by Erin
(Wyoming)

This fairy ornament decoration could also be an angel. It’s easy and made with a non-breakable ornament, so very good for elderly activities too. Hang it on the wall or door, or as part of a decorative wreath. If you mount it on a skewer or dowel, you can even stand it up in a centerpiece. Lots of possibilities.

Materials To Use
First decide on your colors. I used gold.
4 tall curly reeds (I used gold sparkly ones) for wings
Gold ornament
Fine-line Sharpie marker to draw face
Gold thread or cord
Gold curly ribbon
Glue, like a glue gun or strong craft glue

First I took 4 curly reeds, the gold glittery type, and crisscrossed them, forming the wings. I tied them together with strong thread, wrapping the thread around the 4 reeds in a Figure-8 type weave. When tied, I put a glob of glue to hold it all in place, and let it dry.

Next I strung a thread through the hanger of the bulb, which was turned so that the hanger was in the back of the “head.” Then it was tied onto the center area of the 4 reeds. After tying on the head, I then drew on a simple face. I did not draw it on first. I wanted to see just how the head would hang first, and so then I could get an idea of just where to draw on the face.

The rest was very easy. Just wrap a lot of glitzy gold ribbon around the neck area and let it hang down. Also put a bit on top of the head. You can glue it in place here and there if you need to.

A strong thread or cord can be tied in the back of the project to hang it up. I used a thin gold cord (although you can’t see it in the photo).

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Easy Craft Ideas.

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by s.k
(india)


Editor’s Note Here is another wonderful submission of origami flower pots from our reader in India, who is very talented in this specialized art of paper folding. They are so colorful too!

I have to say that I have not ever seen such fine examples! These projects would be really great for those who would like a challenge – men too. The results would truly be a keepsake for years to come. So I hope some of you do try this out! Check out the web sites below. (Sorry, I was not able to make the links go “live” – yet. I’ll keep working on it!)

Be sure to also see Easy Craft Ideas.

………………….

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2038765/how_to_make_triangles_for_3d_origami/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnehV0J9g64

similarly we can make the pot also…

visit my blog to see more videos,
http://o-artgallery.blogspot.com/

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Finding a hobby (a new one?) just right for you can give you a lifetime of enjoyment, far into your retirement years. The main thing to consider is what do you really like? Not what your family tree or best friend thinks you should like – It is for you!

Do you think you’re not very good at anything? If that sounds like you, here are questions to ask yourself about what you’ve really wanted to do.

If you’re still working, now is the time to develop a hobby and to plan for future senior activities.

It’s also a great idea to have several different hobbies, because things change as we age. That sure happened to Dad. And he didn’t have much to fall back on.

Working with our hands at any age is particularly valuable. It promotes brain and physical coordination. P.S. – If you’re looking particularly for easy craft ideas be sure to visit our specialized page.

Dad’s Issue – When my father became very elderly and moved in with me, I became his full-time caregiver. His main hobbies had been golf and reading. But because of his vision and hearing loss, he had to give those up and there wasn’t much he could do. Or, that is, was willing to do.

It taught me the importance of cultivating a variety of hobbies and interests including working with one’s hands, because you just never know.

First Ask Yourself:

To get started with finding a hobby, first take some notes and let yourself brainstorm. And keep in mind that some may be good extra income ideas and actually provide ways to do a little work after retirement if you’re interested in that.

  • Make a list of the top 5 hobbies or activities you like to do now.
  • Now make a list of the top 5 new activities you would like to learn. This is brainstorming — don’t limit yourself, financially or otherwise.

Idea List – for Finding a Hobby

Finding a hobby can be a really fun exercise and will give you ideas on how you can expand the list.

  • photography – including nature, weddings, babies, children
  • home renovation
  • do-it-yourself activities such as a tile backsplash, creative cement work, etc.
  • interior decorating
  • woodworking
  • build and decorate a dollhouse – perhaps elaborate
  • furniture making
  • painting on furniture
  • furniture restoration
  • scrapbooking
  • going to or participating in flea markets
  • metal detecting – you can find amazing treasures!
  • making trash to treasure projects
  • starting a collection – perhaps heirloom quality
  • studying antiques and antiquing
  • join a theater group and be in a play
  • or work with costumes and props
  • learn a new sport – biking, tennis, golf, swimming
  • take up chess; join a group
  • painting – on canvas; or paint on glass or wood
  • murals
  • candle making
  • hand-painted ceramic sinks
  • hand-painted ceramic tiles
  • pottery and ceramics
  • mosaics (including tables, chairs, trays)
  • making crafts – there are many crafts for seniors to explore
  • scale modeling (see link at the bottom of this page)
  • small appliance or mechanical repair
  • rug making (easy rug hooking, braided rugs, etc.)
  • learning or enhancing computer skills
  • making a web site regarding your hobby or interest (you can make money too – really)
  • needlework such as cross-stitching or embroidery
  • knitting or crocheting
  • quilting – start small like a pillow or wallhanging
  • be a volunteer or professional clown
  • making puppets and puppeteering
  • clock and watch repair
  • crossword puzzles
  • jewelry making
  • stained glass
  • specialized cooking
  • cake decorating
  • gardening – perhaps a specialty such as roses or exotic plants
  • flower pressing
  • sewing
  • upholstery
  • decorative pillows
  • journalism – articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations
  • creative writing – perhaps memoirs or a novel
  • write and/or illustrate a children’s book
  • record your memoirs (and help others) and transfer to a CD
  • making videos and movies
  • dancing – salsa, tap, ballroom, jazz, square dancing, contemporary; don’t limit yourself
  • singing
  • playing musical instruments – (our guest writer talks about a super easy way of playing chimes, without having to read music or practice. Perfect for kids and families too).
  • floral arrangement
  • bird watching
  • fishing
  • card games
  • crafts – there are tons of easy craft ideas and crafts for seniors
  • make or study wines
  • beer making
  • getting a pet
  • public speaking
  • wedding officient
  • learn another language – and take a trip!
  • sailing and boating

When finding a hobby, remember, there may be a craft store, home improvement store, community resources or a senior center that can teach many of these activities. And don’t forget the library – most of them have or can get videos and books on a favorite topic. Or do you have a friend or family member who can teach you? Groups are always fun.

Do you have limitations?
If you have physical or other challenges and are unable to do your activity of choice now, finding a hobby can be modified. (For instance, did you know there are special easy-to-grip garden tools, and even wheelchair accessible elevated gardens for the elderly, window gardens, and more).

See our page about elderly activities to get ideas for those with limitations that we experience as we age. Also consider reading books, watching movies or TV programs, attending seminars or conferences on the subject, or helping others.

Find out what other related senior activity ideas and groups are available. There are also many special crafts for elderly to consider – ask a local senior center or even a church group.

After finding a hobby (or two) dedicate a room or area in your home to your special activities. Make a list of the supplies you will need, and find out how to get discounts.

A special note:
If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” This is an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for in that year. There are hundreds of listings. As you may guess, topics for baby boomers and elders are popular at this time.

You can also very easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. With a for-print book check www.createspace.com — it’s very inexpensive because it’s print on demand. If you want to try electronic publishing, Amazon will also help your put your book into Kindle reader format.

If you are an artist, there is a similar book called “The Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.” It lists hundreds of publishing and licensing companies to submit your artwork to, and what they are looking for. Even tips to go through the process. You can also pursue finding a licensing agent to represent your work to manufacturers, like I have.

And don’t forget to give back, if you can – teach someone what you know. Pass it on to family members, youth, and the elderly.

Do you like crafts?
Finding a hobby with crafts couldn’t be easier. We also do have lots of crafts in many places on our web site, but why hunt all over? Our crafts  are all consolidated and organized, along with dozens of NEW never-seen-before projects in our e-book! You get over 120 projects, with plenty of tips on different ways to make them! PLUS a FREE book of pattern templates! Click here for a sneak peak.

And check out this great hobby web site! An online guidebook to all forms of modeling from ships to planes and from trains to race cars. It’s your ultimate guide to the best in scale modeling.

to Retirment Ideas

by Marissa
(USA)

Almost everyone has some old CDs around. They’re fun to use in all kinds of crafts, being so shiny and catching light. This personalized door hanger with a person’s name is inexpensive and easy to make.

This project would make a fun hanger for a front door or bedroom too. Or for parties. You just need a few things, and some of them you might already have around. You can do this with either the elderly or with children.

Materials
CD
Large doily
Small doily
long curling ribbon
Fancy bow (or make one)
Pompom or large bead (nose)
Googly eyes — or make them with the markers
Permanent black and red markers
Either acrylic paint or that 3D puffy paint
Thread
Craft glue

First tie a long thread through the hole of the CD to make the hanger. Then glue or attach on whatever bow you are using for the hat. You’ll be able to see how far down it comes and where to start the face. You can take some 3D paint and straw on a few wiggly lines on the sides of the head for more hair. You could also glue on some ribbon, yarn, doll hair, etc.

Then either draw on the eyes with markers and a dab of paint, or glue on googly eyes. Also make lashes and eyebrows. For the rouge, rub on a little red marker or paint with your finger. Glue on the pompom for the nose. A bead would work too. I like to make the mouth out of the 3D paint because it shows up better and goes on easily. Let everything dry very well.

Cut a triangle out of the large doily and glue it onto the back of the CD for the skirt. Make the wings out of triangles of a smaller doily, and also glue them on. The last couple things I did was print the name on the bottom of the CD with the 3D paint. Then I attached the curled ribbon at the chin.

When all the glue and paint is dry, it’s ready to hang up. You can make these in any color that you like.

If you don’t have any old CDs right now, you probably will in the future because they say CDs will soon be a thing of the past. And they might be hard to get hold of then. So don’t throw them away! They can be used for all kinds of creative ideas. This is just one of them. I use them for many different things.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Crafts For The Elderly.

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by Anne
(CA)

People get a kick out of this little bead-craft bookmark that looks like a worm – a bookworm, that is! It is about the simplest craft you can make, and is really fun to give away with a book. You can make these crafts with seniors or with kids too, they’re so easy. Kids also like to get them as gifts.

These are really basic, large beads. But you can also use the “decorator” fancy beads like you find in a good craft store or bead shop. Putting two or three of those in the book worm makes a big difference – and especially if you are giving it to someone else.

Here’s what you will need to make this
(You can get most of this from a craft store if you don’t have it around).
About 8 large sized beads – they can be different sizes.
A 12 inch or longer cord (leather, or a corded shoestring works, or a nice metallic looking cord)
2 wiggly eyes (at a craft store)
A strong craft glue or glue gun
A small pom-pom for the nose
Sharpie marker to draw the face with (be sure the marker you use is waterproof.)

Knot the piece of cord on one end, then string on the beads. It’s fun to let them slide around. But if you want the head to stay put and in place, then tie a knot to keep it from sliding. Keep enough cord coming out of the top of the head so you can loop it back into the bead hole.

Put a little craft glue like Tacky Glue in the hole to keep it in place. Glue gun on the wiggly eyes and the nose (or use another strong glue), then draw on the smiley face.

That’s it! It’s very simple to make. You can also try making funny faces with wiggly or cockeyed smiles, or lopsided eyes, if you are any good at drawing cartoon type faces.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Mouse Bookmark Craft.

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by s.k
(India)


pic.1
This is a painting of Lord Unnikrishna. It is a fabric painting done on a cloth using fabric colours (which you can get at the craft store).

I first drew the outline and then painted on it, using fabric colours with a brush. And then ironed it on the back of the cloth to get the paint to stick on it after the paint on the cloth dried. Then I took the photo and did some editing (on the computer) in MS-PAINT to get the picture to appear more beautiful.

pic.2
Here fabric colours are used to paint on a thick paper board, (cardboard – which is mainly used to keep inside of shirts to fold the cloth wrinkle free.) This picture is the end result of my creative imagination of my mind.

pic.3
Here fabric colours are used to paint in a thick wooden board (which was left over in my house for the electric works). This is a symbolic representation of the Bhagavad Geetha, which is an episode in the great epic, MAHABHARATHA.

pic.4
I wished to transcribe it somewhere after getting inspired on seeing this picture in a nailcutter.. so I painted on a wooden board using the fabric colours. Within 5-10 mins the picture was ready..

About myself,
I did all these works as a timepass, or to get engaged, myself, in a creative work. Then I thought to make a blog with the works I did. Visit my blog to see more –
http://o-artgallery.blogspot.com/

Be sure to also see Easy Craft Ideas.

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Looking for great retirement ideas and activities?
(We have retirement activities for everyone – even if you really don’t retire!)

There are all kinds of possibilities and things to do out there. Here are a few fun ideas for any budget, with links pointing to even more options, below.

When Dad came to live with me he’d been retired already for a long time. He had serious hearing and vision loss and could not participate in much without help. That really started me searching for new retirement ideas not only for him… but it also gave me pause to consider myself. And many of my friends had started retiring too.

What would I want to do when I retired. Perhaps because I stayed at home as his full-time caregiver, in a way I had already “retired” — from the workforce, anyway. I did work from home and still wanted to work after retirement, so found many different ways to do that.

Here are a few things I’ve learned  along the way…

Choose senior activity ideas that keep you busy, the mind active, are of service even in small ways, or provide ongoing learning.

Don’t Get Stuck – Be willing to try something new!
(Dad certainly had to do this as his hearing and vision went).  Or have a special goal to strive for too. There’s nothing like a goal, even a small one, to trigger the imagination.

The type of retirement ideas you choose may depend on factors such as interests, physical health, mobility, mental health, budget. But no matter what the circumstances, there are plenty of retirement activities to choose from.

Outdoor Retirement Ideas

Turn off the TV and get outside! You may say, “I’m just not that outdoorsy.” Not an excuse! Get out and get some fresh air! It’s easy to simply take a favorite activity or club meeting outside — make a special area in your yard or patio. And ask yourself some questions about retirement ideas vs. outdoor living.

  • What climate do you live in now?
  • Are you able to participate in the usual outdoor activities for your climate? (Where I live in the northern climate, this is no longer much of an option for me!)
  • Are you finding your climate to be restricting? (I do).
  • Have you thought about moving to a different climate? Or at least get away for part of the colder months?
  • What outdoor programs are offered by your senior center?
  • Does a local community center offer outdoor programs?
  • Join an outdoor sports team — there are teams available just for seniors. Inquire with your Parks and Rec Dept. or senior center. Or maybe you’re qualified to coach younger people, if you can no longer play, yourself.
  • If you don’t have a garden or patio available, you can set up an attractive area right in front of a favorite window – a garden style table and a couple of chairs; potted plants or hanging plants, a mobile, garden statues and décor. Your indoor “garden” has many uses, and it brings the look of the outdoors inside! And provides all kinds of interesting retirement ideas.
  • If you do have a yard or patio, create a showplace garden, however small. Or even on your windowsill. Your local nursery can help you choose a variety of easy-to-maintain plants and flowers. Perhaps a bonsai?
  • Join a club – outdoor retirement activities are more fun with other seniors and people of all ages. And you’re more likely to continue. Garden, walking or biking clubs are ideal. Either something you enjoyed before, or something brand new.
  • Take up fishing. Or boating. Or both. Or water skiing. My Dad actually water skiid when he was 84 years old!
  • Exercise for seniors offer loads of retirement ideas, and of course important to keep joints limber and bones and heart strong. How about a bicycle – there are paths and programs ideal for this popular elderly activity. Find them through your city parks division, your senior center, or even a local college.
  • Or maybe just plain walking. Many medical experts believe this is the best overall elderly exercise. DAd’s doctor encouraged him to walk daily, even when he was in his late 90s. Ask about local walking events and walking clubs.
  • If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast, check into the National Senior Games Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and options for senior exercise. They have a variety of state and national competitions seniors can participate in and can even help you find a partner or team to join.
  • Check into special travel trips that emphasize an outdoor activity or another climate, including adventure travel. A local travel agency may have information about this. There are several senior tour and cruise options available.
  • Plan picnics and parties outdoors — you can combine them with other celebrations, biking, walking, hiking, gardening, as well as group meetings.
  • If you don’t have a pet, arrange to help walk someone else’s pet outdoors.

Now also take a look at our related page on more specifics at:
Outdoor Elderly Activities.

Pet Retirement Ideas

Do you love animals? Perhaps when you worked it was not practical for you to have a pet. But during retirement, caring for pets makes great activities for seniors.

  • If you are able to volunteer, animal shelters are a wonderful option.
  • Or perhaps take home a pet who needs special care yourself. Experts know that caring for a pet has great benefits to our well-being of the elderly and baby boomers too. And they can provide very loyal companionship. I have friend who was a “foster family” to a needy pet from a shelter, until a permanent family was found.
  • If you live in a housing complex that does not allow pets, how about pet sitting in someone else’s home? Many working folks would love to have someone come in and walk and feed their pet, and give it some play time. (This also could provide additional income). I had a work associate who gave up her busy management career to do this new career, and was very successful! Another close friend did have someone come in to provide such a service for her and her pet – it really freed up her life.
  • If you don’t want to make an ongoing commitment, perhaps just offer to walk or play with your neighbor’s pet from time to time.
  • Are you interested in more exotic pets, including fish, birds, reptiles – even tarantulas? Visit a pet store and take a look around. Ask questions. Read. Just do your research and make sure you thoroughly know what you’re getting into first.
  • What about working at a local pet store. For those who are not able to have a pet at home, this is a satisfying alternative. And again, extra income.

More Retirement Ideas

We have too many ideas to all fit on this page, so we’ve broken it down into further categories. Be sure to check these out too…

Retirement HobbiesFinding A Hobby — Finding a hobby that is just right for you will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Here’s the coolest list of hobby ideas (for all ages) either to do alone or in a group.

TravelingSenior Citizen Travel — Traveling is the top retirement activity after work life no matter what your budget; or even if you don’t retire. I’ve traveled all over and have lots of valuable tips.

VolunteeringLearning and Volunteer Ideas — Learning and volunteer work can go hand in hand. Either are excellent retirement ideas – whether you’re actually retired or not.

Fun ActivitiesSenior Activity Ideas — Check out this variety of  senior activities for baby boomers, or those “of a certain age.” We include things for both indoors and outdoors. Easy to modify to fit special needs.

CraftsEasy Craft Ideas — Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of learning a new craft during retirement. (And maybe even to do for profit.)

More….

Cool Quote & Retirement Message Ideas –  Need a cool quote or retirement message? Well we have dozens of all kinds here. Big array of quotes for all occasions.

Home

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Other web sites with retirement ideas:

Fashion After 50 – This is the most fabulous web site I’ve seen on fashion and accessories for the mature woman. Both elegant and practical – a must-see!

It’s never too late to learn how to build kites. This site starts with a few very simple designs. Quick to make and proven to fly well in light winds. However, if the kite bug bites, you could spend years building and flying the more advanced designs found here!

Helping Seniors In Transition – A one stop shop program designed to take the stress out of managing the transition from family home to nursing home residential living of a senior family member or loved one.

Are you planning a retirement celebration?…For gracious, yet great goodbyes and free farewell speeches see Retirement Speeches at find-the-words.com.

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by Jessica
(FL)

These funny little food crafts are always a big hit, and you can give them away at the holidays. Since they have an egg theme, they’re cute at Easter too, maybe with a fluffy chick nearby. I have made them both with the really large sized pretzels and the regular sized.

These are really good crafts for seniors and elderly to make. I know the seniors where my dad lives really like to make anything with food! And then they like to eat them!

As you can see, you will need –
2 pretzels each for the bacon strips
A yellow M&M for each egg yolk
The white part of the egg is made of Marzipan,
or you can use white sculpey too (although you can’t eat that!) Or you can use frosting in a can or the kind that squirts from a tube.

I saw that you have a Marzipan recipe on your web site, and it’s very easy to make it. It works like clay. It tastes really good and is edible. I recommend using Marzipan for the egg white. But that will depend on your group’s skill level too. It is easier to just use frosting. Making marzipan though, can be another project to go along with this one.

To make marzipan…
You just get some almond paste from the store. You mix about 1/4 of a cup of corn syrup in with it and stir it well. Then you add in powdered (confectioners) sugar, starting with 1 1/2 cups and adding in more till it gets to be the consistency of play dough. This is white, so you don’t need food coloring. You have to knead it like dough to get it to the right consistency. Refrigerate it, wrapped up, for a couple of hours, then you can use it. It’s really fun to make marzipan, and you can use it for all kinds of things, not just these.!

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Easy Craft Ideas.

by Janelle
(AZ)

A hanging candy ball like this one is also an edible ornament. They make a special hand-crafted gift, or a party decoration. All it takes is a few simple materials, and you may have a lot of them around already.

Because you’d be working with unwrapped candies (unless you want to use wrapped), you should wear latex examination gloves. You can get a box of them at drug stores or hair supply stores. The candies are mounted on toothpicks, so then when people take them off to eat them, they are using the toothpick.

This happens to be a Valentine decoration because of the time of year, but you can change the kind and color of candy for a different holiday.

Also, I know a lot of elderly people are on low sugar diets, so you might want to make these out of sugar free candies, or at include some.

Materials you will need:

Large styrofoam ball
Bag of candy. I used jelly valentine candy
Box of colored toothpicks
About 10 straight pins
Scissors
About 12 small artificial flowers
Larger artificial flower to hang at the bottom
A length of florist wire, about 18 inches
A small bead, about the size of a small gumdrop
Needle nose pliers
White thread, and a needle
Narrow curling ribbon
Wider ribbon for top, or a bow

First take the wire and with the pliers, bend a small hoop on one end, then string the small bead onto it. The hoop you just made will keep it from pulling off. This will be the bottom of the wire, at the bottom of the styrofoam ball. You need the bead at the bottom of the ball, because it keeps the wire from pulling through the styro when the project is finished, since it will be a little heavy.

Next, poke the wire through the middle of the ball. Form a wire circle at the top end, about the size of a nickel. Twist the end of the hook around the rest of the wire so it will stay in place. You can cut the length of wire shorter first if you find that it is too long. The wire should cut easily with a scissors. You will tie your ribbons around this wire circle at the end, and use it to hang the ball also.

Now take your toothpicks and attach the candies, closely together, all over the ball to cover it. Let a little end of the toothpick stick out of the center of each candy. There will be some small gaps between the candies. To fill the gaps, I took a straight pin and stuck it through a small flower, then pushed it into the styro ball. I hung a larger flower from the wire hook on the bottom of the ball.

Then you just put ribbon through the wire circle on top, whatever kind of bow you would like. You can also use a finished, store-bought bow instead.

Finally, tie a thread or another ribbon through the hook on the top, and hang it up! If you don’t want to hang it, you can put it on a stand in the middle of a centerpiece.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Easy Craft Ideas.

by Marjorie
(NC)

This seashell frame craft uses just a few simple materials, and is made with craft sticks. It’s a good project to do with kids too. Then just add a photo or your art.

Things you will need
Craft glue or a glue gun
4 craft sticks
Acrylic paint (if you want to paint the sticks)…
otherwise leave them the natural color
A variety of small seashells
Beads or sequins – (optional, not shown)
Photo or picture to put in the frame

This will make a square shaped frame, so keep it in mind when you choose your photo or art. You will probably have to cut it to size a little.

First, assemble the 4 craft sticks (like popsicle sticks) together so they form the frame, then glue them in place. If you’re going to paint it, do it next. But I think having the natural look is nicer, since the shells have a natural look.

Then just glue the shells on in whatever way you’d like. If you have little areas that are empty, you could glue in small beads or sequins. You could also squirt on dots of that 3-dimensional craft paint. Let everything dry.

Then trace the outer edge of the frame onto your picture, so it fits correctly. Sometimes I have a nice greeting card that I want to keep, and I put it in a small frame. Or you may have something from an old calendar. Anything with a water theme goes well with a seashell frame.

Cut out out your picture and glue it onto the back of the frame. You can also glue on a picture hanger or pop top from a can. This is a very simple project for elderly to do. Although if using very small pieces like beads, some people may need a little help.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to also see Picture Frame Crafts.

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