The more I work with plastic canvas, the more ways I find to make it a whole lot easier and faster. I think my very favorite trick I figured out was to use a plastic canvas ruler, which makes counting all those squares/threads a billion times easier, not to mention more accurate! Don't you just hate it when you get half way into a project and you find out you counted wrong? Ugh!
There are commercially available plastic canvas rulers, but they're so easy to make that I decided to make my own. Plus, mine is a lot sturdier than the ones you can buy online. Mine is made from a leftover piece of matboard, so it's unlikely to get bent or torn.
As you can see, it's a piece of matboard that I've drawn two lines onto, and then marked off the holes on one side and threads on the other.
To use it, I hold the bottom of my plastic canvas level with the bottom of the ruler. With the holes side, I see the lines through the holes. On the thread side, I line up the plastic canvas on the other side of the marked lines, and then I match the lines with the threads.
Then I use my trusty dry erase marker to mark the hole or line I want! It's that simple.
So here's how you make your own. If you have matboard, use that! It's the best material. If you don't, that's ok! Take a sheet of cardstock and fold it in half.
Glue the two sides together. A glue stick works well.
Now draw two lines down the center using a ruler.
For the side that measures holes, line up a sheet of plastic canvas to the bottom of your cardstock on the side of the line opposite of the side you want to measure with (I want to measure on the right side of the line, so I put the canvas on the left side). Carefully draw one small line next to each hole, making every 10th line longer and numbering them 10, 20, 30, etc. A sheet of cardstock will measure up to 70 holes, which is usually enough for most projects.
Now do the same thing with the thread side: line up the plastic canvas with the bottom of the cardstock, this time on the same side that you want to be measuring with. Make a mark that lines up with every thread, with a longer mark for every 10th thread. Make sure to write next to each side whether it's a hole measure or a thread measure.
Great job! Now you have a cheap, sturdy plastic canvas ruler! If you have friends that are into plastic canvas, this would make a great gift, especially if you make it really pretty :)
Do any of you have any other good plastic canvas tips? Or anything you'd like to know for future Canvas Tip posts?