Craft Ideas for Nursing Home Residents

Updated February 21, 2017

Nursing homes typically offer activities that provide residents with entertainment and opportunities to interact with others in an engaging manner. A favourite activity among nursing home residents is craft making. Through crafts, residents are able to express their creativity, exercise the dexterity in their hands and enjoy spending time in a productive way.

Card Making

Present nursing home patients with card-making activities. Set out different colours of card stock, crayons, markers, paints and other craft elements patients can use to adorn their cards. Encourage them to use the materials to create one-of-a-kind cards to give their loved ones for holidays, birthdays or to use for correspondence. Prompt patients to use their creativity; however, if you notice a lack of enthusiasm in patients, or if patients are struggling to think of ideas, offer suggestions and try to get them excited about making their own cards.


Painting is a soothing activity for elderly nursing home patients. Offer patients different types of paints to use -- watercolours, tempera and even finger paints -- as well as different canvases to paint on, such as paper, artist canvases and clay pots. Encourage them to paint anything they wish -- from the abstract to a landscape of their favourite location. Through this activity, patients can truly express their feelings and creativity, as they paint things meaningful to them.


Another craft project that nursing home patients enjoy creating is collages. Set out piles of magazines, scrap pieces of coloured and textured paper, fabrics and other materials that patients incorporate into their collages. Prompt patients to first draw a picture, which they can then glue the items to create a collage, or have them create a collage of items arranged in a random order.

Jewellery Making

Nursing home residents may like to create jewellery for personal use or to give as a gift. To create jewellery, residents will need an assortment of different sized, shaped and coloured beads, string and jewellery line to thread the beads onto, safety pins and perhaps even earring posts. Help patients use the materials to create pieces of jewellery, or allow them to create jewellery on their own.

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About the Author

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.