Toolbox Explore: Weaving & Natural Dyes

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Learn the basics of traditional basketry weaving & explore different techniques to create intricate patterning using local plant life

About this Event

Learn the basics of traditional basketry weaving used in Indigenous culture to create a three-dimensional piece for functional or decorative purposes. Explore different techniques to create intricate patterning using readily available local native plant life (willow, bullrushes, wood veneers and grapevine). Also learn how to enhance your piece with natural dyes using beetroot, turmeric, and coffee.

This workshop will be taught by Ashley MacDonald.


Participating youth will receive a materials kit in advance of the workshop, to be picked up in the east Scarborough area (address to be provided after registration). For this workshop participants will also need access to:

  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Pencil
  • Table
  • Dishpan/bucket for holding water
  • Sprayer or sponge
  • Ruler

If you do not have access to the equipment listed above, please reach out to


Toolbox Explore is a virtual project-based workshop series. Each workshop will feature an introduction to a unique skill set or specialty, accompanied by a related project. The workshops are created and led by women and non-binary instructors with experience in the field. These skill-sharing workshops are an opportunity for youth to network and get to know first-hand what it’s like working in a variety of trades. Materials will be provided in advance to registered participants who fit Toolbox's eligibility criteria.


Explore sessions are open to both those who qualify for Toolbox programming and the general public. If you fit the eligibility criteria, a material kit will be provided for you.

If you do not fit the eligibility for a Toolbox participant, you are still welcome to join our online workshop. If you would like to receive a materials kit you can purchase one at cost, which will need to be picked up in the Scarborough area.

You’re eligible for Toolbox programming if you are aged 14-18 and are either:

  • Coming from a low income household
  • Woman Identifying
  • Gender nonconforming
  • Transgender
  • Two-spirit
  • Indigenous
  • Black, Afro-diasporic, Afro-Caribbean, and/or Afro latinx
  • Queer
  • A person of colour
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