Make A Chevron Pattern in Photoshop

May 20, 2011

I have been seeing chevron patterns (diagonal stripes) EVERYwhere recently! And now wonder— they are chic, modern and FUN! So, in honor of this amazing pattern, I’ve thrown together a Photoshop tutorial so you can Chevron-ize your posters, logos and more.

How to Create A Chevron (Diagonal Striped) Pattern in Photoshop

Note: If you want to see the screenshots larger, simply click on them.

Feel free to download the .psd to help you along the way.

Step 1: The most important step— open Photoshop. :) Create a new document and choose your canvas size. I made mine 800 x 800.

Step 2: Let’s set up some guides so we can see what we are doing. First, go to the View menu and turn on Snap (there should be a checkbox next to it). Then, in the View menu still, go to Show > Grid.

Step 3: Select the color of your choice (I used coral) and use the rectangle tool to draw several rectangles, using the grid as your guide. I used the thicker grid lines as my guide and made my rectangles 1 wide x 3 tall. Make enough rectangles so that they fill up the width of the document.

Step 4: Now we are going to rotate the rectangles to make our first chevron stripe. Select the first rectangle and hit either Ctrl + T on your keyboard, or go to the Edit menu > Free Transform. Your box should be highlighted now. In the Options menu (at the top of your screen) there is a box where you can enter the number of degrees to rotate your rectangle. Type in -45 and then press enter.

Step 5: Your first box should now be tilted -45º, like this:

Step 6: Do the same thing with your second rectangle (go to Edit > Free Transform or Ctrl + T), but this time rotate the rectangle 45º (not minus!). Now this rectangle should be titled the other way. Repeat, alternating between -45º and 45º until all your rectangles are rotated. Now you should have your first row of chevrons, but with some weird space in between them:

Step 7: Now, let’s eliminate the spaces. This is when it is helpful to have Snap turned on. Zoom in a little on your document and use your arrow keys to move each rectangle to the left a little until it perfectly overlaps the one before it. In the screenshot below, I have lined up the first two rectangles so they are overlap perfectly:

Step 8: Sweet! The hardest part is under your belt. If you notice that you have some extra space and the chevrons don’t quite fill the whole width, you can add a few more rotated rectangles. Now we want to create our second row of Chevrons. The easiest way to do this is to highlight all of your Layers in the Layers Palette, right-click and select Duplicate Layers.

Step 9: So now, you have twice as many rectangles and they are all stacked on top of each other. First things first— let’s change the color of the second row of chevrons so you can tell what is what. Highlight one the new rectangles and change its color by double-clicking the color in the Layers Palette. I changed mine to a tan color. See in the screenshot below how the rectangle in the top right corner changed colors?

Keep changing the new rectangles to your second color.

I know this is a little tricky because you can’t see both rows. Your original (coral-colored) rectangles are still there— they are just underneath the new row.

Step 10: Now you are ready to move your new row down. In the Layers Palette, highlight all of the rectangles that are the second color. Use your arrow keys to move the new row down so the top of your new row touches the bottom of the first row.

Step 12: Almost done! Now, we want to make more rows to fill the rest of the document. There are many ways you can do this, but one of the easiest is to highlight all of your rectangles in the Layers Palette, right-click, and select Duplicate Layers. Move the new set of layers down until it lines up. Keep doing this until you fill your document.

Step 13: Save your document, baby, because you are DONE!

Download the Photoshop file (.psd) here!

Let me know if you found this tutorial helpful! This is the first one I’ve ever written, so I’d love some feedback. Chevron away, my little grasshoppers!