Strengthen Your Thinking - Stitch Doodles on Fabric

If you’re looking for an enjoyable and relaxing way to build concentration then this is the activity for you. Hand stitching can bring a sense of relaxation and calm, whilst also helping with concentration and focus.

Wellbeing benefits:

Think clearly
Build concentration

Examples of how this activity can help me:

I want to focus on a task better without getting distracted.
I want to be able to remember names of people I meet.


Embroidery is a relatively slow art technique, giving much satisfaction and pleasure along the way. Spend as much or as little time as you like stitch doodling, don’t feel the need to hurry if things take a little longer than expected. 

Who can I do this activity with?

On my own or with others.

Where can I do this activity?

At home, outdoors or in a local café. Stitching is a highly portable technique and is socially very acceptable to pursue even when in company.

How often can I do this activity?

This activity can be repeated again and again. Use it to relax and build concentration, as well as to create unique samples to use on cards or window mounted as a gift.

What do I need?

For the doodle design:

  • Paper
  • Crayons or felt tip pens

If transferring the design from paper to felt:

  • Copy of design, made onto thin soft paper for example, tissue paper
  • Pins, needle, and sewing cotton in a colour that will be easily seen on the felt 

If transferring the design from paper to fabric: 

  • Lightweight paper (photocopy paper is good)
  • Masking tape
  • Marker or dark felt tip pen, or pencil
  • Water-soluble fabric pen or pencil


  • Felt or fabric*
  • Threads* (see 'Stitching Guides')
  • Needles
  • Scissors
  • Water-soluble fabric pen* or pencil

*Fabric: there should be a margin of at least 8cm/ 3” all the way around your design, for example if your design is10cm square, this will be 10cm+8cm+8cm = a 26cm square of fabric (or 4”+3”+3”=a 10” square of fabric) Plain fabric is best.
*Threads:  including lightweight knitting yarns

*Water-soluble pen for fabric: this is the ideal marker for fabric, as it can be removed with water once the stitching is complete, but a pencil – lightly used - may be used instead.
Very important note – ironing over water-soluble pen marks makes them permanent – always be sure to remove with water first!
You can buy these materials from sewing or haberdashery shops, and sometimes from markets and charity shops, or look at online sites for mail order.  

Did you know?

Memory and concentration are closely related. By building concentration you can greatly enhance your memory skills.  Studies have also shown that engaging in an activity like sewing reduces your overall heart and blood rates and promotes relaxation, enabling greater concentration.

"I found stitching very relaxing. I didn't realise how long I had been absorbed in the activity. It's helped because I know I am able to concentrate on one thing for a length of time."

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