How to create a Christmas pattern in Adobe Illustrator

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So Christmas is nearly here! Brightly lit nights, childhood excitement, family gatherings and fun experiences filled with joy. But Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without decorations! That's why this tutorial is going to show how to create a lovely Christmas pattern. So let’s get started!

1. Preparing the document

The first step is to create a new document in Adobe Illustrator, File>New, with these values:

  • Dimensions: 800x600px
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72 ppi

Activate the option "Align new objects to Pixel Grid"

1-1

2. Create the background

Step 1

Start by creating a grey background with the Rectangle tool that covers the whole artboard.

This will help the white elements stand out.

2-1

3. Choose the color palette

Select the colors we're going to use. Make a new group in the swatch palette. Swatch>New color group>with the swatches selected.

3-1

4. Create the glove

All the elements are made with basic geometric shapes.

Step 1

In this step we're going to work with the Rounded corner rectangle tool, ellipse tool and, Pen tool.

4-1a

4-1b

Step 2

To include the Ellipse inside the glove, duplicate the glove just on top (Ctrl+C Ctrl+F) and select the Ellipse, then copy and go to Pathfinder>Crop.

4-2

5. Create the sock

Step 1

We'll work with Rectangle tool and the Pen tool (Variable width).

5-1a

5-1b

Step 2

We'll repeat the same process used for the first object: To include the ellipses inside the sock shape, duplicate the sock right on top (Ctrl+C Ctrl+F), select the ellipses and then copy and: Pathfinder>Crop.

5-2

6. Create the hat

For the hat, we'll use the Pen tool, Ellipse, Rounded rectangle. And we're going to use Effect>Stylize>Round corners to round the upper part of the hat.

6-1b

7. Create the ball

Step 1

Using the Ellipse tool, Rounded rectangle and the Pathfinder>Crop.

7-1

Step 2

And now the Ellipse Tool, and no fill color.

7-2

8. Create the cane

Step 1

Make the shape of the cane with the Pen tool. Transform the stroke in fill color and apply Effect>Stylize>Round corners, to give it a rounded look.

8-1

Step 2

Once again with the Pathfinder, as we did for the previous elements.

8-2

9. Create the mistletoe

Step 1

Make 3 red ellipses and inside them, another 3 and unite. Then create 2 ellipses with a white fill color. Then grab the upper and lower anchor points, transform them into vertex and give them  a leaf shape.

9-1

Step 2

Draw the stem with the Pen tool (variable width).

9-2

10. Create the snow flake

Step 1

Let's use the Pen Tool, with a white stroke and rounded caps.

10-1a

10-1b
10-1c

*Don’t forget to Expand (Object>Expand) all the elements when you're done and group them (Ctrl+G) to manipulate them more easily.

11. Make the pattern

Step 1

First decide what size your rapport is going to be. In this case 200x200px. Create a square with the Rectangle tool. You need to have in mind that the bigger the base is, the less  it will be repeated. Depending on the type and style of the pattern we'll need a size or another.

11-1

Step 2

We'll start spreading the objects inside the square. Make sure they don't touch the edges.

11-2

Step 3

Now let’s work with the elements that are going to be touching the edges. Every time we place an element on any edge, we must repeat it on the opposite side, so that once we have the rapport ready, they follow one another. To place it exactly where it should be, duplicate the object.

Right click> Transform>Transform individually.

11-3a

A window will pop up and in Move>Vertical>200px (That is what our pattern measures). This way the copy will move in the same (but opposite) place.

11-3b

Step 4

Repeat the same process with the elements on the left edge, but this time move them along the X Axis.

11-4

Step 5

Once we're done with the edges, fill the pattern with little snowflakes using the Ellipse tool and the Star Tool.

11-5

Step 6

Finally we'll copy and paste the base (Ctrl+C Ctrl+F) and go to Pathfinder>Crop. And we're done!

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Step 7

Now the only thing left is to drag our rapport to the swatch palette. Apply it as if it were a regular color and there you have it!

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Well, hope you like it and see you soon!

Final result

62_christmaspattern

Now you can show the world what you have learned.

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