• Mikelle Drew

Creating Interlocking Rings

This quick tip was inspired by one of my Accessories students who wanted a quick and easy way to create interlocking rings.

Now, as some of you may know, there are lots of clip art libraries that you can purchase (or find for free on the internet or through a trend service) that contain different types of rings. But if you don’t have access to that or you need to create them on your own, this tutorial is for you!

Create interlocking rings

Interlocking rings are simple to create using the Pathfinder Panel and the Shape Builder Tool in Illustrator®. The Shape Builder Tool intuitively combines multiple objects to create one large object just by dragging across the areas you want to combine. Use this with the Pathfinder Panel, and you’ll have interlocking rings in no time!

Here’s how you do it:

1) Create the rings. Create 2 aligned circles, and make them into Compound Paths. Use the Ellipse Tool to create the circles, and align them (either using the Align Panel or holding ALT/OPTION while drawing). Then, select both circles, Right Mouse Click, and choose “Make Compound Path”.

Create two aligned shapes with the Ellipse Tool

Copy and Paste the ring, and place the copied object so that it overlaps the first ring where you want them to interlock. Continue to copy, paste and arrange or create additional rings, if desired.

Place the rings so they overlap eachother

2) Divide the objects using the Pathfinder. Select the rings. Open the Pathfinder Panel, and choose “Divide” to separate the overlapping shapes. Then, “Ungroup” the object.

Open the Pathfinder Panel and choose "Divide"

Rings are divided into several separate shapes

after using the "Divide" pathfinder

3) Combine the objects using the Shape Builder Tool. Select the individual portions of the ring that you want to combine. Choose the Shape Builder Tool.

Choose the Shape Builder Tool to combine the

individual portions of the rings

Click and drag across the objects to combine the shapes into one shape.

Drag the Shape Builder Tool across all objects to be combined

Do the same with the remaining objects, choosing the shapes so that the rings appear to interlock.

4) Group the object or objects as desired. The rings now appear as 2 interlocking rings. To group the objects, choose Object > Group, or CTRL/CMND-G, or right mouse click > Group.

So that’s your quick tip for this week. I’m Mikelle, your digital fashion guru. Thanks for checking out this blog post, and I’ll see you on 7th Avenue!

Mikelle Drew is a teacher and fashion designer. She has been working in the fashion industry for over 15 years using Adobe creative software and teaching classes in digital fashion design since 2005. Check out her digital fashion tips and tutorials here at the 383Degrees blog or on our YouTube Channel. Or experience her skills in person at one of our group classes.

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