Create Polka Dot Papers in GIMP

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Creating patterned designs like polka dot papers in GIMP can be tough, especially when you are just starting out. Digital layout challenges such as making the classic polka dots from scratch are one of those effective ways to jump start your journey to a fun and motivating world of GIMP.

Let’s get ready for some action!

You can increase each image by clicking on it so you can easily see all settings used.

Polka Dot Papers

Make a new 100 px x 100 px file in GIMP.

Polka Dot Papers

Add a transparent layer.


Use a criss-cross guide to help you place the dots on the right places. To can make guides, go to Image > Guides > New Guide (by Percent) > Horizontal > 50% and repeat the same except that use Vertical instead of the previous horizontal.


Here is how your canvass should look afterwards:


Now, we will have to activate Snap to Guide by going to View > Snap to Guides


Then, go to View > Snap to Canvass Edges to activate Snap to Canvass Edges.


Get your Brush Tool and look for a 100% brush with 30 px size.


Before drawing the dots, make sure that you have set your foreground colour to White and the background layer is invisible.

Now, draw 4 dots on your canvass. One on the left, one on the right, another on top and the last at the bottom.


Save this as a pattern. Go to File > Export and look for GIMP pattern as the file type from the list.

Name the pattern according to your preference and choose GIMP pattern as the File Type.

TIP: For Mac users, the location of the pattern should be in User Name/Library/Application Support/GIMP/2.8/patterns


The pattern is now ready to use!

Open any paper that you’ like to be used as the background. We’ll use this cute paper from digidesignresort’s Digital Scrapbooking Kit It’s a Wonderful World! Part A+B.

Use the Bucket Tool to fill the page with a Pattern Fill with Fill Whole Selection option.


Save the file as JPEG and there goes our Polka Dot Paper!




This paper can now be used as background for any digital scrapbook layout like the one we’ve done below.


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