Plastic Canvas Icosahedron

January 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm 17 comments

It isn’t unusual around Christmas time that I do some sketches, get out some graph paper and work on a Plastic Canvas project for someone on my list. Usually my patterns are in the form of cartoon characters (such as Beavis or Cartman) or Hokie Birds. This year, I did something a little different for the science geek on my list. I made a plastic canvas icosahedron. It’s not a cartoon character, but it did have a solid role in the Futurama: Bender’s Game movie!

An icosahedron is a 20-sided platonic solid. In the regular icosahedron, each face is an equilateral triangle. Icosahedrons are everywhere. If you shake a Magic Eight ball, your fortune is being reported back to you by an icosahedron. Like Scattergories or role playing games? The die you play with is an icosahedron. Do you have herpes? Well then, my friend, you are infected with microscopic icosahedrons!

Icosahedrons at Work – Magic Eight Ball (Photo by greeblie), 20 Sided Dice (Photo by slayer23), Scattergories (Photo by JimmyMac210), Herpes Virus (Photo from Health News Blog)

And as if herpes and Magic Eight Balls are not treasure enough, you can now have your very own icosahedron constructed out of plastic canvas!

Plastic Canvas Icosahedron (Pictured with a souvenir lizard from Jost Van Dyke)

It was actually one of the more simple stitching projects I have taken on. The steps are quite easy:

Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Original Hexagon Plastic Canvas 1) At Michael’s, I purchased some nifty hexagon shaped sheets of plastic canvas. They are also available online at Everything Plastic Canvas. You’ll need four hexagons for this project.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Six Equilateral Triangles 2) I cut each hexagon into six equilateral triangles. That gave me 24 rectangles– 20 for my solid and 4 extra.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Single Triangle 3) Stitch each triangle to your preference. I just used a simple backstitch using decreasing shades of purple and a black center.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Sewing the Pieces Together 4) Start stitching the triangles together. I found it much easier to put the pieces back to back as long as I could (That gets more difficult as our solid takes shape). I used a standard overcast stitch. I typically did two stitches in each hole, with extra stitches at the triangle points for additional support.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Five Piece Cap 5) With the assembly strategy, I first stitched five of the triangles together to create a little cap.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Adding Triangles to Original Five Piece Cap 6) Next, I stitched an upside down triangle to the bottom of each triangle in the cap.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Adding Triangles Between the Triangles 7) Between each of those newly attached upside down triangles, I stitched a right-side up triangle. After that endeavor, there were 15 pieces sewn together.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - One Five Piece Section, One Fifteen Piece Section 8] I set aside my work so far and stitched another five piece cap. Now I had two sections– a 15 piece section and a small 5 piece cap.
Plastic Canvas Icosahedron - Done! 9) Finally– I stitched my two sections together and viola — Plastic Canvas Icosahedron.

Additional Icosahedron Projects

Now say you covet your very own icosahedron, but you don’t want to work with plastic canvas and you don’t really want herpes. You can make icosahedrons with just about any arts and craft technique and out of a variety of materials– even marshmallows! Here’s a quick collection of links to help guide you on your icosahedron whims:

Technique/Materials Link
Origami Instruction Video
Knitting Blog | Photo
Crochet Blog
Designer Paper Blog
Zome Tool Blog
Map Photo
Picture Photo
Wire Photo
Marshmallows and Toothpicks Photo

Do you have your own icosahedron project? Let me know! I’d love to hear about it!

Entry filed under: Crafts, Icosahedron, Plastic Canvas.

Weekly Winners – January 11 – 17, 2009 American Chestnut – Identification by Blight

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carolyn  |  January 18, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    hahah, you are one of those people who makes something somewhat boring interesting.

  • 2. Carolyn  |  January 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I mean stitching a plastic canvas, not icosahedrons… 🙂

  • 3. tgaw  |  January 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    @Carolyn – Hahaha thanks.

  • 4. Katie  |  January 20, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for the knitting link – I may just have to make one of my own.

  • 5. tgaw  |  January 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

    @Katie – You definitely came to mind when I saw the knitted one!

  • 6. Greeblie  |  January 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    See, you learn something new every day! Glad you liked the picture…

  • 7. Cats in Icosahedrons? « TGAW  |  January 23, 2009 at 8:03 am

    […] it is established beyond a doubt that cats love luggage. When I was poking around Flickr for my Plastic Canvas Icosahedron post, I ran across evidence that felines may also fancy platonic […]

  • 8. Weekly Winners - February 1 - Feburary 6th « TGAW  |  February 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    […] isn’t the only one in her family with artistic talent. I thought I was all cool making a Plastic Canvas Icosahedron. That is… until I saw the amazing Plastic Canvas village Hannah’s maternal grandmother […]

  • […] We joke. We sit outside. Two teenage girls from two doors down are currently stitching their own plastic canvas icosahedrons. And regardless of sex or age, the children seem uniformly intrigued by Ryan’s ability to […]

  • 10. michele  |  August 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    If anyone has any 6 ” hearts to sell please let me know PLEASE ! Thank You….. Michele

  • 11. Dick  |  December 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

    You are one of those people that makes something boring absolutely mind numbingly boring, dick…

  • 12. tgaw  |  December 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    @Dick – Well goodness, I’m glad I added pictures then. Can you imagine how excruciatingly boring you would have found the post if it was just text? : )

    Thanks for commenting!

  • 13. Christine Costales  |  March 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Oh wow. Thank you very much for the step by step instructions. I’ve been wanting to make a 20 sided die with plastic canvas for the longest time, but I didn’t know how. This tutorial with pictures =D make this project doable and fun for a beginner like me.

  • 14. OberonWoodcraft  |  January 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Well, this isn’t exactly a necropost but since I stumbled upon your icosahedron thread, I thought I’d share/self promote something I made for my etsy shop. It’s a 20 sided die that takes the form of a box.

    Also, I love all the links to other projects out there. That crochet die is pretty amazing.

  • 15. A. Catherine Noon  |  May 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    This is awesome. I love it.

  • 16. Norma Wolz  |  April 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks Kat. Great directions and neat pattern!

  • 17. Amanda  |  July 9, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Cut down smaller with a bell inside makes the perfect cat toy. Thanks for sharing.


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