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Gingham plaid, with its timeless charm and distinctive checkered pattern, has long been celebrated as a beloved textile design. Originating from humble beginnings as a simple woven fabric, this classic pattern has transcended time and trends to become an enduring symbol of rustic elegance. Characterized by its evenly spaced, intersecting lines of contrasting colors, gingham plaid evokes a sense of nostalgia and a touch of country allure.

In this guide learn how to make a gingham plaid pattern in Adobe Photoshop.

How to Make a Gingham Plaid Pattern

Open Photoshop and click to create a new document. For this tutorial I use the dimensions 600 x 600 px with resolution set to 300 dpi, RGB color mode and transparent background.

The gingham pattern uses overlapping stripes at 50% transparency.

There are a number of different ways you can create a stripe. For this example I use the rectangular marquee tool, but you could also use the line tool or the rectangular shape tool. Access the marquee tool (M – keyboard). In the top menu change style to fixed size and enter the values of width of 300 px and height of 600 px.

When you click on the canvas it will show the selected pixels. Fill in the pixels with your foreground color black with the keyboard shortcut opt + delete (Mac) or alt + backspace (PC). If your foreground does not show black then you can easily set it to the default colors by hitting D on the keyboard and this will make the foreground color black and the background color white. Deselect the pixels using cmd/ctrl + D.

Click and drag the rectangle so it is centered on your canvas. In the layers panel make sure your rectangle layer is selected and then change the opacity value to this layer to 50%.

Duplicate the layer by right clicking on the layer and select duplicate layer or use the keyboard shortcut cmd/ctrl + J.

Next rotate the new layer Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 degrees. This will cause the two lines to cross and at the intersecting point the color will appear darker because of the overlapping transparent layers.

Saving your pattern

To define and save the gingham pattern in Photoshop go to Edit > Define Pattern. The dialogue box will appear and you can give your pattern a name.

To access your pattern open the patterns panel from the main menu Windows > Pattern.

To test your newly created pattern open up a new document the size of digital scrapbook paper – 3600 x 3600 px, 300 dpi with transparent background.

In the layers panel create a pattern fill layer and select your newly created pattern. To be able to change the color of the pattern add a solid color fill layer and right click to create a clipping mask.

Finally add another color fill layer to the bottom so you can change the background color of your pattern.

I like to use color fill layers because it makes it easy to change the color of your pattern.

To export and save your pattern as digital scrapbook paper go to File > Save a Copy. Give you file a name and then change the file type to JPG.

Diagonal Gingham Plaid Pattern

Instead of vertical and horizontal lines you can also create the plaid pattern at a diagonal.

In the original document turn off the visibility of your horizontal and vertical stripe layers and create a new layer. Access the line tool and starting in the bottom left corner hold the shift key and draw a line to the top right corner. Holding the shift key maintains a 45 degree angle.

Change your fill to none and set stroke color to black with a stroke width of 200 px. Feel free to change up the stroke width to get different line thicknesses.

Click to center your diagonal line. Check out my Photoshop Actions for pattern design which includes 22 actions including one for quickly centering an object in Photoshop.

Next duplicate your line by right clicking on the layer and select duplicate layer (cmd/ctrl + J – keyboard).

Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertically to create a cross of the two lines.

To create a seamless pattern turn on the pattern preview mode by selecting View > Pattern Preview.

This will cause your pattern to repeat beyond the canvas. I love this feature in Photoshop because it makes creating balanced so much easier.

With the pattern preview mode on select Edit > Define Pattern to save your pattern in Photoshop.

Looking for more Pattern Design Tutorials?