how to chevron

So Danielle asked me if I could share how I made my own chevron pattern in photoshop. I was pretty amazed that someone actually reads my blog, so of course I’m granting that wish!

Before we start, let me just point some things out:

First of all, I am absolutely no pro when it comes to photoshop! All I know about it I learned from The Pioneer Woman, so if you’re looking for great tutorials in general, this is the place to go.

Second, there’s probably a much easier way to make a chevron pattern in photoshop, but again, since I’m no pro, I just did what I thought might work, which it did.

Third, since I live in Germany and am German myself, my version of photoshop is in German, too. Don’t let that distract you though, I’ll try to explain everything as good as possible.

And finally, this is going to be a long post with lots of pictures. Click to enlarge them, you’ll  see more detail that way.

Well, let’s get to it then.

First of all, open photoshop. Duh.

Open a new file with a transparent background (important!). The size I chose was 8×10.

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Next, when the file has opened, go to ViewShowGrid and also Magnetic Guides (not sure if that’s what they’re called in the English version). You’ll see the grid but not the magnetic guides.

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Select a color of your choice, like red, and the rectangle tool and make several rectangles, using the grid as an orientation. I used the thick grid lines as an orientation and made the rectangles 1×3 big.

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Select the first of your rectangles and click on EditFree Transform. You can now enter the rotation degree in the top bar. For the first of your rectangles, enter -45 to rotate it 45 degrees counterclockwise.

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Now select the second rectangle, again click on EditFree Transform, and this time enter 45 to rotate the rectangle 45 degrees clockwise.

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Repeat with your other rectangles, always alternating between -45 and 45.

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Now this is the part where those magnetic guide things come in handy. Select the second rectangle and drag it over to the first one. You want them to overlap perfectly like so:

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Repeat with your other rectangles:

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Now select another color, let’s say beige, draw the same number of rectangles and rotate them like you did with the red ones.

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Then select the first beige rectangle and drag it up to the first red one. You want them to line up against each other. Again, those magnetic guides come in really handy here:

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Select the second beige rectangle and overlap it with the first beige one, like the first red ones did. Again, gotta love those magnetic things:

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Repeat with the rest and it’s starting to look a lot like chevron:

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Now click LayersMerge Visible.

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Instead of several layers, you now have one.

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What I did next was duplicate this layer by clicking LayerDuplicate Layer

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The duplicte layer now sits right on top of the original one, so you can’t see it, except for in the layers widow on the bottom right.

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Just move it and you’ll see it.

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Now I lined the duplicate layer up with the original one, which wouldn’t work with a non-transparent background.

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Now you could just go on merging layers and then duplicating them until your file is filled, but since I didn’t want it to be all 90 degrees everywhere I selected the rectangular marquee and carefully selected an area of the pattern that would look seamless if lined up with itself (make sense?). Don’t be confused here, I forgot to take screenshots inbetween. I merged layers and duplicated them for a while, then did this step:

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Then go to ImageCrop:

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And this is what I saved as a jpeg file:

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Now I opened a new file. I chose 5×7 because I have some IKEA frames of that size lying around.

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Then I copied and inserted the jpeg-chevron, which was too big because I created it in 8×10.

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So I clicked EditFree Transform

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…and while holding down the Shift key made it fit in width. Which, as I now realize, is probably unnecessary, because I could have just taken the lower right corner of the chevron and lined it up with the lower right corner of the new file. But whatever. I’ll show you anyways.

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So after making it fit in width I made it fit in length, without holding the Shift key as to get rid of the too-perfect 90 degree angles.

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And here’s the final result:

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I hope I didn’t confuse you too much here. Let me know if you try this and how it works out for you!

If I can do this, you can do this, too!

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “how to chevron

  1. Thank you so much for the detailed plans! I think I am going to feature this on my blog, if you don’t mind!

  2. Jenny

    You’re very welcome! And I don’t mind at all :-)

  3. This is too cool for school! I love a good cheapo art trick!

  4. LaylaQ

    Thank you! I am a PS novice & this was super helpful. Now I am gonna chevron everything :)

  5. just found your delightful blog. am really excited to look around. and p.s. happy happy birthday to you!

  6. Kristen

    Can’t tell you how much I appreciate this tutorial. Just stumbled upon it when searching for someone to give me step by step instructions. Great instructions!!

  7. Thank you so much! Just did it and set it as my background. Love the clean look.

  8. Olivia

    Woo-hoo! Thanks for sharing this technique! I’m so glad I stumbled on your site and can’t wait to explore!

  9. Thanks for the tutorial! I couldn’t get my chevron perfect until I found your link – thanks again!

  10. Great tutorial! Exactly what I was looking for!

  11. juliecache

    Excited to find this, but bummed that I can’t find the menu under View to match your tutorial. Must be the version I’m using.

  12. Denise

    Oh awesome, thank you!! I was able to apply this same technique in Illustrator. Simple instructions :)

  13. Thank you! Life saver- so quick and easy!

  14. Love it! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  15. I just started using photoshop and have been looking at sooo many tutorials lately. Yours is definitely the easiest to follow!!! Thanks so much.

  16. Jeri

    I want to thank you for this post !!! I have been looking everywhere for yellow chevron paper to make my sisters baby shower invitations. I was about to give up, when I saw your post. I was able to create my own yellow chevron pattern and print it on already cut cards. Thank you thank you Thank you!!

  17. Mel

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!
    I wanted to ask you what are your Grid settings (size) for some reason when I clicked on “Grid” it showed super tiny squares, and I noticed that yours look bigger, so I wanted to use the correct size.
    Thanks so much!!

    • Jenny

      Hi Mel!
      I think the grid size is always the same, it just appears bigger when your document is smaller. I did the tutorial on an 8×10 document, maybe you just used a bigger one?

  18. lynsey

    Hi thanks for your post i just have a question, is 8 x10 pixels or inches? I love this tutorial!

    • Jenny

      It’s inches. I just chose one of the pre-set photo dimensions photoshop offers, but of course you can enter individual dimensions as well.

  19. Thank you! This post is exactly what I was looking for :)

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