DIY Gifts for the Elderly

So, when it comes to the elderly ones, they either have what they need, or they are very particular about using the kind of product or service they are already familiar with.

DIY Gifts For The Elderly

Which makes it hard to pick a gift they’ll truly like! This is where DIY gifts come in— the time and efforts going into it will brighten up your special one’s day, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that your present is cherished and put to good use.

If you’re searching for thoughtful gifts that your loved one can find use for and enjoy, look no further-we’ve got you covered. Read the list of items we’ve compiled for you- these are guaranteed to improve your loved one’s quality of life and put a smile on their face!

This list has been categorized into two: Useful gifts and Keepsake gifts for your benefit.

 Utility Gifts For Elderly People

  1. Crochet Scarves With Pockets

A crochet scarf is an extremely versatile item and may be used in every season— as an accessory as well as a warm wrap for those chilly evenings on the porch. A knit scarf with a cute pocket means your loved one can now easily carry their phone or keys without hassle. There are many ways to crochet a scarf and a wide range of yarn colors to crochet from…so choose the colors most coveted by your loved one and start crocheting!

Select from over 15 quick and easy crochet style patterns, you can also create matching beanies or mittens to compliment the scarf.

Things you will need:

  • Yarn in different colours
  • Crochet needle

Knit Scarves

  1. Homemade Dish Towel

How about a dish towel with fun prints designed by the kids in the family?

A set of matching dish towels with hand painted figures serves as a useful, yet fun item that can be gifted to doting grandparents. Grand kids can create cute patterns on the towels with little hands and feet dipped in paint or you can embroider the names or initials of grandparents on to the towels.

Things you will need:

  • Absorbent cotton material in color of choice
  • Outdoor fabric paint
  • Embroidery thread

DIY Gifts for the Elderly

You might also read: Best Quilt for Elderly

  1. Handmade Cushion Covers

Most elderly people have a favorite spot in their abode, dedicated to reading, knitting, journaling, etc. This cozy spot will most likely feature a couple of comfy cushions and a warm throw as well. Brighten up your elderly loved one’s nook with cushion covers in their favorite hues. Hand painted floral patterns, simple embroidery, or even sewing on fancy buttons will amp up the visual appeal.

Things you will need:

  • Cotton/Linen fabric
  • Sewing materials
  • Buttons/Fabric flower cut outs
  • Glue

DIY Gifts for the Elderly

  1. Do It Yourself Painted Mugs

Alright, one cannot have too many coffee mugs! This will be a fun activity for those involved in the making, aside from being a useful item to gift. Paint sassy quotes or initials on these mugs and you’ve got a very personal, useful gift for your loved one.

After drawing/painting the mugs, bake them at 350-degree Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes and set aside for 72 hours.

Things you will need:

  • Coffee mug (You can get it from any dollar store)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sharpie markers (oil-based paint markers)
  • Sheet pan and
  • Oven

DIY Gifts for the Elderly

  1. Handmade Bibs

Many seniors struggle with hand tremors and weakness in arms, and mealtimes often end up in stained dresses and shirts. A well-made bib can solve the problem and a handmade bib in their favourite color adorned with bright flower cut outs or fancy buttons embellished with glue will make your loved one happy and their clothes stain-free.

Things you will need:

  • Terry cotton cloth
  • Velcro
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric flower cut outs
  1. Handmade Address Book

Create a DIY Address book that your loved one can use to organize names and numbers of their friends, family, and emergency contacts. Make use of the free, printable contact book forms on the internet to create a personalized gift. You could sneak in a few pictures of close family and friends randomly adjacent to the corresponding contact info to make it more enjoyable!

DIY Memory Album Scrapbook

7. DIY Fuzzy Socks

Many elderly people in nursing homes find it difficult to keep their hands and feet warm during the harsh winter months. Simple, DIY socks from an up-cycled old sweater would be an excellent gift that will come in useful to your beloved elderly one.

Things you will need:

  • Old sweater
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors

-Cut off the arms of the sweater, remember to keep it as long as you can make them(you can make it shorter by rolling down the socks while you’re wearing them).

-Turn the socks inside out.

-Sew the socks on the open end, in a slight zigzag pattern in a gentle arch, resembling the line of toes.

-Trim away the excess thread, cutting close to the zigzag stitches made earlier. Exercise caution; you do not want to unravel the stitches while cutting away the excess thread.

8. Upcycled Sweater Bag

So, we just used an old sweater sleeves to craft the perfect pair of fuzzy socks for your loved one. How about we turn the remaining of the sweater into a useful tote bag that your parent/grandparent can carry around easily?

As a really easy DIY gift that doesn’t take much time, up-cycled sweaters crafted into socks and totes make for fabulous presents.

Things you will need:

  • Old sweater
  • Cloth belt/cord/woven ribbons (to serve as handles for the bag)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine

-Before starting to work on the tote bag, wash your sweater on the highest temperature wash setting. This allows the material to take on a softer texture, perfect for a shopping bag.

-The bottom body part of the sweater serves as the body of the bag,so cut off the top part and the sleeves (if any), and set aside the top part of the sweater.

-Sew along the bottom part of the sweater, to make the base of the bag. Add a pocket from the neckline of the material and sew it on.

-Hem along the top of the sweater bag to create a finished look.

-Sew on handles with woven ribbons, or an unused belt. An unused belt works great as the user can adjust the length of the straps easily.

Keepsake Gifts For Elderly People

  1. Memory Album Scrapbook

There’s nothing as treasured as a photo album featuring warm, memorable moments with family and friends. Most elderly people covet physical albums that they can rifle through time and again, more than the digital archives in use today. Also, these are easy to make and an entertaining past-time for those involved in the creation process.

Custom photo books for senior adults with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, including names and relationship info of family and friends make for a wonderful gift…group them by topics- like Trip to the Beach, Graduation, Wedding, etc.…it can get them reminiscing and reliving the proud, tender moments of life.

Things you will need:

  • Album (D-ring, Post bound, Strap hinge)
  • Collection of photos
  • Colored paper and embellishments
  • Waterproof colored pens
  • Scissors and
  • Glue

DIY Gifts for the Elderly

  1. Custom Photo Calendar

Just like a photo scrapbook, a photo calendar filled with snapshots from the past will bring a smile on your loved one’s face every time they glance at it! Simply put together a collection of photos- from family get-togethers  to endearing candid shots and print them out on photo papers. Use matte finish eggshell color paper to achieve a classy look and finish.

Things you will need:

  • Wood Clipboard (with brass clip preferred)
  • Printed Calendar set (available online)
  • Matte photo paper
  1. Letter Book Set

Rich with sentiment, a letter book containing 12 carefully worded letters and a card for each month of the year would be a precious item to gift your elderly one. Senior adults cherish the feeling of being remembered and valued, and a personal, handwritten letter book speaks volumes about your feelings towards them.

Things you will need

  • 3 Ring binder
  • 3 Ring binder paper (loose)
  • Pens, glitter pens, and colored markers
  • 12 Cards marking special occasions

4. Custom Photo Blanket

Keeping your loved one warm and cozy has never been so much fun before! With a customized photo blanket, you can create a lovely, personalized gift that will be cherished by your elderly parent or grandparent.

Although the whole creation will require a bit of patience and costs a little higher than any of the DIY gifts we have compiled for you so far, the results are worth the money and effort!

Things you will need:

  • High resolution photos of family and close friends
  • Photo blanket- You can order these online. A variety of options from fleece to woven are available online
  • Iron on transfer paper
  • Ink jet printer- print directly on special purpose iron-on transfer paper which you can use to print on the blanket
  • Fabric- Print directly onto the squares of fabric
  • Sewing materials- To sew on the fabric squares to the photo blanket, creating a mosaic or collage quilt

There are limitless possibilities to explore when it comes to DIY gifts for those special people in your life. They can brighten up your neighborhood nursing home or can be gifted to your grandparents on their special day.

About Aswathy Suresh

Aswathy Suresh is a blogger and a writer based out of Ontario, Canada. As a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200 Yoga Alliance certified), she is an avid yoga enthusiast. She has a penchant for writing about health and wellness. There are 2 kinds of book nerds in the world—the ones who dive into the pages right away, and the ones who savor the scent of a book before reading it. Aswathy certainly belongs to the latter category. In her spare time, if you will not find her practicing Yoga, you will find her settled into her favorite corner, nose in her book, and oblivious to the whole wide world!