Tweens (10-12)




Young Adult



Constellation Cross-Stitch

Constellation Cross-Stitch is a beginner's class where patrons of all ages can learn basic techniques in cross-stitch and embroidery. Patrons utilize skills such as hand/eye coordination and hand dexterity, and they leave with a piece of handmade art for their home.

Advanced Planning

I got this idea from reading a BBC News article, "Surgery students 'losing dexterity to stitch patients.'" Due to constant handheld device use, children and teens are losing hand dexterity. I wanted to find a sewing craft that would be easy enough for a beginner but interesting enough for an avid sewer.

That's when I found constellations embroidered on dark blue cross-stitch fabric on Pinterest. I looked at different examples to get a general idea of how it's done. I didn't need any general directions for embroidery/cross-stitch (since I have previous experience) but I did watch this video on how to make an Algerian star.

Planning was simple. I found hoops and needles on Amazon and bought fabric and thread at Joann Fabrics. The biggest challenge was a finding dark blue fabric that would be cheap but durable. Fabric made of 100 percent cotton was the best option. The fabric allows for puncture without creating rips or larger holes, and it's cheaper than the regularly used cross-stitch fabrics.


We promoted the event with fliers in-house as well as a flier in the local newspaper. Since our audience ranged in age, we promoted the event in person at all in-house events and at circulation.

We set a registration cap at 15 people. Our sign-up sheet was filled two weeks before the event.


We ended up spending just under $50 for 15 attendees. The hoops and needles were the most expensive at $39, the thread was $4, and the yard of fabric was $4.

To cut costs, we bought cotton fabric rather than the dark blue embroidery fabric that was triple the price.

Day-of-event Activity

The day of, I spent around an hour cutting fabric and thread and putting the hoops together. I put the tables of our auditorium in a U shape so I could go around to each participant and help when needed.

One thing I wished I had thought of was white pencils and/or crayons. I kept assuring people that it was OK to make mistakes, but the perfectionists kept stressing until we got some white pencils to sketch out the constellations.

Program Execution

Our program ended up having 15 attendees. They ranged from young children to adults, and we had a few teenaged boys in attendance. The feedback was good, with some patrons taking home embroidery books to try new designs.

While patrons were working on their constellations, we talked about what we could do and make with sewing skills. Many of the participants hadn't thought of needing sewing skills for medical professions, and I think it gave them more respect for the craft.

Because of the program, we saw an increase in the check-out of our embroidery books and an increase in future craft programs. Our patrons suggested additional programs during the event and were excited about the things they could make with their new skill.


 Prepare for perfectionists and bring white pencils. Also, be prepared for knots and encourage the participants to cut their thread a little shorter.

Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images