Hand embroidery – goldwork and bead Christmas decorations with Hannah Mansfield

Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Ref: SWE12265

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About this course

Learn how to make your own hand embroidered Christmas decoration to decorate your tree or give as a gift, using the hand embroidery techniques of goldwork and beading.

Course Description

On this course you will be able to choose from a selection of Christmas decoration designs to create your own handmade decoration for your Christmas tree or to give as a gift. You will learn several goldwork embroidery and beading techniques in the process of making your decoration. To customise the designs, you will be able to choose from a selection of goldwork wires and beads with which to create your own colour way for your decoration.

The first evening will begin with an introduction to the Christmas decoration designs, after which you will be able to decide which decoration you would like to make. You will also choose the colours of beads and goldwork wires you want to include in your decoration. Then you will start transferring your chosen design to the fabric, using the tacking method.

The first full day of the course will include learning how to apply padding to the fabric to create raised embroidery. You will then learn how to use specialist goldwork wires and beads to embroider your decoration. This will begin with a demonstration of how to use pearl purl to create outlines and how to use the cutwork technique to apply purl. You will also be shown how you can combine beads with goldwork to create a colourful Christmas decoration.

On the second day, you will have a chance to finish embroidering your decoration and you will be shown how to make your embroidery into a neatly finished Christmas decoration.

Each stage of embroidering the Christmas decorations will be demonstrated to the group by the tutor, who will also be able to give one-to-one tuition to ensure each student fully understands the techniques. By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of goldwork embroidery and beading techniques and how they can be used together in an embroidery design. Basic hand sewing skills are required, but you do not need any experience with goldwork embroidery or beading to take part in this course.

The size of the finished Christmas decorations will be around 7cm x 7cm.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply most of the materials including:
  • Dark blue wool felt
  • Gilt and silver plated pearl purl
  • A choice of either gilt or silver plated rough and smooth purl
  • Yellow and white felt
  • Yellow, white and dark blue sewing thread
  • Metallic baker’s twine in a choice of colours
  • Beeswax
  • On this course the College will supply:
  • Needles

What students need to bring

  • Notebook and pencil/pen if you wish to take notes
  • Reading glasses if worn
  • A thimble
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Tweezers
  • A ruler
  • Embroidery hoop with table clamp (also available for use on the course)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The shop sells some embroidery threads and needles
  • Available from tutor:
  • Goldwork scissors
  • Gilt and silver plated goldwork wires
  • Beads in a variety of colours
  • Velvet board
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Safety boots, if specified.


Hannah Mansfield

Hannah Mansfield is a freelance hand embroiderer based near Bristol. She specialises in the techniques of goldwork and tambour beading. In 2019 Hannah was awarded first prize in the international embroidery competition The Hand & Lock Prize, for her collection of goldwork flower sculptures. Hannah is a trade freeman of the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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