Needlepoint Canvas Painting

Needlepoint canvas painting might require a little practice before you get perfect results, but it is easy to learn.

Learning how to paint needlepoint canvas means you get a truly unique product to stitch. No more looking around for a design you like. You can paint your own! Have fun.

Needlepoint Canvas Painting Tools:

  • Blank needlepoint canvas. Choose a needlepoint canvas that is right for the size and detail of the design you are transferring. Click the link if you need to purchase blank needlepoint canvas.
  • Waterproof, not alcohol based, permanent marker pens e.g. Fabric pens, Fabricmate Dye Pens; Pigma Microns.
  • Paints. An acrylic artist paint from your local craft store will do the trick. Delta is a good brand that is widely available. Try to avoid buying the cheapest paints you can find as they may lack adequate pigmentation to cover the canvas well.
  • needlepoint paint brushesPaint brushes. You will probably need a few different sizes. Perhaps a small pointed brush for fine detail areas, and a flat tipped brush for larger areas and straight lines. Experience and personal preference will guide you here. The brushes do not want to be soft and feathery for needlepoint canvas painting. As a general rule, a firm, acrylic brush allows for more precise paint application.
  • White paper. This is to lay your needlepoint canvas on so it is easier to see what you are painting.
  • A straw.
  • Water. For rinsing brushes.

Needlepoint Canvas Painting Instructions:

  • Cut the needlepoint canvas 2 inches larger all the way around than the design you plan to create.
  • Lay the canvas onto the white paper. This makes it easier to see the design as you paint.
  • Sketch the outline of a design onto your needlepoint canvas using a waterproof marker. Try to match the marker color to the color you plan to stitch in. Or use a pale gray marker. You can also trace a painting or drawing onto the canvas.
  • Now you are going to color in the design using the paint colors you have selected. As you paint, you need to think like a stitcher. Each cross-thread, or intersection, in the needlepoint canvas mesh is a stitch and so each cross-thread must be designated a specific color. This is so that the guess-work is taken out of the equation for the stitcher. You are "stitch painting" not just slapping on color willy-nilly. This makes the process a little slower as you think what color each stitch should be and paint the cross-threads on the canvas mesh accordingly. Needlepoint canvas painting is not difficult, but you do have to think as you go along.
Special Tip. As you paint, the canvas holes can get clogged with paint. Use the straw to "blow out" the holes periodically.
  • You may need to go back over some colors or touch up the details at the end. The paint dries very quickly and so in no time at all you will have your own needlepoint canvas painting.

Contact us with questions about needlepoint canvas painting.

Featured Needlepoint Kit

Casa Lime needlepoint pillow kit by Jennifer Pudney.