We have a fantastic plastic canvas magnetic fishing game project to show you, but first…
We’re so excited to kick off our July Plastic Canvas Challenge! Our designers set out to create some new, fun and exciting projects made with plastic canvas! Follow along all month long to see what they come up with. The well-deserving winner will receive a years supply of plastic canvas! Just kidding, they will receive an awesome prize! 😉
First up is Adrianne – enjoy!
Have you ever done any crafting using plastic canvas? I haven’t – until now! This month, some of my fellow designers and I challenged each other to come up with some creative plastic canvas designs and techniques. I love trying new mediums, and I had a lot of fun coming up with today’s project – a magnetic fishing game, perfect for kids!
What I loved about working with plastic canvas is that you can easily create 3-dimensional designs. It’s much like sewing – with no actual sewing skills required. Those of you who are seasoned veterans at working with plastic canvas will probably see some flaws in my needlepoint skills, but I was really happy with how it turned out considering I have never (until now) undertaken a needlepoint project.
What I was surprised to discover (having never done needlepoint) – this fishing game project took a LOT longer than I thought it would. I estimated 4 hours. After getting a couple hours in, it was evident that I was way off. I quickly revised that figure to 12 hours. Then once I passed 12 hours… well, just stopped keeping track, haha. It was a really relaxing activity, it’s easy, and you just focus on creating your pattern – but don’t expect to get it done in just an evening! If you enjoy needlepoint, you will LOVE what you can create with plastic canvas. And my daughter loved the fishing game I made with it!
Today’s post won’t be a full tutorial – mainly because I learned a lot as I went, there are surely some flaws in my technique, and there is probably a lot better terminology than mine. With that said, if a total beginner like me could put this together with no pattern other than an idea in my head, imagine what you can do! I will share what I used and how I constructed my game, in case you are inspired to tackle this project on your own!
I started with a 12 x 18 inch oval, 7-mesh canvas as my base. Then, I needed two large panels to create the sides of the pond and the little fish to “swim” inside. I used the large sized 22-5/8 x 13-5/8 inch 7-mesh panels for this construction. One panel was dedicated solely to the pond sides – I cut two long rectangles approximately 22-5/8 x 6-13/16 inches. This reached nearly all the way around the oval base – I only needed to cut one more small rectangle to fill the gap. I stitched the rectangular panels together with plastic canvas yarn in my base color – which was a light blue for the “water.”
I used #16 7-mesh plastic canvas needles for this – just make sure you’re using the right size needle for your project. I attached the sides to the base all the way around with the same light blue. Now, you may opt for any size pond you like. My daughter really liked this size… practically swimming sized! If you use these dimensions, though, you will want to pick up 125-150 yards of your base color. (So for these Herrschners yarns, that would be 5-6 skeins – depending upon how much accent decoration you’re planning.)
Then, I got to work filling in the base color. Now, you probably have your favorite stitches already, and they probably look much nicer than mine. But because I needed to cover nearly 350 square inches of plastic canvas (and I wanted to show you the finished project sometime this July!) I used a wide, straight stitch. I left a few rows’ space at the top to add a nice border to finish it off.
I have to confess here that after filling that many square inches along the sides, I took a shortcut on the bottom panel of my pond and stitched in some basic craft felt to speed the process along. Had I done needlepoint before, I would have given myself a more realistic timeline, but quite frankly – I was just excited to get started on the cute little fish!
I cut the fish from the remaining panel, and stitched a heavy-duty ceramic magnet inside each one. Then, I made up a pole from a simple dowel rod and some yarn, tied a button on the business end of the string, and glued an additional magnet to the button so that my daughter could go fishing!
The magnetic fishing game has been good for pretend play, colors, counting and general dexterity. I can tell my daughter to catch a certain color fish (or have her identify what she just caught) or to count her “haul.” You could certainly make your fish all one color to save on yarn (or two colors, if you have 2 kids who want to play) and make up any kind of fishing game rules that you want.
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).