Creating Your Own Patterns in Photoshop CC: Using an Open PNG File


Adobe Photoshop Applications come with multiple preset patterns that are fun to use but only cater to a select number of themes.  They are great to have when designing scrapbook pages, layouts, templates, and many other projects.  It may seem as though the pre-installed patterns only give you few options to build with.  However, the Adobe Photoshop software allows you to increase your patterns inventory by designing your own. There are multiple ways of doing this, but in this post, I will show you one of the ways that I create mine.

The Process

The first thing I do is open the application. I’m using a Windows PC. The software version I’m using is Photoshop CC 2019. I click “File”>”New”. The “New Document” box opens.

There you can choose which type of document you want to create. I choose “Print” on the Document menu bar at the top. Under “Preset Details” I leave the default “untitled-1” name. I also keep the default settings of 8.5” width x 11””height”.  I changed the resolution from 72 pixels/Inch to 300 pixels. I also make sure that the color mode is set to “RGB Color” and the background is “white”. Then I click “Create”.

Open a new document

When the document opens, the background layer is automatically white, and it is locked.   I’m then going to add a new layer in the “Layers” Panel to the right. You can do this by either clicking on the “new layer” icon at the bottom right of the Layers Panel, or by clicking “Layer”>”New”>”Layer” on the menu bar at the top, or by using your keyboard shortcuts “Shift+Ctrl+N” on a PC or “Shift+Command+N” on a MAC.  I will label this background because the original white background layer will get deleted at the end of the design.

Once the new layer has been created, we will begin to design the pattern.  There are a few ways of accessing your patterns library.  A very common method is by going to the menu bar and clicking “Edit”> “Presets”> “Preset Manager”.  The Preset Manager panel opens.  Using the drop-down options, you can choose the “Type” of preset you want.  In this case we want “Patterns”.  The files in the “Patterns” library appear.   You can see what is already loaded.  You can also access your Patterns another way.

It is helpful to have the “Tool Presets” window open.  Some may find this method of finding your tools as a good option.  To add icon to the panel then follow these steps.  If it is already available, or you don’t want it open, then skip to the section “Designing The Pattern”.

Opening the Tool Presets Icon

Step 1

On the menu bar go to “Window”> “Tool Presets”.  Ensure that “Tool Presets” is checked. 


Once it is, you will be able to easily access it using the Tool Presets icon, as shown below.


Simply click on the options menu (three stacked lines) to view the preset manager.


Once in the Preset Manager Panel, choose the “Patterns” option from the “Preset Type” drop down list.

Here you will see your installed patterns.  There are just a few available.  We can now design our own.

Designing The Pattern

Open a PNG file.  For this illustration, I will use the blue present from the freebie graphics kit (Presents Mini Kit), from this site for the pattern design. 

Click “File”>” Open”> choose the file to use.  With your file open, use the keyboard short cut keys to copy [(Ctrl + C) on a PC or (Command +C) on a Mac] and paste it [(Ctrl +V) PC or (Command +V) Mac] into the “untitled-1” file. 

With the graphics layer selected, make another copy of it using the keyboard short cut Ctrl + J or Command + J on a Mac.  Click and drag the copied image above the original one.

Make about seven more copies. Click and drag them on various parts of the page. 

Now click on Layer 0 or the bottom white layer and delete it. Then highlight all the remaining layers.  To highlight all the layers, simply click on the bottom layer, scroll to the top layer, and hold the “Shift” key and left click at the same time.

We will now finish up the pattern.  With all the layers selected go to “Edit”> “Define Pattern”.

Give your pattern a name when the Pattern Name dialogue box opens.  I will name mine presents. Then click “ok”.

Now you can test your pattern.  Open a new document. In the layers panel click on the white background layer.  On the Menu bar go to “Layer”> “New Fill Layer”>” Pattern.

The “New Layer” dialogue box opens.  Click “ok”.  You will then see the “Pattern Fill” dialogue box.  You can scale the percentage of your pattern up or down using the drop-down menu beside “Scale” (arrow).  At 100 percent it looks identical to the size of the pattern you just created.  By scaling it larger (moving the handle to the right) it makes the images bigger, and less filled on the screen.  By dragging your handle to the left, the images are scaled smaller, and fill the page more, as shown in the photo below. I typically make mine smaller for my digital scrapbook papers. In this illustration I scaled mine down to 23 percent. When you are satisfied with the size you want click “ok”.

You can view your pattern by following the same steps from above by accessing the Preset Manager.  Your pattern will be the very last one in the file.

This technique can be used from various files, brushes, shapes, and more. I will cover those in other tutorials. I hope you found this post helpful. And as always, happy crafting!

Sewn Up Clip Art Freebie Kit


Do you like to add elements to your digital designs?  It’s fun to give your pictures a little boost.  Here is a small clip art kit that you can practice with.  It has a fun sewing theme.   All images are in PNG (transparent) format, making it easy to blend over top of other graphics.  You can add these images to individual papers, photos, or even add them together and print them out any way you like.  You can upload them into your cutting software, like Cricut Design Space and cut them out.  Take your project to the next level.  Give the gift of decorative photos! 

I hope this adds to your crafty idea list.  Enjoy this weekly freebie!

Click to Download

Lilac Envelope Template


I want to show you one of my latest templates I created in Photoshop. This is the 6.25” x 6” Lilac Envelope made from the digital template that I have in my Esty shop.  I use templates to make elements that work well with scrapbooks, junk journals, and various other mixed media projects.  This piece does just that.

It has two pockets to store tags, cards, flat pens, photos and more.  It has the space for you to house memorabilia along with giving your projects some spunk.

When you purchase the Lilac Envelope file you will receive the following:

– Cover Pages files (Has the names of each template)

– lilac 6.25 x 6” envelope template files (back sheets, ephemera, examples, templates)

– Assembly instructions file (pdf)

– Read Me files

All are printable on to 8.5″ x 11″ Standard paper sizes.

There are different variations of how to decorate your envelope using the provided ephemera files that come with the kit.  See my YouTube assembly video for instructions on how to piece the envelope together.

Lilac Envelope Template Assembly Instructions

I hope this message will inspire you to create something fun! Happy Crafting!



Get more freebies weekly! Please enjoy this latest six piece 8.5″ x 11″ paper kit. The papers have a “nostalgic era” feel to them. Bring the past back to life. Use this paper pack with journals, scrapbooks, collages, tags, mats, and multiple types of mixed media projects. Click to download.

Junk Journal Paper

journals and folios with various types of media used

For all the do-it-yourself (diy) paper crafters out there, which type of papers do you use when making your junk journals?  Do you use mainstream brands such as Graphic 45, Bo Bunny, My Mind’s Eye, and Tim Holtz Paperstash, or do you purchase digital designs from online vendors, such as

 I like to use a combination of them, along with junk mail, envelopes, paper bags, tea and coffee stained papers, doilies, tickets, vellum, old sheet music pages, glassine bags, old book pages, fabric, lace, and much more.  I also accent them with tags, folios, tuck spots, jewelry and other elements.

I tend to always include certain journal resources in my books and folios.  The following are a must have for my detailed journals:

  • Vintage style paper
  • Ledger or ruled paper
  • Doilies
  • Old book pages
  • Envelopes
  • Tags

Those are pertinent in my journals, for I feel those contents add great character to the journal, giving the owner of it room to write, a sense of nostalgia, and an over all shabby chic feel (Which is my favorite theme).

You, of course, could omit some of those and add other ephemera to your books.  I just like to have various elements in each one of my designs.  I get them by collecting advertisements from the postal “junk” mail, online blogs, eBay (bulk supplies for auction) Amazon, Etsy, and other websites that offer free digital downloads. (Disclaimer: If you click on the eBay link and make a purchase, I will receive a percentage from your order).

The good thing about postal junk mail is that they provide great and sturdy supplies.  You can use the credit card templates that comes with the marketing material as a tag.  Simply add some designer paper on both sides of the card, punch a hole at the top, add a ribbon and you have yourself a nice element for your scrapbook or folio. 

You can also take an envelope from the junk stash.  Paint it with some gesso, decoupage it with a pretty napkin, and add it to your journal.

I love to use Guest Check receipts, scraps of paper, die cut shapes, and tabs to add more appeal to the books.  I usually print on them with vintage writing stamps along with other designer graphics.  I ink all the edges of the papers with various distress inks.  I cut out some envelopes, fold them over and make pockets out of them.  I then garnish the folio or journal with mixed media elements such as paper clips, brads, and other hardware.

Glassine bags are fun to use as well.  They add beauty to any junk journal and provide a storage compartment for a lot of your ephemera, so you can showcase your collected memorabilia or just simply hold your photos.

Which ever types of media you use, have fun with it.  Even if you make a mistake cutting, sewing, gluing, or whatever to your project, keep that scrap.  A crafting error can turn into a sparkling idea!

Santa Canvas

Santa Canvas

I like to make many of my holiday decorations by using different items from various sources.  Today I’m going to show you how I made my Santa Clause Canvas.  I got this idea from the YouTuber May May Made It Crafts She is a very inspiring artist.

Supplies Needed

  • What you will need is an 8” x 10” light weight cotton duck canvas.  I got mine from Michaels in a pack of “Artist’s Loft” 10+2 Super Value Canvas Pack on sale.  Mine is archival, acid free, and was titanium acrylic gesso primed. 
  • You will also need a background designer paper.  I used a sheet from my commercial use digital 8.5” x 11” collection “Vintage Script” in my etsy store   
  • I had the sheet printed out on a laser printer at Staples, since my printer at home is inkjet.  I prefer to use laser jet instead of inkjet printing on mixed media projects like these to avoid ink bleeding when wet substances like modpodge glue or gesso is added.
  • In addition to your canvas and background paper you will need a big paint brush and smaller ones (I used a 3” one made by plaid and the smaller brushes came in a kit by Daler Rowney, “Artist Choice  Value Set”)
  • white gesso
  • modpodge glue
  • a napkin with your preferred holiday image
  • some stencils
  • modeling paste or thick paint
  • spatula or flat knife (be careful not to cut yourself)
  • extra decorative elements.

The Process

Step1. I first began by adding a thick coat of modpodge all over the front of the canvas, spreading it evenly using the brush.  I then added the background paper by centering it and smoothing it down across the canvas. 

I added a little more glue to the center and spread it out over top the image, making sure that there were no air pockets between it and the canvas. 

adding thin layer of gesso

While the canvas was still wet, I tore away the excess edges, giving the paper a distressed look.   I allowed the canvas to dry overnight.  You don’t have to wait that long.  You could dry it using an embossing tool.

Step2. Once the canvas was dry, I added a thin layer of gesso across the face of it, using vertical paint strokes.  I added more paint to the center where the napkin image would get placed.

3-ply napkin with Santa image.

Step3. After the gesso completely dried, I got my 3-ply napkin out.  I removed the first two solid napkins that were attached to the one with the image.  I then tore out the image from that napkin.

Two solid napkins removed from 3-ply unit

I added some modpodge to the face of the canvas, in the same manner as the technique used in step 1.  Next, I added the Santa Claus image by placing it in the center of the canvas.  Starting in the center of the image, I gently pressed it into the canvas, using outward strokes of the brush until it was completely adhered.  I let the image dry overnight.

adding image to canvas using brush
added Distress Oxide ink to canvas

Step4. I took out my Tim Holtz distress oxide ink “Vintage Photo” and lightly distressed the canvas to give it an aged look. 

Adding gold Faber_Castell Texture Luxe using Anna Griffin stencil

Next, I got out my “Anna Griffin 8” x 8” Pochoir Botanical Damask Stencil” and “Faber-Castell Texture Luxe-Gold” to give the canvas more dimension. I also added in some “Faber Castell Asphalt Texture” paste mixed with gesso. 

Faber Caste Texture Luxe Gold

I used the stencil in opposite corners of the canvas by adding a thin layer of gold texture over top of it. 

gesso and asphalt texture mixture added to canvas corners

Then I took the asphalt and gesso mixtures and added it to the adjacent corners.  I let them dry overnight.  Once again, you do not have to wait that long.  Drying it with an embossing tool will work just fine. 

Step 5

I then took some white paint and gesso and used a small brush (Brush #10 of Daler Rowney Flat) to highlight the stenciled and asphalt textures.  I dipped my paint brush into water first and then mixed it with the paint on the canvas over top the textures to dilute the paint.  I then took a dry rag and dabbed over some of the gold texture so it could bleed through the white gesso. 

Next, I used some green and red acrylic paint (Americana Black Green, Apple Barrel English Ivy green, and Apple Berry Spiced Berry) to accent the shadows on Santa clause’s image.  I used the green on the grass and blended some of the left-over white paint at the bottom to soften the color. I did this using brush “number 1 round” with circular motion.  I added in thin streaks of grass using brush number 0/3 liner”.

Lastly, I took “brush number 1 round” and dipped it into some water and diluted gesso and plucked paint across the canvas to give it the look of snow.

The project is complete.  You can garnish it with extra elements at this point.  I simply took some Diamond Stickles by Ranger and added it on Santa’s coat.

finished canvas

I hope this process was helpful.  Have a great day!