Creations, Hand Painted Needlepoint Canvas

Do you like to needlepoint? I have tried knitting but that’s too hard.  I like to crochet, but it is a little boring.  Needlepoint is much more fun to me, it’s kinda like coloring in a coloring book with thread instead of crayons!

bunny needlepoint

This bunny pillow started out as a sketch


which was inspired by a glass

bunny stemless

and a platter

Easter eggs from

You can buy kits at the hobby stores, with everything you need, but I was interested in more custom creations. I decided to figure out how to paint those pricey original needlepoint canvases myself.  Let me guide you through this simple process.

Find a picture or design that you like and do some rough sketches.  Your inspiration photo doesn’t have to be in the colors you like, you’re the designer now, you can make it anyway you want!


After you have a sketch you like, draw it to the size you want, 8″ x 10,” 11″ x 14,” or whatever.  You can use regular paper or graph paper, as shown above with the bunny, to help get your design centered and proportioned.    Next, color it in with markers.


You can even use tracing paper, so you can trace parts of your design from your photo or photos.  Please don’t totally STEAL art work or design, use it for inspiration, change it to your style and give the artist credit by name.   The mermaid was folded in my files, sorry she’s crinkled!


Tape your sketch down and then place your needlepoint canvas over drawing and tape in place. I use 13 gauge needlepoint canvas because it’s much easier to see and work with than the smaller gauges.  My designs are simple so they transfer well into blocks of color.


You’ll need an archival ink marker to draw with.  These are available in art stores, Hobby Lobby, and  Use the marker to carefully draw the design onto your canvas.  NOTE: You can use a pencil but it can smear so use a hard lead.  After painting try to remove as much pencil as possible to prevent soiling your thread.

HollyDayStress canvas,

You can see some of the drawn lines here in the yellow hair, parts of the face and dress.

Next carefully paint your canvas.  Using acrylic paint, lightly fill in the appropriate color in each area, taking care not to fill any of the grid holes with paint.  Use a stiff brush, and do not over saturate it with paint.  You want to just color the top of the grid.  Acrylic dries quickly, you’ll be stitching in no time!


You can jazz it up your piece with fancy threads, stitches and finishing techniques, the possibilities are endless.  It’s slow going, so if you start a bunny today, he probably won’t be done until Easter 2014!  It’s tons of fun though, and very relaxing.  There is something soothing to me about the slow repetitive process…

bunny tail

As I stitched I experimented with different textures by using different stitches.  Some french knots in the bunny’s tail and some fuzzy yarn on part of the bunny’s back created some interest,


and some long straight stitches in a glossy ribbon thread to create the grass

carrot close-up

and some carrots with a curly top lined the edges for a fanciful touch.


Wendy witch was the inspiration for the witch pillow.

new Halloween0707_02

She’s a sweet, innocent witch known for her very unmanageble curls!


I didn’t use any fancy stitches on Wendy, just a little silver sparkle ribbon thread for the moon and her buckles.  Some gold thread makes the Jack o’lantern glow.


This is “Holly Day Stress,”  she has the same unruly hairdo as Wendy,

HollyDayStress canvas,

she is the ultimate super stressed out holiday shopper!


She got some silver bells and buckles to along with fuzzy fur trim on her hat and dress.


The Merry Mermaid swam onto a turquoise velvet “sea.”

I am in the process of making seasonal pillows from some of my favorite glassware painted designs, as well as making Christmas stockings for my grandchildren.  It’s a great hobby for trips to the beach.

There are lots of FREE PRINTABLE NEEDLEPOINT DESIGNS available on line.  Barbara Bergsten Designs has tons of stitch guides, printable designs and tips.  You can easily create your own handpainted canvas using one of her cute designs as a guide.

You can buy needlepoint canvas at your local craft store, but I recommend you see if it’s available by the yard at a needlepoint specialty shop, they will have a higher quality canvas.

Visit a specialty store to discuss thread options. My favorite is a silk blend thread because it is so easy to work with.  You will need a more durable yarn for items that will get a lot of use, so make decisions wisely and seek professional opinions.

Using a frame will keep your needlepoint straight while you’re stitching and you won’t have to block it as much when it’s finished.

NOTE: I did have these pillows professionally finished.

Thanks so much for your visit, do you enjoy knitting, needlepoint or crochet?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on these time honored hobbies!


The designs, pillows and glassware are my original designs from my former business JMdesigns


I’m joining some of these great parties this week:

the Tablescaper for SEASONAL SUNDAY



The Gunny Sack for WHAT’S IN THE GUNNY SACK?

Memories by the Mile for TUESDAY TRIVIA

Design Decor Tuesday

Savvy Southern Style for WOW US WEDNESDAY

Cuisine Kathleen for LET’S DISH

Rattlebridge Farms for FOODIE FRIDAY

Alderberry Hill for MAKE THE SCENE MONDAY

The Dedicated House for MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY

No Minimalist Here for OPEN HOUSE THURSDAY

the Answer is Chocolate for BFF OPEN HOUSE

The Busy Bee’s for THURSDAY BLOG HOP

Crafts ala mode for WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS

check out these amazing blogs!

23 Responses to “Creations, Hand Painted Needlepoint Canvas”
  1. Barbara F. says:

    These are fantastic! Love the original art work. xo

  2. Maureen says:

    These are so cute. Your designs from your glassware as needlework & I love it. I had no idea you did needlework too. Beautiful stitchery & witchery.. Mo

  3. Debbie says:

    I love that needlepoint pillow. That is adorable. I love Easter, Spring, bunnies…all of it!
    Great post.

  4. Kelly at View Along the Way says:

    I’ve never tried it but that pillow is TOO cute! Thanks for linking it up to Monday Funday!

  5. gena says:

    Wowzers, those are amazing! I have purchased and completed many canvases but never would have the know how to make my own!!!! Thanks for sharing,

  6. mrsben says:

    Very creative and you do beautiful work!!!!!!! -Brenda-

    P.S: For smaller projects years ago I use to use my photo editing program and actually ran the canvas through my Lexmark inkjet printer. It was an extremely quick method of pattern transferral and in most part worked out quite well. ** Unfortunately the printers of today are no where the quality so I wouldn’t recommend it. **

    • Thanks Brenda, I can’t believe you used to be able to print canvas with your inkjet printer! how cool! I tried it with fabric recently and it didn’t work with mine, it smeared. Thanks for the nice comments, I don’t have anything going right now and am itching to be stitching!

      • mrsben says:

        Jenna: You are more than welcome. IF there is a shortcut to anything that produces acceptable results I am usually one that will try it. ☺

        Re printing on fabric. Don’t know what type of printer you have but have you tried printing it off in a Greeting Card format? You may wish to try it. Also see footnote below for smaller projects that will have a vintage look but may be suitable for your purpose.

        On occasion I use to personalize ribbon as well using both the above mentioned then printed them off in a ‘banner format’ (for length). I would just attach the ribbon to the banner paper with double sided Scotch tape and run it through. -Brenda-


        Supplies: Printer / Freezer Paper / Card Stock / Iron … NO steam / Fabric / Wooden Spoon

        1) Cut your freezer paper to the size of the (standard size) Card Stock and secure them together ie: Double sided removable Scotch tape works well. #667C by 3M
        2) Place in printer …. plastic side of freezer paper to receive the ink (usually face down)
        3) Print ‘Mirror Image’ (or you can do this before if you have an photo editing program)
        4) The ink will be wet so use caution when separating the freezer paper and card stock so as not to smudge it.
        5) Place the (wrinkle free) fabric on a hard smooth surface.
        6) Lay the (inked and still wet) image down on the fabric and use a ‘dry’ Iron to fuse both together. (Usually takes about sixty seconds.) Do NOT separate.
        7) With the back of your wooden spoon, rub – rub – rub to burnish ‘n transfer the entire image.
        8) Once ensured that you went all over the image, peel the freezer paper off and you are done!

  7. Linda says:

    I wanted to let you know that I featured you … thanks so much for linking up to my party! That is pretty cool that you make your own patterns. New link is open for the party also. Linda

  8. Candace says:

    You are so creative. I love the needle point. The pillows are great and to think it is your own drawing.

  9. Joann says:

    I love this post. I was becoming frustrated because, after years away, I wanted to start needlepoint again but I wanted an abstract art type of project. I can’t find one so was wondering if I was brave enough to try one myself. I’m not an artist but I think I’ll look around for some inspiration and see what I can do! Are most acrylic paints water proof so we don’t need to worry about bleeding during blocking?

    • You should be fine, once acrylic dries on fabric, such as your canvas, it’s permanent. I use a very light coat of color. Also if you use a frame when stitching your piece, blocking usually isn’t even necessary. Have fun!

  10. Sandy Park says:

    Absolutely wonderful needlepoints. I use to needlepoint all the time, but not I cross stitch instead. Your designs are adorable.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love your mermaid pillow.
    I am a needle pointer and would like to purchase the painted canvas of the mermaid. It will be a Xmas gift for a stitching buddy who is crazy mad for mermaids. Please let me know where I might purchase it. Thanks
    Dianne Matthew,

  12. Jill Kuhn says:

    Hi Jenna, I love how you showed how to make your own patterns and designs! Your bunny is especially delightful to me! 🐰💕

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