8 Fun Creative Halloween Craft Ideas for Seniors and the Elderly

With Halloween approaching, it's the perfect time to plan fun craft activities with your loved ones. Here are some fun, creative Halloween craft ideas for seniors and the elderly for Halloween parties or just to pass some time.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
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Halloween Craft Ideas for Seniors
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Halloween crafts for seniors should be simple and easy yet entertaining. The best craft ideas for seniors and caregivers should be easy to understand and do not use tiny pieces to avoid accidents and inconveniences.

From jack o’ lantern pumpkins to Halloween door hangers, these Halloween crafts will surely get you in the spirit for a spooky and fun Halloween that any older adult will enjoy.

Fun and Creative Halloween Crafts for Seniors

So grab your stash of your art and craft materials and get ready to make fun Halloween crafts for seniors and caregivers.

1. Pumpkins and Jack O’ Lanterns

Halloween can’t be complete without pumpkins and jack o’ lanterns decorated around your home. 

Did you know that the tradition of making jack o’ lanterns originated in Ireland to ward off evil spirits? Over a century ago, people would carve pumpkins, turnips, gourds, and even potatoes!

This is a fun crafting activity that you and your parents or grandparents will enjoy.

Materials:

  • Carving pumpkin
  • Carving knife

Instructions:

Step 1: Choose a suitable pumpkin. We recommend Autumn Gold, Wolf, and Gold Rush varieties of pumpkins, although stores will label these as “carving pumpkins.” Check for mushy spots and select a pumpkin that has a sturdy stem.

Step 2: Choose a design. You can create your own pumpkin face or use a stencil. This step is where you can show your creativity.

Step 3: Cut off the top of the pumpkin and clean out all the guts and seeds inside. Then, trace your chosen design onto the side of the pumpkin.

Step 4: The final step is carving the pumpkin. Carve out the face of you traced on the pumpkin. Once you are finished, put a candle inside the pumpkin and bring it to life.

If knives and carvers cause you concern, there are several safer pumpkin carving tools available (Amazon).

2. No-Carve Pumpkins

Depending on the age and health of our seniors, it may be hard for them to carve out the pumpkins, especially if they have illnesses like dementia. To avoid that, we can make no-carve pumpkins instead.

Materials:

  • Pumpkin
  • Markers or fabric paint
  • Glue and glitters (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1: Just like in making a jack o’ lantern, you will need to pick a pumpkin that you think will best suit this craft. Do not forget to enjoy your time with your grandparents or seniors when picking out a pumpkin together.

Step 2: Get your markers or fabric paint and decorate your pumpkin. You can draw faces on the side of your pumpkins, but you can add whatever decoration you have in mind. There are no strict rules in this step.

Step 3: Optionally, you can use glue and glitter around the pumpkin to make it sparkly and fabulous.

Halloween craft Ideas for seniors shirt sleeve pumpkin
This no-sew Halloween craft is ideal for the safety of seniors.

3. No-Sew Shirt Sleeve Pumpkin

If you do not want to bother buying a pumpkin for Halloween, you can make this adorable easy-to-make No-Sew Shirt Sleeve Pumpkin instead.

This Halloween craft is made using a long-sleeved shirt, with some twine and artificial leaves — or real leaves. It’s an excellent Halloween pumpkin craft you can display in your living room.

And since it’s a no-sew craft, you will not have to worry about your seniors getting poked or stuck by needles.

Materials:

  • An old long-sleeved shirt (preferably fall colors)
  • Twine
  • Rubber bands
  • Pillow stuffing
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencils

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut out a section from the sleeve of the old long-sleeved shirt. One end should be wider than the other.

Step 2: Turn the cut-out section inside out. Then, get six strands of twine slightly longer than the sleeve section. Tie the twine strands together with a knot then insert the string. This is so the knot sticks out from the wider end of the sleeve. Then, secure it with a rubber band.

Step 3: Turn the sleeve portion right side out. The longer twine sections will now be visible, and the knot will be inside.

Step 4: Stuff the sleeve with the pillow stuffings until the inside is full. Secure the top with another rubber band, closing the pumpkin.

Step 5: Pull the twine strands around the pumpkin, spacing them as much as possible. At the opposite end of the pumpkin, secure the twine strands with a rubber band. 

Step 6: Adjust your pumpkin’s shape. Tug each twine strand until you achieve a desirable pumpkin shape. Then, tie two of them at a time. Pulling up the sleeve ends is optional to smoothen the pumpkin shape.

Step 7: It’s time to make the stem. Using a length of a different twine, tie it into a knot around the rubber band at the top of the pumpkin — leaving a few inches of twine at the end.

Step 8: Wrap the twine around the fabric. Rewind the twine down, then tie a knot with the opposite end.

Step 9: Finally, coat the twine stems with glue to harden their shape.

RELATED: Easy and Creative Halloween Costumes for Older Adults

4. Mummy Candy Canes

Adorable mummy candy cans are the perfect treat for little trick-or-treaters visiting your house on Halloween night.

A quick reminder before starting this craft: Since this project requires pliers, the caregiver should adequately prepare the cans for seniors before starting.

Also, double-check the cans for metal bits sticking out. When it’s time for spray painting, do it in a well-ventilated area far away from seniors.

Materials:

  • Clean, empty tin can
  • Black spray paint (we recommend semi-gloss or matte)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Googly eyes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pliers

Instructions:

Step 1: Clean and dry the empty cans. Then, using a pair of pliers, press down any stray pieces of metal around the inside rim of the can. 

Step 2: Cover the outside of the can with a coat of black spray paint.

Step 3: Cut a 5-foot length of cheesecloth. Fold it over two times.

Step 4: Apply hot glue using the hot glue gun to one end of the cheesecloth, then press it against the tin can’s back side. 

Step 5: To create the mummy’s bottom lip, pull down on the cheesecloth and wrap it around the bottom of the can. Then, use hot glue to hold it in place.

Step 6: Continue wrapping the fabric from bottom to top around the tin can, then back to the bottom. Apply hot glue to secure the fabric’s loose end on the can’s back.

Step 7: Pull the cheesecloth apart where the eyes are supposed to go when putting the googly eyes. Attach the eyes with hot glue.

Step 8: To create a safer edge around the rim of the can, fold a bit of fabric over the rim and secure it with hot glue.

Step 9: Finally, fill the mummy can with candy. You can distribute it during Halloween parties or give it to trick-or-treaters.

5. Halloween Character Cup Decorations

Halloween Character Cups can be a fun and easy little craft you and your senior can make this Halloween. You can create various adorable or spooky characters — monsters, aliens, or vampires using combinations of cups and art materials.

Materials:

  • Plastic cups (in brown, green, black, and orange)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Construction paper or jack-o-lantern stickers
  • Glue
  • Optional: acrylic craft paint (if you can’t find the colors you need, you can paint your cups)

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your cups and, If needed, paint your cups the appropriate color for your character.

Step 2: Glue a pair of googly eyes on your cup. You can also use more googly eyes depending on the type of character you are making.

Step 3: Use construction paper or stickers to make more details on the character’s face.

Step 4: Finally, add the pipe cleaner to make the limbs of your character cup.

Halloween craft Ideas for seniors pumpkin pies
Enjoy baking a delicious pumpkin pie with your senior loved ones.

6. Baking Pumpkin Pies

Who doesn’t like baking pumpkin pies during Halloween? The aroma of a delicious pumpkin pie wafting through the corners of the house is an experience that is not easy to forget. You can enjoy the process with your senior parents or grandparents.

To make the activity safer for a parent with dementia, we recommend that you handle the baking portion of the recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Two large eggs
  • One teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • One 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C.

Step 2: Whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs, condensed milk, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl until it becomes smooth and homogenous.

Step 3: Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.

Step 4: Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes.

Step 6: Let the pumpkin pie cool, then serve.

7. Putting Together Treat Bags

Trick-or-treaters ringing the doorbell can be highly overwhelming for seniors with dementia. However, if your loved one still wants to do something nice for the children, then putting together treat bags can be a fun craft they can do with you this Halloween.

Place candies and toys in small paper bags, then place the bags in a large bowl on the porch. This will help minimize children ringing the doorbell. 

8. Lacy Candle

If you want to make an elegant Halloween craft, making lacy candles is a good choice — using only a bit of black lace and a candle. You can even use a flameless battery-type candle, a safer alternative for the elderly. These candles can also serve as lovely gifts you can give to loved ones.

Materials:

  • Flameless battery-type candles or no-drip pillar candle
  • Black lace
  • Craft glue
  • Black candle holder
  • Water-based craft varnish (optional)
  • Flat paintbrush (for varnish, if using)

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut your piece of lace to size so it will fit and wrap around the candle tightly — with a slight ½-inch overlap at the back.

Step 2: Make small dots of glue all around the edges of the lace, even on the overlaps. Then, press them firmly in place. Please dry the glue before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: After drying, you can optionally brush a coat of water-based craft varnish over all the lace. The varnish ensures that the lace will stay nice and flat in place. Dry the varnish thoroughly before putting your candle on the candle holder. You can also put it in a candle ring or Halloween garland as another option.

RELATED: Fun and Spooky Halloween Games for Seniors

Final Words

Halloween allows us to connect with our senior loved ones through making different crafts and activities. This will help them feel more loved and let them kill extra time.

While making these crafts are fun, you should always prioritize the senior’s health over everything else. Please ensure the area is safe and secure while avoiding giving them dangerous tasks that might lead to accidents.

Be especially careful around our elderly with dementia — always prioritize their comfort.

Have fun making these craft ideas!

Keep Reading About Halloween for Seniors

Halloween Games and Activities for Seniors
15 Fun Halloween Games and Activities for Seniors and the Elderly
Best Halloween Gifts for Seniors
15 Best Halloween Gifts for Seniors (Tips and Recommendations)
Halloween Costume Ideas for Seniors
21 Halloween Costumes for Seniors & the Elderly (DIY & Wheelchair Options Too!)
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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