Cross Stitch Plastic Canvas Finishing Tips
Do you want to use plastic canvas to make keychains, magnets, pins, earrings, and more? Great! I get a ton of questions on how I back and finish my plastic canvas items, and I’ve decided to make a tutorial explaining my process.
Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. Sirithre receives a small commission if you purchase anything via these links. However, these are all her honest opinions and the actual materials she uses when making her own products.
- Plastic Canvas – This can be found at craft stores or online. The most important thing to note is that there are different sizes of plastic canvas. You’ll want to choose the right canvas depending on how big you want your finished project to be.If you’re at the craft store, you’re most likely going to be finding 10 count canvas. This means there are 10 squares, or stitches, per inch (2.5cm). I like making smaller trinkets, so I look for 14 count plastic canvas. Usually I end up having to order this from Amazon, as it’s harder to find 14 count in stores.If you are ordering online, you’ll also want to double check what color you’re ordering. I prefer clear as it doesn’t leave such a bold border around your work. But it often comes in white as well and it can be easy to accidentally order the wrong color.
- Felt – You can use any color you think will go well with your project. I tend to favor black or white to keep things neutral. You can pick up these small squares at most craft stores, or pick it up online while you’re ordering that canvas.
- Finishings – There’s a lot you can make with plastic canvas, so here’s some suggestions:
Are you making a keychain? Cellphone straps? Do you have earring hooks ready? Are you making a Magnet for your fridge? Lapel pins? Have a hairclip you want to spruce up? Are you planning to attach some Decorative Beads?
Backing your charm
Again, these are my personal steps:
- Stitch your design directly onto the plastic canvas. If you’re using 14 count, two strands is typically enough for decent coverage. However, if you’ve picked up some 10 count you may want to bump that up to three or four strands depending on how much coverage you want.
- Now, cut out your finished design making sure to leave a border around the stitches for integrity. You can do this with an exacto knife or a normal pair of scissors. Just work your way around the design slowly. If you’re planning to make this into a keychain, earrings, or anything else you need to attach to the outside of the charm, you might choose to leave a few squares uncut for you to attach your finishing. That way it’s strong enough to withstand a little bit of tugging.
- Now, get out your felt. Cut a square of felt a little bit bigger than your finished item. Now, with a matching color thread you’ll want to attach that felt to the canvas by stitching around the border of your design. I typically knot my thread and just tuck the thread behind some of my existing stitches to anchor it. Work your way around the design securing the felt to your design. You can do a full backstitch border or just a running stitch around the edges. Both serve the same purpose, but you may prefer the look of a bold outline. Whichever you decide on, stop when you have one full side still open.
- I like to fill my charms with a little bit of stuffing before closing it up, as it gives the item a little bit of form and weight. I just use polyester fiberfill, but I’ve seen other stitchers using their leftover thread ends, or ‘orts’ to fill these as well.
- This is also the perfect time to slide in a magnet if you’re making a needleminder or just want something to stick on your fridge.
- You could also tuck in a pin back or a flat head thumbtack, if that’s what you’re going for.
5. Finish sewing the felt on, then it is time to cut off the excess felt. You’ll want to use sharp scissors for this in order to get a clean cut.
6. Once the excess felt has been removed, you can attach that keychain you’ve been saving for it, or attach it to a hairclip.
Full backstitch can make your piece ‘pop’!
Some people like to wrap their edges. You would just sew around the side of the plastic leftover after finishing the above steps.
Photo source: Oddsnamys
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.
Photo source: Sirithre
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.