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Creative Phase Activities
Techniques & Tutorials



1. Enhancing arts & craft skills
2. Recycling material
4. Empowering creative processes and visual education
5. Learning easy and creative techniques to foster self-expression and satisfaction
6. Reworking the techniques to adapt them to one's professional and expressive context

Material needed
- leftover fabric, T-shirt yarn
- embroidery threads, -
- pearls
- needles
- chalk pencil

- scissors

Time frame

c. 120 minutes

Embroidery is traditionally a female activity, especially when it is done together, and can create this ancient circle of sharing and trust, where women can learn from each other. The aim is to focus on the future, boost creativity with a new (unusual) technique and to show ways of upcycling.

Providing the experience of creating a new object from an old one with embroidery doesn’t require a lot of tools or a deep knowledge about embroidery techniques, rather some used tote bags or clothes, some used fabric and threads and a few introductory steps.

To initiate the work with embroidery, you should first see an embroidered object and be able to touch it. It can be an object used in the local country or local embroidery patterns, but you can also ask your participants to search for embroidery patterns from their countries and you can watch them together. In our case, the workshop leader had an enormous piece of art that the groups could explore visually and physically.

Watching some modern embroidery artwork and practices can be also inspiring. There are many examples from stitch journals to modern embroidery art like Danielle Clough’s or Anne Brooke’s works. This can widen the horizon of the participants about embroidery, see different styles and mixed techniques of textiles and embroidery stitches.


Show your participants some basic stitches, and call attention to the possibilities of using textiles to create a text with them on the base or an image. In our case the participants just started to work immediately by their own, looking for simple drawings on the internet and copying the pattern, or just starting to play with the different material until they felt that they found what they want to do.

After these steps you can start your own creation! Start by choosing your “canvas”: used clothes they want to decorate or tote bags that participant brought with themselves to the workshop and which they want to customise. Otherwise, you can also provide the textiles. Before touching the needles, we asked the participants to think about a positive message for themselves in the future.

The message can be one word such as these embroidered messages in Arabic about love (حب), or a sentence like this citation of Khalil Jibran. But is can also be an image they would like to see on their object. Of course, this instruction can be varied, depending on the topic you want to focus.

It is recommended to draw the lines with a chalk pencil before proceeding to the embroidery. 

At the end you can make a mini exhibition or a mini fashion show of the bags and clothes you made.


Recommendations to combine "Message embroidery" with other activities:

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