If you want to use pattern overlays but don’t own Photoshop (it’s actually easier to use than you might think!), you can still use pattern overlays using free graphic design tools such as Canva. In the video below I walk you through how to upload and use a pattern overlay. If you want to try it yourself and follow along with the video, there’s a polka dot pattern overlay in the free printables library which you can access here.
Pattern overlays are essentially a digital paper or pattern background, but they don’t have a background color – you get to choose what color you want the pattern to be!
To enlarge the screen of the video tutorial, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon). If you miss a step or need to re-watch you can pause, restart, rewind and rewatch the recording as many times as you need!
In Summary, to use a pattern overlay in Canva:
- Locate a pattern overlay (PNG) file on your computer. If you need some pattern templates I have a few in my Etsy shop, PaperCravings and also teach how to make them in my ecourse: How to make patterns in Photoshop and Monetize your Designs
- Click on the file, drag and drop into Canva and wait for it to upload
- Then click on the pattern overlay and it will be added to your template
- Click on one of the corners and drag outwards to enlarge until it fills the entire template
- Add a background color
- Add any other elements you like such as a circle and then text over the top to make a monogram wallpaper/screensaver/computer background. See this post for a tutorial on how to make a computer wallpaper and this one for a monogram wallpaper tutorial
So if you can use pattern overlays in Canva, then why do you use and prefer Photoshop?
I prefer Photoshop for a couple of key reasons:
- In Photoshop, you can choose the color of the background and the actual pattern itself (so in the example above, you’d be above to choose a color for the pineapple’s if you didn’t want them to be white)
- You can add textures such as glitter to the pattern by using clipping masks
- Photoshop’s layers menu makes it much easier to move layers around – as you could probably see in the video, it was a bit annoying trying to re-order the layers so that the pattern overlay appeared over the top of the colored background. In Photoshop you can easily avoid accidentally selecting layers you don’t want to move
- It’s much easier and quicker to align things in Photoshop than Canva
- Image quality is higher in Photoshop
- Photoshop doesn’t require the internet to use, which is the case with Canva
I hope you found this tutorial helpful – leave a comment if there are any other graphic design related tutorials you’d like to see. You can find more tutorials like this one in the free graphic design video tutorials library.