This week, we’re keeping things quick and easy with 3 simple pattern hacks applied to stationery borders in Adobe Illustrator: striped, chevron and polka dot. Borders in stationery design are a great tool to create focus on a message while still adding personality. With simpler projects, a seamless pattern swatch isn’t always needed and that’s where these pattern hacks come in 😉 Ideas for using these pattern stationery borders could be: shopping lists, memo pads/notepads and greeting cards. In this beginner friendly tutorial, we’ll utilize an offset path, the blend tool and stroke palette. See it all below!

Pin it for later!

3 simple pattern hacks in adobe illustrator

3 Simple Pattern Hacks in Adobe Illustrator: Striped, Chevron + Polka Dot

Mentioned in this tutorial:

Colors used (CMYK):

  • soft yellow: 0/10/30/0
  • light pink: 0/35/20/5
  • dark pink: 0/80/25/10
  • dark purple: 35/75/0/65

tuesday tips

Here’s the written version of everything we covered in this tutorial:

  1. Create a rectangle the size of your artboard. If you plan to print your design, be sure that a 1/8″ bleed is included (.125″) and that the rectangle extends to the red bleed line.
  2. With your rectangle selected, go object > path > offset path.  Input a negative number. Check the ‘preview’ box to determine the size of the border you’d like to have. Hit ok.
  3. With both the inside rectangle and outer rectangle selected, go to your pathfinder palette (window > pathfinder) and hit the icon for ‘exclude’ under ‘shape modes’. This will remove the inside rectangle from the outer one. You should now see a border in whichever color your chose for your rectangle.
  4. Time to create the patterns. For a striped pattern, create an angled line, apply the stroke you’d like and utilize the blend tool. For a chevron pattern, create a stroked line, go to your appearance palette (window > appearance) toggle down the ‘fx’ icon and choose distort & transform > zig zag. Adjust the zig zag as desired, then use the blend tool to create the pattern. For polka dots, create a stroked line, and in the stroke palette, apply a rounded cap with a dash of ‘0’ and a gap as desired. Increase the stroke weight to increase the dot size. Utilize the blend tool to create the pattern.
  5. Once you have your pattern, with it selected, right click > arrange > send to back. Place it as desired underneath the border you created earlier. Select the pattern and border, right click > create clipping mask. The pattern will now fill the border. Place your message inside your border, print and done!

Receive special offers on courses + products, a new design file every month plus instant access to the Resource Library!

Tuesday Tribe Gift bag

Pick up over 50 design + lettering files as our gift to you when you join the Tuesday Tribe for free!



Please check your email to confirm.

Freebie: Procreate

Freebie: Procreate

Freebie: Procreate

Freebie: Procreate
Written by
Every Tuesday's content creator and founder. I help creatives build and improve their digital skills to open new opportunities.
Latest comments
  • Very nice tips – thanks for sharing, dear Teela 🙂

  • When I try to do the dotted line it only appears on the endpoints! Help! 🙁

  • Clipping mask also doesn’t work and disappears..what am I doing wrong?


GDPR Agreement
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Your Privacy Matters

We use cookies to customize and create content that’s most important to you. We’ll never share the info we collect.

View Privacy Policy