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Crafting is more than just a fun way to pass the time. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, creating handmade items is one way to lower your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. What’s more? In a separate study, researchers discovered that active agers who took up quilting or digital photography showed an improvement in memory function.

If you’re looking for a fun and affordable way to spend your free time, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve compiled a list of craft ideas for active those interested in expressing their creativity positively and healthily.

Pressed Flowers

To make pressed flowers, you’ll need a book, some newspaper (wax paper will also work), and a little patience. Once you have your materials, venture out to a spot where you have permission to pick flowers and select a few of your favorites from the group. Be careful not to damage the petals or other flowers during this step.

When you get home, open the book and line it with the newspaper. Then, gently arrange your flowers onto the newspaper and carefully close the book. To speed up the process, place something heavy on top of the book to press the flowers into the newspaper. You can also use a cookie sheet or another flat surface to weigh it down.

Once the flowers have flattened, you can place them in a frame, decorate greeting cards, create bookmarks, or use them in various craft projects.

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Creating scrapbooks is a fun way to preserve and share memories with friends and family. To get started, gather your favorite photos, documents, letters, and mementos—these will serve as the foundation of your scrapbook. Next, choose a format and a theme that will help guide you through the project. Popular themes include travel, birthday bashes, and holidays.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can begin building your scrapbook by adding design elements such as text blocks, borders, backgrounds, and stickers to your pages. You can add notes about each photo to help tell a story while creating the scrapbook.

When choosing your materials, consider the items you’ll be filling your pages. Acid-free cardstock is perfect for scrapbooking because it’s heavy and can withstand the weight of photos and other trinkets without binding.

Handmade Greeting Cards

Making handmade greeting cards is an easy and inexpensive way to express your creativity and make others smile. All you’ll need for this project is a supply of cardstock and scissors, creative flair, and a few words of encouragement!

First, select a theme for your greeting card. Something simple like “Happy Birthday” or “Get well soon” is a great place to start. Next, choose your color scheme and pick a design that complements the theme. Try using complementary colors in your design—for example, red and green for a Christmas-themed card. Once your design is in place, it’s time to get creative!

Decorative Mug

Decorative mugs are another affordable and easy-to-make craft. You’ll need a plain mug (you can easily find these at a dollar store), Sharpie paint oil-based markers or glass paint markers, masking tape, and a pencil to get started.

After gathering your supplies, wash and dry your mug and decide on a design. You can use a pencil and masking tape to create an outline or template on your mug. Once your outline is in place, you can begin decorating. Then, bake your mug at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Be sure to let it cool completely before touching or using the mug. Remember, these mugs should be hand-washed only.


Suncatchers are small, reflective crafts that can be made in various ways. They’re perfect for adding a little sparkle to any room with a window. You can create a DIY suncatcher from beads, clear window frames, mason jar lids, or glass stones, among other materials.

The easiest way to create a suncatcher is to glue rhinestones onto a transparent frame. You can also create your design by gluing beads onto clear plastic frames. By painting the suncatcher in a coordinating color, you can easily add it to any space.

Whether you spend the afternoon painting mugs or picking flowers, you’re never too old to start crafting. You can create something you’ll cherish for years with a bit of imagination and some art supplies.

The Active Aging Series is brought to you by our partner, Cambrian Homecare. Cambrian Homecare has been assisting individuals to stay independent in their homes for 27 years. Flexible experience you can trust, when the best place is still at home.