Simple Craft Activities for the Elderly

Updated March 23, 2017

Arts and crafts are fun for people of all ages but they can be therapeutic recreation for the elderly. Craft activities can be adjusted to fit the needs and abilities of the disabled, and they are a fun group project that can help the elderly socialise and visit while creating with their hands.

Picture Magnet

Have the elderly individual choose a favourite photo, like one of family members or pets. Assist them with drawing a circle or oval around the main focal point of the picture, then cutting it out with scissors or pinking shears. Give them a long piece of lace or other decorative border and help them glue it around the picture like a frame. Use tacky glue to secure the picture to a flat magnet. They can stick their picture magnet on their refrigerator or give it as a gift to a loved one.


Help the elderly individual search through and pick out favourite old photographs. Provide a variety of construction paper and glue, and allow him to paste the pictures on the paper as he wishes. Those with a strong memory may want to divide the scrapbook into sections by year or decade. Allow the individual to use markers to label each picture, encouraging him to make notes about what he remembers about the people or place it features. When he is finished, laminate each page if possible and then assist him with stapling or binding the pages together in order. Another option is to provide him with an empty photo album with large clear sheets so he can slide each piece of construction paper, complete with photos, inside.

Découpage Vase

This project will increase confidence, as it is not difficult but results in a professional looking product. Supply the elderly individual with a large, smooth glass vase and découpage glue. Help her find a variety of pictures, patterned cloth or any other material she would like to apply to the vase. Using the découpage glue, assist her with gluing each item onto the vase, one at a time in a collage style, allowing pieces to overlap. She can use a Popsicle stick to smooth the wrinkles and bumps. When the vase is completely covered in the material, help her apply several coats of sealer, which will fuse the material together and create a cohesive, smooth finish to the vase.

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About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.