How can I decorate a nursing home?


I need lots of one-person, minimal material projects for people in nursing homes, rehab centers, and hospital rooms where they are alone, bored but not able to participate in group crafttimes. My physical therapy was always during craft time. This photo shows what I came up with in my room, other than coloring. I had two tp rolls, one McD’s coffee cup, two markers, one roll of clear tape, about 40 thick cotton balls, a medicine cup, a few sheets of toilet paper,and a few inches of ribbon from the activities director. What are more projects I can do? Thank you!

q what are ideas for nursing home decorations

Angel, Santa, and a strange Snowman.

  12 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 28, 2018

    Your projects may be restricted by the nursing home, due to flammability issues and vapors, if ignited.

    Best to check with the Fire Marshal in that facility, before proceeding.

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 28, 2018

      No problem with that. Balloons and cards and coloring sheets and other flammable materials are not restricted. But thank you for your concern. ☺️

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 28, 2018

    These are things my mother in law has enjoyed:

    cookie decorating

    felt or foam art (snowman, heart, flag, cross, flowers)

    decorating solo cups

    door hangers


    She gives them to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren which gives her double the joy - making & giving.

    You might also consider googling kids crafts. I would think that would work for seniors as well.

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

      Yes! Most of the people in this rehab/nursing home do not have cell phones or internet access, but some of us do. The Activities Director and her Assistant work very hard to cover all the days of the week with several activities a day. But the days and nights can be long and lonely, especially for those who are still active mentally but have other limitations. Thank you so much for your ideas. ☺️

  • Sandy Slade Sandy Slade on Nov 29, 2018

    Hi , If you have any free sites you could ask for old glass candle holders individual glass pudding dishes you know the type and give them foilage ribbon and tinsel etc and ask them to decorate them for the middle of the tables.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

      Excellent idea. Thanks! And I could clean out and organize my Art Room at home and I could cover a whole wing in the Center. Opens up a whole new world of creativity. ☺️

  • Sal3170064 Sal3170064 on Nov 29, 2018

    I make simple wreaths out of garbage bags or scraps of fabric. You need a wire clothes hanger, this is shaped into a round. Then cut up strips of garbage bags or scraps of fabric approximately 15cm×4cm, then tie on to wire hanger. No need to knot. Bunch until you can get no more on.

    You can also do the same with smaller pieces of fabric, net or ribbon tied to curtain rings.

    Below are some I made.

    First and last photo below are curtain rings.

    Third picture is a heart wreath.

    Second the rag wreath, fourth the garbage bags.

    These are simple to do, just one tie many times.

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

      Thank you! Patients are allowed to decorate their doors and windows, hanging with easy to remove hangers. Making a wreath out of nothing—there is always something! Such a good idea. ☺️

  • Wendy Wendy on Nov 29, 2018

    Hi Jewell, things like bookmarks, ornaments, and handmade stationary are some ideas. Check out these tutorials:

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

    Wendy, thanks for jumping in with ideas and illustrations and citations. I’m really taking this seriously now. I may accept it as a personal challenge. ☺️

  • KSKM KSKM on Nov 29, 2018

    Window and mirror clings are easy and can be really pretty (think snowflakes, stars). My mother used to really enjoy them!

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

      KSKM, I love window clings myself. And it’s amazing how many are available at Dollar Tree and other places for $1 and up. Many sheets have enough clings to share. I won’t forget this. ☺️

  • Sarah Barganier Sarah Barganier on Nov 29, 2018

    I had an older friend/distant relative that would cut up old greeting cards and use to make new cards on heavy paper.

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

      Yes, many times patients want to give a birthday or thank you note. Having a picture from another card gets the ball rolling. I turn envelops inside out to make new envelopes for homemade cards. Thank you. ☺️

  • Marc Erick Marc Erick on Nov 29, 2018

    Hi! For a simple crafting idea that can also be used for decorating the nursing home, I made these peppermint candies out of paper plates, ribbon or twist ties and cello wrap. Hope you like!

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Nov 29, 2018

    The week of and after Christmas is the time to load up on seasonal plates and napkins, but there are three months of Winter to follow until Spring. Even in Texas, snowflakes and snowmen are the symbols for Winter, even if we don’t get snow that Winter. Time to watch for sales, and on Saran type wrap, too. ☺️

  • ☘️ TxBella ☘️ TxBella on Dec 01, 2018

    Merry Christmas Jewell

    What a fun “Job” you have! How about creating some snowmen with card stock or cardboard and cotton balls.Then perhaps some mittens or little gloves one could decorate with ribbon and maybe a sprig or two of maybe candy canes or poinsettias to hang on their doors.

    Maybe with their names on them.

    Or play a game and have them write some else’s name on them then guess who made it. ( inside the mitten would be the answer)

    maybe no peeking until Christmas lol

    Cut out those old Christmas cards and add glitter and ribbon .

    How about some paper mache ornaments. They could be small so your “ peeps” wouldn’t be impatient.

    Decorate candy canes. Make some mistletoe . Santa hats with their names on them. ( if you want your people to make them take two pieces of felt and some shoe strings dyed red and they can “ sew them “ in some holes you prepared. That’s a some prep time on you though.) Same with stockings.

    or hit the dollar tree!

    Glue large beads together with the small ones and make caterpillars.

    Or cut toilet paper rolls into “ slices”and you can create butterflies 🦋

    I hope some of these ideas help

    Good Luck 🍀

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 01, 2018

    Dear Ireland 🍀, these are all excellent ideas. I am not the activities director and my health would not allow me to be, but I can do anything (safe) that I like to do to assist. I’m getting inspired for the rest of the year. Marry Christmas! ☺️

    • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Jun 07, 2021

      2018! How the time flies. I should have said Merry Christmas. Now I’ll say Happy Summer!