Crafts for Seniors: Fun & Easy Ideas to Get Creative

Updated April 16, 2021
Senior woman smiling while drawing with the group
More Senior Activity Ideas

If you're looking for a fun way to spend some quiet time, these easy crafts for seniors are perfect. Crafting provides seniors (or anyone) with a fun, inexpensive way to get creative and work on dexterity. These projects cover a wide range of motor abilities and independence levels, but they all have one thing in common: plenty of creative fun.

Inexpensive Crafts for Seniors

If you're on a fixed income, you may not want to devote a lot of your budget to craft supplies. All of these crafts are fun and inexpensive, and they use materials you already have on hand:

  • Handmade greeting cards - You can be creative and save money by making your own greeting cards from materials you probably already have on hand.
  • String art - All you need is a piece of wood, some nails, and string or yarn in a pretty color to make your own string art decorations.
  • Wrapping paper crafts - Make your own gift wrap or use leftover gift wrap to make some special ornaments.
  • Wine cork crafts - Use leftover wine corks to make a wreath, coasters, and lots of other fun projects.
  • Plastic bottle crafts - Use plastic soda bottles to make everything from pretty flowers to votive holders.

Crafts for Seniors Who Want to Make Gifts

Nothing is more meaningful than a handmade gift, and you don't have to be a crafting expert to make something special for someone you love. These projects don't require lots of previous crafting knowledge, and you'll have a lovely gift when you're done. Dexterity requirements vary.

  • Crocheted toys - Make a gift for a grandchild or a young friend with these simple crochet projects for making toys. They're perfect for beginners.
  • Handmade bath salts - Bath salts make a wonderful gift, and they're easy for anyone to make with a few basic supplies and some time. You'll need to pour things into jars, but this is a good option for those with mobility or dexterity challenges.
  • No-sew scarf - Create a scarf that will make a great gift, even if you don't have access to a sewing machine. This is a great project if you're dealing with some dexterity challenges.
  • Decorated mug - You don't have to be a ceramic artist to decorate a coffee mug that will make a wonderful gift for a friend or family member.
Needlework Craft Scarf

Useful Crafts for Seniors to Make

Put your crafting time to good use by creating something practical and useful. These crafts don't require lots of previous knowledge or even a steady hand, and they result in something you can actually use:

  • No-sew placemats - Create your own placemats out of old pillowcases or canvas fabric using some craft paint and other simple embellishments.
  • Painted slate tiles - Paint a slate roofing tile to make a house number, sign for your room, or trivet to protect the dining table from hot dishes.
  • No-sew fleece blankets - Make a blanket to keep or give as a gift. Even better, there's no sewing required.
  • Melt-and-pour soap cubes - You don't have to be a soap making expert to create these simple soap cubes that are perfect for a guest bathroom or to give as a gift.

Fun Crafts for Seniors to Do With Grandkids

Spending time with grandkids is always rewarding, but it can be even more fun if you get creative together. These projects are perfect to share with kids of all ages:

  • Homemade sidewalk chalk - Take decorating the front sidewalk to the next level by making your own sidewalk chalk together.
  • DIY fairy house - Work together to make a fairy house for the yard or garden using a small bird house and materials like sticks and moss.
  • Kids' no-sew sleeping bag - Create a sleeping bag out of fleece fabric, even if you and the grandkids don't have access to a sewing machine.
  • Beaded bookmarks - Share your love of reading by making some special bookmarks together.

Holiday Crafts for Seniors Who Like to Celebrate

The holidays are a great time to experiment with new crafts. You can make festive decorations, special seasonal cards, and more with these great projects that are perfect for seniors:

  • Printable Halloween crafts - These printable paper crafts are a great way to decorate for this fun and spooky holiday.
  • Handmade Thanksgiving place cards - Get creative and help decorate the Thanksgiving table by making your own place cards.
  • Rolled paper Christmas ornament - Fill a glass Christmas ornament with strips of rolled paper in this easy and fun craft.
  • DIY Christmas table decorations - Create some beautiful holiday decorations for the table, whether you're hosting family or sharing a meal where you live.
  • Valentine's cards - Make your own Valentine's cards that will help you show your love to the important people in your life.
Older woman decorating a christmas wreath

Wonderful Crafts for Those With Mobility Challenges

Just because some seniors have mobility challenges doesn't mean they can't enjoy crafting. These crafts for the elderly are perfect for people who struggle with making precise movements:

  • Easy painting projects - From watercolor sunsets to simple modern art, these easy projects make painting fun for everyone.
  • Pipe cleaner crafts - From a simple crown to a charming pipe cleaner spider, these crafts are cute and fun.
  • Shell crafts - Glue sea shells to a piece of driftwood to create a pretty decoration in the shape of a heart. Larger sea shells make this easier for those with limited dexterity.
  • Rubber stamping projects - Make simple stamped art or a special greeting card to send to a loved one.

Arts and Crafts for Elderly in Nursing Homes

Crafting is a great way to bring joy and excitement to the lives of those in nursing homes. These crafts for elderly nursing home residents prove that creativity is fun, no matter where you are in life:

  • Abstract painting - Painting doesn't have to be representational, and these fun abstract art projects prove everyone has hidden art ability.
  • Paper fans - Whether you decorate a simple paper fan or fold your own depends on the level of dexterity you want in a craft project, but either way, this craft will keep you cool.
  • Woven paper basket - Use strips of paper to weave a basket for flowers, candy, or anything else. Seniors in nursing homes can make these baskets as gifts for friends and family too.
  • Daisy flower crafts - Learn to press real daisies to decorate a senior's room at the nursing home, or create a daisy-embellished pen for doing crossword puzzles or writing notes.
Seniors manufacture crepe paper decorations

Clay Crafts for Seniors

Working with clay is a relaxing activity that engages seniors on a tactile, visual, and creative level. Those with limited dexterity can generally mold the clay without difficulty, and these simple ideas for clay crafts are fun to try:

  • Beads for jewelry - Making beads out of Fimo clay is a great option for beginners.
  • Homemade clay - It's easy to make your own clay out of ingredients you already have on hand.
  • Clay patterns - Advanced clay workers can learn to make a flat pendant using textures and other techniques for a project with a bracelet and another with a pendant necklace.

Photos and Photography Crafts for Senior Adults

For seniors with an interest in photography, taking pictures can be fun. However, knowing how to incorporate photos into crafts can be a great way to show off your creativity. Seniors living in nursing homes or staying in the hospital may enjoy this type of crafting because it involves meaningful photos of important people and places in their lives. The finished product can also provide comfort, without taking up too much space.

  • DIY photo collage - Collages are a great way to express your creative interests and make unique artwork.
  • Photo magnets - Photo magnets are a small trinket that you can keep on your fridge or gift to loved ones.
  • Photo puzzle - Turn a favorite picture into a puzzle with a free printable overlay.
Scrapbooking Fun

Fabric and Needle Crafts for Seniors

Fabric crafts are great ways to engage yourself physically and mentally, not to mention at the end of your project you have a handmade piece to wear or use for decoration. For seniors who love creating things from fabric but struggle with seeing tiny work, needles with large split eyes, glue guns, and Velcro help to make many projects easier. These activities can also provide comfort to seniors who are lacking daily structure, are experiencing boredom and are losing dexterity in their hands:

  • Crocheted Christmas tree ornament - Spend some time creating a unique ornament for yourself or a loved one.
  • Knitted scarf - Scarves are a great beginner project for those who are wanting to learn how to knit.
  • Fabric flower brooch - This is a great project for seniors who want to use leftover fabric and ribbons to create something new.
  • Easy quilt - Create a one-of-a-kind blanket to keep you nice and cozy on chilly nights.
Senior women knitting

More Easy Crafts for Seniors

The following projects are especially great for seniors who are new to crafting. These projects are perfect for the senior who enjoys a lot of creative freedom and needs an activity to keep her mind and body engaged.

  • Painted mirror - Give your décor an update with this easy project.
  • Decoupaged items - This fun project can help you dress up picture frames, tables, chairs, and mirrors. It is also a very easy craft to learn how to do if you are a beginner.
  • Hummingbird feeder - Re-purpose your old wine bottles and watch beautiful birds come hang out in your garden.
  • DIY mosaic tray - This is a creative way to use broken dishes to create something new.
  • Printable coloring pages - Print free coloring pages to try some relaxing adult coloring.
Man painting in art class

Stay Sharp With Easy Crafts for Seniors

Crafts for seniors are an excellent way to keep the mind stimulated while fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride. Crafting is a great way to pass the time, enjoy a fun activity with a friend, and reduce overall stress.

Crafts for Seniors: Fun & Easy Ideas to Get Creative