Tutorials

Having a little trouble making something work with your Plushform? Looking for new ways to customize your Plushform? You've come to the right place. The tutorials below include some fundamental projects without going into a specific task. In time we hope to show advanced how-tos to help you get the most out of this new medium, as well as project-specific tutorials. Have an idea for a tutorial? Let us know!

If you're looking for answers to more basic questions, please check out our FAQ here.


PF Custom - KetnerTutorial no. 1: Priming your Plushform
While you don't have to prime your Plushform, we realize some of you out there want your primed surface just so. We're cool with that, so we want to give you a couple of tips in case you're unsure how the surface will react.

  1. Remember that Plushform is fabric, so it will absorb paint, including gesso and spray primer. Granted, the surface is coated, but fabric will be fabric so keep this in mind.

  2. If you're comfortable with a brush, go for it, with a gesso or brushable paint primer that's suitable for canvas. A little goes a long way, especially when you prefer to work on a smooth surface. If you're thinking of a spray primer, make sure it works for fabric (or at least porous materials). You may have to build up coats with spraying

  3. Once your first coat dries, we advise sanding with a fine grit sandpaper to achieve the smoothest surface (if that's what you want, of course). Be sure to wear safety mask and use proper ventilation whenever working with sprays or sanding.

  4. A second coat or multiple coats may be necessary, so repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.

  5. A final light sanding is a good rule of thumb as well. 
Shown right: Sleep With Me by Jeremiah Ketner.

PF Custom - Jen RareyTutorial no. 2: Sewing on your Plushform
Plushform is unique since you can not only glue things to it, you can also sew items and fabrics onto it (buttons, facial features, etc). While there are dozens if not hundreds of techniques out there, we'll cover some of the most basic here.

For starters, you'll need a needle and some sort of thread. We recommended a curved upholstery needle, since they're quite versatile, especially for objects that are already stuffed (like a couch or chair). There are several sizes available, so choose one appropriate to your idea, keeping in mind the thickness of the thread or yarn you want to use. Of course, there are all sorts of needles available, so check with your local craft store to see what options are available.

Once you have your needle and thread and the thing you want to sew onto your Plushform, you'll need to determine how much thread to use, and the kind of stitch. A simple whip stitch is fairly straightforward, though it's definitely not the only one around.

We've also found a thimble to be useful, especially when sewing through a painted or coated surface. That way you'll have a little extra umph behind your sewing finger.

Also consider the color of the thread you're using, since a contrasting stitch can add a nice visual detail to your piece. Conversely, you might want the thread to blend in with whatever it's going through. In the end, you may want to figure out the right balance between technical and aesthetic issues for you, so in the end the Plushform custom you're creating is all about your creative vision.

Shown right: Chunky Munky by Jen Rarey.

Tutorial no. 3: Drawing with pen, pencil and marker
PF Custom - PlayskewlThe Plushform surface is really smooth right out of the box, so sanding or priming shouldn't be needed to smooth down the weave of the fabric. That means less fuss from the start, so you can get busy being creative.

Most any 2D drawing media will work with Plushform's unique coated surface. In fact, we've used some of the finest tipped art pens we could fine, and the line stayed true and didn't bleed. Likewise, we were able to sketch with a regular sharpened pencil as well as a mechanical pencil with no problem. The tightly-woven surface of Plushform makes this possible.

Markers - both thinner paint markers like Sakura's Permapaque line and thicker types like Sharpies both performed extremely well in our tests both for sketching in color, and for finished works. Of course, we should keep in mind even though Plushform is specially coated for these and other 2D media, it is fabric after all, and if you hold a fat-tipped marker on the surface for any amount of time, it will eventually bleed.

Here's a list of 2D media we've tested, all of which we recommend (in no particular order):

  • Pencil (H grade and softer)

  • Pigma Micron series pens by Sakura

  • Pitt art pens by Faber-Castell

  • Permapaque series paint markers by Sakura

  • Permanent markers by Sharpie

  • Water-based paint markers by Sharpie

  • Gelly Roll pens by Sakura

Of course, similar products may work as well, so let us know if you find something new (especially if it's something unexpected) and we'll add it to the list.

Shown right: Custom Plushform by PlaySkewl.
PF Custom - TinderTutorial no. 4: Coating your finished Plushform
A clear coat not only gives your Plushform a finished look, it also protects the surface from chips and scratches (and even from UV light depending on what kind you use). You can either brush or spray on a clear coat, though keep in mind using a brush may result in brush marks. When spraying it is recommended you use a respirator or mask of some kind, and make sure the area in which you work is well-ventilated. Some specifics...

  1. If spraying, choose the side or area of your Plushform you want to spray, and prop up your custom if possible, making sure whatever you use can be sprayed and is clean of dirt and debris. If brushing, you have more control, though it's recommended you wear protective gloves if holding and brushing at the same time.

  2. When spraying hold the can approximately 8 to 12 inches away from your piece (refer to the manufacturer's instructions, as they vary).

  3. Start spraying away from your Plushform, and move across it making steady, even passes. Keep the spray nozzle at least 12 inches away from the Plushform. Continue make light quick passes until your piece or portion of your piece is coated.

  4. When doing multiple coats, less is more for each coat. Build them up slowly and your surface will look great. Allow for adequate time between coats (refer to the manufacturer's instructions for re-coat and drying times).

  5. Once complete, let your Plushform dry completely before handling or packing. If other portions need to be coated, repeat steps as necessary.

Shown right: Chest Spreader by Jeremy Tinder.


That's all for now. Let us know if you have any tutorials in mind. Or maybe you have a special technique you have used and would like to share? If you'd like to submit an entire tutorial we would be happy to reviewit. Check back in the future, from time to time as we will be adding to our list.