When you think of arts and crafts, you may picture elementary school children using safety scissors and gluing down oogly eyes. According to a research article published in the Craft Research journal, hobbies that require creativity, strategic thinking, and productivity are proven to have cognitive, social, and cultural benefits for adults who practice them regularly. If you need more reasons to pick up a hot glue gun and paint brush, here is one! The mental stimulation of crafting processes improves memory and increases speed of processing. These potential benefits prove arts and crafts can be a positive approach to aging and combatting mental decline.
By now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, that sounds good, but what ”crafts” are you talking about?”. There are too many crafting activities out there and it’s challenging for us to list all of them. We considered the convenience, expense, and ease of learning of various crafts for adults and have compiled a short list.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of jewelry making – it is much easier than you think! Dangle earrings are popular options for this type of craft. Most of the required materials can be found at craft stores. The process is relatively simple! All you have to do is pick out the separate, pre-made pieces of the earring and put them together.
The minimum materials you’ll need for this craft are earring hooks, jump rings, a pair of round-nose and flat-nose precision pliers (to easily open and close the jump rings), and charms. Jewelry-making also has the added bonus of wearing whatever you’ve made once it’s finished – they also make great gifts for the holidays. If you’re feeling especially creative, we suggest exploring the multitude of ways you can make your own charms! You can also supplement the materials we’ve suggested with accessories like chains, headpins, beads, crystals, and wire.
This simple craft rose to popularity after the creation of The Kindness Rocks Project in 2015 and hasn’t slowed down since. Rock painting is one of the best indoor activities for adults as it provides a fun and creative outlet for participants. You have the choice of leaving your rocks to be discovered by others or kept to yourself. Round, flat stones make the best canvas for colorful lettering, abstract designs, miniature landscape scenes, and whatever else you may envision for your miniature masterpiece.
Important rock painting materials include a pack of acrylic paint brushes, your choice of colors in acrylic craft paint, a plastic palette, a medium-sized jar to clean your brushes in water, a cloth rag for drying clean brushes, and, most importantly, your rock! If you plan to leave your rock outdoors, we suggest using craft paint that is water- and UV-resistant. You can also purchase sealants to give your project a bit more protection and add a specific finish, i.e., glossy, matte, or satin.
Custom Designed Terracotta Pots
There are many possibilities for painting surfaces, and the only obstacle is your own imagination. Introducing terracotta pots! These pots make great bases for craft projects since they’re easy to come across and are inexpensive. You can also choose from a variety of shapes and sizes, and how you customize them is up to you – there are methods for decorating pots with fabric, decoupage, and just simple acrylic craft paint. You’re not limited to just using them as planters, either! Terracotta pot sculptures are also popular and make for unique lawn ornaments. This craft is suitable for any skill level because it is versatile and requires few materials.
Terrarium Home Decor
Terrariums are the perfect way to get creative and make unique home décor pieces in the process! You can customize terrariums for holidays and changing seasons, and you don’t necessarily have to use real terrarium materials like soil and live plants (unless you want to!).
The first thing you’ll need for a DIY terrarium is the container to put everything in. Planter pots, ceramic containers, and glass vases are popular choices. Once you have your container, it’s really up to you what you want to put inside – rocks, sand, pebbles, artificial moss, succulents, flowers, and even small figurines to create fairy gardens and other miniature scenes. If you’re crafting on a budget, we suggest browsing through your local thrift stores for unique, inexpensive materials.
Knitting with Loop Yarn
Fiber crafts are great for making practical items like scarves, blankets, and hats – but for this specific kind of textile-making, all you’ll need is your hands, a pair of scissors, and some loop yarn!
While loop yarn knitting does require some degree of dexterity, it’s not as small and precise as traditional crocheting or knitting. This difference makes it easier to see and handle your work. It also takes about half the time to hand-knit with loop yarn as it does with knitting needles, and even more fun! Since the yarn you’re working with will already have “stitches” on it (the loops), all it takes is getting used to the pattern of movement by working loops through one another. Your specific project will determine how many skeins of yarn you need, and patterns for items made by hand knitting loop yarn are easy to find online. This craft is easy, leaves little to no mess, and is very rewarding when you get to create your own practical items!
In whatever craft you decide to explore, remember to enjoy the process. Fun activities for adults don’t have to be expensive or messy, and it’s always a good idea to check your local consignment shops and dollar stores for craft supplies. In addition to the crafts and specific projects we’ve discussed here, browsing YouTube and Pinterest for even more ideas is sure to get your creative juices flowing. Thank you for reading, and happy crafting!