Bead Jewelry Making-A Senior Activity with Sparkle

Is jewelry making a senior activity with sparkle? Well that depends on the types of beads you choose to use! There are many types of beads available, in craft stores or by order over the internet. You can use Swarovski crystal beads for a beautiful sparkly look.  Colorful glass beads can add a native look. Beads can be made from pebbles, clay, gemstones, the list is long.

Many seniors also enjoy wearing large beads. You can choose beads that are a simple shape, such as  round or oval. On the other hand, you can get funky, blingy beads with a lot of character. You can really express yourself through beads!


Why Jewelry Making Is A Great Senior Activity

Symbolically, we can find an encouraging message in beading. Since the beads are each different units, the next bead in the line might be a brighter color! That helps us to realize that each day or even hour is a different unit. Similarly, we can always hope for a better tomorrow!

Use jewelry making as a senior activity to add joy into your day.

Jewelry making is a fun way to stimulate the brain. Use different colors and shapes. Choose beads in creative and inspiring shapes – animals, hearts, popular action figures or fairies.

You can also make your own gifts for family and friends. Everyone loves getting a gift made with love. In this way you can dedicate your jewelry as a ‘here’s to you’, or, in memory of someone. Some people like to ‘award’ the jewelry they make to hardworking staff or to show someone special in their lives that they hold them in high esteem.

For your physio-sensory health, handling the beads stimulates the nerves in the fingers.

It is a mobile hobby; you can take it with you wherever you go. Whether you are at home, visiting relatives or friends, or on vacation, your hobby can come with you.

This flexible hobby, can be a conversation stimulator, as friends sit in a circle to make jewelry. It is a conversation starter, as people ask you where you got that beautiful bracelet or handbag ornament. On the other hand, if you seek a few moments of solitude, clear your mind by working on your project in a quiet room.


Activities are Especially Good for Seniors, in General

  • Distracts the mind from any less glamorous aspects of senior living
  • Gives a boost of self-esteem
  • Creativity stimulates the imagination (and that prevents dementia)
  • Maintaining dexterity, helps to keep one’s independence for longer.


Best Tips to Get Around Limitations

There are clever ways to get around limitations from fingers that are stiff with arthritis, slow reflexes, or difficulty with fine motor skills.

Firstly, when stringing beads, you can avoid losing all your hard work if the string drops.

Here’s how:

  1. Tape the end of the string to the table with scotch tape. Note that the end of the string should always be knotted.
  2. Attach a keyring ring to one end of the string and slip it onto a finger. When you are done just cut off the ring.
  3. Position a fairly stiff string vertically using a clothing peg or mini vice, string the beads one at a time and an assistant can release the peg, allowing the bead to drop down the string.
  4. You can attach a blunt cocktail stick to the top end of the string. At the second end of the string, tie a stopper bead so that nothing can slip off the end.

Secondly, to avoid using fiddly clasps, you can make jewelry using stretchy thread. These are called stretch bracelets or necklaces. Spruce Crafts recommends using elastic cord of 0.7 mm or 1 mm, depending on the width of the hole in the beads.

Thirdly, you can avoid necklaces with fasteners by simply making the necklaces large enough to slip over your head. Use a chord that is made of nylon or monofilament (yes, this is used as fishing line but can also be bought as jewelry thread).

Fourthly, get around having shaky hands, by choosing beads with large holes.


Bead jewelry making is a popular activity. You can invest in it however much you want. There are cost-effective beads available, if for example, you want to run a grandparent-grandchild activity. However, if you want to make an elegant piece of jewelry for yourself or your friend, you can acquire nicer, more expensive materials.


Is jewelry making a senior activity for all seniors? Essentially yes, it can be.


jewelry making a senior activity


Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash