How to Create Buffalo Plaid for Crafting Projects!

Buffalo Plaid is certainly all the rage in the colder months and especially for holiday decor. It’s popping up in all craft mediums and I’ve worked with it a lot in Crochet, so I thought it would be great to teach others how to create Buffalo Plaid for crafting projects!

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Buffalo Plaid, also referred to as Buffalo Check, is actually quite simple once you understand the colors and the necessary arrangements of those colors.

How to create buffalo plaid for crafting projects:

In textiles, Buffalo Plaid would be made by taking a bright color and making a solid square, black and making a solid square, and then another square that mixes the black and bright color in diagonal striping.


When making Buffalo Plaid in crafting mediums, you work this slightly different. Simply put: you need black, a bright shade of your chosen color, and a dark shade of that same color.

For instance, when making a Red Buffalo Check pattern you would use Bright Red (Like Scarlet), Dark Red (Like Burgundy), and Black.

Using the dark shade of the color (Burgundy) creates the illusion that the Red (Scarlet) and Black have been mixed together, so it has the same visual effect.

Buffalo Plaid Pattern Graphic


The thing to remember is that the dark shade (Burgundy) is the key color to making the plaid work and also the color used most: it will appear in every row.

For instance if the first row is Black and Burgundy, then the next row will be Burgundy and Bright Red.

Also important to remember is that the Burgundy squares will be placed diagonal to each other. So if the first row is arranged Burgundy, Red, Burgundy, Red…etc. Then the next row will start with Black (so it’s placed beneath the Burgundy of row 1), then Burgundy (so it’s placed beneath the Cherry Red), Black, Burgundy, Black, Burgundy…etc.

Make sure that you’re making them in perfect squares (each square is the same size) or it will throw off the look. For example if your width is 2″ you want your height to also be 2″ (4″ x 4″, 10″ x 10″…etc).


If you’re looking to design your own plaid crochet projects you can use any stitch pattern you like. I prefer using single crochets because I feel like you can get a more precise finish: single crochet stitches have the same width as they do height.

I also see buffalo plaid done in double crochets often and this works to a beautiful finish as well, you just have to make sure you’re working enough stitches wide to match the height of the rows. Where single crochets would be 5 stitches X 5 rows is equal in width and height, you would have to work something like 3 stitches for every row of double crochets.

Rustic Mug Rugs

Whatever stitches you choose to use, aim as close to a perfect square per color that you can get.


Below you will see some samples of other Buffalo Plaid color possibilities. Buffalo Plaid (Buffalo Check) can be made in Reds, Blues, Green, Purple, and even neutrals.

Blue Plaid: Royal Blue, Navy Blue, and Black – The Navy stands for the “mixed square” and will appear in every row.

How to Make Buffalo Plaid Buffalo Plaid Color Arrangements graph blues

Green Plaid: Pine Green, Emerald Green, and Black – The Pine stands for the “mixed square” and will appear in every row.

How to Make Buffalo Plaid Buffalo Plaid Color Arrangements graph greens

Purple Plaid: Royal Purple, Amethyst Purple, and Black – The Royal Purple stands for the “mixed square” and will appear in every row.

How to Make Buffalo Plaid Buffalo Plaid Color Arrangements graph purples

Neutral Plaid: Gray, White, and Black – The Gray stands for the “mixed square” and will appear in every row.

How to Make Buffalo Plaid Buffalo Plaid Color Arrangements graph neutrals

You can work this pattern in any shades you choose! Oranges, Yellows, Teals, Pinks… whatever you need for your next project!

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How to Create Buffalo Plaid for Crafting Projects How to Crochet Buffalo Plaid How to Paint Buffalo Plaid How to Sew Buffalo Plaid Crochet Buffalo Plaid Patterns

I hope this tutorial helps you get started on your next plaid project! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Written tutorial and photographs © 2019 Sonya Blackstone of Blackstone Designs. Please do not sell, share, or modify this tutorial, but instead share the link to where the pattern can be found. You may sell items you make with this tutorial. This tutorial, as with all Blackstone Designs/Sonya Blackstone tutorials, are not for educational use without written permission from the designer.  

Sonya Blackstone is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

8 thoughts on “How to Create Buffalo Plaid for Crafting Projects!”

  1. Very cool and very clear instructions on how to do plaid. I often wondered how to crochet plaid items, now I know. Thank You so much for your description, I’d never figure it out on my own. I just recently, about a month ago, started reading crochet patterns and understanding them. God Bless you and your family! You are truly an inspiration to me. Judi :o)

  2. Thank you!
    I am trying to figure out how to crochet a Santa hat in plaid. Because of the decrease or increase I’m not sure how to manage. Any tips?



    • Hi Cara!
      The best way to do this is either with graph paper or a graphing program. Figure out how many stitches around the hat will need to be (example an adult hat may need to be 72 sc around) and then color out the sections (including decreases).



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