In the process of working my way up in difficulty to the needlepoint projects I daydream about, I am making a tissue box cover. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever done plastic canvas needlepoint has done at least one of these, and by the time I finish this project I will be no exception. Mine is a simple display of characters from the original Final Fantasy for the NES. The order in which they appear on the box is semi-inspired by 8-bit Theater. I’ve got the fighter and black mage on one long side of the cover, with the white mage and monk on the other long side. The thief and the red mage each have a panel of their own. The final product will have physical and magical damage dealers alternating all the way around the box.
Clicking on any of the images will take you to a Flickr set with more and larger pictures.
The pattern I made on my computer for one of the long sides.
First I drew the pattern outline on the plastic and filled it in.
I’ve been interested in plastic canvas needlework for some years now. I never got into it because I never had sufficient motivation for doing so. Now I find myself with a fantastic idea for a halloween costume, with plastic canvas contruction being the most accessible and cheapest option for creating a necessary prop for my costume.
What is this plastic canvas thing you speak of?
For those who don’t know, plastic canvas needlepoint is almost exactly like doing needlepoint embroidery on fabric. The only real difference is that instead of doing your embroidery on cloth in thread or fine yarn, you do it on a plastic mesh in the kind of yarn you’d crochet or knit with. The best part about plastic canvas is that you can make three-dimensional objects with it. If you’ve seen any kind of finished plastic canvas work, it was probably a tissue box cover.
One doesn’t have to use yarn, either — any ribbon or cord that will go through the holes in the mesh will work. Using things besides yarn, in fact, seems to be the new trend in plastic canvas artistry (as does making anything but tissue box covers). The best examples I’ve seen were found by the folks over at CraftyPod. They’ve encountered some Japanese plastic canvas books with nifty ideas in them. They also came across someone who makes the darndest decorative pieces.
The possibilities for plastic canvas may be limited, but there are far more possibilities than there are restrictions. And if you take advantage of Google’s image search, you’ll find some really cool things people have made with it. Here are a few of my personal favorites: