26 Creatively Thoughtful DIY Items to Craft and Donate to Your Local Nursing Home

Nothing about being in a nursing home is easy. It is a difficult time both for the resident and his or her family and friends, who may not be able to do as much as they would like to provide support to their loved one. But as a talented crafter, there is a lot that you can do to make a difference. You already love do-it-yourself projects, so why not use your skills at handcrafts to light up an elderly person’s day?

When it comes to choosing craft ideas to donate to a nursing home, you need to think carefully about which items will be most useful to the average resident. It’s always easier to craft an item when you already know the recipient, but when it comes to donations, you need to think about items that would be helpful to anyone.

So think about what seniors in nursing homes need. Ask yourself about their daily difficulties. Many elderly residents of nursing homes have trouble getting around, staying warm, stay entertained. They also have the same hygiene needs as anybody else. If you can choose handcrafts which will make their everyday lives simpler and more enjoyable, you will have made a substantial difference.

Remember, any project you can donate to a nursing home can also be donated to any retirement community — so this is a versatile list. You may also find some great gift ideas here for elderly family members and friends. And don’t forget that if you volunteer at a nursing home and get to know the residents, you can make personalized gifts for them as well.

Need help coming up with ideas? Following are X projects which are fun, easy, and perfect to donate to your local nursing home!

1. Create handmade stationary.

Create handmade stationary.Seniors who are stuck in nursing homes do not have a whole lot of options when it comes to staying entertained. So anything you can do to provide them with what they need to fill some hours of the day is helpful. Many elders enjoy writing detailed letters to family and friends who they do not get to see while they are in the home. But letters are always more special when they come on unique stationery, so one great gift to donate to a local nursing home is a set of handmade stationary. Check the link for an easy project.

Tutorial and Instructions: abeautifulmess

2. Create a DIY address book.

Create a DIY address book.The second idea which is related to the first is to handcrafts address books. Anyone who writes a lot of letters to family and friends is going to be a frequent user of an address book, so this is a fun and handy item to craft and donate to a nursing home or assisted-living community.

Tutorial and Instructions: ollieandco

3. Make a unique journal using bookbinding techniques.

Make a unique journal using bookbinding techniques.While a nursing home resident may spend a lot of time writing to loved ones, he or she may also want to write personal memoirs. One wonderful craft that you could donate would be a set of handcrafted journals. There are many different methods you can use for bookbinding at home. Click on the source link for a detailed tutorial on a versatile technique.

Tutorial and Instructions: tortagialla

4. Build a cute organizer.

Build a cute organizer.Anyone who likes to keep a journal or write letters needs somewhere to keep all of their supplies. Another idea for a craft you can donate is a mini desk organizer. In the video below, you can find out how to make one with bright colors and fun designs, sure to brighten up any room.


5. Make an Alzheimer’s sensory stim blanket.

Make an Alzheimer’s sensory stim blanket.If you are looking for a handcraft idea for donating to a memory care unit, one great project is a sensory blanket. Patients with Alzheimer’s develop restless hands, and as a result need some sensory activity which they can use for stimming. At the source link, you can find a project for creating a sensory blanket which takes care of this need.

Tutorial and Instructions: sewmanywayskimi

6. Create a set of bookmarks.

Create a set of bookmarks.One super easy project to consider is handcrafting bookmarks for nursing home residents. Many seniors love to read, and bookmarks are something you can make quickly in bulk. In fact, the project at the source link is incredibly easy, because it uses a clever supply — paint chips!

Tutorial and Instructions: jos2ndact

7. Up-cycle old sweaters into warm, fuzzy socks.

Up-cycle old sweaters into warm, fuzzy socks.As mentioned earlier, it can be difficult for nursing home residents to stay warm and comfortable. For that reason, simple gifts like warm, fuzzy socks to make excellent donation items. Here is a project for turning old sweaters into insulated socks which are as warm as they are soft and cozy.

Tutorial and Instructions: ecouterre

8. Sew a warm poncho.

Sew a warm poncho.Like warm socks, ponchos are also good items to donate. Because they have a loose fit, they can work for residents of all sizes, and they can provide plenty of warmth for cold days. Watch the video for an easy sewing pattern.


9. Make an infinity scarf.

Make an infinity scarf. Another warm and versatile garment that you can make is an infinity scarf. There are so many different ways you can wear infinity scarves. At the source link, you can find instructions for simple infinity scarf project which you could donate to seniors in need at a nearby nursing home. Looking for more patterns? Find 26 of them right here.

Tutorial and Instructions: sewcanshe

10. Prevent slips and falls with grippy socks.

Prevent slips and falls with grippy socks.Elderly nursing home residents who have difficulty getting around safely can benefit from wearing socks which are not slippery. You can make these yourself at home, which is more cost-effective and fun than purchasing them ready-made from a department store. Find out how at the link below.

Tutorial and Instructions: brownthumbmama

11. Donate handmade walker caddies.

Donate handmade walker caddies. A walker is of course supposed to help you get around when you can no longer do so on your own. Unfortunately, using a walker requires you to use both hands. This makes it impossible to carry around glasses, notebooks, remote controls and other items if you do not have handy pockets. This is where a walker caddy becomes very useful. Donate a few of these to a nursing home, and you could greatly improve quality of life for residents in need.

Tutorial and Instructions: mellysews

12. Keep nursing home residents warm with a handmade lap quilt.

Keep nursing home residents warm with a handmade lap quilt.If you enjoy quilting, here’s a project which is perfect for nursing home recipients. Because nursing home residents are not very active, they can end up with cold hands and feet. Create a lap quilt with flannel-lined pockets, and residents who use the quilts will always be able to keep their hands warm.

Tutorial and Instructions: http://www.homesewnbycarolyn.com/lovie-lap-quilts.html

13. Making dressing gown out of an old duvet cover.

Making dressing gown out of an old duvet coverMany nursing home residents may spend the majority of their time wearing pajamas or dressing gowns, because it is no longer easy to get dressed for the day. Did you know that it is easy to make dressing gowns to donate using nothing more than an old duvet cover? The linked tutorial will show you how.

Tutorial and Instructions: karimascrafts