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How to make a Half Drop Repeat in Photoshop

Create your own Pattern

Our custom fabric design tool has a Half Drop Pattern Repeat option. However, sometimes you want more control over your pattern design. Making the pattern repeat from scratch gives you more options - you could choose to make a third drop, or a quarter drop, or even build up a pattern repeat that has a range of different drops within it. Or, you could have your half-dropped pattern images facing in the opposite direction, as I have. Once you know how, the possibilities are endless.

Design Brief: Hyrax!

  1. Find the image you want to use. e.g., in Google, search for "Hyrax", click on images, select the image you want. Right click the image and select save. My image is from Wikimedia Commons, a great source for unrestricted images. I think this very cute Hyrax will be acceptable for my client
  2. In Photoshop, or whatever your image editing software is, open your image.
  3. I am going to make the Hyrax into a repeating pattern, so I don't want the background behind it: Select the background with the Quick Selection Tool, then press the delete key to remove it.
  4. Select Image, Trim from the menu, to trim the now empty background to fit the image. Hyrax with now empty background
    Hyrax now with empty background
  5. Because I am going to print it onto fabric I want to make the image more defined and intense, so I choose Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast from the menu, and turn the contrast up. Hyrax Image with Contrast and  Saturation turned up
    Hyrax Image with Contrast and Saturation turned up

    Making a Half Drop Pattern Repeat in Photoshop

  6. Select Image, Canvas Size from the menu.
  7. Anchor the canvas at the left, then make the canvas twice the width it currently is. Anchor the canvas at the left
    Anchor the canvas at the left
    The canvas is now twice the width it was
    The canvas is now twice the width it was
  8. Select Layer, Duplicate Layer from the menu.
  9. I want my half-dropped Hyrax to be facing the other way to the original Hyrax, so next I select Image, Rotation, Flip Canvas Horizontal from the menu, to flip my duplicated layer horizontally.
  10. Select Filter, Other, Offset from the menu. Horizontal Offset should be the width of the original image; Vertical Offset should be half the height of the image.  Offset the Duplicated Layer to make the Half Drop Repeat
    Offset the Duplicated Layer to make the Half Drop Repeat
  11. Select Edit, Define Pattern from the menu.


    Using your New Half Drop Pattern

  12. Go to the image in which you want to use your pattern; or select File, New from the menu.
  13. Click the small triangle to the right of the Fill Button - the small, half black half white circle at the bottom right of the screen; then select Pattern from the drop down menu.
  14. Use the Scale slider to make the pattern the size you want, then click OK.  Size the Pattern using the Slider Size the Pattern using the Slider

    Change the Colour of the Underlying Background

  15. Add a New Layer by selecting Layer, New, Layer from the menu.
  16. Next, use the paint bucket tool to fill the layer with colour, making sure the fill style is set to foreground, not pattern.
  17. Then reorder the new background layer by dragging it to the bottom position in the layer hierarchy menu, so that it does not obscure your pattern design. Drag the background layer to the bottom of the Layer Hierarchy pile
    Drag the background layer to the bottom of the Layer Hierarchy pile
    Finished Half Drop Pattern
    Finished Half Drop Pattern
    Drag the background layer to the bottom of the Layer Hierarchy pile
    With a different background colour, this half-drop design printed onto Plain Cotton and sewn into a V-Pillow Cover

Click here to design and print your own fabric