Tutorial: creating seamless repeat patterns in Illustrator

Every designer has their own method for creating repeat patterns with Illustrator, and I want to share mine. This method will work on any version of Illustrator (I didn’t upgrade to CC until a few months ago) and is easy even for beginner Illustrator users. Don’t be scared off by the long list of steps, it’s really simple once you get the hang of it. I love making patterns this way- I hope you do too!

11. Start by opening a new document in Illustrator. For this tutorial, let’s make the document size 1000 px by 1000 px. When you’re making your patterns the size doesn’t really matter, but it should be something easy for you to remember.



2. Once you’ve opened your document, place the elements that will make up your tossed pattern design. Create a rectangle at least as large as the size of your document and fill it with your background color. I chose white here, but you can have fun playing with colors.


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Notebooks have arrived!

I’ve been making patterns for years and have always wanted to see them on real products. I finally took the leap and produced some products with my designs on them, and I’m really excited to share them! First up are notebooks in three different patterns.

color collection – Berlin IGA 2017

I visited the Berlin International Garden Exhibition a few weekends ago and was impressed by how much color was in bloom so late in the year. It really felt like fall with beautiful shades of red and purple. I love seeing it together with minty cool blues and greens.

Last minute gift wrapping?


I made these hand drawn gift tags to add a little something special to my gifts this year, and now I want to share them with you so that you can enjoy them too! Just click on the image below, then you can save it and use however you like! I like to print them on sticker paper so that I can stick them right on a gift. free gift tag printable holidays

I sent these freebies to my newsletter subscribers last week. Do you want more things like this? You can subscribe to my newsletter here to get more freebies in your inbox.


Happy holidays and I hope you all have a great new year!

it’s already November?

november free download desktop calendar freebies

I can’t believe it’s already November! But I think this will be a good month. I’m starting it out in one of my favorite places, visiting friends in Mallorca. Then I go back to work for a few weeks before flying home to California for a visit with my family and friends. There is plenty of sun here in Mallorca right now but we are still enjoying the beginning of winter with some of the best treats- spanish hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and plenty of good winter veggies. I hope you have nice plans for your November too. And you can enjoy this free downloadable November calendar desktop! Just click on the image and save it to your computer.

All Good Alchemy typeface

tincture bottlesAwhile ago I worked on a typography project for a really unique cosmetics company based in California. Naz makes small batches of limited edition “plant and aroma blends for body and soul.” Being a California hippie at heart, I love what Naz is doing and I really enjoyed working with her to create a typeface for her to use on product labels.

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DIY: Decorate Your Dishes

Looking for a fun and super easy DIY project?

porcelain pen diy craft project

This is something I’ve been wanting to try for years and never got around to. Then last week I went to Modulor and happened across some ceramic pens and I couldn’t resist buying one. I was so excited to try it out I didn’t even wait to buy new dishes to decorate, and I ended up using a few small plates that I already had.

porcelain pen diy craft project All you need is a ceramic pen and a dish. Super simple. I bought a Marabu Porcelain Painter, but I’ve also heard great things about Pebeo Porcelaine pens.

1. Choose the dishes you want to decorate.

If you don’t want to buy new dishes or you want to practice on dishes you don’t care about, you can always find some plain dishes at a thrift store. I was too impatient to go to a thrift store so I used some that I already had lying around. Make sure the dishes are clean, and have no dust on them.

2. Decide on a design for your dish

porcelain pen diy craft projectIf you like to plan things out, you can create a little sketch like I did here. If you’re more of a free spirit, you can skip this step and go ahead and get drawing!

3. Decorate your dish!

Draw, draw, draw! This is the fun part. Don’t be afraid to keep your design simple if that’s what you like. A few well drawn lines can make a great pattern.

4. Let your dish dry

Check your porcelain pen for instructions. The instructions on my pen were to let it dry for 4 hours, and then put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Easy! Now it’s all done and ready to be used.

5. Show off your dishes or give them as gifts!


I think a nice customized mug would make a great Father’s day gift, or maybe you just want a new set of plates. Either way I think there are tons of fun possibilities for designing your own dishes!

new art supplies make the world go round

Last week I headed over to Modulor on my lunch break. If you are in Berlin and haven’t checked this place out, you need to go right now. It’s art supply heaven, with three floors of supplies and inspiration in every corner. I went there for a few new pens, but walked out with way more… All good things though! It was a great pick me up in the middle of a long week.

Here are my goodies:
steadtler pens

A whole set of Staedtler Triplus Color pens. I love the fiber tips on these (and of course the COLORS). These are 1 mm so they’re a nice change from my finer pens, and they draw beautiful smooth lines. They work great for lettering!

just my type simon garfield

I also got myself this book, Just My Type by Simon Garfield, which I haven’t put down. It’s great, and if you’re a font lover I highly recommend it. Who knew the history of fonts could be this funny and memorable?
And of course, I can’t resist buying a new notebook everytime I go into an art store. I love the cover on this one, and it has graph paper inside which is perfect for practicing hand lettering.

porcelain painter ceramic pen

Finally, a bit of an impulse buy… I’ve been wanting to experiment with ceramic pens for awhile after seeing some great tutorials on the web. I picked up this one in my favorite color. I can’t wait to try it out, and maybe get some more colors if it goes well! I had thought about ordering ceramic pens from Pebeo, but these ones were actually less expensive than the ones I’ve seen online (this one cost about 3€).

I’m looking forward to playing with all my new goodies this weekend. Have you bought any great new art supplies lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!