How to Stitch Plastic Canvas

January 23, 2014Allison Murray
Stitching plastic canvas is cheap and super easy!


Stitching plastic canvas is fun, it’s easy and it’s inexpensive. And you know how I dig the inexpensive crafts which is why I’m showing you how to stitch plastic canvas. The canvas comes in rectangular sheets that you can cut down as needed plus there is a fun variety of shaped canvases like hearts, circles and even purses.

Stitching it is really super simple and today I’ll show you how… and tomorrow I’ll show you a project to make when you get your stitches down!

For this project you will need:

Threading your needle can be kind of hard at first but there’s no way to get good at it than to practice. So while it may be a pain in your neck at first, you’ll get it down soon enough, I swear!


Bring your yarn up and through a hold on the canvas. Hold about an inch to 2 inches of yarn onto the backside.


Continue holding your back thread and needle through the slot diagonally below and to the left of where you started.


Continue this pattern over and over, taking care to tack down the string you’re holding behind as you go.


It will look like this…


When the stitches are together the canvas fills up and the plastic is no longer visible.


To finish the edges go up through the bottom of your first slot and pull though.


Go up through the very next slot and pull through.


When you get to the corners, you’ll need to do three stitches to cover each side and the corner part. It gets a bit tight but you can finagle it.


When finished, run the yarn through several of the stitches you’ve already made on the back. Pull the yarn taut and trim closely.


So that your back will look like this. See how there are no loose ends? Nifty, eh?

And that, my friends, is all there is to that. I’ll be back tomorrow with a nifty little project I made and the pattern I used to stitch it. See you soon :)

Comments (14)

  • Janet Potter

    March 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I love Plastic Canvas, I taught 3 of my grandsons when they were 4-5-6 years old. They made the first letter of their name inside a square…..then we put Stickit and Stickit again on them so they could put them on their bedroom door and it would come off so mom wouldn’t get mad..BTW that was at least 25 years ago and I still make things today.

  • Rhonda Carter

    August 30, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    I’ve been doing plastic canvas a long time. I do mine different, I come up thru the left bottom and go done the upper right, makes the back stitches slanted the same as the front and to me it’s easier to tuck the end piece under.

  • Rhonda Carter

    August 30, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    I meant go down thru the upper right.

  • Lisa

    January 17, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    This is just the post I’ve been looking for! I found some little plastic canvas squares the other day, but don’t actually know how to sew on them. Now I do! Thanks :)

  • Renee Angelo

    February 22, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    I have never done plastic canvas before, I am going to do a Minecraft box for my grandson. But first I am going to do sone Awareness Ribbons in purple for my mother and siblings. I have some ribbon plastic canvas shapes from
    Loops & Threads. I’m having a little trouble because it is not squared . any advice?

    Thank you

    1. Allison Murray

      March 15, 2015 at 9:47 AM

      Just fill in the middle areas first from the bottom (not the edges basically). I know it feels awkward but a few rows in and you’ll be super comfortable with it!

  • Kristin M

    November 23, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    A few weeks ago my husband bought our 2 yo a doc mcstuffins play set. The “Doctor bag” is a hard plastic “purse” which she has much difficulty opening. About a week ago I found a plastic canvas purse template at in my local craft store’s clearance area for 99 cents. I figured, “how hard can it be?”, I had done regular cloth cross stitch in the past, so I understood the concept. I bought some lilac and sparkly pink yarns and a needle. Well I started it today with an alternating scotch pattern, and after a few VERY easily fixed mistakes, I had completed almost 5 rows in about an hour and a half. A project I thought would take a long time, I found out is very quick and extremely easy. I love it! (And now I know I will be able to finish the 15 or so, other Christmas gift projects I have lined up. I just hope they’re as fun and easy as this one)

    1. Allison Murray

      November 23, 2015 at 9:14 PM

      Yay! Plastic canvas is totally fun and it’s neat seeing something handmade work up so quickly and with great results to boot. Your enthusiasm makes me want to dream up a new canvas project to stitch up. I hope your daughter loves her new doctor’s bag!

  • Sarah

    March 16, 2017 at 11:27 PM

    I don’t know why no one has picked up on this yet. I’ve been doing it for 10 years. To thread the needle quickly and easily just fold a small piece of tape over the end of the yarn and press it flat. Thread through the needle and cut off with scissors. Sooooo simple!!

    1. Allison Murray

      March 18, 2017 at 8:20 AM

      Holy cow! You’re a genius :) That never even crossed my mind!

  • Terri

    January 28, 2018 at 1:56 PM

    Another way to thread the needle is to open a paper clip and use the smaller middle loop. Use it like a regular needle threader by putting the paper clip loop thru the eye of needle, pass yarn thru it, then pull clip out and voila, needle threaded. My girls are doing a flag on canvas for scouts and this really helped.

  • Charlene

    October 14, 2018 at 2:44 PM

    I have been doing plastic canvas for a long time . Projects l worked on wishing well, door toppers, calendars, etc very easy relaxing and fun.

  • Dian Hartel

    May 29, 2019 at 7:32 AM

    How do I make the front like like the back isi g plastic canvas. I am working on a project and I am making a design using X and cannot get the back to look like the front.

    1. Allison Murray

      May 30, 2019 at 9:22 AM

      Unfortunately, when you stitch there is a pretty side and an ugly side. I don’t know of any way to make the back and front look the same.

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