8 Plastic Canvas Stitches

Have you always wanted to learn to craft with plastic canvas? These plastic canvas stitches will teach you the basics and have you creating in no time with the hopes of introducing more people to this versatile and fun craft.

Plastic canvas is a wonderfully versatile craft material most often used in needlepoint or other embroidery. It consists of lightweight plastic with regularly spaced holes which mimics other embroidery cloth.

Basic Plastic Canvas Stitches

If you are just getting started with plastic canvas projects, you will find these plastic canvas stitches extremely helpful.

1. The Continental Stitch

The continental stitch (or half cross stitch) is a plastic canvas stitch pattern you should begin with. It looks like half a cross stitch and is the foundation for many other stitches you’ll do in your plastic canvas projects!

The continental stitch produces a diagonal stitch on the back side (instead of the short vertical stitches made by the half-cross) and therefore gives you better coverage.

The Continental Stitch

Follow the tutorial by Erica Michaels here

2. Slanted Gobelin (Horizontal) Stitch

The horizontal Slanted Gobeline stitch is a worked over two or more intersections in your plastic canvas. You can situate these longer stitches next to shorter ones like the continental stitch for a unique look.

Slanted Gobelin (Horizontal) Stitch

Follow the tutorial by Annie’s Catalog here

3. Mosaic Stitch

The mosaic stitch is gorgeous for making squares. By pairing the continental stitch with the slanted gobelin, you create little boxes that are great for adding texture to the canvas.

This is particularly great for colorwork as well. Alternate colors in your boxes for a lovely checkerboard design.

Mosaic Stitch

Follow the tutorial by Thread Needle Street here

4. Overcast Stitch Plastic Canvas

Banish raw edges and join two or more pieces of plastic canvas together with Overcast Stitch. If you haven’t tried this canvas stitching yet it’s really easy to do and essential to learn for 3D plastic canvas projects. 

Overcast Stitch Plastic Canvas

Follow the tutorial by Bobbin & Fred here

5. Cross Stitch With Yarn And Plastic Canvas

Ready to try something different? Set aside your aida cloth and try cross stitch on plastic canvas. Recommended for the confident cross stitcher. Plastic is stiff and holds its shape.

Which makes it the perfect medium for 3D cross stitch projects. The back of the cross stitch tends to look messy, but the front is lovely.

Cross Stitch With Yarn And Plastic Canvas

Follow the tutorial by Hub Pages here

6. Whipstitch Canvas Stitching

The whipstitch is used for joining two sheets of plastic canvas together, much like joining granny squares in crochet. This is an ideal stitch for making tissue box covers, clutches, and other plastic canvas projects that are 3-dimensional.


Follow the tutorial by Annie’s Catalog here

7. Long Stitch Plastic Canvas by Sweet Lily Flower

The long stitch uses the same basic principles as the continental stitch, but it spans three boxes instead of just two. You can also decide if you want your long stitch to be slanted like the continental stitch, or straight up and down on the front of your project.

Long Stitch Plastic Canvas by Sweet Lily Flower

Follow the tutorial by Sweet Lily Flower here

8. Backstitch

Backstitches are created by inserting your needle up through the canvas at even-numbered holes and down through the canvas at odd-numbered holes.

This stitch may be any length you desire and go in any direction. It does offer you a great deal of freedom as you can work stitches in any direction.


Follow the tutorial by Annie’s Catalog here


Glance through these Plastic canvas patterns, Plastic Canvas Tissue Box Patterns, Halloween Plastic Canvas Patterns, Plastic Canvas Christmas Patterns and grab a few to try, or use them to inspire your own designs. Or you can check out these plastic canvas kits to get started.

After you have wet your feet with a few of these patterns, then you will be ready to move on to bigger and more complex projects.

Also, Don’t forget to share your finished projects on our Facebook Page. We’d absolutely love to see!

Master these plastic canvas stitches and you will be equipped to complete almost any plastic canvas project!