7 Thanksgiving Crafts for Seniors

Thanksgiving is almost here! While not everyone agrees on which holiday is the best holiday, nobody can complain about one entirely devoted to eating good food and celebrating the people you love.

Aging brings with it its share of challenges, so having a day (or really, a month) devoted to thinking about all the things in life that are good and the people still around to care about is worth celebrating. And family members and caregivers should be quick to encourage that celebration.

To get your loved one in the spirit, devote some time this month to seasonal crafts. Crafts are a great excuse to spend some time together and many of them can become decorations to brighten up your loved one’s space with the resulting decorations.

Fan Folded Leaves1. Fan Folded Leaves

These lovely, simple crafts can be used to decorate any surface or be hung around the house in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. They can fill your home will the look of Fall leaves, without the mess of bringing in actual ones (although those can be lovely too).


A Fall Wreath2. A Fall Wreath

Make a wreath to hang on your door and greet any visitors that come to your home or room with Thanksgiving cheer. This one sticks to our theme of beautiful Fall wreaths, but if you want other options, you can click the arrow links to see a few more ideas in the slideshow. 



Paint Gourds3. Paint Gourds

Even if you already painted pumpkins for Halloween, there’s no reason not to replicate the tradition with different types of gourds for Thanksgiving. A popular option is to paint various gourds white, and then put a design or words on them.



Leaf Artwork from Real Leaves4. Leaf Artwork from Real Leaves

What’s fall without lots of different leaf-themed crafts? This one starts with a trip outside to find a number of beautiful fall leaves (try to find a bunch of different colors), then provides steps to turn those leaves into a larger work of art portraying one big leaf. 



Colorful Corn Husk Napkin Rings5. Colorful Corn Husk Napkin Rings

These napkin rings are made from polymer clay and and resemble corn husks in traditional fall colors. You can use the same craft idea to decorate in other ways – you can make larger husks to decorate your countertops or scatter them on your table on Thanksgiving day to add to the ambience. 



Decorative Stick Candle Holders6. Decorative Stick Candle Holders

This is our second craft to involve an outdoor excursion, this time to collect short, narrow sticks. Once you have them, simply hot glue them onto a glass votive and voila, you have a seasonal candle holder. If you don’t want your loved one using real fire (or if it’s not allowed in their assisted living home), you can stick with artificial candles.


Rosemary Wreath Place Cards7. Rosemary Wreath Place Cards

These mini wreaths made of rosemary look nice and smell great to boot. You can use them as place cards on Thanksgiving as the link suggests, but you can also make use of them to decorate your home in the days leading up to the holiday. They can even become ornaments for your Christmas tree (although the scent won’t last through both holidays).


Crafts aren’t required to enjoy your Thanksgiving, but they can really help with starting to set the scene for the holiday in advance. And the senior in your life will benefit from having a solid reason to sit around the table with their loved ones and do something fun and meaningful together.

Check out 4 more ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in assisted living.


Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.


  1. Jeanette Damyon July 31, 2016 Reply

    Very encouraging @ simple activities I’m sure will engage some of my residents

  2. Gloria October 22, 2019 Reply

    How do I get info on folded leaves activity shown above

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