Plastic canvas is a wonderfully versatile craft material most often used in needlepoint or other embroidery. It consists of lightweight plastic with regularly spaced holes which mimics other embroidery cloth.
Acrylic or wool knitting yarn is most often used with a large needle to work the canvas. Learn how to hide your yarn ends here. Because of its rigidity, plastic canvas can be used to create 3-dimensional projects like tissue box covers, ornaments, totes, and so much more that just couldn’t be made with cloth.
The possibilities of this craft are endless!! Take a look at some of the ideas on our plastic canvas projects page!
Plastic canvas, also known as vinyl weave, is available in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. It is often sold in sheets which can be cut into any size or shape that you prefer or that is called for in a pattern.
Numbers and letters, along with various shapes such as circles and triangles, are popular precut shapes available for purchase as well.
Plastic canvas, just like any other textile weave, is described in count. For example, 7 count plastic canvas has seven holes per linear inch. Most common sizes are 5, 7, 10, and 14 count; these various hole counts are made for different yarn weights.
Plastic canvas, or vinyl weave, can also be found in both a stiff or a more flexible material, which you would choose based on the kind of project that you wish to create.
The various colors are fun, but should not be used in a pattern unless it is specifically called for, as the colored plastic might show through your projects.
However, if you are not following pattern directions and are creating your own unique project, feel free to go crazy with the colored plastic!!
Keep in mind that if you are teaching a child to do needlework, plastic canvas is a great place to begin since there is no need for a hoop or the difficulty found in maneuvering cloth.
Tips on Washing Your Masterpieces
If you find that your finished work gets dirty after some time, it can be washed by soaking it in warm (NOT HOT) water and a tiny bit of dish soap. After it has soaked for awhile, you can rinse it and lay it on a towel to air dry. If you expect your craft to be used often and likely to get dirty, as in a purse or tote, you can spray it with Scotchgard to protect it. Do not wash your project in a machine or dry it in the dryer. Never dry clean it or use harsh cleaning solutions which could melt or warp the plastic. If your project gets dusty, simply use a vacuum to remove the dust.
If you are interested in needlepoint on fabric, we have great ideas for that too!