Want to make your own videogame, craft your own plywood furniture, sew a Mary Quant dress or try out some 1940s knitwear? Get creative with these free making activities inspired by our collections.
Stitch & sew
Sew your own customisable shirt
Inspired by our Fashioning Masculinities exhibition, this gender-neutral pattern combines historic flounces, ruffles and frills which you can customise to create your own perfect shirt! There are multiple sleeve and collar options drawing from historic and contemporary shirts in our fashion collections. The project is designed for an adventurous beginner/intermediate level sewer, with our full, step-by-step instructions to guide you.
Sew your own tie-on pockets
Popularised in the 17th century, tie-on pockets offered women a convenient and portable solution for storing their personal possessions and valuables, as well as everyday objects required for social situations, or when working. These simple-to-follow instructions will guide you through the steps for making your own tie-on pockets. You can adapt them to your own choice of fabric, pattern and embellishment to suit your style and wardrobe. Who doesn't love a practical and stylish pocket?
Sew your own kimono-inspired dress with different sleeve options
Inspired by the incredible kimono in our collections and the Japanese art of origami, these free, downloadable patterns and comprehensive instructions will guide you step-by-step through making a versatile and flattering dress and choice of sleeve. Each sleeve varies in complexity and there are ideas for further tailoring the patterns to make something utterly unique.
Sew your own Mary Quant-style minidress
This easy-to-use, customisable sewing pattern is inspired by Mary Quant's iconic 1960s minidresses – the look that defined a generation. You can shorten it if you want to show a bit more thigh, or lengthen to turn it into a more 70s style maxi-dress.
Includes printable sewing pattern, full instructions and video tutorial. Designed for beginners.
Sew your own Mary Quant 'Georgie' dress
The bold and beautiful 'Georgie' dress is an original Quant design from 1962. With a wrap-over front bodice, three-quarter-length sleeves and wide sash belt finished with a bow, it's pure mid-century elegance.
Includes printable sewing pattern and full instructions. Designed for advanced beginners.
Sew your own Frida Kahlo inspired huipil
A 'huipil' is a sleeveless tunic, traditionally worn by women in many regions of Mexico and Guatemala. This sewing pattern is inspired by the huipiles worn by the artist Frida Kahlo, as well as examples in our textile collection.
Includes printable sewing pattern and full instructions. Designed for complete beginners.
Make your own Japanese style 'boro' bag
Want to use up or repurpose left-over fabric scraps? Try your hand at crafting your own shopping bag, inspired by the Japanese boroboro tradition of recycling and reworking pre-existing textiles.
Includes full instructions. This design can be sewn by hand or machine.
Knit, crochet & embroider
1940s knitting patterns
Create your own classic 1940s fashions with these downloadable knitting patterns, including some very natty head-gear, flashy fish-nets ("Vogue's choice for town") and the patriotic 'Victory jumper'. There's even a pattern to make a 'happy-thought' tea-cosy.
Includes full pattern/instructions for each design.
Knit a work of art by Freddie Robins
Freddie Robins is known for her subversive knitted designs that cross the boundaries of art, design and craft. Her Odd Gloves series includes twists on the traditional pair of gloves, from pairs that are joined to each other, to a single glove with ten fingers.
We show you how to knit your own.
Crochet your own flower folk collar
Meet Katie Jones – the personification of the vibrant television test card. Her intensely colourful hand-knitted and crocheted designs inspire makers of all abilities to create their own luxury fashion, homewares and accessories.
Follow Katie to make your own Flower Folk Collar inspired by our collections. Includes pattern, full instructions and step-by-step video tutorial.
Make your own Mexican-inspired embroidery
These free, downloadable embroidery patterns have been inspired by a group of beautiful 19th-century samplers in our collection, originating from Mexico. Follow the instructions to make an embroidered bag, big enough for a wallet, keys and mobile phone or use the designs to decorate your own creations.
Includes printable designs, stitch guide and full instructions.
Make your own embroidered zipped pouch
Download this free pattern to create a striking wave-design zipped pouch, using the simplest Bargello ('Flame-Stitch') embroidery technique. It's ideal for carrying cards, coins or makeup.
Includes embroidery stitch guide and full instructions.
Code & hack
How to make a videogame
Discover how games work and what makes them fun, and apply these skills to make your very own videogame with PuzzleScript, a free tool designed to get you started with coding and game-making.
Includes video tutorials and downloadable guide.
Videogame controller hacks
Want to customise your videogame controller using a soft-toy and a cheap mouse? These video tutorials walk you through two simple controller hacks that you can make at home.
These hacks use hot and sharp materials, please make sure children are supervised by an adult.
DIY with plywood
Plywood furniture designs
From an ingenious 'odds and ends' desk lamp designed exclusively for the V&A, to a large scale, CNC-cut greenhouse, get making with our best-of-the-web DIY plywood projects.
Plywood can be cut digitally or with simple hand tools. These projects range in scale and ability, from very simple to more complex.
Make your own paper peepshow
Paper peepshows are like pocket-sized stage sets unfolding before your eyes. Inspired by our incredible peepshow collection, this guide shows you how to create your own unique miniature world crafted from paper!
The peepshow construction is simpler than it looks, but you will need a craft knife or scalpel for precise paper-cutting. Includes full instructions and templates.
Fun for kids
Design and make your own story
Find inspiration from objects around the house to help you make your own story. Design the costumes and sets too, and even bring it to life in a performance! Take a look at the objects in our collections for more inspiration. Designed for ages 7 and up.
Design and make a surreal critter
Have a go at these creative drawing challenges designed for ages 7 and up. Warm up by drawing an animal wearing clothes inspired by our collections, then use your imagination to create your own wacky creature.
Design and make your own Islamic tile and printed pattern
Discover new shapes and patterns though our collection of Islamic art. Have a go at designing your own Islamic-inspired tile, and creating a tessellating print. Designed for ages 7 and up.
Design and make a spectacular party outfit
Design a party outfit inspired by the shapes and patterns of men's fashion through the ages. Make an iconic tailored coat from paper and have fun re-imagining a suit. Designed for ages 7 and up.
Design and make a talking textile
Explore fabrics from across Africa and have a go at making a fabric pattern that tells a story about you. Designed for ages 7 and up.
Make your own V&A inspired Christmas tree decoration
Create your own clay Christmas tree decoration with our step-by-step video tutorial. Recreate our lemon design made especially by artist Joanna Clay, and experiment with different colours and clay shapes to match your home.
Make your own V&A inspired wrapping paper
Have a go at printing your own wrapping paper with our easy-to-follow video tutorial. Ideal for any occasion, choose from our botanical pattern, floral Japanese woodblock print inspired design, or festive Christmas baubles!
Make your own V&A inspired Christmas crackers
Get creative at Christmastime with our step-by-step cracker making video. Decorate with our stencil templates, or why not make your own design inspired by our collections?