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The houndstooth pattern is a classic style pattern. In this guide we look at how to create a houndstooth pattern with Adobe Photoshop.
Don’t have time to create this pattern for yourself?
Check out our Houndstooth multi-color pattern set for Photoshop.
Setting up your pattern
Open Photoshop and click to create a new document. For this tutorial I use the dimensions 600 x 600 px with resolution set to 300 dpi, RGB color mode and transparent background.
When creating patterns I recommend using guides. To create a new guide layout go to View > Guide > New Guide Layout. In the dialogue box enter 2 columns and 2 rows.
The canvas will now be divided into to 4 equal parts by the guides. Using the marquee tool (M – keyboard shortcut) and the guides draw out a square in the upper left hand corner. To fill the selection with the foreground color use the keyboard shortcut opt + delete (Mac) or alt + backspace (Windows). Once the pixels have been filled in you will want to deselect your selection by using the keyboard shortcut cmd/ctrl + D.
Note: The default colors for Photoshop are black as the foreground and white as the background. If you ever want to reset to these foreground colors click D on the keyboard.
Next, duplicate your square. In the layers panel you can right click on the layer and select duplicate layer or use the keyboard shortcut – Cmd/Ctrl + J.
Drag your new square and position it in the upper right hand corner of your canvas. With this square you want to turn it into a smart object by right clicking on the layer and select – Convert to Smart Object.
Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and then drag it into the bottom left hand corner of your canvas. To create the houndstooth pattern you need to rotate this square 180 degrees. You can go to Edit > transform > rotate 180 degrees. We have now set up the foundation for your pattern.
Edit your Smart Object
The next step to complete the pattern swatch is to edit the smart object. In the layers panel double click on the smart object icon which is located in the bottom right corner of the layer thumbnail. This will open the smart object in a new tab. Click to turn off your square layer visibility and create a new layer.
For the next part you need the help of guides again. Go to View > Guides > New guide layout and select 4 columns and 4 rows.
This will divide your canvas into 16 parts. Use the marquee tool (M – keyboard) and draw a rectangle in one of the squares. Fill it with the foreground color (keyboard shortcut: Opt + delete or Alt + backspace). Next deselect your selection (Cmd/Ctrl + D) and rotate your square 45 degrees. To rotate an object use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + T to access the free transform tool and then in the top menu enter 45 degrees. This rotated rectangle is going to help us determine the width of our diagonal line.
Make sure you have your object selected and then drag one of your guides to the left side of the square and then do it again for the right side. This is the width we need for our line. Using the marquee tool and the new guides draw out a rectangle to fill the entire height of the canvas and within the width designated by the guides. Create a new layer and fill it with your foreground color.
Before we rotate the rectangle access the free transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl + T) and scale the height by 175% because we need it to be longer since it will be at a diagonal. Finally click to rotate the rectangle 45 degrees.
Create your guide layout again – 4 columns by 4 rows to help position the diagonal line. You want the bottom edge of the line to line up with the center point. Duplicate this layer and then position the bottom edge of this object to line up with the bottom right corner or your canvas. Next save your smart object (Cmd/Ctrl + S) and then close your smart object (Cmd/Ctrl + W).
How to Save your pattern
You can preview how your pattern will look by using the pattern preview tool. Go to View > Pattern Preview and Photoshop will show you how your pattern swatch repeats.
To save your pattern go to edit > define pattern.
If you bring up the patterns panel by going to Window > Patterns you will be able to see your newly created pattern.