Schools Programme Five Session Project

The Up Creative Hub’s main aim

To mitigate the need to buy unnecessary items by inspiring creativity and problem solving skills to all the individuals of our community. 

Help the textile waste management of our community by providing a space with tools and materials for the reuse and upcycling of this waste stream.  Good worthy things, do not come easy.”

The purpose of this document is to give an overview of the services we currently offer.  

We understand that each education setting, your staff and your children are unique and we’d love to work with you to tailor our professional offering to your needs. 

Our network of fully trained, insured and DBS checked facilitators have a vast skill set and wealth of  experience upon which to draw.  Our collaborators have been chosen as such because they combine both the artistic talents and the ability to offer the patience, imagination and dynamism required to make all arts accessible to all people.

Capable of thinking on our feet, we have handpicked artists who can be versatile in our approach and are able to adapt activities to suit the group before us.  We prefer to keep workshops at a small enough ratio of artist to pupil so we are really able to respond to the reactions of the pupil, tailoring the activity to individual needs and getting the best possible impact from everyone in the room. 

We have experience of working alongside;

  • Elderly service users from DeafBlind UK with varying ability to see and hear.
  • Vulnerable adults and children with multiple complex needs.
  • Children on Special Education Needs Register.
  • Children with additional support needs.
  • Art for Mental Health and trauma.

What we do

Receive textile donations from the community, organisations, 

Sort the material into ;

  • Garments, textiles that can be used for their original purpose.
  • Material that needs minor mending or upcycling.
  • Material for harvesting which has minor damages to it but cannot be used for its original purpose.
  • Material with major damages is to be sent to a recycling processing company. (Terra Cycle)
  • Garments are sent to organisations in search of these or weighed in.
  • The fabric and materials harvested (buttons, zippers, etc) are either used in workshops or sold to the public. 

All profit is reinvested in the Community Interest Company to offer subsidised workshops.

Session One:

Introduction of textiles

What are textiles used for?

Where do textiles come from?

Brief explanation of how it different fabrics are made.

What is fast fashion? Activity.  

How does fast fashion affect our society socially and environmentally? Case Study in Sutton

Need for a circular economy, the global climate strike and how you can help. (ADIDAS scheme of returning goods, upcycling fashion and making do and mend.


HANDS ON. Split into small groups 2s or 3s to suit. 


Sustainable textile management, each take a bag of donations and make decisions as to what pile they should go in.  Explain those decisions. 

Weigh a bag in, work out how much money you’d get for rag Measure large lengths and price for haberdashery.

There will be one item which is valuable for online sale, choose and research. The group with the largest total gets first choice n fabric for second task.


Harvesting material: cutting squares and hexagons. 

Those who achieve 20 as a group have just created a £5 quilting starter kit for sale in the haberdashery and online. Thank You!

Materials needed:

  • Templates (5”x5”, 7”x7”, hexagon)
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Scraps of textile material  

We recommend small groups of 10-12 to benefit fully. Morning session 10-12:30. Afternoon session 1-3:30.

Session Two:

Upcycling basics. Showing how every tiny piece of fabric can be utilised and remade into something useable.


Twinning fabric: using strips of fabric to form a sort of rope.   

Materials needed:

  • Scraps of fabric
  • Scissors
  • A lot of patience.

Fabric chain: this requires the use of hot glue or needles.  

Materials needed:

  • Scraps of fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needles and thread or glue gun

The children can choose which items they’d like to concentrate on and have free range of the scraps box. We can then adapt the piece they’ve made to suit the child so each leaves with a custom made upcycled piece which is of use to them.

Examples include;

  • A jump rope
  • A measuring tape

Session Three:  

Thread a plastic needle.

Materials needed:

  • Plastic needles
  • Thread
  • Scissors

Stitch your initial. 

Materials needed:

  • Plastic needles
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Super cool canvas frame

Session Four:

Thread a sewing machine.

Materials needed:

  • Sewing machines
  • Thread

Practice seams: on paper try to follow the line with the needle of the sewing machine. 

Materials needed:

  • Sewing machines
  • Thread
  • Paper with lines and pivot turns and circles for the students that need challenging.

Session Five:

Making the most of your lost property box! In this session we ask that you bring along lost property uniforms. You can choose whether the items are kept by the children or whether they become part of your schools Enterprise Day or even sold at the fayre to raise money for the school.


Make your own snood. Students will cut their fabric and then sew a snood they can take home. 

Materials needed:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Chalk markers
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread


Make your own pump bag.

Materials needed:

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Chalk markers
  • Sewing machine Thread

In our quest to bring sustainable waste management to the forefront of the next generations mind, to encourage good commercial practice and slow down fast fashion, we are looking to select two individuals from each school group to become part of a county wide UP Creative Eco Council.  

These children will be chosen on the following criteria,

  • Attitude to work, leadership in group work and completion of tasks. 
  • Passion for the environment and sustainable waste management.
  • Effort in project work and assistance of others in their group.
  • Respect for the haberdashery, the tools and equipment.
  • Tenacity during hardship. Patience to continue and complete a task.

The UP Creative Eco Council seeks to expand across Sutton Coldfield with the support of Eco Sutton. We aim to be part of  ‘Eco Schools’ to assist schools in implementing the necessary action to achieve their bronze, silver and ultimately Green flag award. 

We will have a practical programme to develop the cohort of children ready for them to offer mentorship to next academic years cohort. The Council will set their own goals, under our guidance, encouraging collaboration across the schools at a grass roots level. 

Our expertise gives case studies as to how steps can be practically implemented with recommendations put forward for the whole network to make a greener Sutton Coldfield using creativity. To be part of the change, please email

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