Plastic canvas is a captivating hobby. Unlike traditional needlework, plastic canvas projects result in objects that hold their own shape. You can create colourful, texturized 3D objects that can stand up by themselves. They can be used to encase or hold other things. You get the pleasure of making them and then using them.
But how to get ideas for working with plastic canvas?
Inspiration can come from anywhere! Look around you, look at the people you love, the things you like and the things you like doing. All these will hint at future projects.
One of our designers explains colour: “I love colour! It is my biggest inspiration. Every colour says something to me. They each have their own mood, energy and temperature and these give ideas. But I believe that colours and, more especially, colour combinations, can evoke memories.”
“A vivid orange next to a bright blue on a white background always (and I mean always) floats me back to when my grandmother served ice cream to me as a toddler. I relished the bold, but a little worn, orange and blue stripes around the rim of the dessert bowls as much as its contents! The ice cream disappeared within minutes, gran and her bowls are now gone too. But that certain shade of orange next to that particular blue brings all three back, for a second or two. This particular memory gave me the idea to design Baby Love in blue.”
To get ideas for plastic canvas projects: take different colour objects, arrange them and re-arrange them, they may just suggest a must-do project.
Shapes! Don’t say it over and over, it becomes a little weird. Shapes (sorry) are what plastic canvas is all about. It is the only true 3D needlecraft, as the mesh is rigid and you can make shaped items. This really opens up your options, but too much choice can cause crafter’s block. The plastic canvas mesh works well to create both flat and curved shapes. Curves can be difficult for the novice to work with. It can be the case that a curved part of a shape you are working on, pulls on a part that is meant to be flat into a curve too. Caution is advised. Make sure all the mesh parts fit together properly before stitching the decorative surface.
To get ideas for plastic canvas projects from shapes think of what you want the finished object to do or be. Cubes work well in plastic canvas that is why so many tissue box covers are made. Why not make a little treasure box, a storage box, a note pad holder, a smart phone or tablet cover, napkin rings or a tote bag for your craft projects.
It is best to let the shape fit the purpose, but don’t let the purpose be the only factor. Think of decoration or form. Create a project that has that little something extra. Examples of what I mean are the Pink Car-toon Plastic Canvas [click to view in new window] : photo frames shaped like cartoon cars with stands shaped like plumes of smoke from the exhausts.
The stitching can also be used to create the illusion of shape through the use of colour, type and direction of the stitches. Try to put texture and shadow into your plastic canvas project ideas. Examples of this in our plastic canvas kits are The Mission to Mars / Rocket Craft Kit where (seen best on the back) darker and lighter tones of the colours are used to create shadow and shine, which gives the rocket a rounded appearance. In the Police Box Plastic Canvas Craft Kit it is possible to see how to easily create a sense of depth in the door panels by using different colour yarns. In the Fun Fish Orange Fish Craft Ideas the use of stitches to create shape and texture in the fish scales is seen.
“Design is not just what it looks like, It’s how it feels” – Steve Jobs
People are the greatest source of inspiration. You can copy from others or you can create for them. Learn from the people who are experienced, many of them take pride in their creations and enjoy helping and guiding others who are interested. I know I do.
Make items for your family and friends. Create something that they would like. Consider things like what they do, what they need, what colours they like, what themes or subjects they enjoy. Also, if there is a special person or event in their lives. A well planned and thought out project will bring much joy to them, particularly when they see the work you have put in. Why not personalize it in some way; for example you could make the Kennel Photo Frame Idea [click to view in new window] for a dog lover, complete with the pup’s name on it. Why not present it with a photo already in it?
Nature is generous when it comes to inspiration! She gives texture, colour, shape, space and mood. Always changing, but with a re-assuring and certain rhythm. Always giving, and always inspiring. Notice what she gives, and use a little in your own project: the colour combination of fallen leaves, the texture of a stone or the pattern of droplets on a window…
To get further thoughts for plastic canvas projects just look around you, they are there jumping up and down in eager anticipation of being chosen by you. Pick wisely, you don’t have time for all of them.
“The earth has music for those who listen.” – George Santayana
Click here to view our entire collection of plastic canvas patterns and kits to see other examples of what you can make from them.