My mother was huge into plastic canvas. I inherited her trait for having to learn the hell out of something. I don’t just learn something, I want to learn everything about it (selectively of course)! She was the same way with certain things, crafts namely.
I always remember her cross stitching, crocheting, sometimes sewing, macrame. When I was maybe in 3rd grade, she started plastic canvas. And boy did she roll with it.
She started off with things like magnets or tissue boxes. In no time at all, the woman was making Barbie furniture and her biggest project? An entire barbie FURNISHED house. Yes, it was a barbie doll HOUSE. HOUSE. It was like 4 feet tall and just as wide. Needless to say, between crocheting and plastic canvas, she’d made me tons of Barbie stuff. I was a happy child.
I still have a couple pieces of her handy work. One of my favorites is her Christmas village. Some of the pieces went missing, but this one is a gingerbread house tissue box. Check this thing out:
The top comes off to store a tissue box. The doors and shutters open and close.
Look at the freakin’ detail of this thing!
When I was about 12, she taught me and my BFF (Pookis) to do some simple projects. I didn’t really keep up on it, but I still remember the basics. It’s not hard, the simple stuff isn’t anyway. Any pamphlet can teach you. I’m not going to because it doesn’t translate well to text. But it really is SUPER easy. Like kid easy. It’s a lot like cross stitching, but the patterns are bigger, so is the canvas, so it’s a little easier I think. Until you get to the insane projects like above. No way I could do that. No way. I can’t even make a tissue box. So I’ll stick to magnets. I will NOT be learning the hell out of plastic canvas.
Which is what brings me to my next point. Gamer gifts. A previous post of mine already discussed how much of a pain in the ass it is to get hard core gamers gifts. I’m a gamer myself. I freakin’ LOVE my Xbox. But hardcore? Probably not, no. I have too many hobbies to be hardcore anything, really.
Now, you probably won’t find a Left For Dead 2 plastic canvas pattern anywhere on this planet. But, have no fear! There’s a program for that!
Snag a picture or logo of whichever game you wanna stitch up. I did Gears of War. (YEEEEEEEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry…got excited)
Do a google search for “plastic canvas pattern software”. You’ll come up with a bunch of stuff. Also, type “free” in there somewhere. That way you don’t have to pay for it. These programs are pretty damn easy to use. Pretty self-explanatory.
Once you’ve got your pattern, you’ll need the following things:
Yarn, in appropriate colors. Regular worsted acrylic cheapy yarn is fine. You don’t need freakin’ special yarn.
A sheet of plastic canvas
A strip of magnets, you can get this at a craft store
Felt in a matching color
A plastic canvas needle
Now it’s time to cut out your pattern. This is easy enough, just follow the little squares on the plastic canvas pattern. It’s a lot of counting. And it’s really annoying. And make sure you cut on the OUTSIDE of the little squares not the inside, or you’ll have jagged edges and will have screwed up your pattern. Ask me how I know.
After swearing up a storm trying to cut out this damn pattern (mine was a little complicated to cut) I used a sharpee to outline the pattern on the canvas before I cut. I messed it up anyway, but it created the illusion that it was easier. And THAT’S what matters.
So cut out your DAMN pattern and try not to throw it across the room.
Now thread your needle. Sounds easy. Should be easy. Pain in the ass. I hate threading needles of any kind. I don’t care if I could fit my freaking hand through the eye of it, I’d find someway to mess it up. Anyway, yeah, now that that’s done.When you start doing your stitches, just hold the tail of the yarn in the back for a few stitches, so you are wrapping your work around the tail. That’ll secure it with no knot. Don’t knot it. If you knot it it’ll be lumpy in the back. Ditto when you are done with that piece of yarn. Tuck it behind the stitches and cut it. Don’t knot it. Did I say that enough times?
Start working your pattern. Plastic canvas patterns are color coded and generally the easy ones have you working in only one direction. So like you’ll be making only right to left stitches so it keeps it nice and simple. Do this where it’s quiet cause you’ll have to count. A lot. And it gets confusing when you lose count. Then you get frustrated, like me. And you f*(k up your pattern and start again like 23 times before you decide that you’ll just have to work around the fact that you cut the damn thing wrong.
Martha Stewart doesn’t tell you this shit. But you know it happens to her.
Jumping TOTALLY ahead to when you are finished with the damn thing. Yeah I know, that’s jumping ahead.
I was so pissed at this by the time I was done, and I have plastic canvas-ing in my blood. But as a knitter, as a baker, as a soap maker, I don’t think I’ve got the patience for this shit. Maybe I’ll try it again after the holidays. It was totally gratifying, just like I remember, because the work is quick, but still. I think maybe I was just pissy.
So this is what it looked like
Stupid plastic canvas.
Ok, now you are going to trace the piece onto some felt with a sharpee. This is the easiest way to make sure you get the back even. Plus, you can always cheat and carefully trim excess once it’s glued on it needed.
Now go ahead and glue the damn thing on. This part sucks because it requires a glue gun. I hate glue guns. The glue dries so freaking fast and the glue stick falls out and I just hate everything today ok? GOD!
Stupid glue gun
Make sure to glue a little at a time, I usually glue in a straight line across. That way the edges are glued right and the middle is glued nicely and it doesn’t dry on you like it does if you try to glue it all at once.
Stupid lining it up to glue it.
It would be wonderful if you were done with the evil glue gun now but you aren’t. No sir. Now you’ve gotta glue the stupid magnets on. Well, that is, if you want to make a magnet. I suppose you could make an ornament too. Just glue a loop of yarn under the felt. Or you could make coasters. Then you would have make four though. Good luck with that. I’m doing a magnet, screw that.
So glue your magnet strips on the back
Now, before giving your gift to your gamer, make sure you take all the little glue strings that inevitably got stuck to the felt and the yarn because the stupid glue gun doesn’t get glue hot enough for it not to dry on CONTACT and leave STRINGS of GLUE everywhere!
Actually. Come to think of it. I kind of like this magnet. I’m a huge Gears of War fan. Maybe I’ll keep it for myself…
That’ll teach my gamer buddies to make me make them annoying gamer gifts for Christmas. They didn’t actually ask me, they actually had no idea I was doing this but too bad. It’s too good a justification to pass up…