Pixelmator Tip #21 – How To Create A Blueprint Grid Pattern

Ninja Share:

In this tutorial, we show you how to create a simple grid pattern. Grids can be tricky in Pixelmator, so we are going to show you how to create a basic seamless blueprint pattern.

The Final Product

Here is the seamless pattern you should be able to create by the end of the tutorial.


Step 1

There are a number of ways to create this repeatable pattern, but this is the most consistent way of creating a digital grid blueprint that we have found with our experimentations. First we are going to create the repeatable part, in this case it is a white square. Create a new document 100x100px.

tip21-1Step 2

Select the rectangle shape and adjust the size (using free transform – CMD+F) to fit the canvas. Next select the layer style of the rectangle, and make sure there is no fill, and a stroke of 1px, set to center, and white colour.

tip21-2 Step 3

You should end up with something like the below. Note we have put in a black background to show up the white square, but make sure to remove the black background. Save the file as a PXM, and export it as a PNG.

tip21-3aYou can also have fun with the dashed or dotted stroke at this stage (in the layer styles panel), but we stuck to the solid stroke for this tutorial.

tip21-3bStep 4

Now we are going to create the pattern fill. Create a new document of size 400x400px.


and fill the background with a flat colour – we choose a flat blue (#3498db).


Step 5

We are going to use a feature of Pixelmator called Grids. You can enable it by going to View, followed by Show Grid. Once you enable this, we are going to set the grid spacing to 50px. This can be done by selecting Pixelmator in the menu, and then Preferences. Choose Rulers, and under the Grid section, modify to Gridline every 50px and 1 subdivision.


Step 6

Now copy and paste your white square image onto a new layer and drag it to the top left of the canvas. At this stage you can adjust the size of the image to make a more compact grid pattern.


Next open the effects panel (CMD+3), choose Tile, followed by Affine. Drag this effect onto the white square layer and use the settings shown below. Zoom right down to the pixel levels (CMD++) and ensure that the white lines are aligned at the pixel level on top of the grid.


Once it is aligned to the grid, zoom out (CMD+-), and adjust the edges of the grid, so that it can be a seamless pattern when used. For this we are going to ensure the edges and corners of the grid all line up to half the squares. Next hit okay in the Affine effect, and you should end up with the following.


Save this file as the pattern PXM file, and export it as a PNG pattern. Now we have a repeatable blueprint pattern file.

Step 7

Finally create a new document, we choose 1024x1024px and drag and drop your pattern file onto a new layer. Open the effects panel (CMD+3), select Tile, and choose Affine to create the blueprint background. Adjust the position of the Affine effect so that the edges and corners of the pattern look symmetrical.


and finally, we have a repeatable pattern file to create a seamless blueprint texture. We also added a little bit of Noise (from the Effects Panel under Stylize), just 1-2% and set this to monochrome to make it look a bit more realistic for the blog featured image.

The blueprint pattern file created using Pixelmator is available in our store as a freebie, so go grab it.


  • I like this tutorial. A few tips:

    1. Make your blueprint image a bit larger than the final output (say 1200×1200).
    2. Next canvas image to the desired output (say 1024×1024).
    3. Perform manual adjustments to make the final output symmetrical using arrows on keyboard.

    M L NielsenFebruary 26, 2015
    • good points – thanks for the tips.

      Pixelmator NinjaFebruary 26, 2015
  • I don’t understand?(((

    NomadicMay 14, 2015
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