13 Sources for Background Patterns and Textures

by Steven Snell

August 25, 2008 in Resources

Patterns and textures are becoming a bigger part of web design, and an increase number of resources are available for freebies in this area. Some are tools that will help you to quickly create your own background pattern, while others are sources of stock textures that can be used in your own work. Of the available options for finding textures, these are the best that I have found.



BgPatterns is a really nice resource for quick experimentation. You can create a repeating background pattern by selecting an image, a color scheme, a texture, and you can even rotate the image. Rather than taking the time to create something from scratch in Photoshop or Illustrator, give BgPatterns a try and see if you like it.

Stripe Generator

Stripe Generator

Striped backgrounds are still pretty popular for web 2.0-style designs. If you’re looking for a striped background, Stripe Generator is your best choice. You select the colors, width of the stripes, shadow and the angle.

Lost and Taken

Lost and Taken

Lost and Taken is a site that publishes images of copyright-free stock textures. The textures are of good quality and there’s some variety as well. It’s set up in blog format and you can subscribe if you don’t want to miss out on future textures.

Wood Textures from Bittbox

Bittbox wood textures

Bittbox is one of the best places to find textures and other freebies for graphic design. This collection includes 9 hi-resolution wood textures that can be downloaded in a zip file.

24 Hi-Res Textures from Bittbox

Bittbox hi-res

Bittbox also gives away a great collection of these images. These hi-res textures were photographed at a 19th-century mansion.

Hi-Res Grungy Paper Textures

Grungy paper

More free goodies from BittBox. These textures have been used by a number of designers in various Photoshop tutorials and they’re some of the best paper textures you’ll find.

Texture Kings

Texture Kings

Texture King is a gallery site of free stock texture images for personal or professional use. Available textures include concrete, metal, glass, sand, grunge, and much more.

Grunge Textures

Grunge Textures

Grunge Textures is a gallery of images that are available to be used for personal use with a link back to the site.



Squidfingers offers over 150 nice patterns to use for your own purposes. There are a lot of high-quality options for repeating backgrounds.


COLOURlovers patterns

COLOURlovers is a popular site for finding color palettes to use in your designs, but they have also added a section for user-submitted patterns. You can search to find the pattern that’s right for you, and there are plenty to choose from.

Urban Dirty

Urban Dirty

Urban Dirty is a large gallery of free stock textures. The textures would be useful primarily for grunge-style designs and they are available in three different sizes.

Free 3Ds Textures

Free 3Ds Textures

Free 3Ds Textures is another gallery of stock textures. There is a good variety of textures here, including grass, dirt, wood, paint and more, but nothing has been added in a few months.

CG Textures

CG Textures

CG Textures claims to be the world’s largest free texture site. There are plenty of textures to choose from, and they’re nicely categorized to help you find what you want.

For more design resources on DesignM.ag please see:

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design.Connect with Stephen on google+

  • Patternhead

    Aug 26th

    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    You can find lots of high quality vector patterns at http://www.patternhead.com

  • christian gehrke

    Aug 26th

    Great list. Very handy.

    My all time favorite one is missing though.


    Perfect little web 2.0 app for all your Tarten patterns.

  • Gabriel Ross

    Aug 26th

    Don’t forget this one: http://www.grsites.com/textures/

  • Online hry

    Aug 26th

    Nice list. Thank you very much.

  • Paul Burgess

    Aug 26th

    Hey – thanks for linking Urban Dirty, glad you like it.

  • Steven Snell

    Aug 26th

    I’m familiar with Tartan Maker and would have put it on the list if it hadn’t slipped my mind. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Caleb Kimbrough

    Aug 26th

    Thanks for including Lost and Taken on the list, I’m glad you find it useful.


  • Amy

    Aug 27th

    Thank you for this list. It is definitely in my bookmarks. I used it to jazz up my twitter page: http://twitter.com/theamylynn

  • bunny got blog

    Aug 27th

    this is fantastic :)

  • Ted

    Aug 29th

    I can add this site as well: http://sweetstockphoto.com – it also contains totally free photos (public domain license, so you can do whatever you want with them!)

  • Danh ba web 2.0

    Aug 30th

    Thanks for share. It’s great for me !

  • Elmar

    Sep 6th

    great article, missed textureplaza.com ?

  • Steven Snell

    Sep 6th

    I wasn’t familiar with Textureplaza.com. Looks like a decent resource.

  • Dustin Senos

    Sep 14th

    Thanks for enjoying Free 3Ds Textures! Glad the effort i’ve put into the site hasn’t gone unnoticed. The site has been updated very recently and now includes ALOT more textures / resource images. I realize the homepage doesn’t reflect that but that page will change soon as well.

    Dustin Senos

  • jhee

    Oct 6th

    my fav site http://patterns.ava7.com/ has lots of free patterns ;)

  • harvey

    Dec 21st

    don’t forget http://www.patterncooler.com

    many thanks

  • SJL Website Design

    Jul 12th

    Great set of resource!! Always good to find a good set of textures!!

  • HDR Textures

    Aug 6th

    That stripe generator has served me well in the past haha

  • lv

    Aug 15th

    Great article, thanks for sharing.!!

  • cheap jersey

    Jun 16th

    The image is so nice, but we need some detail

  • lorenzo

    Jul 2nd


    have a look to my work :)

  • IgniteWebsites

    Aug 7th

    Great List. Thanks for sharing!

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