ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Plastic Canvas Ornaments

Updated on September 27, 2015
AnnaMKB profile image

Anna is a lifelong crafter and crochet instructor who enjoys trying new techniques, learning new skills, and sharing them with others.

Our 2012 Christmas Decorations

Every year, we make new decorations for our Christmas tree, preferably using new materials or trying a new craft in the process.

For 2012, I went with materials I've not used before; shaped plastic canvas and metallic yarn, and combined them with more familiar techniques. I hope these photos inspire you to give it a try, too!

Supplies to start with.

Supplies to start with.
Supplies to start with.

Supplies List

First things first! Here are the supplies needed to make these ornaments.

  1. Plastic canvas shapes: I chose stars and squares, but you can also choose from shapes like circles and crosses. Each ornament uses two shapes for the front and back.
  2. Metallic Cord: This type of cord is available in a variety of colours, but I stuck with just four; red, blue, green and gold.
  3. Steel Yarn Needles: choose strong needles with large eyes and blunt tips. Though there are plastic versions available, you'll need the strength of steel for this project!
  4. Scraps of yarn: to cover the backs of the ornaments, this is a good time to use up the little bits of yarn left over from other projects! Or, select yarn in colours to complement the metallic cord.
  5. Optional extras: gems and sparkle glue to decorate ornament centres.

Gold, Red and Green Star - Getting started

For the star shapes, I didn't plan too far ahead with what I wanted to do, but rather used the shapes themselves to inspire the design.

To begin, I used straight stitches in gold to fill in five diamond shapes.

Remember to anchor your cord ends under your stitches at the back, rather than using knots.

Remember to anchor your cord ends under your stitches at the back, rather than using knots.
Remember to anchor your cord ends under your stitches at the back, rather than using knots.

Adding the Next Colour - Building up

Colour 2
Colour 2

The five gold diamonds were then framed in red, leaving the edges for joining.

Before filling in the empty spaces, set this aside and begin work on the back piece.

Preparing the Back - For a tidy finish

Since we don't want to see the ugly back side of the stitched pieces, backing pieces need to be made.

For this ornament, I chose to use red yarn and a leaf stitch to cover the entire back.

Filling in the Front - Finishing the ornament

Filling in the front
Filling in the front

Now it's time to return to your front piece. Using green, fill in the empty spaces in between the diamond shapes with straight stitches. Do not finish off the end, as you will continue stitching around the edge next.

Here's a back view. As I worked up and down the "spokes", I hid any lengths of cord under my stitches.

Here's a back view.  As I worked up and down the "spokes", I hid any lengths of cord under my stitches.
Here's a back view. As I worked up and down the "spokes", I hid any lengths of cord under my stitches.

Joining Front and Back

Joining
Joining

Hold front and back pieces together and begin joining them at a stitch near one point. For this ornament, I used a simple whip stitch to join.

Work your joining stitch down one point, the most of the way up the next, stopping just short of the point. Now it's time to add the hanging loop.

Make a simple loop about 2-3 inches long. Leave a couple of inches of loose ends, so there's no danger of the knot coming undon

Make a simple loop about 2-3 inches long.  Leave a couple of inches of loose ends, so there's no danger of the knot coming undon
Make a simple loop about 2-3 inches long. Leave a couple of inches of loose ends, so there's no danger of the knot coming undon

Adding the loop

adding the loop
adding the loop

Slide the loop into place at the point, making sure the knot is not too close to the point, as it will interfere with the stitching. Also make sure the ends are straight and flat inside the ornament, so that there are no unwanted lumps and bumps.

Stitch the loop into place - Anchoring the loop solidly

stitching in the loop
stitching in the loop

Continue whip stitching the edge, making sure to work point stitches through the loop, as picture above. The knot of the loop will be under the point stitches. This ensures that the loop cannot be accidentally pulled lose.

Continue whip stitching around all edges.

Continue whip stitching around all edges.
Continue whip stitching around all edges.

The Finished Front

finished front
finished front

On reaching the last stitch, anchor your cord end by passing your needle between the two layers, then pulling it out the back piece. It may take a bit of wrestling to get it through - pliers may even be handy to pull the needle out again! If you have any concern that the tail end isn't anchored strongly enough, pass it through again in another direction, inserting through the same opening the cord exited from.

Pull the cord tight and trim close to the ornament. After trimming, bend the ornament back and forth a bit, which will pull any visible bits of the trimmed end into the ornament.

Here's a back view of the finished ornament.

Here's a back view of the finished ornament.
Here's a back view of the finished ornament.

Blue Green and Gold Ornament - Another star variation

front
front

Here's another version using the star shape. Again, I didn't do a lot of pre-planning for the design, and just used the shape of the plastic canvase. This variant, however, left me with an open space that needed filling.

A back view of the stitches.

A back view of the stitches.
A back view of the stitches.

Blue, Green and Gold, back piece

back panel
back panel

I wasn't really happy with how much of the plastic canvas was visible in the back panel of the first ornament, so when choosing the yarn for the second star shaped ornament, I chose a bulkier yarn and worked straight stitches at an angle. I then went over it again to cover up the "spokes" in between.

The inside of the back piece, showing how the ends are anchored in the stitches.

The inside of the back piece, showing how the ends are anchored in the stitches.
The inside of the back piece, showing how the ends are anchored in the stitches.

Finishing the Blue, Green and Gold ornament

The pieces and hanging loop were assembled the same way as the green, red and gold ornament, except that the edging was done in buttonhole stitch (also called blanket stitch).

At this point, it's finished except for the empty space in the middle.

A back view of the Blue, Green and Gold star ornament

A back view of the Blue, Green and Gold star ornament
A back view of the Blue, Green and Gold star ornament

The Final Touch

To fill the empty space in the middle, I used a gold, adhesive backed gem that I found among some scrapbooking supplies. The adhesive backing can't hold to the cord, so a bit of gold glitter glue was used to keep it in place, then left to dry overnight.

All done!

Do you make your own ornaments?

See results

Beginning Four Way Bargello

For the square pieces of plastic canvas, I decided to do variations of four way bargello, orienting them to hang as diamond shapes.

These required more planning on graph paper. Whatever the design, an important part of working four way bargello is to mark your stitch surface from corner to corner with guidelines. The easiest way to do with is with just a bit of sewing thread.

Beginning Four Way Bargello stitching

Once your pattern is worked out on graph paper, it's easier to start stitching a row that's in the middle of your pattern. The other colours are then worked in or out from there.

Once this first row of stitches is worked, the diagonal guidelines can be removed.

Red, Green and Gold Bargello

Here is the completed front of one pattern I'd worked out.

Can you spot my mistake?

Blue and Red Bargello

Here's another variation of four way bargello. Like one of the star ornaments, this one left an empty space in the middle, which was filled the same way as the blue, green and gold star ornament, with a gem and glitter glue.

These ornaments had their backs and loops attached the same way as the star shaped ornaments. I used red yarn for them, which worked our rather well, but doesn't photograph well!

The Final Verdict

Would we do this again?

One of the fun things about using our Christmas tradition of making new ornaments every year is trying out new methods, materials and styles. Some of these become favourites we go on to use for other things throughout the year. Some... not so much.

For these ornaments, I really like how they looked when done. The metallic cord reflects light nicely, and the pre-formed shapes make the job easier.

About the only real difficulty I had with this pattern was that it took a fair bit of oomph to work the stitches, with such a large needle and such thick cord. I had to take breaks in between working on them to prevent blisters on one of my fingers, and I found colour had come off the cord onto my hands as well. The cord is actually quite colourfast, but after yanking on it as much as I was, it still left marks.

Overall, I give our 2012 ornaments a thumbs up for attractiveness, and they are something I would do again. Just not very often!

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Plastic Canvas Ornaments

Materials for this project.

If you're ready to try your hand at making these ornaments, here are some materials you will need.

Darice Metallic Plastic Canvas Cord - Black and Silver - 27 yards
Darice Metallic Plastic Canvas Cord - Black and Silver - 27 yards

This metallic cord comes in a variety of colours and the reflective quality looks great!

 
Sargent Art 22-1981 8-Ounce Glitter Glue, Gold
Sargent Art 22-1981 8-Ounce Glitter Glue, Gold

I'm always surprising myself at just how often I find myself using glitter glue!

 

© 2013 AnnaMKB

What do you think? - Is this a project you'd like to try?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      daiay144 

      22 months ago

      Thank you for your posting - after readning your comments may I make a couple of suggestions. I love Darcie cord and use it quite a bit, but I have found it to be hard to work with until I accidently ran across a solution. As I cut a piece of Darcie cord I take the cord out of the center of it. It makes the piece more plyable and much easier to use. Also, I keep a pair of jewelry making needle nose pliers handy for those stitches that are often so hard to pull through. They make a HUGE difference when making several ornaments at a time.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      I have seen these before but none have been as beautiful as these.

      This is a craft that many will enjoy making.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

      Pinned

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      3 years ago from South Carolina

      Great hub! I don't do crafts, but would be delighted to get a gift like this from someone who did. These ornaments look beautiful and sturdy and would make great family heirlooms. Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 

      3 years ago

      Really pretty Anna! I like how you marked your Bargello canvas with thread what a great idea. I usually make a mark with a sharpie pen. I love that Darice metallic cord. I had a hard time with it, but it sure looks pretty. I only used it a few times. I have made hundreds of plastic canvas items since 2010. Great Hub story Anna!

    • AnnaMKB profile imageAUTHOR

      AnnaMKB 

      4 years ago

      @WinWriter: Thank you!

      I hope you post pictures of what you come up with, when you get a chance! :-)

    • profile image

      WinWriter 

      4 years ago

      Your photos are great and I love these designs. Very do-able with clear instructions. My sister in law made an entire Christmas village out of plastic canvas and we cherish putting it up every year. You've given me inspiration to try this myself :)

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      Excellent craft project!

    • profile image

      LornaA 

      5 years ago

      Great lens! I love plastic canvas crafts and make them all the time. I have made ornaments, Barbie furniture, lots of frog items (my mom collects frogs) and even 8 x 10 pictures. I also love to design my own patterns. Glad to see someone else who does plastic canvas.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      5 years ago

      These Plastic Canvas Ornaments are great and make such a great craft project, I like all the different colors and patterns that can be used too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Aw, these are so pretty. It looks easy to make the ornaments. I might get some supplies for my oldest granddaughter to make some, she would love this. :)

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 

      5 years ago

      Creative ideas! I will show your lens to my wife! Congrats for your TOD!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 

      5 years ago from Houston

      Wow, it's been awhile since I've thought about the plastic canvas crafts. This is a really detailed how-to page. Great job.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)