Creating a Polka Dot Pattern

Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) at 2 inches by 2 inches and a resolution of 72 pixels/inch.

New File


Create a new layer by clicking the new layer icon on the layers palette New Layer and fill it with the color you want to be the background of your pattern. First select the foreground color for you want to use. I am using a light orange. Click the paint bucket tool Paint Bucket and pour the orange onto the canvas.

Create another new layer and select a color for your dots by clicking the foreground color on your tool bar and selecting a color. I chose yellow. Turn on your grid (View > Grid) as a guide in order to make your dots appeared to be distributed equally.

View Grid

Also select View > Snap to > Grid to give you more control on placing your dots in the squares.

Snap to Grid

Now we are ready to add our dots. Click on the paint tool Paint Brush Tool and using a hard round brush add dots to your tile.

Hard Round Brush

Increase the size of the brush to 17.

Brush Size

Now begin clicking in the squares as shown below:

Polka Dot Pattern

To turn off the grid simply select View > Grid. Now we will save this to use as a pattern. Click Edit > Define Pattern.

Define Pattern

At the define pattern dialog box enter a name for the pattern and click OK. I called mine Black and Yellow Polka Dot.

Name Pattern

To use this pattern again in the future you will need to take one more step. Click Edit > Preset Manager.

Preset Manager

Now that you have saved your pattern, what can you do with it? Here is just an example of using a pattern fill for text. Create another new document with the same dimensions. Click on the horizontal type text tool:

Text Tool

Type some text. The color doesn't matter because we are going to fill it with the pattern we just made. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl + T) to make the text fill the page. Click on the green check mark to apply the change.

Free Transform

Select the magic wand tool and select the letters while holding down the Shift key. Click on the text layer to activate it, then right click on the layer and select simplify layer.

Simplify Layer

Select Edit > Fill Selection.

Fill Selection

At the fill selection dialog box, choose pattern then select the orange polka dot pattern.

Select Pattern

Click OK to apply the pattern to the text:

Text Polka Dot

Keep the text selected. Now we want to add a stroke to the text. Select Edit > Stroke (Outline) Selection:


At the Stroke dialog box select a width and color for your stroke. Click OK to close the stroke dialog box.


Deselect the selections by holding down the Ctrl + D keys. Here is my finished text:


Back to Paintshop Elements Tutorials