Crafts for Seniors: Making Homemade Clay Beads

As a home care service provider, we are always on the lookout for crafts for seniors to enjoy. Making homemade clay beads is a unique activity that would be fun for either males or females. The clay can be made, the beads formed and baked, and then they can be painted and strung on strings.

It’s as simple as that, and here’s how you get started:

Materials you need:

A mixing bowl

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 cups water

Food coloring


Baking tray


Home Care Services in Alamo, CAMethod:

Using a small bowl, combine the flour, food coloring, salt and then the water. Knead the dough for approximately 15 minutes. Take a small amount of the mixture and shape it into a bead of any size you like. Using the skewer, punch a hole through the bead and then place it on a baking tray. Form all the clay into beads and then bake them in an oven at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 2 or 3 hours, checking and turning regularly. When completely dry and cooled off, the beads may be painted.

For best results, use acrylic paints. These can be purchased very inexpensively at a dollar store in the craft section.

Once dried, the painted beads can be strung onto string or jewelry thread and made into jewelry. This activity provides several days of something to do. Your loved one can wear and show off her necklace to friends and relatives, or she can make it and give it to someone else.

There are other ways to make beads at home which could be equally fun. One method involves using recycled newspaper. You can simply go online and find out how to make these pretty little balls from discarded newspaper. Some of the best crafts are made from free materials and cost almost nothing!

Another source for great little homemade beads is seeds! Yes, seeds make great beads. They can be washed, dried off and then left to dry out before painting. Large pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds in the shell, cucumber seeds, round slices of okra, dried cranberries and many types of flower seeds make good beads. Make sure they’re not too fragile because you need to be able to drill or poke a hole through them for stringing, and you don’t want them to fall apart after they are strung and ready for wearing.

If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of senior care in Walnut Creek, CA or the surrounding areas, contact the caregivers at Hillendale Home Care. We help seniors and their families with a variety of personalized home care services, and can share more great ideas for activities and crafts for seniors. Call (925) 948-8280 for more information.