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Create Background With Polka Dot Pattern in GIMP 2.8

Updated on December 28, 2016
Background with Polka Dot pattern made in GIMP 2.8
Background with Polka Dot pattern made in GIMP 2.8

In this tutorial I want to show you how to create a simple pattern in GIMP. As an example I decided to take Polka Dot pattern which can be met everywhere: on cloths, on the kitchen utensils, as a background etc.

If you don’t have GIMP yet, download it from here: GIMP

Step 1

Open GIMP and make a new file by going to File / New / 100 x 100px

Step 2

Make a new Transparent Layer by going to Layer / New / Transparency

Step 3

Create Guides by going to Image / Guides / New Guide (by Present) / Horizontal / 50%

Now repeat step, but change Horizontal to Vertical. You should have image with two lines going across like in Fig 1.

Fig. 1  Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 1 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8

Step 4

Activate “Snap to Guide” by going to View / Snap to Guides and tick it.

Step 5

Activate “Snap to Canvas Edges” by going to View / Snap to Canvas Edges and tick it.

Activating “Snaps” will help us with placement of the dots.

Step 6

Select a 100% Hardness brush and set size to 30px.

Step 7

Set your foreground colour to White, make the background layer invisible by clicking on the eye icon next to it and place 4 dots like shown in Fig 2. When making dots, you should feel how your brash is slightly magnetised to the guides and to the edges of the canvas.

Fig. 2 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 2 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8

Step 8

Save your pattern by going to File / Export (note I’m using GIMP 2.8) / Username / GIMP 2.8 / Patterns.Create a pattern name of your choice and going to “Select file type (by extension)” click on GIMP pattern.Now the name of your pattern should finish with .pat

Step 9

Now go to your Patterns dialog and click Refresh button as shown in Fig 3.If you don’t have your patterns activated, go to Windows / Dockable dialogs / Patterns.

Find your Polka dot pattern and click on it.

Fig. 3 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 3 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8

Step 10

Create a new image by going to File / New / 1000 x 1000

Using Bucket Fill add red colour to your image.

Step 11

With your Bucket tool activated go to Tool Options and switch from FG colour fill to Pattern fill. Make sure Fill whole selection is selected. Now click anywhere on the image, it should now get filled with dots as shown in Fig 4.

Fig. 4 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 4 Creating background with Polka Dot pattern in GIMP 2.8

Step 12

Save your background by going to File / Export / Select folder / Give name to your background and select JPG from “Select file type (by extension)”, press Export.

Final note: This pattern is seamless, so if you duplicate background with this pattern and place one next to another, you will get an identical continuous pattern.

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      PETRA ALVAREZ 17 months ago

      i have followed this step by step but I can never get it when I go to exportnd then do it it doesnt work

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      Dina Blaszczak 3 years ago from Poland

      @Payton That's great! :D

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      Payton 3 years ago

      Awesome tutorial, this helped me a lot! Thanks!! :-)

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      Dina Blaszczak 3 years ago from Poland

      @Little Miss Katy I'm very pleased that you enjoyed my tutorial ;)

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      Little Miss Katy 3 years ago

      Super helpful! Thank you!!! :D I made my website background using this tutorial.

      www.littlemisskaty.co.uk

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      Dina Blaszczak 3 years ago from Poland

      @Adam McCollough Well done for trying to make something new on GIMP ;)

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      Adam McCollough 3 years ago

      What a brilliant, straight forward tutorial. It really did only take a few minutes as promised, perfect result. Thank you!

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      Dina Blaszczak 4 years ago from Poland

      @Caroline I'm so pleased to hear it! :)))

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      Caroline 4 years ago

      Wow, this helped me a lot. Thank you so much! Keep up with the good work. =)