Children's Crafts With Tartan Plaid

Updated July 19, 2017

Use tartan plaid crafts to teach children about Scotland or Scottish heritage. Tartan is a design that features criss-crossed horizontal and vertical lines of colour in an almost grid-like pattern. Until the middle of the 19th century, each region in Scotland had its own tartan. After the middle of the 19th century, families, or clans, adopted certain tartans to represent themselves.

Tartan Plaid Puppets & Dolls

Help children learn about tartan plaid by engaging them in creating puppets and dolls. Create a Scottish puppet out of a brown paper lunch sack. Draw a tartan plait kilt onto the bottom half of the bag and add a white shirt to the top half. Draw facial features and add large google-eyes to the bag to finish the puppet.

You can also create a stick puppet by painting a large craft stick. Paint the stick a flesh colour and paint the bottom fourth white and the bottom tip black to represent white socks and shoes. Wrap a piece of plaid cloth around the stick, leaving a slit like a real kilt. Create the rest of the stick puppet by adding facial features with markers.

Tartan Plaid Fabric Crafts

Let children create their own tartan plaid fabric to use in various crafts. Start with a plain white piece of fabric. Let children use fabric crayons to create tartan plaid crafts. Let the kids know that the colours and placement of the lines in the plaid had meaning to it. Ask them to assign meaning to their colour choices. Use a ruler to create straight lines of colours. Show children how to make plaid by drawing a grid and then drawing another grid next to the first, but in a different colour. Let them repeat this process until the desired effect is achieved.

Use the fabric to create other crafts, such as cutting patches off the fabric to put on a T-shirt or jeans or use the fabric to create a decorative pillow.

Tartan Plaid Gift Crafts

Let children create their own tartan gift wrap and greeting cards. Make wrapping paper by starting with a piece of white butcher paper. Make the piece large enough to wrap the gift you will be wrapping. Let children make lines using a ruler and a white crayon. Then let children add criss-crossed lines using watercolour paint to resemble a tartan. The white crayon lines will repel the watercolour to create a white grid pattern that is often used in tartan designs. Once it's dry, use the paper to wrap a gift.

Use this same method to create a greeting card. When the paper has dried, fold it in half and write a message in the interior. You can also use erasable coloured pencil for the project. Make the criss-cross design with erasable coloured pencil, then take an eraser and create a straight line of white in the pattern design.

Other Tartan Plaid Crafts

Create tartan containers to share some Scottish treats with a loved one. Use a toilet paper roll to create a container for goodies. Put some traditional Scottish treats such as butterscotch or liquorice in a plastic sandwich bag. Put the bag of goodies into a toilet paper roll and wrap the roll in tartan plaid fabric. Tie both ends of the fabric with matching ribbon.

You can make a man wearing a kilt out of a toilet paper roll. Wrap the bottom half of the roll in tartan plaid to create a kilt. Add a felt white top and face to the man. Fill the roll with some traditional Scottish treats and then add a piece of cardboard to the bottom to keep them from slipping out and add yarn hair to the top.

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About the Author

Stephanie Kelley has been writing articles and columns online for SGM Radio and SGN Scoops Digital since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts in art history/anthropology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. and writes on a number of topics including art, frugal living, children and travel.