Sometimes people have the desire to design, but they just don't know where to start. If you said "Design something." their minds would just go blank. The wouldn't know where to start. In coaching people to create their own laces, I have found that it helps to give them a starting point. That start can be a picture or a simple daisy motif or any other little bit that opens the door to possibilities. The first step to designing is just making something, anything, even if it's ugly. Making is the first step. Pretty can come later.
This is a picture of the first thing I designed. I wanted a collar edging for this dress, but I didn't want just a skimpy edging. At the time the only books I had were some Dover publications and I selected the widest edging I could find that would lend itself to curving around a collar.
When it was done I had an edging that was a series of cloverleaf points at the bottom without a stable enough section across the top to let me sew it onto the dress. I added a row of ring and chain across the top to fix that problem, but I still had what looked like a jagged row of teeth along the bottom. Rather than give up on it, I added a row of ring and chain around the cloverleaves and an inverted cloverleaf in the gap between pattern repeats.
It wasn't wonderful, but it worked. It also gave me the courage to try other things. That's the other part of designing. You have to be willing to spend hours
What if you take a failed piece and change one little part? What if the failure is just the start of a new beginning?