How to Create Fills or Swatches in Illustrator

by ContributorUpdated September 15, 2017

You can create your own patterns to use as fills or swatches for Adobe Illustrator. These instructions apply to Adobe Illustrator 8. Procedures for other versions may vary.

Create an object that you want to use for the pattern.

Choose Show Swatches from the Window menu. The Swatches palette appears.

Select either the Swatches or Brushes.

Select the object that is to be used for the pattern, and drag it to the Swatches palette. A pop-up window appears.

Customize your pattern as described.

To fill an object, create an object using one of the drawing tools.

Select the object with the Selection tool.

Drag the brush or swatch into the selected object. Your object fills with the pattern that you created.


You can also create a pattern by choosing Define Pattern from the Edit menu.


You cannot use bitmaps, placed files, gradient meshes, gradients, blends, brushstrokes or masks to create a pattern.

More Articles