Things You'll Need
Transparent graph paper
Paper clips (optional)
Clear tape (optional)
Anyone can craft with plastic canvas. You'll find myriad pattern books and online ideas for crafting with plastic canvas, suitable to all ages from small children to artsy adults. Those crafters looking for a pattern that doesn't seem to exist, however -- or those who don't want to buy a whole book for one idea -- can create original plastic canvas graph patterns to suit their needs with little more than an idea, some colored pencils, and a few sheets of paper.
Choose a picture to use for your plastic canvas graph pattern. The simpler the picture, the easier it'll be to create the design; you can also sketch your own picture or logo. If you want to create a 3-D object, create a drawing or choose a picture for every surface of the finished item.
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Lay a plastic transparent grid sheet over the picture. If you don't have a transparent grid, use a copy machine or printer to superimpose a sheet of graph paper on a transparent or near-transparent sheet of paper or printable plastic. Hold the two layers together with paper clips or tape along the edges.
Create a stitching graph at the top of the pattern. Draw an "X," forward or backward slash, circle and other symbols that you will use to designate colors in your graph pattern. Print the name of the color next to the color mark to avoid confusion.
Begin at the top of the picture and work downward, placing the appropriate color mark in each grid square or half-square to fill in your pattern. If you have a set of markers or colored pencils handy, you can also skip the symbols and color in each square with the appropriate color instead. Mark details such as eyes by placing a dot or dash over the color in the squares.
Remove the tape or paper clips and separate the graph from the picture. You can now recreate the picture by placing stitches of the appropriate colors in plastic canvas, in accordance with your graph. Save the picture to use as a reference when you stitch your plastic canvas project.
Remember that your graph paper grids may be smaller than the plastic canvas squares, which will make the completed pattern look larger than the finished project. Adjust the size accordingly as you design your graph.
Be aware of copyrights on pictures and images you intend to turn into a plastic canvas graph. Branded images include Disney, Sesame Street, movie and cartoon characters, sports logos and any licensed (trademarked) image. Making a graph from a copyrighted image can cause problems, especially if you plan to sell the patterns or the completed plastic canvas crafts.