Friday, September 19, 2014

Braided Cross Stitch Variation for Plastic Canvas Tutorial

I never thought that I would ever make a tutorial on a crafting technique. Usually I'm the person scouring the blogs and other craft websites looking for others' tutorials to learn some new (to me) way of doing things. There are so many tutorials on how to do anything that you can think of, that I thought that everything is out there, and who am I to tell people what to do? There are so many, better, tutorials on thing I know how to do, that I just never considered it.
However, when I was looking for the steps on the braided cross stitch variation for joining plastic canvas pieces, I was shocked to find, well, nothing. This is an awesome technique! I can't believe that there aren't more people using this, especially on things like tissue box covers. This is not something new, either. If you remember my posts about the plastic canvas pocket folders that I made, I actually used this technique on the spine of the folders (though not pictured in the blog post), but here it is now:

So, I have decided to make up my own tutorial for this technique, and I hope it helps lots of people learn a new way of joining plastic canvas pieces.

First, I am using two pieces of scrap plastic I had hanging around, and some scrap yarn.

I pulled the needle first through the "top" piece of plastic only to begin with.

Then I put the two pieces together and pulled it through that same hole again.

So far, up to here, the steps aren't specifically part of the technique, it's just how I start off the row so I can secure the tail of yarn as I go along. Everyone has their own way of doing this, I'm sure, so you don't have to follow this way if you don't want to.
Next, we want to skip a hole and go to the third one.

Keep in mind during this whole process, that we are pulling the needle one way through the plastic: from underneath to the top!
Once we pull that through, then we want to go BACK to the first hole again.

It doesn't look like much yet, but we are getting there. From here on it, it is simple: We go forward 3 squares, then back 2. Here is forward 3:

Then back 2.

There is just the barest hint of a braid showing up, so lets keep going. Forward 3 more.

Then back 2 again.

Now you can really see the beginning of the braid.
I trust that you can keep going yourself from here, so I'm going to fast forward. Here we are further down, continuing the forward 3, back 2 routine.

And there you have it! It isn't difficult at all, and it looks amazing. This does use up more yarn than the normal whipstitch, and it is a bit bulkier because of it, but in my opinion it is worth it.
What do you think?
Give it a try and let me know how it goes! If you need bigger pictures, you can click on any of these images to enlarge them.


  1. Nice and easy to follow. This wouldn't work for my current plastic canvas project, but it WOULD work for my next one. Thanks for posting this! I'm adding this to my craft bookmarks for future reference :)

  2. Oh, this is a lovely way to join pieces! I've been throwing a couple of plastic canvas ideas around in my head for whenever I sit my butt down to do them and this will be a fun new thing to try; thanks for sharing! :D

  3. Thank you for the tutorial! One thing I did find when I tried it out - it does work better when you're stitching together a single piece versus a double piece. The project I was working on had support pieces attached, and when I tried to use the braid to lash the final pieces together, it wasn't...pretty.

  4. Have been using this technique ever since I started plastic canvas 14 years ago. I purchased a book by Meg Evans ( passed away in the late 90s) on making Boxes with plastic canvas. I absolutely love it. It is also a good stitch just to finish around the top of projects, Congrats on the tutorial
    Carol NZ

  5. 1. How do you end the strand? 2. If you run out of yarn before you finish, do you start it the same way?

  6. I think that I'm going to try this on my next bag projects for my girls. I think that it will give a really nice touch to it. Thank for the tutorial.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I was looking for something like thisl

  8. what a cute idea to make my plastic canvas bag a bit more stronger when putting it together thanks

  9. LOVE it!!!!! Thank you for sharing.