Cross stitch is one of those needlework crafts that is more versatile and accessible than you might think. There are plenty of experienced sewers that can take a piece of 16-count Aida fabric and create extraordinarily detailed original artwork. But, we all need to start somewhere.
Working with the best plastic canvas kits can provide a starting point because you get a more structured piece of canvas, often in a specific shape, and a clear design to follow. You shouldn’t go too wrong and you should end up with an attractive item at the end that you can be proud of.
What types of plastic canvas kits are available?
The products that I have highlighted below cover a range of different styles and projects. To begin with, there are the more basic sets where you get the plain shapes, tools, and lots of different colors of yarn to play with. Then there are the sets where you have specific shapes and patterns in order to create special decorations, such as for the holidays. Finally, there are the sets where you can make something a bit more practical. While the more basic sets are great for crafters looking to try new techniques and designs, the other specialized sets are great as gifts for friends and family
Things to consider when choosing the best plastic canvas kit.
1) What is the count of the plastic canvas?
This is an important starting point because there are variations. 7-count is a good place to start with beginner cross-stitch and plastic canvas work. Most sets provide this. However, there are some with more detailed designs that use 14-count canvas instead.
2) How many pieces do you get in the set?
Some sets focus on one finished item with a detailed guide. Others provide multiple shapes for a collection of decorations. This could be anywhere around 12 for a good selection. Then there are the starter kits with multiples of various blank shapes without patterns. This could be a 30-piece set or even higher.
3) Do you get enough yarn in the set?
The company should provide the right amount of yarn in the right colors to allow for completed designs. But, you might find that some provide precisely what you need and no more. It might help to be cautious not to waste thread. You could also try and match the colors in your local craft store.
4) Do you get enough needles in the set?
This is less likely. Many sets with specific patterns have one needle. This isn’t great if you are working on a family project. So, you might want to get a spare set alongside the kit so everyone can share. It also provides spare in case you lose the needle.
5) Does it come with adequate instructions?
All of the sets with a specific pattern should have a graph and clear instruction to help you count the stitches and map out the colors. Some may be easier to understand than others. You can read user reviews to see what people have to say.
The best standard plastic canvas kits.
1) Pllieay 60 Pieces Mesh Plastic Canvas Kit
This first option stands out because you get some fun shapes to work with. There are 6 shapes and 10 of each, which means lots of different chances to create fun decorations. The butterfly shape is particularly nice if you have the design skills to create a pattern of familiar species. The heart is also great for gifts and messages. The set also comes with 12 balls of acrylic yarn, all different colors, and 22 yards each. There are also five weaving needles and a pair of scissors. This should be more than enough to get you started on bringing your ideas to life.
2) BUYGOO 39Pcs Mesh Plastic Canvas Sheets Kit
This next set is a little different and a bit more tailored towards traditional cross-stitch work than the fun shapes of other sets. There are 15 sheets of 7-count canvas. 10 of these are 4 by 4-inch squares and the rest are 10 by 13-inch sheets. This should provide plenty of room for interesting images, especially with the 12 colors of yarn provided. This could be a great choice for those that want to work on their own designs on 14-count Aida fabric but need a beginner-friendly problem. You can use this thicker canvas and then take the training wheels off. Another thing I like here is that you also get a thimble and needle threader, which is rare.
The best plastic canvas kits for ornaments and decoration
1) Tobin 1221 Country Christmas Ornaments Plastic Canvas Kit
The different shapes in the basic sets can allow for some creative decorations, but you don’t get such specific shapes as in a set like this. Here, Tobin has provided twelve pieces that are all very distinctive and that center around the holidays. Each piece of 7-count canvas is no more than 2 inches high. While this could make them a little fiddly for newcomers, it does mean that they are perfect for Christmas trees. I think that the rocking horse and gingerbread man are especially cute and that, with supervision, kids could have fun prepping for the holidays by making some of these. But, if you do decide to share these between siblings, you will need to get more safety needles.
2) Tobin Woodland 14 Count Friends Ornament Plastic Canvas Kit
If you get really into this craft and want to test out your skills, you could move onto this other set from Tobin. The biggest difference here is that you have a 14-count plastic canvas rather than 7-count. This leads to some very detailed pieces of various sizes. This woodland set contains cute animals like a fox, deer, squirrel, and a couple of wise owls. There are also mushrooms and fir trees. The patterns and muted tones mean that they work as alternative Christmas items or as décor for a kid’s room. Again, you can all the shapes, floss, and instructions you need to get started.
3) Janlynn Home Is Where The Heart Is Pallet-ables Plastic Canvas Kit https://www.amazon.com/Janlynn-Where-Pallet-ables-Plastic-Canvas/dp/B01BGMBPYK
Next, I want to talk about a particular brand and its Pallet-ables range more than any specific kit. I have highlighted this “Home Is Where The Heart Is” design simply because I think it has great mass appeal and the design is cute with the effect of the wooden boards. There are also options for cat lovers, dog lovers, and a range of other slogans. These sets are made of five boards of 7-count canvas joined together. You then get all the yarn and tools needed to follow the detailed pattern and recreate the image with ease.
The best plastic canvas kits for practical items.
1)Tobin DW1826 Cat Tote Bag Plastic Canvas Kit
For our final two products, we turn back to Tobin. This brand has some interesting kits that take this form of needlework in different directions. The first is this 12 by 13 by 9-inch tote bag. This is a brilliant idea as it means that you can create your own storage bag for your yarn or other crafting materials and see your handiwork every time you work on something new. I like the consideration of the brand here in including the lining and the handle for a complete kit. This design is an almost Warhol-inspired arrangement of colorful cat portraits. These faces are either incredibly cute or slightly demonic depending on whether you are a cat or a dog person.
2) Tobin 1488 Santa Tissue Box Plastic Canvas Kit
Alternatively, you might like the idea of this tissue box cover. Tissue boxes are ugly things so a nice attractive cover can help. This one is another Christmas-themed set – perfect for tearful family moments or winter colds. I really like the design of this Santa with the shading on the beard and the little spectacles on the nose. It looks like it will be a bit of a challenge, but also one that is highly enjoyable. Again, everything that you need to complete this set is included in the box and the instructions shouldn’t be too hard to follow. You might want to purchase it before December, however, so you aren’t rushing it in time for the holidays.
Finding the best plastic canvas kit to get started.
As you can see, there are lots of directions that you can take when starting out with these kits. The sets with their own patterns and distinctive shapes may be best for first-timers. It doesn’t have to be a holiday-themed set, but there are certainly plenty of these around. If you are confident in creating your own patterns, the more simplistic sets of canvas pieces provide a better blank canvas for creativity. Take a moment to decide what you want most – a detailed decoration for the family where nothing can go wrong, or the chance to take cross-stitching into a different creative direction.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.