If you’re looking for a fun and easy home decor project, making your own tissue box cover is a great option! It only takes a few supplies and can be finished in a few hours!
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get started with plastic canvas crafts, what supplies you’ll need, and how to use them to make a stunning blue and silver herringbone plastic canvas tissue box cover, for both square and rectangle tissue boxes.
Using Plastic Canvas For Your Tissue Box
You may be wondering what plastic canvas even is. Plastic canvas is craft material made of thick plastic with regularly spaced holes that are meant to imitate embroidery canvas. Its mesh design allows you to weave yarn or floss through the holes to create intricate patterns similar to cross-stitching and embroidery.
Plastic canvas is stiffer than other needlecraft bases, so the end product can hold its shape. This makes it an ideal material to create everything from coasters to desk caddies to (you guessed it) tissue box covers.
Where to Buy Plastic Canvas
Since plastic canvas is such a popular craft supply, you can usually find it in most craft stores (or the craft aisle of most big-box stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby as well.)
For our craft project today, we'll be using this plastic canvas.
Types of Plastic Canvas
You can buy plastic canvas in four different sizes: 5#, 7#, 10#, and 14#, with 7# being the most common. Those numbers refer to how many holes the canvas sheet has per inch. 5# plastic canvas obviously has the largest holes because it only takes five holes to make one inch, while size 14# has the smallest holes because it has 14 per inch.
The size of your plastic canvas mesh dictates what kind of thread you’ll need for your project. As mentioned above, 7# plastic canvas is the most common size and is a good all-purpose option for most types of projects. It uses regular worsted-weight yarn, which makes it especially easy to source supplies.
5# canvas can also use worsted-weight yarn if you use multiple strands, but it is typically easier to just use a bulkier yarn. It’s best used for larger projects like purses, clutches, and bags.
10# and 14# canvas works best with embroidery floss or a thin yarn like sport or lace weight. These canvas sizes are best when you want to make an intricate pattern or do elaborate color work for your project.
Making a Square Tissue Box Cover
Now that you know the basics of plastic canvas crafting, you’re ready to start making your plastic canvas tissue box cover! This is a great project for beginners because it only uses basic stitches and works up quickly. Note: for this project we’ll be making a square decorative tissue box cover but if you’d like to make a rectangle version, we have adjustment instructions at the end of this article.
Supplies needed for this tissue box cover
- 2 sheets of 7# plastic canvas sheets
- Plastic canvas needle (We used one of the bigger needles from this set.)
- Red Heart Super Saver worsted-weight yarn. As we’ll be making a blue and silver tissue box cover, we recommend these two yarn colors: blue and silver
Step One: Cut Your Plastic Canvas
Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut five squares from your plastic canvas sheets. Each square should be 34 holes tall and 34 holes wide.
After you’re finished cutting, you will most likely have excess plastic pieces along the edge of your squares. Use your scissors or a craft blade to cut them away. Try to get rid of as much as possible, since your yarn can snag on them while you are weaving.
Step Two: Cut The Tissue Slot
Cut a rectangular hole in the middle of one of your squares. This panel will be the lid and the slot is where the tissues will feed through. You should have 10 mesh holes left on either side of your slot and 13 mesh holes on the top and bottom.
Step Three: Make The Sides
Now it’s time to start stitching! For this project, we are going to use diagonal stitches starting at the top left corner. Diagonal stitches offer the most coverage, so you will see less of the plastic canvas in the finished product.
Thread your needle through a 3’ piece of silver yarn. Select one of your side panels to start.
Make your first stitch by inserting the needle up through the first hole of the second row and down through the second hole of the first row. Pull the thread taut and leave a small 2” tail at the end.
Make your next stitch by bringing the needle up through the first hole of the third row and down through the third hole of the first row. As you can see, this stitch is the same as the first, except that it spans three holes instead of two.
Tip: You can easily weave in your yarn tail by keeping it flush along the back of the canvas while you work. The stitches will form around the yarn tail, ensuring it won’t come loose later.
Increase your stitch size two more times until you have a stitch that spans five holes.
Continue making five-hole stitches by bringing the needle up through the next open hole on the bottom row and down through the next open hole on the top row.
Continue making long stitches until you reach the other corner of the canvas.
Finish off the row by decreasing your stitches one hole at a time until you are back down to a two-hole stitch.
Weave the end of your yarn through several stitches on the back of your canvas to secure it. Cut off the excess.
To start the next row, you need to change colors. Thread your needle through a 3’ piece of blue yarn. Bring the needle up through the last hole of the sixth row and down through the same hole as your last silver stitch.
Like the last row, increase your stitch sizes until you have a five-hole stitch, then continue your five-hole stitches across the row. Decrease back down to a two-hole stitch at the end.
Keep variating between silver and blue rows until you reach the bottom of the canvas. You should have one empty row of holes left once you’ve finished.
Leave the top and sides of the panel unfinished, since they will be covered when they are joined to the other panels. However, the bottom of the panels won’t be connected to another piece of the box, so they need a nice finishing border to hide the plastic edges.
Start by making a single row of continental stitch in blue yarn. If you don’t have enough yarn left from your last row, weave in your tail and start with a fresh length of yarn.
Continental stitch is one of the most common stitches in plastic canvas crafting and is used to make intricate colorwork patterns.
Start by making a two-hole diagonal stitch. Feed the needle up through the first hole in the last row and down through the second hole of the previous row.
Make your second stitch by bringing the needle up through the hole directly below the one you just came through and bring it down through the next hole diagonally.
Keep making those single stitches until you reach the end of the row.
Now that you’ve reached the very edge of the canvas, you will need to make a row of whip stitch to cover the plastic bar.
Bring the needle up through the hole directly below the one you just came through.
Insert the needle up through the next hole and pull the yarn taut. This will create a loop around the bottom bar, effectively hiding the plastic from sight.
Continue making whip stitches until you reach the end of the row. Weave in the tail and cut off your excess.
Complete this process three more times for the other side pieces.
Step Four: Make The Lid
You're almost there! The top of your tissue box will have the same pattern as the side panels, so you can make your first three rows the same way as before.
Since the lid piece has a hole in the middle, you will need to do short rows on either side of the tissue slot. Start your blue row as usual and end it when you reach the beginning of the slot. Weave in your ends and cut the yarn. Repeat on the other side of the slot.
Continue until you reach the bottom of the tissue slot, then resume making long rows.
Keep alternating rows until you reach the bottom of the canvas. Do one row of continental stitching along the last open row just like the side panels, but skip the whip stitch along the bottom edge.
Finally, you need to cover the edges of the tissue slot. Use the whip stitch all the way around the slot to cover the plastic.
Step Five: Join The Sides
Last step! Once all your panels are finished, you need to stitch them together to form a box.
Line up the edges of two panels. Bring the needle up through the first hole of one panel.
Bring the needle down through the second hole of the second panel. As you can see, that joins the two pieces together and covers the plastic bar along the outer edge.
Continue stitching the two pieces together until you reach the end of the panels. Weave in the ends and cut off the excess.
Use this method to join all four sides and the top.
Now you have a stylish square tissue box cover to add a bit of flair to your decor!
Making a Rectangular Tissue Box Cover
If you want to make a rectangle tissue box instead of a square one, you need to make your canvas panels to different sizes. For a standard rectangle tissue box, cut your pieces to these specifications:
Lid: 62 holes wide by 34 holes tall. To make the tissue slot, cut away the middle grids until you have 24 holes remaining on the sides and 13 holes remaining on the top and bottom.
Long sides: 62 holes wide by 22 holes tall.
Short sides: 34 holes wide by 22 holes tall.
Once you have your canvas pieces cut, you can follow along with the rest of the tutorial for weaving, finishing, and joining your panels.
Enjoy Your New Tissue Box!
There you have it! That’s everything you need to know to make your own plastic canvas tissue box cover.
Let us know what you think of the project in the comments section below!
Other great craft projects
And if you want to try some of our other craft projects, we recommend checking these out: