Monday, September 24, 2012

Paint Your Own Needlepoint Canvas

Needlepoint is a beautiful art form that I think is due for a comeback; after all why should knitting have all the fun?  I really wanted to create my own design for an ottoman I am reupholstering, unfortunately my painting skills are limited to baseboards and living room walls.  But I wasn’t about to let that stop me!  If you too find that the creativity that flows from your brain stops short of your hands read on…. 

Here’s what you will need to start:
Needlepoint canvas (find at your local needlepoint shop or
Acrylic paint that matches your needlepoint fibers you will use for stitching
Variety of artist paint brushes
Basic design printed on paper

Needlepoint canvas is sold by the “count” which just means how many stitches are in an inch.  Think about what your finished project will be when choosing your “count”.  In this tutorial I am making an ottoman with a top that is 15x18” using a thicker wool fiber; so I chose a 13 count.   Need additional guidance on what size or fibers to choose?  Click here.

 Because I have less than zero talent when it comes to drawing I went out on the internet to find my design:  check it out.  Make sure you read the usage laws before selecting your design…we don’t want the copyright police knocking on your door!  Enlarge/shrink your design to the size you need and print it.

Tape the printed paper to the back of your canvas and pencil in the design on the canvas.  Don’t go too heavy on the pencil, it does smudge and you wouldn’t want that coming off on your fiber (My design is marked heavier so you can see it in the photos).

Thin your paint with water a little before painting on the canvas.  Your goal is to cover the canvas, but not cover the holes.  Using a fine tip brush start painting along your pencil lines and move to a larger brush to fill in the larger areas.  Make sure you are using a fairly light touch with the brush.  Every few minutes hold your canvas up to the light to see if your holes are filling in.  

This photo shows where some paint has covered a few of the holes.  If this happens you can blow on it through a straw, go back over the spot with a dry brush or poke through with a toothpick.  You will find that the paint won’t make it into every nook and cranny on your first time through with the paintbrush.  While it doesn’t have to be perfect, you do want the design area to be covered, so allow the paint to dry and then do a second coat in the spots you missed. 

Now get stitching!!

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