Patterns are a very good choice when you want to create a quick background or apply a nice texture to an object. However, creating your own patterns is tiresome work and most of the time, you don’t even get close to what you originally intended to do.

For this kind of matter, using vector patterns are a really good idea. So here’s how you can easily use them and save alot of time, stress and tons of feedback from your clients.

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop

Completion time: 2 minutes

STEP 1

Open the vector pattern in Illustrator (File > Open or click-drag the file over the Illustrator icon).

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STEP 2

Grab the Selection Tool (V), click one of the vectors, click-drag one of the corners and hold ALT key to preserve proportions. Double-click it to enter Isolation mode.

2 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 3

If you want to change colors, grab the Magic Wand Tool (Y), press Enter and set Tolerance to “0”. Then click a color and click a color of your choosing from Swatches (Window > Swatches).
Repeat this step until you change all the colors.

3 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 4

Grab the Selection Tool (V) again and double-click outside the drawing to exit Isolation mode.

4 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 5

Open Photoshop and create a document of 600×600 px.

5 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 6

From Illustrator, click-drag the edited pattern directly into Photoshop. It will have a bit of loading time to re-size the pattern.

6 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 7

Hit Enter to exit Free Transform mode. When you import images or vectors, Photoshop automatically sets the new layer to Free Transform. For vectors, it will scale Width and Height and will pick the max dimension from your canvas size.

7 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 8

Open the Layers palette (Window > Layers or F7) and CTRL+click the “Vector Smart Object” layer thumbnail. This will create a “marching ants” selection.

8 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 9

Go to Image > Crop. This is very important, since it will define the edges for the repeat pattern.
Go to Select > Deselect (CTRL+D).

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STEP 10

Go to Edit > Define Pattern (CTRL+F2). Name it, so you’ll know which one it is later on. Hit OK.

10 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 11

To apply it, select the layer you want to apply pattern to, then click the “fx” button in the Layers palette (F7). Select Blending Options.

11 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

STEP 12

Check the Pattern Overlay box, click its tag and from the box shown below, select the pattern you created in STEP 10.

12 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

12.1 apply patterns tutorial create vector clouds tutorial apply patterns tutorial How to Apply Vector Patterns in Photoshop

The advantage of applying a pattern like this is that you can scale it from the Blending options.
Simply reduce or increase Scale, play around with it until you are satisfied with the result.