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BellaOnline's Embroidery Editor


Plastic Canvas Embroidery

Guest Author - Megan McConnell

Have you ever wanted to take your needlework to the next level? To turn your stitching into useful household items? Or perhaps to create stunning 3-dimensional objects?

Well, plastic canvas embroidery is the way to do it!

What is Plastic Canvas

Plastic canvas is a mono weave canvas, usually made of clear plastic. It comes in various gauges. It is usually stitched in tent or half cross stitch using tapestry wool, or knitting wool/cotton, or perle cotton.

In plastic canvas stitchery, just as with needlepoint, you stitch the entire canvas.

The canvas comes either in sheets, or pre-cut shapes.

Once you have stitched, you cut out the shape, and stitch it together to make your 3-dimensional object.

Designs & Shapes

There are a multitude of different things you can do with plastic canvas. Below, I’ve put some links to various kits, as well as books and charts so that you can get some idea of what is available.

Normal cross stitch charts can be adapted for plastic canvas, especially greeting cards or small items, which can then be joined together to make things such as tissue box covers, pen holders, etc.

You could also purchase pre-cut shapes (such as stars, hearts, etc) and use techniques such as bargallo to make striking ornaments for your Christmas tree, or just to hang in your house.

These pre-cut shapes could also make spectacular greeting cards!

More complex things (such as buildings, etc) do need specially designed charts and assembly instructions, but the results are very rewarding.

Personalising Designs to Your Needs

One of the fun things about plastic canvas is that you can personalise a lot of the designs to your needs.

Why not change the colours of a building to match the colours of your house – or of a similar style of house in your area. You could stitch a whole 3-dimensional representation of historic buildings in your town if you wanted!

Ornaments can be stitched in colours that match your décor, and you can incorporate things such as names and dates in them – why not stitch a special ornament for each member of your family!

Tips and Tricks

As with stitching with any canvas, you should use shorter lengths of thread, as the friction of the canvas will cause it to fray as you pull it through the holes.

Due to the size of the holes, you will also need to start and finish by weaving the ends through the back of an already stitched area.

When cutting out your shape, always leave a row of unstitched canvas to use as you stitch it all together.

If you don’t intend to stitch a 3-dimensional shape, this row can be folded down and slip stitched in place. This will also prevent unravelling of your stitching.

As with all embroidery, feel free to use your imagination and creativity – you’re creating a piece of art after all!


Janlynn Sunflower Purse Plastic Canvas Kit

Plastic Canvas 8-1/2''x11'' 2/Pkg-Clear

Tigger Plastic Canvas Tissue Box Cover

Recommended Reading

Ultimate Plastic Canvas Collection by Annies Attic

Gifts Galore in Plastic Canvas

Is there anything that you would particularly like to see an article on? If so, please contact me with your suggestions.

Happy Stitching

Happy Stitching from Megan

© 2008 Megan McConnell

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Content copyright © 2015 by Megan McConnell. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Megan McConnell. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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