Fill with patterns in Photoshop

There are 3 ways to fill with a pattern. Some are more favorable in certain circumstances. In this tutorial, I will go over these 3 methods.

Method 1: Creating a fill layer

The first method is used to create a full layer containing the pattern.

At the bottom right corner of the Photoshop, you should see a circle that is half white and half gray. “Create new fill or adjustment layer” should appear when hovering over it.

If the icon is not there, click “Window” and “Layers” in order to show the Layers panel.

Clicking on the icon should bring up a menu, from which you will choose “Pattern”.

From there, a new window should pop up.

You may:

  • Change the pattern by clicking the arrow down on the left;
  • Rotate the pattern by degrees by changing the angle;
  • Change the size of the pattern by changing its percentage;
  • Move the pattern on the layer whilst the window is open; and
  • Click “Snap to Origin” to return the pattern to it’s original position.

Once you are happy with the results, click “OK”.

To return to this window, double-click the pattern.

Method 2: Add a pattern to a shape

If you’ve created a shape, you may fill it with a pattern. To do so, click “Fill” at the top, and select the “Pattern” icon from the panel that appears.

If “Fill” is not present, ensure that:

  • The layer that contains the shape is selected; and
  • One of the shape tools is active (such as the rectangle tool).

In the panel, you may:

  • Choose your desired pattern from the list;
  • Change the size of the pattern by adjusting the percentage next to “Scale”; and
  • Rotate the pattern by degrees by changing the angle.

Method 3: Change layer style

Perhaps you have a shape on a layer that was created without the shape tool.

In the layer panel, double click the gray area of the layer that contains the shape.

If the layer panel is not available, click “Window” and “Layers”.

Once you have double-clicked the layer, a new window should appear. Select “Pattern overlay”.

From there, you may:

  • Change the blend mode and opacity;
  • Select a different pattern by clicking the arrow down next to the image located next to the word “Pattern”;
  • Move the pattern on the layer whilst the window is open;
  • Click “Snap to Origin” to return the pattern to it’s original position;
  • Rotate the pattern by degrees by changing the angle; and
  • Change the size of the pattern by adjusting the percentage next to “Scale”;
  • Save these settings as default by clicking “Make default”; and
  • Use default settings by clicking “Reset to Default”.

Once you are happy with the results, click “OK”. To return to this panel, simply double click the layer from the layer panel again and select “Pattern Overlay”.

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