learn about all things surface pattern design including the creative design process, being a successful creative entrepreneur & stepping into the mindset of a successful designer

welcome to the pattern design blog





5 ways to update and reuse old surface pattern designs

You don’t always have to start from scratch when you’re designing a surface pattern design. It’s always a good idea to keep a record of all the designs you have created as you never know when you’ll be able to repurpose and reuse old designs. Here are 5 ways to update and reuse old surface pattern designs.

5 ways to update and reuse old surface pattern designs

1. Recolour

One of the simplest ways of updating an old pattern design is by changing the colours. This will enable your design to fit into a different market. Some ways of doing this include:

  1. Changing a winter colour palette into a summer colour palette
  2. Using colours that are on trend for that season. Look at forecasting websites/blogs/magazines etc and choose a palette that fits within an upcoming trend
  3. Change your colours to suits a different market sector e.g. if designing for kids you may choose a bright, primary palette in comparison to a monochromatic earth palette for a sophisticated adult design.

Get your FREE Colour Cheat Sheet and find out more about how to use colour in design here.

2. Resize and Rearrange Motifs

By changing the size of your motifs and rearranging their relationship to each other, you can change the look and feel of a design e.g. you could change a large oversized floral into a small ditsy floral or change which design elements are the focus of the design.

3. Repeat Type

Change the type of repeat you’re using. If your original design is a formal full drop repeat then you could try creating a tossed or random repeat.

Find out more about the different types of repeats here.


4. Remove or Add Some Motifs

By removing or adding motifs to a design you will change its overall look. Think about your target market e.g. you could change a womenswear floral into a kidswear design by adding some child like elements such as butterflies and birds etc.

5. Repeat and Layer Existing Motifs

Repeating and layering motifs will allow you to add an extra dimension and depth to your design. A simple way of layering motifs to change your design would be repeating and rotating a stripe design to become a checkered pattern.


Remember, keep all your design work past and present as you never know how you may be able to reuse it down the track. Even if it’s using only one element of an old design, you can successfully repurpose it into a beautiful new design.

5 ways to update and reuse old surface pattern designs

Want to create another revenue stream by turning your art into surface pattern designs?

Get the free guide

Get my FREE Surface Pattern Design Starter Guide