How to Come Up With a Never-Ending Stream of New Plastic Canvas Pattern Ideas

Posted on: October 14, 2009

One of the biggest problems faced by plastic canvas crafters who make their own original patterns is coming up with new ideas.

Fortunately, there’s a very simple solution to this problem.  A solution so profound, you’ll never again run out of ideas for new plastic canvas projects.

I call it “modeling.”  Other crafters call it “adapting.”  Here’s how it works:

Interesting patterns exist all around you.  Most of the time, you simply don’t see them, because they are such an integral part of your everyday environment.

For example, your shower curtain may have some interesting patterns on it.  A quilt your favorite aunt gave you might have some intriguing patterns on it, or perhaps a bedspread you purchased.  The wallpaper in your favorite restaurant might have some fascinating patterns on it.  A vase in your living room might have a unique pattern on it.  The other night when I was in the bathroom at a local restaurant, I noticed that the tile in the floor had some very unique patterns on it, and I immediately went back to my table and sketched them out on the back of a paper napkin.

What’s more, there are often unique and eye-catching patterns on book covers.  Patterns on silverware.  Patterns in the etched glass on your China hutch.  Patterns carved into the woodwork on some of your home furnishings or those of your friends or neighbors.  Patterns on throw pillows.  Patterns on your bedroom pillow cases.  And there’s so much more, you’ll go crazy with new ideas for plastic canvas patterns once you start opening up your eyes to the patterns all around you.

Everywhere you look, you’ll find color patterns, meaning unique combinations of color that you can adapt to your original plastic canvas projects.  And everywhere you look, you’ll find unusual design patterns, meaning unique or intriguing designs that can be adapted to your original plastic canvas projects.   Oftentimes, you’ll find combinations of the two.  The important thing to understand is that patterns are an ubiquitous part of our daily lives.  They’re all around us!

In short, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to come up with unique patterns for your original plastic canvas projects.  All you have to do is train your creative eyes to start looking at the myriad of patterns all around you in everyday items, and then practice adapting, or “modeling” those patterns to your original plastic canvas projects.

Beaded braclet

Beaded braclet

Rising Phoenix

Rising Phoenix

You don’t steal those patterns, of course.  You change them up a bit, and adapt them to fit  your plastic canvas projects.  As I mentioned, I call this “modeling.”  You might see a pattern consisting of a striking arrangement of squares and triangles on the wallpaper of your favorite local restaurant.  Ask yourself, “How can I change that unique pattern a bit and “model” or adapt it to fit the next tissue box cover I’m planning to make?” And also ask yourself, “Can that same pattern also be adapted to a matching set of plastic canvas items, such as a tissue box cover, a coffee table vase, a place mat and a set of coffee cup coasters?”

If you’re answer is yes to either of those questions, then start stitching.  Work a variation of the pattern that’s caught your eye into your next plastic canvas project.   If your variation of the pattern turns out to be as striking in your new plastic canvas project as it was in the original place you found it (whether it was in a wallpaper design, or on a vase you saw in Wal-mart, or wherever), you might even have a plastic canvas pattern you can diagram on graph paper afterwards, and submit to a major plastic canvas crafts publisher along with photographs of the finished project.  Who knows?  It could result in your first sale of one of your own original plastic canvas projects!

Look, there’s never a reason to run out of good ideas for designing and making your own original plastic canvas projects.   Ideas for patterns are all around you.  And once you get the hang of watching for patterns everywhere you go, and then mentally tweaking them a bit and adopting or “modeling” them to fit your upcoming plastic canvas projects, you’ll find that you’ll soon become a veritable plastic canvas idea factory.

In fact, I guarantee you’ll have more ideas for new plastic canvas projects than you can keep track of.   And the best thing is, your friends and family and fellow plastic canvas crafters will marvel at your projects.  They’ll praise you for your creativity.

Indeed, the most frequent question I’m asked is “How do you come up with so many great new ideas for plastic canvas projects?”  I just smile, and wink, and point to my head and say “I’m just brimming over with new ideas.  I wish I had time to capture them all.”  And you know what?  That’s the God’s-honest truth.  And it’s all because everywhere I go, I watch for color and design patterns in the world around me.

Learn more…

If you’d like to learn more about taking your plastic canvas crafting skills to the next level, and discover how to create your own original plastic canvas projects for fun and for profit, be sure to read about my upcoming new 350-page book, Plastic Canvas Crafts Secrets. NOTE***Book has been put (on hold) due to people sharing my patterns on-line in groups with thousands of members.

But you can still get free patterns. Just go to, sign up and download your FREE patterns.

Helpful Links:

Plastic Canvas Crafts Secrets

Kathy’s Photo Bucket

Kathy’s Facebook

Kathy’s Flickr

Kathy’s Etsy Store


6 Responses to "How to Come Up With a Never-Ending Stream of New Plastic Canvas Pattern Ideas"

This is such a big help for people who want to create their own patterns.

Thanks so much Kathy

You are so welcome! It was great chatting with you. Look forward to seeing all of your own creations.
Please don’t forget to email me pictures of your finished projects.

You are an amazing woman with lots of talent.
I think it’s great that you are willing to share your insites.
Fans from all around should really enjoy your efforts.
Thank you and May God Bless You!

wow intresting I will try that and see what happens I may post it lol

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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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