Plastic canvas is a needlepoint medium much like cross stitch, only with larger canvas. Because it is sturdy, it is easily made into decorative alphabet blocks. These blocks can be used as decoration in a baby's room, or actually be played with by a baby or toddler. As a decoration, you can get by with just the letters A, B and C; if making an actual toy or learning tool, make the entire alphabet.
Things You'll Need:
- Plastic Canvas Sheets
- Alphabet Pattern (Optional)
- Large Needle
Starting the Blocks
Cut six plastic canvas squares for each block. If you are making only A, B and C, you will need 18 squares; for the entire 26 letter alphabet, 156 squares are needed. Each square should be the same size; 14 to 18 plastic canvas "holes" tall and wide is a good size.
Thread your needle with the first yarn color and tie a knot in the end. You will want at least a yard of yarn to start with, so you don't have to add yarn continuously. Much longer than a yard and it will become easily tangled.
Begin filling in the squares. Solid-colored squares may be easier to start with, as they take less concentration. Continue with the squares that have alphabet letters on them. You can freehand your letters if you feel confident, or follow a pattern.
Organize the squares so you know which ones each block will use.
Sewing the Blocks Together
Hold two squares against each other with the correct sides facing out. Make sure all the holes are lined up.
In the top corner, push your needle through the corner-most hole. Start the needle in between the two squares. Loop the needle around the two edges and push it in through the top hole; at this point, it should come out the top hole on the other side.
Loop the yarn around the edge again, this time going in through the second hole. The yarn will come out the second hole on the other side, as well. Continue doing this until you have traveled down the entire length of the square.
Open the two squares; they should only have been stitched along one edge. Knot your yarn on the inside.
Add the remaining four squares, or panels, to the original two by repeating steps 1 though 4 above. Your project will begin to take shape, looking like a block.
Repeat the process to create your remaining blocks.
Put the uppercase letter on one side and the matching lowercase letter on another side. Fill the other sides of the block with solid colors or shapes. If the blocks are toys, add bells or other sound makers to the inside of the blocks.
Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.