Art projects

Healthy Hobbies: Art Projects for Seniors

Arts and crafts aren’t just activities to do when we’re bored. Working on a familiar or favorite project can provide a sense of comfort, help us feel relaxed and improve our mood. Tackling a new project can challenge our dexterity and give us a sense of mastery as we learn new skills. And a group craft for seniors is a fun way to make friends and socialize.

A study on creativity and aging conducted by George Washington University detailed the benefits of crafts for seniors, including how art encourages risk-taking and playfulness, strengthens our sense of identity, and improves cognition and memory.

For all these reasons, projects of this nature are ideal for the winter months, keeping minds and hands busy while cooped up indoors. And the marvelous thing is, even if a person has no experience with arts and crafts, that’s perfectly fine. At The Heritage at Brentwood, the Arts and Crafts Room isn’t just about hobbies for seniors. It’s a space where everyone is welcome, and where exploration and enjoyment of the arts are encouraged.

Ready to take a walk on the creative side? This list of 20 activities for seniors at home includes ideas for easy crafts for seniors who don’t have a crafting background to more involved projects for the seasoned crafter.

1. Adult Coloring

Coloring relaxes your brain like meditation does, improves your mental focus, and engages both sides of your brain during the creative process of choosing color. You’ll find a plethora of coloring books online or at your local bookstore.

2. Birdhouses


If you have the tools and the know-how, you can build a birdhouse from scratch. Or assemble one from a store-bought kit.

3. Clay Jewelry

Polymer modeling clay is a versatile medium for sculpting three-dimensional shapes, as it’s easy to mold by hand and dries hard in a few hours. See how you can make a necklace and earring set here.

4. Fabric Book Covers

Jazz up a favorite book with a fabric cover you’ve made yourself. Here’s a step-by-step video on how to do it. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can stitch this by hand.

5. Fabric Fortunes

Sweet gifts for Valentine’s Day, these fabric fortune cookies could hold funny, inspirational or cryptic sayings that you dream up yourself. Here’s how to make them.

6. Folded Book Tree

Recycle an old book into a charming decoration or make several to give as winter gifts. This is a fun project for grandchildren to help with.

7. Fridge Magnets

Fabric scraps make cute little ladybug magnets for your fridge. Use your imagination to mix and match colors for your decor or to give to a friend.

8. Hexagon Shelf

This elegant and expensive-looking floating shelf is made out of a surprising material: popsicle sticks.

9. Memory Quilt

If you can sew, try making a personalized quilt out of favorite clothing items. Here’s an idea that repurposes old neckties.

10. Paper Blooms

Brighten up any room with paper flowers made from layers of tissue paper. Make them big and beautiful, arrange them into bouquets, or use them as place settings.

11. Paper Stars

Named after mathematician Paolo Bascetta, these paper stars begin as pyramid-shaped sections that you fold and interlock. No glue or scissors needed!

12. Photo Crafts

Many seniors love taking photos but don’t know what to do with them. Print them out and make them into a photo craft like a photo cube or collage.

13. Pinecones

Gather pine cones when you’re out on a nature hike, and then turn them into beautiful decorations with just a touch of paint.

14. Rice Heating Pad

Warm your hands or soothe those aches and pains. This microwaveable heat pad is simple to hand sew with no pattern needed. Add essential oils for aromatherapy benefits.

15. Rock Painting

Smooth river rocks are the perfect miniature canvas for your imagination. Turn them into paperweights, garden markers, pet portraits or inspirational messages.

16. Suncatchers

Invite the sunshine in with your very own suncatcher in a window. Create a simple suncatcher with mason jar lids and coloring sheets, or go for a stained glass look using melted beads.

17. Terrarium

It’s surprisingly easy to plant a terrarium and bring a little garden into your home. Experiment with small plants of different colors, shapes and textures such as cacti, ferns and mosses.

18. Vintage Photo Saucers

A little more involved but the results are worth it. Use vintage saucers and old family photos to make a stunning wall decoration.

19. Wind Chimes

Wind chimes can be a colorful and charming addition to a balcony or garden, and you can make them out of just about anything. Here’s an inexpensive idea using an inverted flowerpot and colorful glass shells, and another using old flatware.

20. Winter Luminaries

These festive lanterns can be made in less than an hour. Shaped like a pine tree, they bring a soft glow to a dinner table or a mantlepiece.

At The Heritage at Brentwood, creative hobbies for seniors are just one part of the whole-person, wellness-focused lifestyle we offer. See how we combine fitness, nutrition, activities and health services to help you live life to the fullest.