Tartan Christmas Decorations (Plaid Knitting Pattern)

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In this post, you will learn how to knit your own tartan Christmas decorations.

There are three sizes of plaid ornaments to make, small, medium, and large.

Making some tartan plaid from your yarn scraps is a great idea, and they can match your holiday decor.

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or you can grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF in my shop here.

Knitted tartan Christmas decorations

Tartan Baubles With A Plaid Pattern

You all know I love anything tartan, Scottish heritage, or linked to the Outlander TV series, and these tartan baubles fit right in!

Knit similarly to this Fraser Tartan Scarf Knitting Pattern and this Fraser Tartan Dog Sweater Pattern.

Knitting stripes create the tartan effect, then weaving lengths of yarn through the knitted fabric.

They will soon become your favorite ornaments hanging on your tree inside the house or on your front porch.

Use yarn to hang them, or add some plaid ribbon or other gorgeous ribbon.

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Tartan Christmas decorations free

Plaid Christmas Decorations

Knit lots and lots of these baubles to decorate your plaid Christmas tree.

They would also look great placed together on a wooden tray with candles, pinecones, and real greenery to make a table display.

Mix handmade decorations with fresh greens to create a rustic-looking centerpiece for your dining room table.

You could also get plaid napkins or a plaid tablecloth to match or make a long length of woven, knitted fabric for a plaid table runner.

Tartan Christmas decorations on the tree

The Yarn I Used

You can easily make these Christmas baubles from leftover yarns in your stash.

I used leftovers from Cascade 220 in red, green, and grey to create the striped knitted rectangles.

Then the same colors were used to weave the tartan into the knitted fabric – up and over into the garter stitch bumps.

You could gather inspiration from your family tartan or go with a red tartan for a touch of plaid on your tree.

Tartan bauble and yarn

Resources and tutorials you may find helpful in following this pattern

This pattern is great for any beginner knitters.

You don’t need much time to make them, but you do need a little bit bit of patience to weave the yarn through the knitted fabric to create the Christmas plaid.

Tartan Christmas decorations

What Are Some Scottish Christmas Decorations?

Scottish Christmas decorations often reflect the country’s rich heritage and cultural symbols.

Here are some traditional Scottish decorations you might consider:

1. Tartan Ribbons and Fabrics:

  • Tartan patterns are iconic in Scotland. You can use tartan ribbons to decorate the tree or incorporate tartan fabric as tree skirts, table runners, or as part of other decorations. You can find plaid stockings, plaid throw pillows, and plaid wrapping paper.

2. Thistles and Heather:

  • Thistles, the national flower of Scotland, and heather are often used in wreaths, garlands, or as accents in centerpieces to add a touch of Scottish flora.

3. Bagpipe Ornaments:

  • Miniature bagpipes made into ornaments can be hung on the tree to represent Scotland’s traditional musical instrument.

4. Scottish Terrier Decorations:

  • Ornaments or figurines of Scottish Terriers, a breed native to Scotland, can be used to add a charming touch.

5. Highland Cattle Ornaments:

  • Miniature Highland Cattle figurines or ornaments, known for their long shaggy hair, can be used to represent the Scottish countryside.

6. Scottish Clan Crests:

  • If you have Scottish heritage tied to a specific clan, ornaments or decorations featuring your clan’s crest can be a meaningful addition.

7. Quaich Ornaments:

  • Miniature representations of the traditional Scottish drinking cup, the quaich, can be hung on the tree or used in table displays.

8. Scottish Dancer Ornaments:

  • Decorative ornaments representing traditional Scottish dancers in their tartan attire can add a lively touch to the decorations.

9. Celtic Knotwork Decorations:

  • Celtic knotwork designs are prevalent in Scottish art. Look for ornaments or decorations featuring Celtic knots to add a touch of Scottish heritage.

10. Saltire Flags:

  • The Saltire, the Scottish flag with its distinctive white diagonal cross on a blue background, can be incorporated into decorations or used as an accent.

Combining these elements can help create a beautiful and distinctly Scottish Christmas decor that pays homage to Scotland’s culture, history, and traditions.

plaid ornaments on Christmas tree

Tartan Christmas Decorations – Knitting Pattern

Grab your inexpensive ad-free, PDF printable pattern in my shop here.

Notes

Make knitted tartan Christmas decorations to hang on your tree.

The plaid decorations will complement your Christmas décor in your living room or family room.

There are three sizes to make, small, medium, and large.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, only link to the pattern page.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Please credit Handy Little Me (Louise Bollanos) as the designer in all product listings.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.

Skill Level – Basic

Gauge – 10 x 10 cm/4 x 4 inches =  12 sts/18 rows in garter stitch.

Measurement/Sizes

Knitted samples laying flat will measure…

  • Large – Length = 14″ / Width = 7″
  • Medium – Length = 9″ / Width = 5″
  • Small – Length = 4″ / Width = 6″
Knitted tartan

The Supplies You Need

Yarn

Yarn – Cascade 220 /100g/219 yds/200m.

  • Yarn A – Red
  • Yarn B – Green
  • Yarn C – Grey
  • Worsted/Aran/10 PLy yarn
  • Scraps in various colors.
  • Around 40/50g of each color for 3 balls.

Needles

Notions

Other Materials

Toy stuffing/fiberfill – to stuff the baubles.

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK) List

  • CO = Cast on
  • Cont = Continue
  • K = Knit
  • Patt = Pattern
  • Rep = Repeat
  • St(s) = Stitch(es)
plaid ornaments

Pattern – Large Tartan Bauble

  • Yarn A – Red
  • Yarn B – Green
  • Yarn C – Grey

With Yarn A cast on 46 sts

Knit every row (working in garter stitch) you will create a striped rectangle as follows:

  • Yarn A – Knit 8 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 8 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 8 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 8 rows.

Cast off in yarn A and leave a long length for seaming – around 12-14 inches.

Tartan Christmas decorations

Pattern – Medium Tartan Bauble

  • Yarn A – Red
  • Yarn B – Green
  • Yarn C – Grey

With Yarn A cast on 36 sts

Knit every row (working in garter stitch) you will create a striped rectangle as follows:

  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.

Cast off in yarn A and leave a long length for seaming – around 12-14 inches.

Tartan Christmas decorations knitted

Pattern – Small Tartan Bauble

  • Yarn A – Red
  • Yarn B – Green
  • Yarn C – Grey

With Yarn A cast on 26 sts

Knit every row (working in garter stitch) you will create a striped rectangle as follows:

  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 2 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 2 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 2 rows.
  • Yarn C – Knit 4 rows.
  • Yarn B – Knit 2 rows.
  • Yarn A – Knit 6 rows.

Cast off in yarn A and leave a long length for seaming – around 12-14 inches.

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes

How To Make Up The Knitted Christmas Bauble

  1. Weaving The Tartan

    Cut lengths of Yarn A and Yarn B around 8 inches long (maybe longer for the large size) and weave through the knitted fabric with a darning needle…
    I repeated a pattern of 4 strands of Yarn A and 2 of Yarn B.
    You can see a video tutorial here.weaving the tartan

  2. The Finished Rectangles

    You have your finished rectangles – looking something like this…
    You can weave the ends in if you wish or tuck them in when you cinch the top and bottom to hide them.Knitted tartan

  3. Create A Tube

    You seam the rectangle to create a tube using the mattress stitch.Making up 1

  4. Cinch The Bottom

    Sew a running stitch around one end of the tube, then cinch it together and secure.Making up 3

  5. Stuff The Bauble

    Stuff the bauble with polyfill/toy stuffing to make it nice and round.Making up 4

  6. Cinch The Top

    Then, sew a running stitch through the top and cinch it together to close and secure.
    (Tucking in any stray ends from the weaving)Making up 5

  7. Create A Hanging Loop

    With the length of yarn that is left, secure and create a hanging loop by securing the other end of the yarn close to the cinched top – so you can hang the bauble onto your tree.
    Your Christmas tree decorations are now ready!plaid ornaments

What Does Tartan Have To Do With Christmas?

Tartan is a traditional Scottish fabric pattern that is often associated with Christmas due to its historical and cultural significance in Scotland.

While not specifically tied to Christmas in the way that holly or mistletoe might be, tartan has become a popular decorative element during the holiday season for a few reasons:

1. Scottish Heritage:

  • Christmas is a time when many people celebrate their cultural heritage, and for those with Scottish ancestry, tartan represents a connection to their roots. Using tartan decorations during Christmas can be a way to honor and celebrate Scottish heritage and traditions.

2. Festive Colors:

  • Tartan patterns often feature rich and festive colors, such as reds, greens, and gold, which are commonly associated with the holiday season. These colors make tartan a natural choice for Christmas decorations, adding a warm and festive touch to the decor.

3. Traditional Dress:

  • In Scotland, tartan has been historically used in traditional Highland dress, including kilts and other garments worn during celebrations and special occasions. During Christmas gatherings or events, people might wear tartan clothing or accessories as part of their festive attire.

4. Decorative Appeal:

  • The visually striking and recognizable pattern of tartan lends itself well to decorative items such as ribbons, tree skirts, stockings, and table runners. Incorporating tartan into Christmas decorations adds a touch of elegance and tradition to the festive decor.

While tartan itself may not have direct religious significance to Christmas, its association with Scottish heritage, festive colors, and decorative appeal has made it a popular choice for adding a touch of tradition and warmth to holiday celebrations.

Knitted tartan Christmas decorations

Why Do We Wear Plaid At Christmas?

Wearing plaid or tartan at Christmas often ties back to cultural traditions and heritage, especially in regions like Scotland, where tartan is deeply ingrained in the culture.

The reasons behind wearing plaid during Christmas include:

1. Cultural Significance:

  • In some cultures, particularly Scottish and Celtic traditions, tartan or plaid patterns hold historical and cultural significance. Wearing these patterns during festive seasons like Christmas can be a way to honor and celebrate one’s heritage.

2. Festive Colors:

  • Plaid or tartan often features colors associated with the holiday season, such as reds, greens, and gold. These colors evoke feelings of warmth and festivity, making plaid a popular choice for holiday attire.

3. Traditional Dress:

  • In certain regions, traditional clothing includes plaid patterns, like kilts or other garments made from tartan fabric. During celebrations, including Christmas gatherings, people might wear traditional dress to connect with their heritage or as a nod to their cultural roots.

4. Family and Clan Connections:

  • For individuals with ties to specific clans or families associated with particular tartan patterns, wearing plaid can be a way to show allegiance or honor familial connections, especially during holiday gatherings where traditions are cherished.

5. Fashion and Style:

  • Plaid patterns have become a staple in fashion, especially during the colder months. During Christmas, people might choose to wear plaid as part of their festive outfits simply for its stylish and seasonal appeal. Add some tartan ribbon or even a buffalo check to your accessories.

6. Personal Tradition:

  • Some families or individuals might have personal traditions of wearing plaid during Christmas, either as a symbol of togetherness, a way to distinguish the holiday season, or as a cherished family tradition passed down through generations.

In essence, wearing plaid at Christmas often intertwines cultural heritage, festive colors, traditional dress, and personal preferences.

It’s a way for many people to connect with their roots, add a festive touch to their attire, and celebrate the holiday season with a sense of tradition and style.

Louise wearing a knitted beret and tartan scarf

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I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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