Just the other day Wendy Vecchi posted a tutorial using distress paints to create a faux plaid background. I won't re-invent the wheel by telling you how I created my piece; just to go her blog post for all the details.
Studio 490 stencils: Layered Tree, Create A Wreath, 2 Fancy Flowers, Lovely Leaves, Yikes...Stripes, Honeycomb
Studio 490 embossing paste: translucent
Ranger: distress paints (Barn Door, Wild Honey, Crushed Olive, Rusty Hinge, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Iced Spruce, Scattered Straw), archival inks (Watering Can, Fern, Cornflower Blue, Potting Soil, Red Geranium, Jet Black), distress inks (reds, oranges and yellows), gesso, Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Dry Glitter
Misc: white pearl button, Idea-ology word stick, ribbons, white and black Sharpies, 6" square of watercolor paper, gray and blue cardstock
So why not try to create your own version of plaid? I admit mine looks more like a regular old quilt...but I know what I did and I'm still saying it's plaid! lol