3 Summer Crafts for Seniors

In the summer, high temperatures can prevent families from spending time outdoors with their aging or elderly loved ones. Whether indoors or in a cool, shaded area, there are a number of fun summer crafts that lead to fun quality time spent together. In addition to extending seniors’ companionship and communication, crafts can help stimulate brain function and creativity. Here are a few summer crafts to consider making with a senior you know:

Shadowbox Seashell Art

shell art

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From the website, this craft combines seashells, a shadow box frame, cardstock paper (or white paper) and glue to create a piece of summertime artwork that can be hung around the house or gifted. Instructions from are as follows:

  1. Cut the cardstock or paper to the size of the backing of your frame and glue it to the backing.
  2. Using a pencil, trace a heart shape (or any other shape) onto the cardstock/paper.
  3. Using your larger seashells first, glue them in any place inside the heart shape. Make sure to even distribute the larger pieces within your shape.
  4. Once the larger seashells are done, you can start gluing on the medium size ones. This ensures that the big and medium size seashells are evenly distributed within your shape, as they will be more eye-catching than the smaller ones. The smaller ones are for filling in the gaps and for creating clean edges along the border of the heart shape.
  5. Using the smallest shells, glue them to fill in the gaps between the rest of the shells and also the border of the shape.
  6. Optional: you can use decorative pearls to add some extra texture and shine to your artwork

Floral Butterfly Frames

butterfly frame

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From the website, this craft combines two of the greatest parts of summer — the beautiful flowers and abundance of butterflies! To begin crafting, materials should include a wooden picture frame (which can be repurposed from an old frame or found through a trip to the thrift store), artificial flowers (the Dollar Tree is a great source for $1 flower bunches), artificial feather butterflies, a wire cutters, hot glue, and acrylic craft paint (optional). Instructions from Design Improvised are as follows:

  1. Clip the artificial flowers from their stems using wire cutters.
  2. Glue the flowers to the frame with hot glue. Start with the biggest flowers and then fill in with smaller flowers.
  3. Add a few faux butterflies to the frame with a small dab of hot glue on the back. 

Ladybug Painted Rocks

painted rock art

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From the website, this craft’s materials include patio paint in colors of choice (suggestions include Larkspur Blue, Petunia Purple, Fiesta Yellow, Fuchsia, Citrus Green and Salmon). Other materials include smooth rocks preferably oval or round in shape, a paintbrush, a toothpick and an outdoor sealer or patio paint clear coat. When complete, this craft makes a beautiful addition to a garden or other outdoor area. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Wash and dry your rocks.
  2. Paint with colorful Patio Paint, don’t paint the bottoms if these will be sitting in the soil.
  3. Paint on a black head and let it dry.
  4. Use the handle end of a paintbrush to dot on ladybug spots with black paint.
  5. Use the handle end of a paintbrush to dot on white eyes. LET DRY COMPLETELY!
  6. Cut the tip off of a toothpick. Dip in black paint and dot onto white eyes.
  7. When completely dry, paint ladybugs with a coat of Patio Paint Clear Coat or outdoor formula sealer like Mod Podge.

Learn More About the Health Benefits of Crafting