Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

Make an Easy Rope Graphic in Illustrator – Ropey Circles, Squares and Squiggly Lines

Hi everybody, thanks for coming back to
Today I’m going to show you how to make this very simple rope design element. It’s not
an illustrated rope by any means, it’s just a very simple way to make a rope element using
the Brushes Palette in Illustrator. It’s used a lot in nautical design or to make kind of
weird looking badges like this one that I’m working on for another tutorial. We’re not
going to be making this whole badge today, I’m going to show you just how to make this
one rope element, ah that you can use for a badge or for a flyer or whatever you want.
Okay, let’s make a new artboard and I need you to have a few things showing before we
get started by going to Window>Brushes. That brings up your Brushes Palette. And Window
>Pathfinder. Have those 2 things showing, and also go to View>Smart Guides and make
sure your Smart Guides are turned on, that’s going to help you with this tutorial. Now
go over to your tool bar. It defaults to Rectangle Tool, choose Rounded Rectangle Tool and click
anywhere on your artboard. And it doesn’t matter what the width and height are, just
make sure that the Corner Radius is at .25 inches and say OK. Delete that and then click
and drag a nice Minion shaped little guy for our rope segment. Make it a black fill with
no stroke and then on your toolbar with that selected find the shear tool. It defaults
to the scale tool, find that shape click and hold til you get the shear tool. Now click
anywhere inside there and just drag it a little bit to the right and that makes it lean a
little bit to one side. And there we have our rope segment. Now, clicking away from
it, hold down Shift and Option, click and drag. Leave a little bit of space between
them, and then hold down Command and the letter D. Do that two times. Now you have 4 rope
segments. Now selecting all of them go to Object>Compound Path>Make, or Command
8. That makes them one shape. Now I’m gong to zoom in a little bit and we need to make
sure at this point that our Rulers are showing by going to Command R, see that brings up
your rulers, or go to View>Rulers. Now click on you ruler on the left hand side, actually
first, sorry about that, first, select everything. Then click your ruler and bring it over to
a path where it says anchor and then let it go, you can see that ruler is there. Zooming
in. What we’re going to do is make a guide on this anchor point, we’re going to skip
one segment and put the next guide on the exact same anchor point on the fourth shape.
So click on your ruler and drag and put it in the exact same spot. There. Now, find you
rectangle tool – the real one, or the first one, select, or rather click and drag on the
top of your elements on that guide, click and drag to the to the ah second guide that
we made. Let go and now make that a invisible shape by getting rid of the stroke and fill.
So now it’s there but it’s just invisible. Now select everything, go to Object>Clipping
Mask>Make, or Command 7 and that gets rid of the rest of that for our swatch. But if
we hover over it we can see that those things are still there. So selecting everything,
now go to that Pathfinder that we opened up and the third one under Shape Modes is Intersect.
Click there, and now if we hover over it, you can see that those are gone and it is
just this little part for our swatch. So now select it, click and drag it over into our
Brushes Palette, choose Pattern Brush, OK. Bring the Scale down to anywhere from 10 to
15 percent. Choose Colorization Tints. OK. Now if we zoom out a little bit, move our
swatch over and if we select an ellipse, hold down Shift, click and drag, let me get rid
the the guides here – and make that a stroke with no fill. And now if we click on our brushes
that we just made, our Pattern Brush, we see our nice rope is now in that circle. This
works for any shape that you use. You can use the pencil tool and draw a squiggly line,
choose that it makes a nice rope. You can use the Rounded Rectangle and make a square
or a rectangle, choose your brush and there you go. It doesn’t work on the regular rectangle
because if you do that it’s going to ask you to come up with the corners for it which you
have to actually make and that’s for another tutorial. So if you’re looking to have a graphic
with a rope around it like on your flyer, just choose rounded rectangle and that will
come out okay. You can also – remember when we made our little Minion guy with our rounded
rectangle? You can experiment by drawing your own shapes using the pen tool and repeating
the steps that we just did but maybe make your own shape to make your rope. And you’ll
have lots of very customized different ah rope brushes that you can use for all manner
of things. So it’s really fun tool to play with and you get some really very simple results.
I hope that was easy, fun and helpful for you. So until next time, bye-bye.

Reader Comments

  1. I am having issues with it letting me click intersect and says i cant do that? help? I am trying to do an outline of the rope not solid black

  2. Could you maybe do a tutorial on an outlined rope? I Want to be able to have a black outline with no fill like a coloring book.

  3. Tnx!! Nice tutorial BTW. but, for some reason the intersect button wont work, so i used the crop button under "Pathfinders"

  4. Thanks for the tutorial but I could not use the clipping mask and intersect tool in illustrator cc. So I used the shape builder tool instead. Also, my normal square corners are fine.
    Much thanks for sharing

  5. everything works until I get to the intersect button it gives me an error message: "The filter produced no results. Please select two intersecting paths."

  6. For everyone who is having a hard time with the INTERSECT button, everything you have to do is simply DESELECT THE GUIDE LINES from the whole selection of elements you want to work with in the pathfinder. I was struggling too at that part.

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