I used the BgPatterns tiled backgrounds designer recently in the Seasonal Plume revamp I had just yesterday. BgPatterns is nifty, useful, and very flexible, especially to the pattern-challenged (like me). As you tweak the settings, you can easily see what your tile will look like, apply the background to the site’s patterned header to get a better feel of the pattern, and then when you’re pleased with the outcome, download the image and use it on your projects.
There are a selection of patterns to choose from, and one can change foreground and background colors, canvas texture, pattern image scaling and opacity, and one can even rotate the base image up to a full 360 degrees to suit your customization needs.
One can even sign up and create pattern after pattern, and others vote on how good your pattern is, hopefully becoming the next champion. It’s certainly a very interesting tool with a fun challenge-type game attached to it.