How to cross stitch objects WITHOUT waste canvas

I know, right; why would you ever need to know how to cross stitch something without waste canvas? Well, actually the answer is all too prevalent. Be it you’re stitching something like the works of Severija, or things that can’t get wet such as our example, my recently cross stitched Pikachu Journal.
The really great thing about this process though is that you’ll be able to pick any count aida, and use any thread type without an issue. No more trying to find 18 count waste canvas.

Lord Libidan Severija cross stitch objects

So as guessed, you don’t need waste canvas, but you are going to need a few other things, that should already be in your cross stitch kit:

  • Pins (or a drill depending on the item you want to stitch)
  • Cardboard/Wood blocks to capture the back of the needle
  • Some type of non-staining tape

cross stitch items

So the first step is to get a peice of aida and start marking out your pattern. All you need to do it mark the outside edge only. I choose to do this with both a sharpie and a ball point to really see what I’m doing in the next stage, however fabric pens work well too. I would suggest against using thread to mark it though (you’ll see why soon).

cross stitch marked out with pen

Find the perfect position for your cross stitch and affix it to the piece using tape (be careful to only tape on areas that won’t pull up, such as paper). I can’t stress enough that it needs to be super tight, but DO NOT cross the area you’re going to be stitching. I did. I regret it. The needle clogs up on the glue on the tape and causes all kinds of problems.

cross stitch aida taped to book

Then you get to the hard bit. Pin the furthest corner down with a straight pin, using the wood/cardboard to hold it down (and save anything under it). Then start pinning each regular aida hole along one edge straight down, leaving a pin roughly every inch. You then want to go line by line doing the same thing, making a grid of stabling pins each inch until every hole is needed along the project (make sure not to pin where you aren’t going to stitch, here is where the thick outside lines come in handy).

cross stitch aida pinned down

You can then remove the aida, leaving a nicely laid out grid for you to start work on. If you’ve decided to cross stitch something like leather, which ‘heals’ itself, then the holes will be hard to identify by eye, but the needle tip will find them. If you’re still struggling, try using a sharp ended needle instead.

And you’re all done! Good luck stitching all those household objects!

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