Who else loves brushes in Adobe Illustrator? They’re fun to create and play with. As part of “Love Week”, I’m going to show you how to create a wedding confetti scatter brush. This is ideal for beginners as it doesn’t use the Pen Tool.
How to Create a Confetti Brush in Adobe Illustrator
I’ll then show you how to use the brush to create a simple Graphic Style which can be used to create a stylish plaque or frame within wedding stationery.
1. How to Create a Basic Heart
There are many ways to create a heart shape in Illustrator. This is my preferred method as it gives an even shape, and it will introduce you to some handy features in the program.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a circle. Use the Selection Tool (V) and Alt-Drag the circle to duplicate it so it’s slightly overlapping the original shape.
Let’s combine the shapes by using the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Select both of the shapes and then click on the Unite button to make them one shape.
The top of the heart is taking shape, so it’s time to form the bottom. You’ve got three anchor points at the bottom of the shape… let’s remove the ones either side of the central lower point using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-). Mouse over the point you wish to remove with the tool and click it.
The handles for the lowest point are creating an acute angle inwards to the shape. We can’t reverse that, but we can flatten it out.
With the Direct Selection Tool (A), click on the offending point. Along the top of the UI, you’ll see the options for Anchor Points. Select the first option, Convert selected anchor point to corner.
With the point still selected, use the Down Arrow key on your keyboard to nudge the point down 30 points.
Then with the Direct Selection Tool (A), click on one of the side points. Plug the downward pointing handle bar halfway between the point and the bottom of the heart, making sure that the handle bars are still pointing in the same direction. Repeat this on the other side. This will complete your heart shape.
2. How to Create a Series of Colourful Hearts
So let’s first duplicate the original heart shape in the same manner as we duplicated the circles. Select the heart with the Selection Tool (V) and then hold-Alt-drag the shape alongside it, with enough space to fit say three further hearts in between.
Select both hearts and create a Blend by going to Object > Blend > Mark or using Control-Alt-B. You’ll then get several hearts between each of your shapes.
To ensure you’ve got a total of five hearts, keep the blend selected and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and select the spacing of Specified Steps and the value 3, as we want three original shapes on top of the two we have.
When you look at the Blend group in the Layers panel, you’ll notice that when you drill into the group you’ll see three elements: the path (the line in which the blend follows) and the two original shapes. You can now select the two original shapes and alter their colours until you’ve got the gradient in colours you wish to use for your confetti. I’ve opted for a pastel pink (
#f2a7cb) and indigo (
3. How to Arrange the Hearts
Before we arrange the shapes in a circle-ish shape, let’s release them from the Blend. Select the Blend in the Layers panel and go to Object > Expand. This will turn the Blend into a group of five individual shapes.
Then let’s release the shapes from the group by keeping it selected and going to Object > Ungroup. You’ll see the shapes are now ungrouped in the Layers panel.
Using the Selection Tool (V), arrange the shapes in a circle… it doesn’t have to be perfect as this will be skewed later on.
Then using the Free Transform Tool (E), rotate each one of the hearts. The effect of the brush is to have the confetti randomised, so having the hearts at different angles plays to this effect.
Let’s resize the hearts so they’re more randomised. With the Selection Tool (V), select a couple of the hearts. Then go to Object > Transform > Scale. I’ve reduced the size to 50%.
I then reduce the size of the other hearts to 40%, so there is a slight variation.
You’ll be left with something similar to the below before we create the brush.
4. How to Create a Scatter Brush
Let’s get creating this brush. Select All (Control-A) and then open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Click on the New Brush button along the bottom of the panel.
You’ll be presented with a pop-up window asking which brush you wish to create; select Scatter Brush and click on OK. You’ll now have the Scatter Brush Options window.
Name your brush, and then let’s go through each one of these settings so you know why you’re selecting them.
- Random: They’re all set to random, because we don’t want a uniform appearance to the scattered confetti. When selecting this option, you’ll get to set the parameters between specific values.
- Size: As I created the hearts rather large, I’m giving the Size a small range and not varying it too much. The reason is that the confetti is not being viewed in perspective.
- Spacing: This value is as low as it can be with a small variation. This is because the confetti will appear bunched together.
- Scatter: Scatter refers to how much the shapes deviate from the path drawn… I want it relatively tidy.
- Rotation: The shapes need to fall in random directions… therefore the rotation is set at both extremes.
Click on OK once you’re done.
You can now apply your confetti brush to any path you wish… here it is on a straight line.
5. How to Create a Basic Frame
So let’s use this brush to create a basic graphic. I’m going to add a fancy confetti frame around the names of our fictional couple, Gwen and Karen.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a circle behind the names so we know that the frame won’t overlap the names. Open up the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance).
Click on the Stroke line where it has the brush and you’ll get a dropdown showing you the brushes in your Brushes panel. Select your confetti brush. By default, this will have a 1 pt Stroke Weight, which you can double check by clicking on the Stroke link (which takes you to the Stroke panel settings).
Let’s add more confetti. With the Stroke line highlighted, click into the drilldown menu in the top-right corner and select Duplicate Item. This will duplicate all the values and settings in the Stroke line. We’re going to edit this slightly by clicking on the Stroke link and changing the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt.
Now drag the Fill line to the top of the Appearance panel and change the fill colour to white. This finishes our frame.
If you want to save this pretty frame for future use, open the Graphic Styles panel while the design is selected and click on New Graphic Style. This will save it for future use to apply it to other shapes.
Awesome Work, You’re Done!
I hope you’ve enjoyed creating this multi-object confetti brush. If you’ve got any questions on creating this or you’ve completed the project, please shout off in the comments!
Making confetti brushes or scatter brushes in general can be a lot of fun. Knowing the settings to make these brushes is the key to making awesome creations. Why not check out more of the many scatter brush tutorials we have here on ThemeKeeper Tuts+.
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