How to make stitched standing figures!

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blackmageheart
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How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby blackmageheart » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:13 am

How to make cross stitched standing figures (and other stitched wonders on plastic canvas)
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You will need:
Plastic canvas (I use 14ct but any would work just as well)
Threads
Cross stitch / tapestry needle
Hot glue gun and glue sticks (or other strong glue)
Coins or other slightly weighted item to use as a base

STAGE ONE – Sprites and Patterns
First, decide on the character or item you want to make into your standee. There are options here. You can choose a sprite that doesn’t have a back (as in, you never see the back of the character/item in-game) and either mirror it for your back piece, or edit a sprite to create a custom back. You could opt to get a front and back sprite from games that do have them (an example of this would be the Link sprite from A Link to The Past). Even with this option, some modification may be necessary.
Whatever sprite you go for, you will need patterns for two sprites – one for the front and one for the back of the standee. The outline of one sprite must exactly mirror the other, or it could look weird when it comes to putting them together.
For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be using these two sprites
black mage.PNG
black mage.PNG (589 Bytes) Viewed 6171 times
provided for me by m4pl3g1rl!

STAGE TWO – Stitching, cutting out and washing
OK, so you have your two sprites and you’ve made a pattern. Now it’s time to grab your plastic canvas and a cross stitch needle. I’m using 14ct plastic canvas here, and I’ll be stitching with two threads.
If your sprites have an outline, like my Black Mage here, I’d recommend stitching that in first. It’ll need to stay relatively tidy, so try to stay away from using knots, and also keep any tails from peeking out the edges of the sprites’ outlines.
Fill in the colours of the sprite next. It doesn’t matter if this part is messy, but do avoid knots if possible!
Alright, so I have my sprites stitched.

blm_3.jpg
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Now to cut them out. I cut one hole away from the stitched part, all the way around the edge of the sprites. I also keep to what I’d describe as the inner edge of the holes, that way I don’t end up with a bumpy line along the edge.
This part does require some care and attention, as for the best effect you will want to cut straight and not snip any of the stitching.

So, let me just cut out my sprites...

blm_4.jpg
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The edges might need a little bit of tidying up, but I can do that at a later stage. This is the point where I usually wash my plastic canvas stitchings (before I put felt backs on them, or attach them to something). You can wait until after you’ve put the two sides together, but they take a bit longer to dry out properly.
I’m just going to give them a quick wash now and let them dry flat on a towel.

STAGE THREE – Putting the sides together
This part is really simple, and quite fun. We’re going to sew our sprites together using a double running stitch, or Holbein stitch. It’s one of the easiest sewing stitches and very useful for tasks like this. For those that don’t know what this stitch is, I’ll try and explain now!
First, we stitch a row of running stitches, all spaced out evenly (use the aida holes as a guide for this)

rs_1s.jpg
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rs_2s.jpg
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When we reach the end of the line we have made, we make a return journey and fill in the spaces we missed. Like so:

rs_3s.jpg
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rs_4s.jpg
rs_4s.jpg (82.95 KiB) Viewed 6171 times


And we end up with a neat line on both sides of the fabric.

rs_5s.jpg
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So, if we use this stitch to do an outline, it will be the same on both sides.
I will stitch Black Mage’s outline to demonstrate:

rs_6s.jpg
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rs_7s.jpg
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rs_8s.jpg
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And that is the double running stitch, very useful for jobs like this!
Back to the sprites – time to sew them together!

blm_5.jpg
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blm_6.jpg
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blm_7.jpg
blm_7.jpg (56.7 KiB) Viewed 6171 times


Now, this is a Mage! He’s ready to find a base to stand on!


STAGE FOUR – Attaching a Base
Depending on the size of your sprite, you will have to find an appropriate base. Slightly weighted objects are best as they provide good balance for the stitching. For small sprites, I have found coins to be quite good. I will be using a British 2 pence coin, but it’s not necessary for you to rush out and try to get British currency! Anything of a similar size and weight would be just as good. Or if you are handy with other materials, perhaps you can make a custom base – such as wood or plastic or Perspex.

blm_8.jpg
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Here is my 2p coin, which I have painted with black acrylic. This step isn’t necessary, but since many sprites have a small circular shadow it works quite well. The coin isn’t quite as wide as Black Mage’s bottom row, but once glued on it will be fine. So, time to get my hot glue gun out!
You can do gluing one of two ways: bead glue along the bottom of your sprite, or directly on to the base. If you’re using hot glue and you mess up, let it cool and it will peel off easily with no damage. If you’re using another glue you may have to be more careful. I do not recommend any form of cyanoacrylate as if it touches the cotton it may produce a reaction and you could have a serious accident! So please, stay away from super glues for this kind of work!
Anyway, I’ve got my hot glue gun and I’ve carefully put a line of glue on my coin. This part has to be done very quickly, as hot glue cools rapidly and can become useless if you’re too slow to get your sprite on the base. But, no problem – here we are!

blm_9.jpg
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blm_10.jpg
blm_10.jpg (48.96 KiB) Viewed 6171 times


And that is how to make a standing stitched figure! The applications aren’t just limited to character sprites. Any stitched image could be used, as long as the base is stable and affixed correctly.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful!
If you have any questions, please either contact me through PM @ Sprite Stitch Forums or email me at miragedance@hotmail.com. 
RMDC wrote:...I've been stitching at an estimated rate of almost a full BMH per day...

Batboard wrote:Your relationship between combustible engines and the 16 Olympics has to be the best ad campaign I've seen in years. Do you accept locks of hair or Paypal...

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blackmageheart
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby blackmageheart » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:15 am

Well I hope that all makes sense! Oh and you can ask questions here, that's ok too :)

Here's a downloadable pdf version as well!
How to make cross stitched standing figures.pdf
(416.48 KiB) Downloaded 207 times
RMDC wrote:...I've been stitching at an estimated rate of almost a full BMH per day...

Batboard wrote:Your relationship between combustible engines and the 16 Olympics has to be the best ad campaign I've seen in years. Do you accept locks of hair or Paypal...

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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby RMDC » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:13 am

Very nice! :D

I do have a question - when I made double-sided plastic canvas magnets for the "consolation round" of the last Big Swap, I had difficulty finishing off the running stitch holding the two halves together. Starting it was fine (I just ran the end beneath pre-existing stitches), but when it came time to achieve closure, I was a little stumped. What do you find works best?
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Now playing on the blog: Snowy Owl, gaming posts. :tri

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blackmageheart
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby blackmageheart » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:22 am

I usually just thread it under a stitch or two at the end of the run and tie it off tightly so that it's quite discreet for a knot. You do have to clip the tail very close to the knot though. In the past I have tied it off by getting the thread between the two pieces of canvas; however it's not easy to do.

I will do some investigating into this!
RMDC wrote:...I've been stitching at an estimated rate of almost a full BMH per day...

Batboard wrote:Your relationship between combustible engines and the 16 Olympics has to be the best ad campaign I've seen in years. Do you accept locks of hair or Paypal...

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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby rogueprincess20 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:08 pm

OMG YAY you made the tutorial for this!! The little standees would be totally awesome as player tokens for a custom monopoly board like the Final Fantasy one that was shown on here.

Thanks so much for doing this tutorial for us.
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Eliste
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby Eliste » Thu May 09, 2013 5:51 am

FYI if you know a gamer who is into war gaming, their miniatures have great plastic bases that would probably work perfectly with this technique as well. Generally pretty cheap too, although you'll end up buying several bases in one go.
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blackmageheart
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby blackmageheart » Thu May 09, 2013 7:02 am

Eliste wrote:FYI if you know a gamer who is into war gaming, their miniatures have great plastic bases that would probably work perfectly with this technique as well. Generally pretty cheap too, although you'll end up buying several bases in one go.

Very true! I haven't tried using one yet, but my boyfriend has several...could find themselves "borrowed" :)
RMDC wrote:...I've been stitching at an estimated rate of almost a full BMH per day...

Batboard wrote:Your relationship between combustible engines and the 16 Olympics has to be the best ad campaign I've seen in years. Do you accept locks of hair or Paypal...

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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby Eliste » Thu May 09, 2013 2:35 pm

blackmageheart wrote:Very true! I haven't tried using one yet, but my boyfriend has several...could find themselves "borrowed" :)


Sure, he couldn't object to just one right? :grin:
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby m4pl3g1rl » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:54 pm

Now this is great for display pieces - they aren't going to be touched often. But what happens if you're wanting to make a game piece? For example, I'm wanting to make my bunny chess set that I designed. They'll be touched a lot and I'm not sure I want to be constantly washing my pieces.

I'm debating on getting a lacquer or a fabric sealant.

Also, does anyone know where you can get a smaller size like 18 count, in plastic canvas/perforated plastic or vinyl-weave fabric?
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Re: How to make stitched standing figures!

Postby blackmageheart » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:43 am

m4pl3g1rl wrote:Now this is great for display pieces - they aren't going to be touched often. But what happens if you're wanting to make a game piece? For example, I'm wanting to make my bunny chess set that I designed. They'll be touched a lot and I'm not sure I want to be constantly washing my pieces.

I'm debating on getting a lacquer or a fabric sealant.

Also, does anyone know where you can get a smaller size like 18 count, in plastic canvas/perforated plastic or vinyl-weave fabric?

We've already covered this in our PM conversation but I wanted to repeat for everyone else - it is possible to just dip these in the same water/detergent combo you'd normally wash your stitching in. If you're using coins for a base or something else metal or painted don't wash them! Plastic bases will stand up to it though.
I haven't personally tried a sealant for this specific need but having used it in other areas I'll bet it will probably work quite well.

The only other thing I could think of was to possibly laminate the pieces or shrink wrap them...but I haven't tested these out so if anyone does try that or the sealant I'd be interested to know the results!
RMDC wrote:...I've been stitching at an estimated rate of almost a full BMH per day...

Batboard wrote:Your relationship between combustible engines and the 16 Olympics has to be the best ad campaign I've seen in years. Do you accept locks of hair or Paypal...

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