Stitches of Light and More

Crochet, plastic canvas, wreaths and more

Getting Started with Plastic Canvas-Selecting Canvas- Tuesday Tips

on April 7, 2014

Plastic canvas is not the most popular of crafts. It seems to have been stereotyped over the years and a become a dying, forgotten art form. For me, it was out of sight, out of mind for many years. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon it again, but it brought back nice childhood memories. I didn’t remember anything, so I got a couple of books and some supplies and dug in. I quickly was hooked. But as I browse the web, I haven’t found too many websites/blogs focusing on it. Patterns are pretty easy to find, but not as many how-to’s and general writing like I find for crochet. So I thought I would try my hand blogging about it here and there.

A couple weeks ago I posted a tutorial about the basic tent stitch, as well as two posts on assembling a box. This week I thought I would write about something even more basic, but important for those new to plastic canvas to know- how to select canvas for your

Selecting Canvas
Did you know plastic canvas comes in different sizes and colors? It’s true! Plastic canvas sizes include:

  • 5- count
  • 7-count
  • 10-count
  • 14-count


Count refers to how many squares per inch.  So 5 count means there are 5 holes per inch.  The higher the count, the smaller the holes.  7 is the size most commonly used, and the one I almost always use.

You must also consider what kind of yarn/thread you want/need to use for your project.  Patterns will tell you which size you should use as well as the yarn that is best suited for that size canvas, so if you are following a pattern, you don’t need to worry about this. Smaller count (5, 7) will handle thicker yarns (such as 4-ply yarns).  Higher count canvas will require thinner yarn or even DMC floss.  (You could also separate thicker-ply yarn into 2 or even 1 strand.)  Try getting some of each type of canvas and some different yarns and/or flosses and experiment with them apart from your patterns. You never know what you may end up creating as a result!

Plastic canvas also comes in some pre-cut shapes.  Circles, stars, and door hangers are all usually readily available at your local craft store.  I have also seen diamond, heart and crosses.

The last important factor to consider in selecting canvas is the color. There are many colors available.

Here are just a couple of the colors available.


(I had orange also, but my little one seems to have run off with it LoL.)

Again, your pattern may specify a color, or it may not. If it doesn’t, it is important to think about your finished project. Are there places that your canvas will show through due to the pattern/type of stitches used? If so, what affect are you looking for? You could try to match the canvas to your yarn color, or you may want to have a contrast between them.

Here is a picture of a checkbook cover I designed where the canvas shows through. I purposely chose white canvas to contrast with the black yarn.  It’s a bit hard to see the canvas in the picture, but anyplace you don’t see the black yarn is where the canvas is showing through.  If I had chosen to use a colored canvas, you would definitely see it.


On this project, the canvas color doesn’t matter as much since the stitches cover better. However, I usually end up using clear canvas just in case the canvas shows around the stitches or it shows through with light colored yarn.


Do you have any other tips or guidelines you follow when choosing canvas for your projects?


I am linking up with these great parties today:

tuesday tip




2 responses to “Getting Started with Plastic Canvas-Selecting Canvas- Tuesday Tips

  1. Laurie says:

    Your Tip Me Tuesday link is incredible this week! In fact, my readers would love to bookmark it in their craft rooms. Did you know that if you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then Tip Junkie readers can favorite it which instantly bookmarks it so they can find it later? {Whoohoo!} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

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