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Learn how to create a honeycomb pattern in Adobe Photoshop. This is a fun classic pattern and will make a great addition to your pattern collection.
Check out the video below or keep reading for the step by step tutorial on how to create a honeycomb pattern in Photoshop.
How to Create A Honeycomb Pattern in Photoshop
First create a new document. For this example I use the dimensions 600 px by 600 px with 300 dpi and background contents set to transparent.
One setting you should turn on is the Snap setting in Photoshop. To turn it on go to View and make sure Snap is selected. With this setting the guides will automatically snap to an object whether it be the center point or an edge. This will be helpful when creating this honeycomb pattern.
Also under View – make sure you have Smart Guides and Layer edges selected.
Creating your Hexagon
To create the honeycomb pattern you will need to create a Hexagon using the polygon tool. This tool is located under the shapes tool. You can right click on the shapes icon from the toolbar to select the polygon tool or use the keyboard shortcut – U. To cycle between the shape options select Shift + U until the polygon tool is selected.
Once the polygon tool is selected go to the top menu and next to the # icon type in 6 sides. Next, click and drag and the canvas to create a hexagon. When the hexagon is first created it has the flat side on the top and bottom. We want the point to be on the top so you will want to rotate it.
Note: If you hold shift while you rotate then it will rotate in 15 degree increments.
Next, duplicate the hexagon by right clicking on the layer in the layers panel and select > Duplicate Layer. The keyboard shortcut is ctrl/Cmd + D. Another option is holding the opt/alt key and then clicking on the object and dragging it on the canvas. This will cause the object to duplicate as you move it. Align the second hexagon to create row with space in between. Repeat this step again and place the third hexagon on the other side of the original using the smart guides to create a matching distance between the three objects.
Next, select two neighboring hexagons, duplicate them and drag them above to form a new row. Make sure the spacing is even. Repeat this step, but position them below the original row.
Creating your repeat pattern
To get the basic repeat we are going to use grid lines to help. Select the furthest left hexagon in the middle row. Drag out a grid line from the ruler on the left side and snap it to the middle of this object. Repeat this step for the furthest right hexagon in the middle row.
Next, click on one of the hexagons in the top row and drag out a grid line from the top and snap it to the middle of that object. Repeat this step for one of the hexagons in the bottom row. Once you have done this the grid lines should make a rectangular box.
Using the Marquee tool (keyboard shortcut – letter M key) drag out a rectangle to highlight the area created by the grid lines.
To define the pattern in Photoshop go to Edit > Define Pattern.
Testing out your pattern
Create a new document with the dimensions of 3600 px by 3600 px with resolution set to 300 dpi. This is the typical size for digital scrapbook paper.
From the layers panel menu at the bottom add a pattern adjustment layer. From the drop down menu you can select your newly created pattern or you can open the patterns panel by going to Window > Patterns.
When you double click on the pattern adjustment layer you can adjust the scale of your pattern. If you click on your pattern in the canvas while this dialogue box is open you can move the pattern around if you want it to be positioned differently on your canvas.
To change the color of your pattern add a color adjustment layer above your pattern layer and right click on that layer and select > Create clipping mask.
Another option is to double click on the pattern layer and select color overlay from the options and select the color.
I prefer to use a color adjustment layer because then I can see the color in my layers panel and easily change it.
Add another color adjustment layer below the pattern layer to select your background color.
Saving your pattern as digital scrapbook paper
Once you have chosen your colors you can export your design as save it as digital paper. To do this go to File > Export > Export As.
This will bring up a dialogue box where you can select the file type you want. The options include JPG, PNG, and GIF.
Scrolling down under Color Profile select Embed Color Profile then you can click to export your file.