For those of you who are not familiar with using pattern brushes in Illustrator, I am going to walk you through loading up and using our vector Christmas light brushes for Illustrator.

 

To begin:  If you haven’t already, download and unzip the files.  If you haven’t purchased the files yet, they can be found over on Creative Market by clicking the image below:

 

Christmas Light Brushes for IllustratorClick image to purchase

 

Step 1:  Open up Illustrator and create a new document.  To load up the brushes, make sure your Brushes panel is visible (Hit F5 or go to Window > Brushes).

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 2: Make sure to load up the brushes through the brush panel and not by double clicking the .AI file included in the download.  To do this simply, click on the menu through the Brush Panel and go to Open Brush Library… > Other Library. Navigate to where you saved the brushes and load up one of the sets.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 3:  This will open a new panel with the Christmas Brushes.  For the download, I separated the large and small bulbs into two sets so that they weren’t too hefty for slower computers.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 4: Using your tool of choice (Pen, Pencil, Brush, etc.) draw out a line. 

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 5: Apply one of the brushes to your stroked line.  As you can see, the brush is a little large for my page size.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 6:  There are a few ways to re-size the brush.  The simplest way is to just change the stroke weight.  With the line still selected, change the Stroke weight up or down.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 7:  You can also change the size through the Brush Settings.  Make sure you are in the actual brush panel and not the brush list.  Double click the brush you want to alter and it will bring up a new menu.  If you double click on the brush and it doesn’t bring up a new window, you are clicking in the wrong brush window.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 8: Simply drag the “Scale” slider up or down to change the size.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 9: To change the direction that the bulbs are facing, check the box that says “Flip Across”.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 10:  As you use the pattern brushes, you may notice that sometimes when you draw out your stroke and apply the brushes that Illustrator warps the shape of the bulbs.  This is unfortunately unavoidable in some cases, which is why the set comes with the wire separated from the bulbs.

 

There are 3 different wire brushes to choose from.  Draw out a line and apply one of the wire brushes to it.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 11: Make a copy of this stroke (Ctrl + C) and Paste in front (Ctrl + F).  At the very top of the brush list you will see the single bulb brushes.  Click one to apply it to the line.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 12:  Double click on the bulb brush you used to bring up the Brush Options.  To adjust the spacing between the bulbs, raise or lower the “Spacing” Slider.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 13: You can also adjust the size of the bulbs independently from the wire by adjusting the “Size” slider.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 14: You can also create another stroke and apply a different colored bulb brush to it.

 vector christmas light brushes

 

Step 15:  These brushes also follow the curve of the path, so they line up properly with the wire.

 vector christmas light brushes

Step 16:  As a bonus, I have included 3 brushes from our Fairy Dust brush set so that you can add some extra glow and sparkle to the Christmas light brushes.  You can get the full set of the Fairy Dust brushes by clicking the link below:

Fairy Dust Sparkle Brushes for IllustratorClick Image to Purchase

 

Step 17: Load up the bonus brushes the same way you did the others.  I have set my stroke color to #F4E1E1 and changed the Transparency mode to Soft Light at 100%.  As you can see in the image below, I drew a short line over top of the red Christmas light brush and applied brush #14 to it.

 String light brushes

Step 18: Using brush #1 set at the same color with the Transparency set to Overlay at 100% I also added some tiny sparkles around the bulb.

 String light brushes

Have fun with these brushes as you create your own custom Holiday designs.

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