One Handed No Help Crafts

by Naomi

Easy watercolor bookmark

Easy watercolor bookmark

Easy watercolor bookmark

Painted clay pot

Pumpkin and gourd crafts

Apple with orange crafts

I am asking for ideas for my friend whose stroke left her with only one active hand and living in a nursing home.
Anything she can do in bed without help would be apprecdiated.



Ideas From Mary…at ElderOneStop

Hi Naomi — I did think of a few ideas that may help. Projects are easier to do if your friend can have a box, possibly with a handle, to keep supplies in. And keep nearby. Ready to grab any time. Also, a way to keep items in place so they don’t slide around. I am assuming your friend will also have a table that goes over the bed.

1. Easy Watercolors

The first idea is to do some loose, free form watercolor paintings. This type of painting is especially fun for those who feel they may not be that good at painting. To get the most vibrant colors, I recommend using watercolors in a tube. You can get these at a craft store. The results are more satisfying than using watercolors in a paint tin.

This project can mostly be done on one’s own. Your friend may need a little help with some parts of this project to get started. Get a tablet of good quality watercolor paper. A good kind is a size 9 x 12 tablet, and the quality would be 140 lbs, 100% cotton watercolor paper. Many watercolor tablets are glued on all sides in a sort of block. If so, your friend would need help separating the finished painting off the top of the tablet at the end. But a tablet is a good way to keep the paper in place. Or else you can also just clip regular watercolor paper onto a clipboard, taping it at the bottom with art tape or other removable tape.

Materials —
Watercolor tablet; OR regular watercolor paper and a clip board, and also removable tape. A variety of colors of paint (tube watercolors are most ideal), a palette (even a plastic picnic plate will work), a few sizes of brushes, a rag, a sturdy container of water, and maybe a drop cloth underneath it all. I also like to paint with a little piece of sponge!

The first picture on the top is a sample of a loose watercolor painting that has then been cut into a bookmark. These can also be laminated by somebody. Paintings can also be made into placemats. Someone can simply take the painting and make copies of it on a color copier. For instance, 4 copies if you want 4 placemats. Then they can be laminated. Nice for gifts too.

How To Paint — All you have to do is dampen the piece of paper with a very wet sponge, wet enough so the paint will easily flow around. Then take your choice of colors and squirt little blobs of paint onto the palette. (With watercolors, even after the paint may dry on the palette, they can be re-wet and easily used again). Dip a wet paintbrush into a color of paint and just swirl the paint onto the wet paper.

You can just make swirl designs, or a general flower shape for instance. Paint one color at a time to begin with. Some of the colors will flow into each other, and blend to make a new color. When the painting is dry, if you want to, you can always take a fine point black (or colored) marker and make line drawings on the painting too. Even doodle style is fun.

Watercolor Pencils — You can get colored pencils that, when dampened with a wet brush or sponge, spread and flow like watercolor. They’re really fun to play around with!

2. Painting Clay Pots

It’s very easy to paint clay pots with a piece of sponge. Simple designs can also be added over the background paint too, either with acrylics and a brush, or with markers. See photo above.Or instead, stick on some decals. We show all kinds of ideas on how to paint clay pots – – just go to this page: Painting Clay Pots.

3. Gourd Crafts

Being creative with gourds is lots of fun and can be easy. See photo above for an idea. If some of the materials are too difficult to use, like small googly eyes, just use a very large size. Just put a dab of craft glue, like the Tacky Glue brand, on to the gourd, and then stick on the googly eyes, or whatever. If anything needs to be cut, perhaps somebody can help your friend cut the pieces in advance so they’ll be ready for the project. See our page at Gourd Craft Ideas.

Gourds and squash can be found year round. It’s also fun to do this on small pumpkins (also check our page on Painting Pumpkins and Gourds. Remember that markers can be used instead of paint. Or using the 3D squirt “puffy paint” is very easy too, and adds a little dimension.

4. Drawing on Apples or Oranges

Using markers on large apples has a great look. Using a white opaque marker on a dark red apple see photo above is very striking. All kinds of designs can be drawn on apples. Black marker can also be used to decorate oranges. Your friend would just need to have a way to keep the apple or orange in place – on some kind of a stand or holder.

These are just a few ideas that I can think of. I certainly hope they help. You may find that several of the projects around our website can be modified and made easier. Good luck!

…Mary, from ElderOneStop

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