Alternative Cross Stitch Surfaces: Plastic Canvas

What is plastic canvas and how to work with it.

Plastic canvas is a great surface to cross stitch your next project on. it is an excellent material to teach basic needlework skills. What is plastic canvas? Let's find out about this versatile cross stitch surface.

Description of Plastic Canvas

Plastic Canvas is a plastic mesh that resembles needlepoint canvas. Many types of needlecrafts use plastic canvas to create designs, including Cross Stitch.

Plastic canvas is available in a wide variety of counts ranging from 7 squares per inch and up. It is used for making 3-D type projects or for functional projects such as coasters and other household items. It comes in a variety of sizes and thus different weights of floss can be used for each project. For a plastic canvas that is larger, you will want to use yarn and for smaller projects, like coasters, you can use regular cotton floss. 

 

Why Use Plastic Canvas

  • Plastic canvas is durable. It will bend and not break. It lasts a long time which is good for household projects. 
  • Plastic canvas will not rip, fray or shrink.You will not need to tape off your plastic canvas for projects. Once a project is done, you will not need to worry about it falling apart. 
  • Plastic canvas can be used to create 3-D projects.This is a great piece of material to make doll houses, sewing boxes, and other fun 3-D projects. You can build up and out with your stitches instead of staying on one surface. 
  • Plastic canvas is a great medium for many Cross Stitch projects including bookmarks, cards, and ornaments. You can make other household items with this material such as coasters and placemats. 
  • Plastic canvas is a great teaching tool. It allows you to cross stitch projects for a craft night or a make and take table. 
  •  You can make beautiful one of a kind pieces of jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings with plastic canvas. You can also customize key chains and eye glass cases.

 

Tips About Stitching on Plastic Canvas

  • Use one fewer strand of floss when stitching on plastic canvas. Depending on the size of the plastic canvas you may want to use yarn instead of floss. You will want yarn that is not fuzzy. 
  • It may be helpful to use a smaller-sized tapestry needle when stitching on plastic canvas. The plastic canvas will not give like fabric will. Usually a plastic needle is the best to use for projects. It is slightly flexible. Make sure you are using a blunt needle. 
  • Let your needle dangle frequently to avoid knots and over-twisting of the floss.
  • Do not carry floss across blank areas of the plastic canvas.
  • Use the loop method to start stitches.
  • You can use any kind of yarn but cotton yarn works lays down and will not fray or bunch up. Cotton yarn will give you a nice clean finished project. 
  • Plastic canvas comes in 5,7,10,12 and 14 count. 7 count means that there are 7 squares per inch. It is very similar to cross stitch fabric. The higher the number, the smaller the squares. 7 count is the most common and can be used with most yarns. 5 count is perfect for teaching, especially smaller children. 5 count does not allow for a lot of detail the way that a 10 or 12 count might. 
  • You will need to know the size of your project before cutting your plastic canvas. Make sure that you cut off any edges that poke out so your final project will be nice and smooth. 

You will find many patterns for needlepoint and perler beads which can be used for cross stitch projects. Think outside the box when using plastic canvas. It really is a wonderful way to make something functional beautiful. 

Plastic canvas is a great way to teach kids how to stitch. The holes are big and the projects can be simple. A great project for them would be ornaments for a tree. Below are a few projects using canvas plastic and places where you can purchase materials. 

 

 

Cross Stitch Projects Using Plastic Canvas

Transform a CD with Cross Stitch
Make a Cross Stitch Pin

Plastic Canvas Sources

123 Stitch
Craft Designs for You
Annie's Attic