6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (2022)

If you’re looking for crafts for seniors with arthritis, I’ve got you.

Crafting is a great way to maintain fine motor skills that you’ll need for many years to come.

Below, I shared my five favorites that anyone can do, along with tips for success.

Let’s get started!

Also Check: Easy Crafts for Seniors With Dementia

Table of Contents

6 Crafts for Seniors With Arthritis They’ll Enjoy Making!

1. Mason Jar Centerpieces

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (1)

This is a relatively easy craft to do for seniors with arthritis that is fit for all skill levels. It doesn’t take much effort and they are perfect for giveaways or for decor during special occasions and events.

The materials are easy to get hold of since you can buy mason glass jars anywhere and you can be creative as to what you can put in them.

The directions below were inspired by Crafts by Amanda and use fresh flowers that are perfect for a sunny afternoon get-together, but you can swap the ribbon with lace, paint, or anything else that fits your mood. [1]

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Materials Needed

  • Mason Jars, preferably a transparent glass jar
  • Flowers
  • Burlap Ribbon
  • Checkerboard Ribbon
  • Twine
  • Glue Gun

Directions

  • Get a mason and wrap a burlap ribbon around the center to get an idea of the length of the ribbon that needs to be used.
  • Cut the ribbon according to the length needed, making sure that one end slightly overlaps on the other.
  • Get a checkerboard ribbon and cut it around the same length as the burlap ribbon. With the glue gun, stick the checkerboard ribbon on top of the burlap ribbon, preferably around the center, so that the burlap ribbon creates a need margin around the checkerboard ribbon.
  • Wrap the burlap/checkerboard ribbon around the glass jar and place small dots of glue along the glass jar to secure the ribbon in place. Make sure that the ribbon is tightly fit to the jar. Place glue on one end of the ribbon and place the other end of the ribbon on top of it to secure the ribbon in place.
  • Get some twine and wrap it around the area where the ribbon is glued. Add some extra inches to the twine, enough to make a bow when you wrap the twine around the jar.
  • Fold the twine in the middle and glue to the middle portion at the area where the ribbons overlap.
  • Wrap the twine around and secure it by tying it and making a bow.
  • Fill the glass jar with the flowers that you’ve gathered and you’re done!

Check out this video on how to make the perfect mason jar flower arrangement:

2. Knitting

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (2)

Knitting doesn’t sound like a good craft for seniors with arthritis, but with a few tweaks, it’s actually quite doable.

In fact, some evidence suggests that it can actually help relieve arthritic pain when done right [2]

Plus, it works on those fine motor skills that you’ll need for simple movements such as picking up small objects.

For people with arthritis though, it would be best to keep some tips in mind before engaging in these creative craft activities for seniors in order to lessen the risk of injury.

Tips to Remember Before and While Knitting

  • Do some stretching before knitting. Stretch the fingers and forearms before knitting to avoid any injury or pain since knitting can be stressful to these areas.
  • Use circular needles so you can lay down your work every now and then. Lightweight needles made from acrylic or bamboo are also great when working on your projects.
  • Try using different patterns to get those fingers used to different kinds of fine motor movements.
  • Use bigger needles and yarn so you can easily fix dropped stitches too!

Check out this video and see what stretches you can do before and during knitting.

Also Check: The Crafts With Yarn For Seniors

3. Crocheting

Just like knitting, crocheting is another one of those engaging activities for people with arthritis. It also works on the fingers to enhance and maintain the ability to perform fine motor movements, even at an older age.

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (3)

Another one of crochet benefits is that, just like knitting, crochet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, that may result in cognitive impairment. [3]

Crocheting, though, involves much repetitive motion that can cause repetitive strain injuries on the hands and wrists.

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The following practices may be done in order to lessen injuries and muscle strain that may be caused by crocheting.

Practices to Follow When Crocheting

  • Soak hands and fingers in warm water to help relax the muscles whenever you feel stiffening.
  • Crochet hooks that have fat handles are more ergonomic and will thus lessen the strain on the wrists and hands.
  • Stop from time to time.
  • Use different stitches and patterns to encourage different movements.

Watch this video for tips on how to crochet as a beginner:

4. Clay Sculpting

Clay sculpting is an activity that isn’t as taxing on the fingers and wrists, unlike knitting and crocheting. It involves a wider range of motion compared to knitting and crocheting too.

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (4)

It’s also a great form of art therapy that can help relieve emotional stress and boredom, and you can tailor it to fit any skill level.

When you’re having a bad arthritis day, you can work with larger pieces. For example, do the basic design of a bowl or a vase. Then, on good days, do the finer detail work.

This video can show you some basics about clay sculpting to see how it’s done and if it is the right fit for you.

5. Flower Gardening

Gardening may sound more like a hobby than a craft, but I think that it’s actually a bit of both.

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (5)

It takes a lot of creativity to plan the perfect flower garden, and when your blooms are ready you’ll have everything you need for that mason jar craft above!

The best thing about gardening is that it’s something that you can do whether you live in a house with a big backyard or a senior living apartment with just a windowsill.

Check out the tips in the video below for ergonomic gardening tips:

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6. Scrapbooking

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (6)

Scrapbooking is one of my all-time favorite crafts for seniors with arthritis because, like gardening and clay scupting, you can plan the activity around your pain level.

For example, on rough days, you can just plan out where you’d like to place them, or perhaps spend the morning gluing photos into place. Then, on your good days, add the embellishments.

Plus, it’s so much fun to take a stroll down memory lane and remember all of the fond moments you had with the loved ones in the pictures.

Check out the video below for basic beginner scrapbooking tips:

Also Check: 6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Limited Mobility

Things to Consider While Crafting With Arthritis

The discomfort of arthritis can slow down an individual and limit motor skills.

Things may take a little while longer to do so and it may require a lot of patience on the side of both the senior and caregiver. [4]

Depending on the individual’s dexterity, try to assess if sharp objects may pose additional risk.

For those with severe arthritic conditions, the use of pointed metal needles and sharp scissors may cause more harm than good.

FAQs

Are crocheting and knitting safe for seniors with arthritis?

6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (7)

Yes, these are generally safe and fun crafts for seniors to do. Make sure though that the instruments used are not so pointed, especially for those with severe arthritis.

Are adult crafts recommended for seniors with arthritis?

Absolutely! Crafts help seniors maintain cognitive function and can be a form of therapy. They also help in maintaining motor skills necessary for everyday activities.

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Final Thoughts

Arthritic pain can severely impair movement in seniors which can discourage them from engaging in physical activities.

That is why it is important to keep them engaged in hobbies for seniors that will encourage them to perform actual movements.

In this way, they can still continue to live healthy lives and do simple everyday tasks that can help them still continue with some level of independence which they need for both their physical and psychological wellbeing.

References

  • 1. Author. Sunflower Mason Jar Centerpieces [Internet]. Crafts by Amanda. 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 17]. Available from: https://craftsbyamanda.com/mason-jar-centerpieces-sunflowers/
  • 2. Guitard P, Brosseau L, Wells GA, Paquet N, Paterson G, Toupin-April K, et al. The knitting community-based trial for older women with osteoarthritis of the hands: design and rationale of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders [Internet]. 2018;19. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813366/
  • 3. Arbouet L. Six Interesting Health Benefits of Crocheting and Knitting [Internet]. Doral Health and Wellness. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 17]. Available from: https://doralhw.org/2021/08/17/six-interesting-health-benefits-of-crocheting-and-knitting/#:~:text=Crocheting%20and%20knitting%20can%20be
  • 4. Limited Range of Motion [Internet]. Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/limited-range-of-motion#causes
6 Fun Crafts For Seniors With Arthritis That Are Worth-Trying! (8)
(Video) Still Crocheting with Arthritis - Latest Update with New Tools

What are your favorite crafts for seniors with arthritis? Share below!

FAQs

What crafts are good for arthritic hands? ›

Just like knitting and crocheting, painting is gentle on the joints and can improve the mobility and dexterity in the wrists, hands, and fingers as well.

What is a good craft for seniors? ›

7 Crafts to Enjoy with Your Senior Loved Ones
  • Sock Snowmen.
  • Handmade Greeting Cards.
  • Felt and Wire Angels.
  • String Art.
  • Easy Tree Ornaments.
  • Wrapping Paper Crafts.
  • Halloween Tea Lights.

What crafts can Dementia patients do? ›

Upcycled Glass Containers. With some paint and a little imagination, anyone can transform a glass container into a new vase, a piece of sculptural art or decorative storage. Craft stores sell paint specially formulated for painting on glass, but acrylic craft paint or oil-based paint markers will also work.

What activities can a person with arthritis do? ›

Low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints and include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes, and dancing.

What can I do instead of knitting? ›

Crocheting. If you would prefer to stick to fiber arts, crocheting is about as close to knitting as you can get. Instead of needles, crocheting requires hooks.

What to do for elderly who are bored? ›

10 Indoor Activities for Seniors to Help Beat Boredom
  1. Explore your family tree. Try a little genealogy research. ...
  2. Stretch the possibilities with yoga. ...
  3. Do you enjoy board games? ...
  4. Start an indoor garden. ...
  5. Learn a new language. ...
  6. Make yourself some jewelry. ...
  7. Appoint yourself chairman (or chairwoman). ...
  8. Write your life story.
28 Jul 2020

What are some fun and easy crafts to do at home? ›

Easy DIY Crafts Anyone Can Do
  1. Printable Coloring Cards. Everyone loves coloring. ...
  2. Bohemian-Inspired Vases and Jars. ...
  3. Make Your Own DIY Finger Paints. ...
  4. Simple Ombre Artwork. ...
  5. Wallpaper-Lined Trays. ...
  6. Painted Market Basket. ...
  7. Make Fluffy Cloud Decor. ...
  8. Transform a Dollar Store Candle.

How do you make tissue paper stained glass? ›

Easy Craft Ideas: How to Make Stained Glass with Tissue Paper

How do seniors with dementia stay busy? ›

Do something personal.
  1. Give the person a hand massage with lotion.
  2. Brush his or her hair.
  3. Give the person a manicure.
  4. Take photos of the person and make a collage.
  5. Encourage the person to talk more about subjects they enjoy.
  6. Make a family tree posterboard.

What is a busy box for dementia patients? ›

Activity boxes provide residents with a sense of purpose and belonging and utilize resident's cognitive and physical capabilities. They also decrease unwanted behavior in dementia patients, such as agitation and wandering. Successful activity boxes are one designed to a specific individual and their capabilities.

What games can dementia patients play? ›

It's important for patients living with dementia to keep an active mind and continue to have a sense of fun.
...
5 Games for Adults with Dementia
  • Jigsaw Puzzles. ...
  • Dominoes. ...
  • Card Games. ...
  • Bingo. ...
  • Snakes and Ladders.

What activities make arthritis worse? ›

Here are 4 things to avoid doing if you have arthritis:
  • Not exercising. It seems logical that if your joints hurt it would be better not to exercise because it would make things worse. ...
  • Exercising too much. Forget the thinking that if a little is good, a lot is better. ...
  • Ignoring your weight. ...
  • Not using mobility aids.
4 May 2022

Does sugar make arthritis worse? ›

Many people believe that sugar is bad for arthritis. Anecdotally, people with arthritis often say that sugary foods trigger their arthritis flares . Research generally backs this up. Eating excess sugar causes the body to produce more cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins.

What activity should be avoided by individuals with arthritis? ›

For arthritis that affects the joints, running, jogging, jumping rope, high impact aerobics or any other exercise where both feet are off the ground at the same time are to be avoided.

How do you knit arthritic fingers? ›

Trick 1: Try alternatives to metal needles, such as birch or bamboo needles, which are lightweight and warmer to the touch. Trick 2: Stick with wool or wool blends. Wool is elastic and more forgiving than cotton and other fibers, which makes it easier to manipulate. Trick 3: Knit flat on a circular needle.

What do single seniors do for fun? ›

Fun and Rewarding Activities for Single Seniors

Now is your opportunity! Many seniors love to go hiking or camping. You can even join a local group and meet fellow outdoor enthusiasts, or go it alone and enjoy the serenity of nature. Sign Up for a Community College Class: Learning is a lifelong pursuit.

What do older adults do for fun? ›

According to one study, four of the top five activities most commonly cited by seniors as being their favorites are, by their nature, very active. They include walking and jogging, gardening and yard work, playing sports, and other physical pursuits.

Can I use Mod Podge on tissue paper? ›

Tissue Paper – There is nothing that you need to do to prepare tissue paper, but just be advised that because it is so thin, it is very difficult to Mod Podge without wrinkles. The good news is that wrinkles are typically part of the charm of using tissue paper and add a little character to your surface.

How do you cover a glass jar with tissue paper? ›

How to Cover a Mason Jar in Tissue Paper - YouTube

How do you make glass look like stained glass? ›

Easy Fake Stained Glass - YouTube

Is painting good for seniors? ›

Painting, as it is a fun, creative, and relaxing pursuit, can be a great stress reliever for seniors. Additionally, with issues like loneliness, depression, or isolation being common problems plaguing seniors, painting can help to alleviate those as well.

How do you make a Suncatcher for preschoolers? ›

Easy Craft for Kids: Contact Paper Suncatchers - YouTube

Is Diamond art good for seniors? ›

Diamond painting is a perfect activity for elderly people because of the many positive effects on the brain (similar to meditation).

Why is art and craft good for elderly? ›

Answer: We were deliberate in our choice of the activities, and they were designed to engage participants' problem-solving and fine motor skills. As art making is inherently therapeutic, it can also help seniors relax and have pleasant experiences as they take part in the process.

What is art therapy for seniors? ›

Through art therapy, seniors are taught to use slow and deliberate movements that can help with restoring some motor function to seniors struggling with physical disabilities or ailments. These therapeutic movements can also help alleviate some pain in seniors as they focus on their art and not their pain.

How do you make a homemade sun catcher? ›

DIY | Sun Catchers - YouTube

How do you make a window catcher? ›

How to make Wire Ornaments or Sun Catchers - YouTube

How do you make a sun catcher? ›

DIY Springtime Suncatcher - Home & Family - YouTube

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