Craftivism Projects To Do

We hope that these projects encourage people think about the messages whilst they stitch or see the product, discuss these issues with their friends and family and are inspired to act to make the world a better place in whatever way they can to support their global neighbours. All projects are ongoing and can be done when convenient for you (unless it explicitly says differently)

We hope to encourage craftivists all over the world to perform these projects and send us the evidence and their thoughts to us and then we can blog about it. People can craft on their own, as a group of friends or use the project as an excuse for a craftivism event with the public. You can buy kits here and we are hoping to create kits for each project below. We also have instruction videos you can find here and here. Our Founder can also be booked to deliver workshops and talks. If you need any extra help deliver your project just contact us at craftivistDOTcollectiveATgmailDOTcom. Don’t forget that the projects messages have to fit in with our manifesto of exposing the scandal of poverty and human rights abuses.


#minifashionprotest: Kit here

inside Somerset House, London during London Fashion Week 2012

inside Somerset House, London during London Fashion Week 2012

Our current project is in support of War on Want’s Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign, in the lead up to London Fashion Week (Sept 2013). The project makes a stand against sweatshops and other human rights abuses in the fashion industry using mini cross stitch protest banners. With the hope to make people think about the side of the fashion that is often too easily dismissed by the industry, in a non-threatening but challenging way. Craftvists are urged to take a photo of their protest art in situ, with the aim of creating an exhibition of these photographs at the Knitting and Stitching Show’s Upcycling Academy in London in October. Craft author Perri Lewis, bloggers such as Tilly & the Buttons, Mr X Stitch and a number of key WI groups including Shoreditch Sisters and Manchester WI, have already pledged their support amongst others. The launch comes just a few months after the tragic deaths of more than 1,000 garment workers in a factory collapse in Bangladesh.We love the beauty and creativity that comes from fashion. We love the fact that we can express ourselves through clothes and feel confident in what wear. But there is an ugly unethical side of most of the fashion industry we shouldn’t ignore especially because as consumers & global citizens we have a lot of power over the shops that produce the clothes that we wear. As buyers of clothes on the high street, we have the power to put pressure on those brands to change their practices and stop putting profit before wages and welfare.The Bangladesh factory disaster must surely stir us to say that we won’t stand for sweatshop exploitation existing in the 21st Century. It’s wrong to think that we don’t have any power to change this ugly side of fashion. Please join us in celebrating our love of fashion and fighting for an industry without any ugly side, with no sweatshops. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if LFW 2014 was a show of only exploitation-free clothes? Let’s fight together for that reality one stitch at a time! 


Alternative Valentines Cards

Lovingly made and hidden around the world by craftivists. Each envelope contains an alternative valentine’s letter, a handmade gift (designed by Tatty Devine jewellery designers) and a sweet.  Hand delivered to gaps in walls, cash machine slots, shop shelves- they weren’t affected by the postal delays and you don’t have to be in a relationship to have one of these!

These are valentine’s cards with a difference: the letter is written from a person from a developing country asking for people to show love for people suffering and vulnerable in the world.

There are so many distractions in life, particularly on Valentines Day. Hopefully these cards are a friendly reminder of the difficult circumstances our global neighbours are in and the gifts are there to encourage a conversation to start even after Valentine’s Day. We have all the resources you need: template letter, instructions video, Tatty Devine keyring design, and examples of where to plan the letters

Don’t Blow It handkerchiefs: Kit here

Hand embroidering personal messages to your MP in handkerchiefs given to you, found, bought in second hand shops or you have made. The messages will be asking your MPs to use the power and influence the role gives them to really make a positive difference during their elected time, to keep fighting for justice and remind them that you are holding them to account if they go against their constituents demands. We hope that they keep their handmade hanky to help motivate them to show their love for our global neighbours and environment. Find video, images and more here

Mini Protest Banner: Kit here 

These are our most successful and requested projects. The concept is to make a small unthreatening protest banner on a global justice or poverty issue that you care about. Then you put it up (with cable ties) in a relevant public space. Then we explain the saying and location in more detail on our webite.  You can find some of our Mini Protest Banners here, and you can watch our instruction video on YouTube here.

Thoughtful Bunting:

Create your own bunting messages to leave around areas you think could be more pretty and where people walk past. Hopefully your bunting will make people think about your message.

Cross-stitch graffiti:

This is a great way to make people think about the message you have written, in a non-threatening, interesting way. It’s also good because it’s temporary – you can cut the wool off.

Barbie provoking thought:

 Buy a second hand Barbie or any small doll, use paint, pen or what we used here: stamp ink to rub into her so she looks bruised and battered. Make her a placard and tie her up with gaffer tape. Find a good fact, statistic or quote which will provoke people to talk about gender inequality and put that on the placard. Leave your Barbie wrapped around a bar in a public place and take a photograph. Email us the photograph and an explanation of your message on the placard and where you left it. We will blog it. Find out more information on gender inequality on our blog here

Cross-stitched Masks:

Join us in creating cross-stitched masks to leave on statues and shop mannequins. You can use it as a platform to talk about sweatshoips and place them on shop mannequins in unethical stores, put them on outdoor statues such as the above and link it to the surrounding area. The possibilities are endless. See other mask coverage on Mr X Stitch here and more information on this project here

Tomato Jam Craftivism Project

Inspired by a recipe for Tomato Jam craftivist Sarah Corbett recieved from Christine in Kenya (and incredible lady working hard to support her community) this project includes making tomato jam, sharing jam sandwiches with people to talk about the unfair food system. We’re asking people to stitch messages onto tomato jam jar lids in support of Oxfam’s Grow campaign, for a world where everyone has enough to eat. See events page or create your own event – we can send you resources you might want. Instruction video is here too.

Badges to provoke conversation

Have you ever been asked: Do you care?
We have made these badges with many different groups of people of all ages and backgrounds on themes of poverty and corruption. They are speech bubbles. The point of them is to make people ask you about the slogan you put on. This one asks ‘Do you Care?’ and many people have commented on it when we wear them. It is open ended enough for you to ask people: ‘do you care about the effect your actions have on the poorest people in the world’, ‘do you care about climate change’ or anything you are passionate about. Again, its a great way to make people think without shouting at them in an aggressive way (which one reason many people are scared of activists). One member of the public wrote on hers “I’m not poor, I’m broke” and said he will wear it in work to talk to his colleagues about how lucky they are to have minimum wage when people in the world are living on less than $1 a day.

It’s a great conversation starter into talking about global poverty and social justice issues.

We are contributors to Norwegian artist Lise Bjørne Linnert’s ongoing project:


The project uses the art of embroidery to highlight and protest against human trafficking and femicide, specifically in the city of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican border. Since 1993, 800 women have been brutally murdered in Ciudad Juarez and hundreds more have gone missing, while the Mexican government turns a blind eye. Prostitution in the region has increased 400% in the same time period.

The project asks the public to hand sew the name of one murdered woman on each label alongside the word “unknown”, in remembrance of the hundreds of unidentified victims of similar crimes worldwide. The project is a mass act of solidarity. So far, 2100 individuals in 27 countries have embroidered more than 4000 labels. The Craftivist Collective are adding to that figure and helping to spread awareness of these atrocities.

An installation of the labels was shown at PALLANT HOUSE GALLERY in Chichester in October 2010. This project continues after this exhibition and continue to tour around the world

Further information:


PAST PROJECTS (to inspire your own)

Craftivist Jigsaw project #imapiece

Pioneers of the emerging contemporary craft movement Mr X StitchDeadly Knitshade &Hilary of Craftblog UK are joining the Craftivist Collective to urge the craft community to help us create a giant jigsaw embroidered with provocative messages to support Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger Campaign. Wanna join us? Please do and show that you are a piece of the solution not problem. All of the information you need is herePlus you can buy a kit here if it’s helpful.

“And Sew To Bed” project

for Bluecoat Gallery’s Bed-In 2010 to celebrate the anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed In

We worked with The West Everton Community Council to take part in the Liverpool Bluecoat Bed-In to celebrate John Lennon’s 70th birthday. The Bluecoat event took part from October 9 – December 9, 2010: our Bed-In is on December 1, 2010.

During our Bed-In we wanted to raise awareness of global issues in our own community and amongst the people of Merseyside. We may represent a specific community but we come with our global concerns to a bed in the Bluecoat. We want to raise awareness of national and international inequality and demand change – we want to see an end to the social chasm between those who have and those who need. Ours is a peaceful protest that wishes to engage all people in crafty action: Craftivism! We will make lovely stuff and change the world by stealth and beauty.

We engaged in craftivism activities in bed. Sewing and stitch our way to peace. Before the bed-in we collected patches from craftivists across the world.  We have over 100 patches from all over the UK, Canada, America, Australia and Germany. For more information go here and for our instructions video go here

Embroideries Campaign

This is a project we helped the Shoreditch Sisters with called Embroideries.
We encouraged people to create their own vagina patch (15cm by 15cm) and send them to us to make into a giant quilt handing that was displayed in March 2011: the process of creating your vagina should help break down taboos about this female organ, remind people how beautiful and unique they are and encourage people to openly challenge this practice.

Railway Adventures: 

We collaborated with Climate Rush to fight for fair transport fares. On 10th April 2011 craftivists across the UK held ‘Stitch-In’s at train stations. We sat in train stations on picnic blankets, drinking tea, eating jam sandwiches whilst crafting petitions in the shape of train carriages to be added to our train petition bunting. It was a noon-threatening, kitch but thought provoking craftivism project. Find out more here