Creating art is an essential part of human expression, and it also contributes to our shared experience. Through music, dance, tales, and many other forms of art, we can explore our inner world of thoughts and emotions and make sense of the world around us.
However, a lot of people put aside art marking or art appreciation for the demands of the working world. But did you know that arts and crafts, particularly for the elderly, have considerable psychological and physical benefits? Based on research, older adults who participate in cultural programs visit the doctor less, have less risk of falls, require reduced prescription medications, and feel happier and more socially connected.
Therefore, if you are taking care of senior loved ones and you want to introduce something new to them, why not choose to let them work on some arts and crafts? One of the best examples that they can create is pinecone crafts. Pinecones can be used to make all sorts of crafts at home, and pinecone crafts are perfect for seniors during the fall season. They will be able to create home decorations, gifts, centerpieces, giveaways, and more. To provide you with more ideas, we are giving you a list of easy pinecone crafts for seniors and the elderly.
Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Seniors
Before we provide you with the list of pinecone crafts for seniors, let us first learn about the benefits that they could get from this type of activity. The advantages of arts and crafts for senior citizens are rather striking. They have positive effects on everyone, no matter the age, but they are particularly good for seniors for several reasons, including mental and physical health, boosting self-esteem, and motor skills. To further learn more about these, below are the different benefits of arts and crafts for seniors:
Improve Mental Health
Seniors who no longer work may face challenges like isolation, memory loss, and other illness that may lead to anxiety and depression. But based on a study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, taking part in craft activities has shown a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. Since arts and crafts may reduce stress, it can, in turn, include improving the mood, reducing the risk of depression, and giving seniors a sense of achievement.
Socialize and Form New Friendships
Arts and crafts can also provide a way for seniors to meet others, especially for those who are no longer able to take part in more physical activities. Art activities for seniors are commonly held in groups, giving them lots of opportunities to socialize and meet new friends. It is a great way to give seniors a more active social life when they are facing loneliness and isolation because of mobility issues.
Provide a Sense of Purpose
Retiring from a long career may have a lot of positive aspects. However, it also comes with many challenges. Waking up in the morning and preparing for work can provide an individual a sense of purpose, but with retirement, it is suddenly gone. This may lead to feeling lost and wondering what your purpose now is. Therefore, taking part in creative activities, such as making pinecone crafts, can open the door to learning new skills and providing a sense of accomplishment to seniors once they complete an art project.
Improve Physical Health
Craft activities like pinecone crafts not only improve a senior’s sense of identity but also improve physical health. According to previous studies, craft activities may lead to a high overall rating of physical health, fewer doctor visits, and fewer other health issues.
Boost Self Confidence
When seniors can no longer take part in the outdoor activities that they once loved, they might deal with a decline in their physical and cognitive ability and suffer from a loss of self-confidence. But crafts activities may help them find something that they can create and complete. These types of activities may help them feel like they can still achieve something or complete something, which gives them a boost of self-confidence.
Stimulate and Improve Fine Motor Skills
One of the great benefits that seniors may get from art activities is the improvement of their fine motor skills. It is one way of exercise training without feeling like they are actually exercising. Craft projects require the use of hands and some degree of precision. This may also help strengthen their hands and improve circulation.
Help Improve Brain Stimulation
Improving brain health is very important for seniors. Craft projects may help keep their brain “thinking” as they explore ideas. An active brain is healthier and can help slow the development of cognitive impairment. It is like exercise training for the brain.
Easy Pinecone Crafts That Seniors Will Enjoy
If your senior loved one loves to DIY just about everything, then making some pinecone crafts may get their heart aflutter. These crafts are cute and clever, and seniors may also bond with their family members to forage for pinecones before putting them together. This makes it a great fall activity for everyone. But you can also pick up some pinecones from craft stores.
To give you some ideas on what to make out of pinecones, below are some easy pinecone crafts that seniors and the elderly will enjoy:
Seniors can make an angel out of pinecones and other natural materials. A pinecone angel can be set on rustic wooden napkin holders and other decorative items at home. Below are the things that you need to make a pinecone angel:
- Tall pinecone
- 2 leaves for wings (can be artificial leaves)
- Raffia or ribbon for the bow
- Small bunch of moss for the hair
- Acorn with cap for the head
- Circlet of ribbon
- Glue gun or craft glue
- Black fine-tip marker
Below are the steps that you can follow to make a pinecone angel:
- Break off the top tip of the pinecone to have a more even area where you will attach the acorn head.
- For the head, draw a simple marker face on the acorn. Since the acorn has a cap on its head, you can simply glue a small bunch of moss hair on the head around the cap. On the top, the ribbon circle should be glued on as a halo. Set it aside for a few minutes.
- You will use the leaves for the wings. If you choose to use real leaves, you need to iron them between wax paper and newspaper to preserve them. The wings can be tucked into the grooves of the pinecone and put in place with a few dabs of glue.
- Glue the acorn head onto the top of the pinecone.
- Create a bow using raffia or ribbon and glue it to the front of the angel. After that, place it on its stand.
It can be nice to create several sizes of pinecone angels and display them in a group. They can be used as centerpieces or simply displayed on the shelf.
A fairy made out of pinecone can add some fun and delight wherever it is displayed. It is also very easy to make. Seniors may spend a bit of their time for a walk outdoors during the fall season. While doing this, they could collect pinecones, twigs, colored leaves, and other materials. Below are what you will need to create a pinecone fairy:
- Roundish-shaped pinecone
- 2 leaves for wings
- Large acorn or wooden bead for the head
- Small bunch of moss for the hair
- 2 twigs or dried plants for the legs and feet
- Black and red fine-tip markers
- Glue gun or craft glue
Below are the instructions on how to make a pinecone fairy:
- Cut off the top tip of the pinecone to allow the head to sit there securely.
- Cut the sticks or dried plants to the length that you want and glue them onto the bottom of the pinecone so it will sit on the table securely. They may also fit into the grooves of the pinecones.
- The leaves may also fit into the grooves in the back of the body as wings. Attach them using a dab of glue.
- Using the markers, make a smiling face on the acorn or bead.
- For the hair, glue a small bunch of moss to the top of the head.
- Glue the head to the top of the pinecone, and you have a fairy.
Pinecone Santa or Elf
It is also fun to do some pinecone Santa or elf as they are great displays, especially during the holiday season. Below are the materials you need to create a pinecone Santa or elf:
- Any shape or size of pinecone
- Googly eyes
- Red pom-pom for the nose (or bead)
- 2 to 3 cotton balls or fake spider web
- Toilet tissue or paper towel tube
- Small Santa hat
- Black paper and red paper
- Colorful holiday paper
- Bells for shoe toes (can be beads or buttons)
- Glue gun or craft glue
Below are the instructions to make a pinecone Santa or elf:
- Assemble the pinecone head by gluing on the eyes and nose. For the beard, you can stretch out some face spider webs or cotton balls. Glue it on and set it aside to dry.
- Measure and cut a length of wrapping paper. Spread a thin line of glue around the edges of the cardboard tube and wrap it around the paper to glue it in place.
- For the shoes, cut a simple oval shape from the black paper. Then, glue a small bell onto each toe. You can also put a line of glue along the bottom rim of the tube where it will touch the shoes to glue it in place.
- For the hat, you can use a small hat that can be bought from craft stores. You can also make one out of red paper. Cut a circle, make a slit, form it into a cone and glue the edges. Decorate the bottom part with cotton or ribbon.
- Put together the head, body, and hat, and you have a pinecone Santa or elf. You can make a few of these and line them up on a table, serving area, or mantle. They are also great centerpieces.
A pinecone topiary is a wonderful, simple craft that seniors may also create. While this project is easy to do, it may take some time, depending on how big you want to make. Pinecone topiaries can be placed in a coffee table bowl or hung on a garland. Below are the materials needed to make a pinecone topiary:
- Ornaments or Styrofoam balls
- Hot glue gun
- Greenery (leaves/petals)
Below are the instructions on how to make a pinecone topiary:
- Hot glue the pinecones onto the ornament by adding a line of glue. Start at the top and work your way down until the ornament is fully covered.
- This is optional, but you can add some gold paint or sprinkle glitter over the pinecones for a bit of metallic sparkle.
- Add a ribbon for decoration and a ribbon to hang on a tree or on some garland using more hot glue.
- Trim the ribbon ends and ensure they are equal in length. After that, you now have a pinecone topiary.
Since this craft is made using hot glue, it may not hold up in the elements outdoors and is intended for indoor use only.
Homemade wreaths can be used as decoration for the front door. They are also fun to make using pinecones. Below are the needed supplies in order to make one:
- Wire hanger
- Floral wire
Below are the instructions you can follow to create a pinecone wreath:
- Bend the bottom of the hanger into a circular shape. This will be the form of your wreath. A pair of pliers can be used to curve the wire easily.
- Cut a piece of floral wire about eight inches long. Then, wrap the wire around a pinecone and tuck it inside the cavities. Twist both ends of the wire together and secure it tightly around the pinecone.
- Hold the pinecone against the hanger and wrap the remaining wire around the hanger to secure the pinecone onto the wreath.
- Add the pinecones continuously until the whole wreath is full. Keep the pinecones close together. The hanger should not be seen in the back. After that, you are done, and you now have a pinecone wreath that you can use to decorate your door.
These are some of the easy pinecone crafts for seniors and the elderly that we’ve found, which are worth a try. But aside from these, there are many more that you can discover. In fact, seniors themselves may think of their own great crafts and decorative pieces to make out of pinecones. Pinecone crafting is surely one of the fun and interesting activities that seniors can try to pass the time, improve their memory, have fun, and socialize with others. We hope this post helped you learn more about great pinecone crafts for seniors.
 Broadview Senior Living, E. (2021, September 30). Arts & Crafts positive effects in seniors. Broadview. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://broadviewseniorliving.org/blog/positive-effects-art-seniors/
 Siun, L. (2022, September 22). 9 benefits of Arts and crafts for seniors. Loaids. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://loaids.com/benefits-of-arts-crafts-for-seniors/
 Dulgarian, S. (2021, December 14). Pinecone topiary. Somewhat Simple. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.somewhatsimple.com/pine-cone-topiary/
 Nye, J. (2022, January 27). DIY pinecone wreath. The Inspiration Board. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://theinspirationboard.com/diy-pinecone-wreath/