I think it’s safe to say – everyone loves the classic chevron zig-zag print. Am I wrong? Some of you may be “tired” of seeing it everywhere, and it might be approaching it’s overuse, but I don’t see it going away any time soon.
I was thinking about it the other day, why is chevron so loved? In my opinion, (and not like it means anything!) I think chevron is loved so much because of it’s versatility and bold character. The pattern itself looks great almost anywhere, on walls, on throw pillows, on main or accent rugs, or as detail on a piece of furniture. You can add chevron accents in almost any style of home, traditional, contemporary, or mid-century modern. Even though the zig-zag print itself is a classic, it’s always retained a current and trendy feel.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already figured out how to personalize and recreate this classic print. Before I had figured it out, I searched high and low to find the right chevron print, for an image background or yard of fabric. I searched Pinterest, Google images, stores like Target or West Elm, and would gaze longingly over the chevron fabrics over at Spoonflower. It didn’t feel right, like I was borrowing someone else’s design when I should be creating it myself.
Well, search no longer! I’m going to show you how to create your very own chevron print using Photoshop Elements!
How to Create a Chevron Print using Photoshop Elements
Photoshop Elements is the beginner’s version of Photoshop. It’s robust yet easy to use, and you won’t feel lost in it like you do in the big Photoshop software. You can download the free 30-day trial here.
Here’s a sneak peek of the print we’re going to create:
Step 1 – Open a blank file
Select the size and type of background you want. I chose 8.5″ x 11″, and “transparent”
Step 2 – Rotate the canvas to landscape
Step 3 – Add a grid to the canvas
Step 4 – Click the “custom shape” tool (the heart button on the left toolbar)
Step 5 – In the drop-down menu for the custom shapes, make sure “all shape elements” is selected
Step 6 – Select “Arrow 2” from the custom shapes
Step 7 – Draw the arrow
This example is a 2″x2″ arrow
Step 8 – Rotate the arrow layer to the right
Step 9 – Duplicate the arrow layer
Step 10 – Reposition the duplicate layer next to the first layer
Use the “move” tool on the left toolbar. *Make sure you selected the duplicate layer in the edit menu on the right side of the screen before moving
Step 11 – Repeat steps 9 + 10 until you’ve created one full row of arrows (which now look like zig-zags)
Step 12 – Merge visible layers
This takes each individual arrow layer and turns it into a single layer.
*If you have a white background, make sure you turn the background “off” by clicking on the layer’s eye.
Step 13 – Change the color of the layer (optional)
Do this using the button that looks like a paint bucket. You can also do this step at the end.
Step 14 – Duplicate the new merged layer to create a second row of zig-zags
Step 15 – Reposition the duplicate layer using the move tool
Repeat steps 14 & 15 until until canvas is full
Step 16 – Merge visible layers (same as step 12)
Step 17 – Save image
A) Remove grid
B) Save file for web
C) Re-size image, then save
I usually re-size images within a range of 500 ~ 700px
Here are a couple other patterns I completed:
The ideas are endless, now that you know how to create your own chevron print! You can make party hats, party favors, cards for special occasions, digital backgrounds and web images. You can make templates for wall art or wall stencils. You can even create your own fabric on Spoonflower.com and sell it to the public!