If you’ve been following some of the crafters on social medial you will have seen that buffalo plaid is ALL the rage in the USA. They use it for crafting, home decor, signs, clothes. You name it, they check it!! And I’m only a little bit jealous. Because who doesn’t like a bit of buffalo check? Now, is it just me, or is it so difficult to find any of the craft paper over here in the UK? Or at the very least it’s so expensive to get it sent over.
So what’s a girl to do?? You get creative 😉 And .. this tutorial video on Youtube came to my rescue. With a step by step on how to just paint your own buffalo plaid! I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t turned out 100% perfect, but for a first attempt I am REALLY pleased with the results! Let me show you.
what you need for your buffalo plaid project
1. An old sign or piece of wood for your base
2. Acrylic paint in 4 colours – I used white for my base, a light grey, a darker grey and black. If you don’t want to use grey/black, use colours that are hues of the main colour you want (e.g, a light pink, darker pink and red or light blue, darker blue and navy .. you get the idea)
3. Low tack masking tape – I used this one which worked really well.
4. A make up sponge (my favourite for this type of project)
here’s how I did it
I started off with this old sign that I had but never used .. Let’s face it, even if I did have this hanging up, what are the chances of anyone taking any notice of House Rules? .. This was the perfect base to try out this painting technique. I just took off the hanger and used the back 🙂
I did add one coat of white acrylic paint to the back, just to give it an overall base coat. Leave to dry.
Now, are you ready for a LOT of photos? It looks complicated, but trust me when I say it’s going to be fine.
Start with taping off a line with low tack masking tape. This will form the base of your painting. I didn’t want the whole sign to be buffalo plaid so I started down a bit lower as my starting point.
The first strip is a cover strip which you are going to stick down. The second strip will be your guide spacing strip and will not be completely stuck down. Stick down the third strip completely. Remove your spacing strip (2nd) and place it under the third strip. This is now your 4th strip, which again will be a guide spacing strip. Repeat this process until you’ve got the lines as shown below.
Get your lightest shade of grey paint. I mixed my dark grey with some white to make a paler shade of grey. With a make up sponge dab the paint on in light layers. Going light on the cover and building up is key to avoid any bleeding. Add as many layers as you want to get full coverage. This is my one after one application:
Leave to dry in between layers. Once you are happy with the coverage, carefully remove the making tape.
Important: Effectively your “white stripe” is the top of your project. You need to keep this in mind for when it comes to painting in step 3. I added another piece of masking tape to the top of my lines to make sure no paint would get on the very top part. As such, the white stripe effectively becomes the top of my buffalo plaid pattern.
With your masking tape you are going to create a vertical grid. This time your first strip will be the guide spacing strip. The second strip is the one that is going to be stuck down fully. Move the first strip into the 3rd position (as the guide spacing strip). The fourth strip will be stuck down. Repeat this process until it looks like this:
Take your darker shade of whatever colour you have opted for. In my case this is dark grey. With a make up sponge apply the darker shade of grey. Again, work with light applications and layer until you are happy with the results. You can see mine below (Ignore the horizontal strip of masking tape on the 2nd photo – we’ll come to that in a minute!)
Step 3 (the last one before the big reveal!)
Once you are happy that your paint has dried, DO NOT REMOVE THE MASKING TAPE! You are going to complete the last step by creating the third grid over the top of the existing grid.
Remember I said how important it was to have the white stripe at the top? This is where it comes in! Your first strip is going to be stuck down. This needs to be exactly in the same position of what was your “white” stripe in step 1. Your second stripe of making tape will be your guide strip. Stick down the third piece, move the second (guide trip) to 4th position. Repeat the process until it looks something like this:
Take your final darkest colour (in my case black) and do what you did before. Take your make up sponge and using light layers add black to your work. It’s looking pretty messy at this stage, but it’s the final part before the all exciting peel off process!
Your own painted buffalo plaid design
I’m not going to lie – I was pretty excited about removing the masking tape. It was the first time I’ve attempted this and couldn’t wait to see the outcome. I did this step when the paint was still wet (have I mentioned before I’m just soooo impatient??!). This worked fine – just be careful not to smudge it!
Carefully peel away the masking tape one bit at a time. In this blog I share the good, the bad and the ugly .. and so..
As you can see, there’s the tiniest bit of bleeding in my squares. And do you see the hair mark? I blame our dogs!! Could I get rid of the mark? Of course not. Stay tuned for the perfect solution ..
Overall all though I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out for a first attempt. Practice makes perfect and I will definitely know what to look out for next time. Like lining up the strips EXACTLY to avoid the squares being very slightly out.
finishing off your Buffalo plaid
I finished off the design by adding a messy bow in matching colours. And gluing a small “Love” sign on the blank part (after painting it black to match). You can find it here.
I put the string back on and here’s what it’s looking like ..
Remember that doggy hair mark that I couldn’t get out?? Ta-dah!!! Just add a bow to hide any imperfections!!
Could you Pin this for me so others can have a go at creating their own too?
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