Plastic canvas crafts competitions…Think Thematically!

Posted on: September 25, 2009

Think Thematically! 

Because crafts competitions are very inexpensive to enter, the cash prizes are generally not very big.  However, the thrill of winning out over your competition is very real (especially when they are as talented as you are) and bringing home the blue ribbon is truly a kick you will always remember. 

Over the years, I have mastered the art and science of bringing home the blue ribbon every single time.  With my techniques, I never fail to win at least one blue ribbon and I often win the most exciting ribbons: Best of Show, Best of Class, Best of Division and Best of Theme.

If there is any way to capitalize on a theme related directly or indirectly to the crafts competition, do so!  The judges absolutely love it when you tie a theme to your project and it demonstrates your flair and creativity.

For example, many county fairs have major crafts competitions.  Some of these fairs get underway around the Fourth of July.   Others are earlier or later in the year but they are usually near holidays (Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and Flag Day) or long weekends (Fourth of July, Presidents Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day).  You can capitalize on these holiday themes to create related plastic canvas projects that the judges will adore.

If there is not a holiday during the fair, the fair itself will usually have a theme.  Fair themes generally change every year so you will have to do some checking to find out the theme for the event.  The fair theme is featured in the event advertising or on the event web site (if it has one).  Since fair themes are decided months in advance, you can even call the event office long before the advertising is released and simply ask, “What is your fair theme this year?”  They will be happy to tell you and you will have a head start on your creative process.

For example, if the county fair is held around the Fourth of July holiday weekend and you have decided to create a plastic canvas vase, use patriotic colors instead of household or neutral tones.  The judges love thematic projects that show off your creativity and spirit.

Use the fair theme logo and artwork as your guide.  If the fair theme is, for example, “Get Your Kicks at the County Fair!” and the logo is a smiling donkey with hind legs kicking high in the air, look for ways to incorporate that imagery into your design.

If you can find a plastic canvas pattern with a kicking donkey motif, you are in business!  Even better, use your creative mind and tools like graph paper or your software to design a pattern to match the theme.  Either way, your attention to detail, creativity, and thematic approach is sure to impress the judges and place you far ahead of the competition.

Add your own personal style and creativity to the project.  For example, if the fair theme is “Come Enjoy an Old-Fashioned Good Time,” you can find hundreds of patterns that might fit the”old fashioned” theme.   Start with something representitive,of older times, like a Model-T car.  Then get creative!  Design a plastic canvas display box for the car and then use colored thread to “print” the fair theme on the side of the box.  The judges will love it!

Always read the Competition Handbook for the event to make sure you understand the rules for theme-based projects. In some competitions, “theme” might be a separate category.  In other competitions, you may be able to enter thematic projects in multiple classes like tissue boxes, children’s items, or coasters.

To win, build your project around the season, holiday, or fair theme.  Creating thematic plastic canvas crafts projects is simply one of the easiest and most powerful ways to stand out from the crowd, grab the attention of the judges, and make them love your entry!

To help you achieve the same success, in my new upcoming 350 –page book titled, Plastic Canvas Crafts Secrets, I have included an entire chapter on this subject. The chapter details ten of my best techniques for winning local, county and state crafts competitions, – bring home the blue ribbon every time.

Helpful Links:

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Kathy’s Etsy Store


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Plastic Canvas Crafts Secrets

How to spark your inner "idea factory" and take all of your plastic canvas crafts projects from the ordinary to the breathtakingly extraordinary virtually overnight!

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