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Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

This year I've discovered the joy of plastic canvas, and I couldn't resist making a little Christmas project using this super fun and easy technique! I call it bargello pixel art because it uses long bargello-style stitches, but in a way that also looks like tiny pixel art. Back in the spring I stitched a rainbow in this style, and then I also made an autumn version too.

It's very kid-friendly, but maybe more like as a family project? Or simply something you can do on your own as a grown-up Advent craft.

Now, about this particular design. I'm a big fan of nativity scenes and really anything that celebrates the birth of Jesus. He's not just the "reason for the season"; He's my reason for everything. With that in mind, I try to create a manger craft every year!

This one, I will admit, is a little on the abstract side. Making a design in 15x15 pixels is challenging and there have been some folks at my house who have suggested that it doubles as a pack of french fries. (I may be one of those folks...)

All of that said, if you like the idea of Christmas bargello pixel art, but the manger isn't your thing or you'd like to also stitch a set of Scandinavian Christmas designs, I have three bonus patterns that you can access by supporting me on Ko-Fi. More details about that at the end of this post.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

When you get really excited to start stitching, you end up forgetting to take a photo of your supplies before you nearly use them all up. Oops! But these materials are pretty self-explanitory. You can also use different colors than I did. These are just to give you an idea.

You will need:
Large tapestry needle
10-count/mesh plastic canvas trimmed to 45 wide x 46 high
Tapestry wool or similar weight yarn

Anchor tapestry wool colors used:
8636 (Note: This design uses almost an entire skein of tapestry wool for the background color.)


Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

Each square on the pattern is actually three vertical stitches.

Start on the left edge, coming up in the fourth hole down and leaving a short tail on the back. Skip two holes, then go down. As you make each new stitch, work over the tail to secure the yarn.

Always work in the same direction with your stitches. I like to work from bottom to top.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

On the back you can see how the stitches are almost as solid on the back as they are on the front. Although you're going to go through more tapestry wool this way, it makes the stitching look more solid on the front, which is what you want.

Stitch the whole design, making three stitches for each "pixel" square. When you end a length of yarn, weave it through the back of stitches. (If you go behind the same color yarn it won't show.)

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

Stitch the eyes just like the rest of the pattern: three stitches for the square. For the mouth, you need to use back stitch. Come up through an empty hole that's sort of between the brown squares, then across for the bottom of the smile, and another short stitch again for the other side. The line of black will show up just fine squeezed in there.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

After you stitch the whole design, it's time to give it a finished edge and (optional!) hanger.

Anchor your yarn and then use whip stitch around the edges to cover the plastic canvas. I like to use yarn that matches the background, but you can use a contrasting color to make it more like a frame.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

At each corner, stitch a total of three stitches: one for each side and one for the actual corner point. This helps cover the corner completely.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger
Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

I like making these little pieces to hang on the wall, but you don't have to. You could stop right here and you'd have a manger coaster!

To add the hanger, attach a piece of tapestry wool at one of the top corners. Stitch through the back of a few stitches and then make a knot at the edge. Leave a bit of wool loose for the hanger, and then secure it at the other top edge on the back in the same way.

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

And that's how to make a manger bargello pixel art piece for your wall!

I also like to point out that these little patterns are also good for tiny cross stitch. Thing cute little ornaments that stitch up quick! Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

If you'd like to use this technique to stitch some Scandinavian designs, I have a gnome and two snowflakes availble for those who support me on Ko-Fi. You can pay just $3 and get access to all my recent bonus files (or follow and support me monthly so you don't miss a thing!).

Plastic Canvas Bargello Pixel Art Manger

That's so much for every comment, share, Pinterest pin, and Ko-Fi! Happy stitching!


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