Plastic Canvas Finishing Tips
One of the most common questions I get is how to back my plastic canvas charms. I make a lot of earrings, hairclips, etc using plastic canvas and people always ask what the back looks, how I finish it, etc.
But there are a lot of different ways to do this, and my way is just one method. So I’ll list a few suggestions, but you should really experiment and figure out what works best for you.
- I use 14 count plastic canvas. I buy it bulk from Amazon, as it’s harder to find 14 count in stores, and any other sizes are too big for my liking. I like being able to fit a lot of detail. I also prefer ‘clear’ canvas, but white is fine too.
- Felt – Most of my stuff is backed with felt. I usually use black (or white) for multicolored items to keep it neutral, but if you’ve got a charm that is primarily one color, you might also choose to use a complementary color for the back. I tend to buy my felt in store, but there are plenty of ways to get some online, especially if you want bulk color variety bundles.
Backing your charm
Again, these are my personal steps:
- Stitch the thing. You know this part by now (I hope)
- Cut off the plastic around your stitched piece. Cut it as close as you’re comfortable with, but you’ll be leaving a border around the stitches. See photo closeups for example. – Note, if I’m making a charm or earrings or something that I need to attach something to it, I leave a little triangle of plastic canvas as an attach point.
- Attach to felt. I place it on a piece of felt and back stitch around the edge of my design, going through the felt in the process. (Remind me to add a pic of this) I don’t do full backstitch, because I’m lazy, and alternating up/down is just faster. You might choose to do a full backstitch line if you prefer.
- I like to stuff my keychains/earrings/etc with a little bit of stuffing before closing it up, which gives it a bit of weight.
- This is also a good time to tuck in a magnet, if that’s what you’re going for.
- If I’m making a pin, I’ll glue the pin to the bare back of the cross stitch, then stab the pin through the felt and sew it in as well to give it extra security.
5. Finally, cut the felt close to the plastic.
6. Attach keyfob/earring hook/whatever.
As usual, I buy most of my fixing bulk from Amazon. Here’s a few (affiliate) links of stuff I’ve bought and enjoyed.
Magnets. Cellphone straps. Braided cellphone straps (READ REVIEWS). Decorative Beads.
Some people like to wrap their edges. You would just sew around the side of the plastic leftover after finishing the above steps.
Some people like to stitch two of the same thing (or slightly different) design, and then stitch them together back-to-back instead of using felt. This is a ton of extra work depending on the size of the design, but looks super cool.
You might choose to forgo backing and just attach magnets/hairclips/etc straight to the unfinished back. This works best on items where you won’t be seeing the back a ton.
I also like to add little decorative bits to the keychain straps sometimes. It adds a little extra to the charm.
Don’t forget; googly eyes are ALWAYS an option.
Sirithre wrote this tutorial. She is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for her to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.