Border Pattern Brush in Illustrator

    ●  Create a new custom Pattern Brush using Illustrator's shape tools and apply it to a border shape on your project.

Learn About:

Snap to Grid in Illustrator Convert to Shape Rectangle Tool
Pattern Brushes Star Tool

  •   This tutorial is part of the CD Cover Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator

    ●   If you are working on the
CD Cover Project open that ...

    ●   OR, if you are working on the
Picture Perfect Project
open that ...




   ●   OR, if you are working on
Shadow Life Project open that ...

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …



Make a New Layer and drag it below the other layers …

… OR, if you have not begin your CD cover yet, open the:

Step #2: Grid ~

Go to: View > Show Grid or use the shortcut: Cmd (⌘) + "

… also go to: View > Snap to Grid or use the shortcut: Shift+Cmd (⌘) + "

Step #3: Rectangle Tool ~

Get the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …

… set Stroke to none fill-color-none-ai.png and pick a Fill color of your choosing …

… and create a shape inside the grid.

Step #4: Deselect ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

selection tool ai

… and click somewhere on the artboard …




That's the way to DeSelect an item in Illustrator!

Step #5: More Shapes ~

Now change your Fill color to something else …

… and make more shapes filled with different colors.

Make as many shapes and colors as you want …

Step #6: Convert to Shape ~

Click on one of the shapes …

… and go to: Effect > Convert to Shape > Ellipse.

Convert to shape

… and adjust the width and height to make it fit.







Try different shapes and colors! There are lots of options … Experiment!


Step #7: Polygon Tool ~

Now select the Polygon Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… and click once on the artboard to activate Polygon options.

Set the sides to 3 and leave the Radius whatever …

Using the Selection Tool, adjust the shape to fit in the middle.

Step #8: Star Shapes ~

Get the Star Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… and click somewhere on the artboard like you did before …

… and lower the Points to 5 or 6.

Shrink the shape to fit and change it's color.

Step #9: Combine All these Techniques ~

Using a these techniques, create a combination of shapes and colors …

Step #10: Drag into Brushes ~

Select the shapes with the Selection Tool by dragging a box around them …

… open the Brushes palette …

… drag them into your Brushes palette …

… and choose New Pattern Brush.

Name your brush and lower the scale a little.

Step #11: Apply the Brush ~

Set Fill to none fill-color-none-ai.png and Stroke to any color of your choosing …


… draw a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool

… and select the new pattern brush.

decorative pattern border





You may notice that the corner pattern is missing.

Step #12: Corner Pattern ~

Select both the inner and outer shapes by holding and clicking both of them …

… then, holding the Alt (⌥)+Cmd (⌘) alt cmd keys keys, drag it to the first box to set it as the corner shape.

Your brush now has an Outer Corner Tile for your brush.

… hit ok and then hit Apply to Strokes.

Step #13: Drop Shadow ~

Select the entire thing by hitting the keyboard shortcut Cmd (⌘) +A and go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow - Also add Outer Glow too, and any other Effects you want!

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: