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Simple Repeat Pattern with Post-it Notes

It’s 2022, which means a whole new year of new projects to anticipate! Today, we have something VERY exciting that we’re just bursting to share with you.

Announcing our repeat pattern course! Later this year, we will be launching a whole course with everything you need to know about making repeat patterns. To get you in the mood, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of what’s to come! Today we’re sharing an amazing hack with you: how to make a simple repeat pattern with post-it notes. That’s right! You can learn how to do this with nothing more than a stack of post-its and something to draw with.

Our Love Affair with Patterns

As you probably know by now if you’ve been following us for a bit, we have what you might call a love affair with patterns. Patterns are a really wonderful way to make both bold and subtle statements, and they do it in a myriad of ways. In interior design, it’s amazing what subtle shifts in color, texture and shape can do to highlight furniture, bring elements of the room or architecture to the forefront of your vision, and give the room a specific mood. And don’t get me started on fashion! The possibilities of patterns and they way they can transform your wardrobe is jaw-dropping.

Pattern Inspiration

To show you what I mean, check out these amazing pattern designers and their work!

Siri Carlen

Here’s a link to some Siri Carlen patterned products in our shop!

Baggu

Baggu has endless options of bold, unique colors and patterns. We LOVE what they’re doing.

Finnish Brands

Marimekko

Lars Approved Brand Alert: Marimekko. If you’re unfamiliar with Marimekko, this company is a true miracle worker when it comes to fresh, eye-catching patterns that are applied to clothing, home decor, accessories, and more! This is a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration.

Finarte

These refined and distinct patterns are beautiful and timeless. Finnish designs for the win, again!

RØROS Tweed

There must be something in the water in Finland. I could gush all day about my love for Finnish pattern design.

Silkeborg Uldspinderi

Yet another amazing Finnish brand, with so many beautiful patterns and color ways!

Klaus Haapaniemi

Reminiscent of classics like William Morris, we’re obsessed with the intricate detail of Klaus Haapaniemi’s patterns.

Other Sources

Another source of inspiration we love is Spoonflower. In this post about Interior Design Trend: Favorite Spoonflower Artists, we take your through our favorite Spoonflower artists. There are so many great ones, and we love the way they approach repeat pattern-making!

Here and here are two other fun posts we did a while back about mixing patterns, which is super useful for learning how to apply your patterns to a specific textile or wallpaper and give them a context.

Patterns We’ve Made

winter water factory

winter water factory

We’ve shared a LOT of pattern inspiration with you over the years, but we’ve also tried our hand at creating our own simple repeat patterns from time to time. One memorable example that comes to mind is our collaboration with Winter Water Factory, which you can read more about here. Wrapping paper is another perfect opportunity to experiment with repeat pattern-making. Here‘s our most recent line of bold, graphic colors that you might recognize from photos of our Nativity! We also wanted to highlight the wrapping paper we partnered up with our dear friend Monica to make happen, which you can read about here. Oh, and if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try your hand at screen-printing a repeat pattern right onto the fabric!

wrapping paper

Here are some other examples of ways we’ve experimented with pattern in a not strictly repeat pattern sort of way:

Tumbling Block Bias Tape Weaving is a hands-on way to visualize what’s happening when you make a geometric pattern. Plus, it’s a fun project to do in the meantime while you wait for our patterns course to be revealed.

Bias Tape Weaving

Ribbon Weaving Gift Wrap is another makeshift pattern idea to use as gift wrap! You can also play around and experiment with your own designs.

Ribbon Weaving Gift Wrap

If you want to make your own home decor, try this Painted Plaid Paper Tablecloth. It’s another great way to experiment with patterns and figure out what you like in a hands-on way.

Painted Plaid Paper Tablecloth

This Sticky Note Art even uses post-its like we’re about to use for our repeat pattern!

DIY Sticky Note Mural

Making Your Own Repeat Pattern

One of our goals this year is to make more of our own repeat patterns, and to help you do the same! Creating your own repeat patterns is so much simpler than you might think, so we want to give you the confidence to bring your own pattern ideas to life. We’re starting with a little taste to get the creative juices flowing while you wait for the full-blown repeat patterns course to be revealed. Introducing our simple repeat pattern with post-it notes!

Simple Repeat Pattern With Post-it Notes

This is the simplest way to teach how to make a repeat pattern, especially if this is your first time. It’s a really great technique because it also allows you to visualize what’s happening in a hands-on way that’s a bit more intuitive to start with than the Adobe Creative Suite. That’s especially helpful if you’re unfamiliar with those technologies.

So, here we go! Grab your sticky notes and pencil and let’s walk you through how to make your own repeat pattern.

How to Make a Simple Repeat Pattern With Post-it Notes

post-it note repeat pattern steps

Prepping Your Post-it Notes

  1. First, lay out four sticky notes in a square grid.
  2. Go ahead and draw your pattern. Make sure you don’t break the outside edges–stay in the middle of the four post-its and act like the four post-its are one, larger piece of paper.
  3. If you need some inspiration for what to draw or how to draw it, check out our flower drawing course! This is so helpful, especially if florals are your jam.
  4. Draw until about 75% of the space is filled with a design you’re happy with.
  5. Now, flip each post-it over and label them, lightly, with a pencil as follows: top left (1), bottom left (3), top right (2), bottom right (4).

Assembling Your Repeat Pattern Pieces

Now it’s time to assemble your post-its into their final formation!

  1. For this, move post-it number 2 to the top left corner and post-it number 4 to the bottom left corner.
  2. Tape where the post-its meet, making sure the pattern lines up.
  3. Now, repeat placing post-it number 1 in the top right corner and post-it number 3 in the bottom right corner, taping all post-its to each other, and making sure the pattern is lined up in all four sections.
  4. The sheet should be full at this point and read from left to right: 2-1, 4-3, and top to bottom: 2-4, 1-3.

Finishing Touches

  1. Next, flip the paper over. You should see some blank space running vertically and horizontally across the center cross. Fill in the space until you’re happy with your design, taking care not to let your drawing extend over the edges of the paper.
  2. You now have the first tile in a repeat pattern!! 
  3. To see the pattern repeated, print 3 copies and tape them together. VOILÀ!

Transforming Your Pattern

Obviously, this isn’t the end of the story. There are still a few more steps before this pattern becomes a dress, pillow or wallpaper, so stay tuned for our full-blown pattern course which contains this tutorial and much, much more!

More Inspiration

Interested in this tutorial on how to make a simple repeat pattern with post-it notes? We have a couple of other courses that you’ll probably love, too! For starters, check our our flower drawing course, where you can learn all the tips and tricks you need to be a pro at drawing your own flower garden. Or, if you have budding artists in your home, you won’t want to miss our Great Artists! Course, where you can learn about a new great artists each week and get your kids excited to be creative themselves.

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