair layers all the way down to the bottom of your canvas. The bottom pair’s top point should hit right at 200 px. Move your top pair of linked layers all the way to the top of your canvas. The inside left and inside right edge of the diagonal lines should hit right at 200 px. While you’re adjusting your top and bottom diagonal pairs make sure to mind your center guide! Don’t move them left or right.screenshots-chevrons-12
  19. You’re almost done! But not quite. You’ll notice a white triangle inside the bottom pair of diagonal lines. We must cover thou up!
  20. Create a new layer. Using the pen tool create a black fill triangle shape layer slightly larger than the white triangle underneath.
  21. Save your file as chevron-stripes.psd. The hard parts are over!screenshots-chevrons-13
  22. Duplicate your image by going to Image -> Duplicate -> OK. Save and close your original PSD file (chevron-stripes.psd).
  23. Working with your duplicate file go to Layer -> Merge Visible.screenshots-chevrons-14
  24. Go to Edit -> Define Pattern. Enter a name for your pattern: chevron-stripes-> OK.
  25. Close your duplicate file. You do not need to save it.

Testing Your New Pattern

Let’s try out our new pattern.screenshots-chevrons-15

  1. Go to File -> New (Web 1600 x 1200, but any size will do) -> OK.
  2. Go to Edit -> Fillscreenshots-chevrons-16
  3. From the Fill box go to Use Pattern -> Custom Pattern (chevron-stripes) -> OK.
  4. Whoa! So pretty!!! That means you’re done all done. If you’re not seeing the seamless pattern as promised make sure you’ve done each step exactly. It may take a few tries to get it right. I can’t emphasize enough that angles have to meet perfectly in the center and the width of your starting lines must be exactly half of your canvas width in order for the chevron pattern to work.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. I’ma hook you up with a help out!

Pro Tips – Experimenting With Layer Styles

You may be wondering why I chose to make this pattern by using Shape Layers. That’s because with Shape Layers you can change colors, textures and the size of your patterns in the blink of an eye. You can size up or down without losing any of the crisp, clean lines you worked so hard to achieve.

Next week, I’ll be posting another tutorial on how to make changes to your chevron stripe pattern using Layer Styles. Click here to subscribe for updates.

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