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10 Fun Mardi Gras Crafts & Activities for elderly

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If you’re looking for some really fun Mardi Gras crafts for seniors, you’re in the right place!

Below, you’ll find everything from festive beads to make ahead of time to activities to do during a Fat Tuesday party!

In other words, everything you need to create the ultimate merrymaking party for your favorite senior citizens!

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Check More: Easy Craft Ideas for the Elderly

1. Mardi Gras Bead Strings

If there is one thing that never gets skipped during the Mardi Gras parade, it’s the beads. So why not string some beads just in time for Fat Tuesday? 

Materials Needed and Tips

  • an assortment of colorful beads with holes that are large enough  to string
  • crochet or knitting yarn (or any kind of string, really)
  • PVC glue

Make sure to use beads that are large enough for arthritic hands to work with and brightly colored for the seniors to see.

Put a bit of PVC glue on one end to lightly coat the tip of the string. Allow it to dry. This helps stiffen the string, making it easier for them to string the beads into the thread.

Benefits of Bead Stringing

Helps in improving fine motor skills [1].
Helps in improving cognitive function.
Helps relieve stress.

Also Check: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts for Seniors

2. Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask

After beads, masks are a quintessential part of the Fat Tuesday celebration. Having your seniors decorate their own masks is a fun way to bring out their creativity!

Decorate them using any kind of art material and let those creative juices come out! Literally, anything goes, but here are some basic instructions:

ALSO READ: Sit Down Games for Senior Citizens

Materials Needed

  • Precut eyemasks which can be purchased online OR you can download and print a mask template here. [4]
  • Card stock if you are planning to make the eyemask yourself
  • Art materials like glitter, paints, beads, colored foil, colored paper, etc.
  • Glue gun (optional) for sticking art materials onto the mask.

If your favorite senior wears glasses, check out the tutorial below for easy ways to modify a Mardi Gras mask for them:

Looks Exciting! Maybe You Can Use It As A Mother’s Day Craft For Grandmother To Spice Up The Celebration!

3. Mardi Gras Wreath Made from Masks

If you have enough masks made, you can turn them into a really fun Mardi Gras wreath that can be used as decor for the celebrations too!

All you have to prepare is the wireframe and additional materials for sprucing up that wreath. Check this video out to get some ideas for a Mardi Gras wreath.

4. Mardi Gras Centerpieces

Another way to get creative is to create centerpieces which you can use as decor using simple bottles or jars.

Simply paint the bottles using Mardi Gras colors [2] and decorate them using different art materials.

One good idea is to decorate them with fleur-de-lis cardboard cutouts to give those bottles that extra mardi gras feel!

Materials Needed

  • bottles of different shapes and height
  • acrylic paint in mardi gras colors
  • art materials

I also love the idea of making a feather centerpiece, like this one:

5. Mardi Gras Pins

This pin idea is a fun and simple way to add a little Mardi Gras pizzazz to your senior’s party outfit! Like the other crafts above, you can customize it any way you want.

Use lace for a vintage vibe, thin ribbon for something elegant, or thicker ribbons in Fat Tuesday colors for a big splash.

Materials Needed

  • lace or ribbon in Mardi Gras colors
  • glue
  • felt
  • pin

How to Make It

  • Cut a piece of felt into a 3″ circle size.
  • Cut the lace to around 16″ in length. Glue one end of the lace onto the felt circle.
  • Slowly add glue onto the felt and stick the lace onto the felt circle while slowly scrunching it up to form layers of ruffles.
  • Stick a pin to the backside of the felt circle so it can be used as part of your senior’s mardi gras get-up.

Check out this tutorial [3] on making lace ruffle pins to give you a better picture, or the video below for another version:

6. French Vanilla Festive Cupcakes

For seniors who really aren’t into crafting but still want to get in on the fun, you can never go wrong with a baking activity!

Bake some cupcakes from scratch using this recipe, or use ready-to-mix ones. Then, grab some edible glitter, sprinkles, or other fun cupcake toppers in Mardi Gras colors and themes!

Watch this video for an actual tutorial:

7. Paper Plate Tambourine

For seniors with dementia, a paper plate tambourine is a great way to go! They can make it as simple or detailed as they’d like, there’s no wrong way to do it.

Materials Needed

  • paper plates
  • beads (for inside)
  • paint, crayons, stickers or anything else you want to use for the outside
  • stapler

Simply cut 1″ snips around the edge of a paper plate. Make sure they are evenly spaced. Insert mardi gras beads into the cuts created. Use a stapler to secure the inserted beads into place.

More detailed instruction can be found here [5] or in the video below:

8. Coffee Can Drum

Another noisemaker that you can make is a drum using an empty coffee can. You can use either the coffee can lid or construction paper as a cover for the drum.

Materials Needed

  • empty coffee can (or any other can with a lid)
  • art materials
  • construction paper (optional)
  • masking paper (optional)

Just secure the construction paper using masking tape. Paint and decorate them using different art materials and pound them away during your Mardi Gras party.

Check out the video below for a simple tutorial:

9. Flameless Glitter Votives

Use battery-operated candles and place them inside small glass containers filled with sequins, glitter, and confetti in Fat Tuesday colors. They’ll definitely be perfect as table decor for your party!

Materials Needed

  • battery-operated candles
  • small glass containers
  • art materials like sequins, confetti and glitter

Check out the video below for more tablescape ideas:

10. Non-alcoholic Raspberry Margaritas

What’s Mardi Gras without the drinks, right? While I wouldn’t recommend serving up alcoholic drinks at your senior center’s Fat Tuesday party, nearly every single cocktail has a mocktail version.

You could challenge all of those former mixologists to a mocktail competition to see who can come up with the most unique flavors, or just mix up a batch of these delicious raspberry margarita mocktails.

Ingredients

  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries
  • Stevia, or any sweetener of your choice
  • vanilla (optional)
  • Sugar or salt for the rim (optional)

Not a fan of raspberry? I love these strawberry virgin margaritas myself:

FAQs

What are the benefits of craftmaking for seniors?

senior man sewing some easy crafts for seniors with dementia

Craftmaking can be a form of therapy for many seniors. It helps relieve stress and helps in stimulating them mentally.
It also can be a form of socialization for them, especially when done in groups. Any form of craft activity can help in having them lead healthier lives.

How do you get seniors engaged in holiday celebrations?

Having them engage in craft-making by making decorations for a particular holiday is one way of making them feel the holiday spirit.

Other than that, it will also be good to have some form of entertainment, like dancing, to have them participate in. Different forms of activities will definitely help them feel the holiday mood.
Living a senior lifestyle shouldn’t be limiting. It should be, in fact, even more inclusive. 

And whether it’s a holiday or not, you can always stay engaged and have fun at any time of the year. Making fun summer crafts for seniors or on different seasons to pass the time is a great way to spend high-quality time with Grandpa and Grandma.

Conclusion

Mardi Gras is a celebration meant not only for the young. The festivities that bring about an air of mystery and fun can still be felt by seniors who want to get into the merrymaking themselves.

Having them engage in crafts meant to bring in the mardi gras spirit is definitely a great way to keep them young in mind and at heart!

References

  • 1. How Threading Beads Benefits Both Children and Seniors | SensoryEdge Blog [Internet]. SensoryEdge Blog. 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: http://blog.sensoryedge.com/threading-beads-benefits-children-seniors/#:~:text=Benefits%20of%20Threading%20Beads%20for%20Children%201%20Improve,and%20getting%20used%20to%20lengths%20and%20numbers.%20
  • 2. Mardi Gras Colors | Mardi Gras New Orleans [Internet]. Mardigrasneworleans.com. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history/traditions/colors
  • 3. Brittany. How to make a no-sew vintage ruffled lace flower [Internet]. Hairbowcenter.com. HairBow Center; 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.hairbowcenter.com/blog/make-no-sew-vintage-ruffled-lace-flower
  • 4. Get Free Printable Mardi Gras or Masquerade Mask Templates [Internet]. The Spruce Crafts. [cited 2021 Dec 20]. Available from: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/free-mardi-gras-mask-templates-1357858
  • 5. Johnston T. Mardi Gras Paper Plate Tambourine [Internet]. Activities For Kids. 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 20]. Available from: https://activitiesforkids.com/paper-plate-tambourine/
colorful mask for mardi gras crafts for seniors

What are your favorite Mardi Gras crafts for seniors? Share below!

About Liliane

Lilian Wamaitha is a passionate writer and avid cyclist with over 4 years of experience in blogging. As a lifelong learner, she is driven by her curiosity to discover and learn new things. This curiosity and passion eventually sparked a love for the senior writing niche. She has written countless articles to help seniors find their footing in this world through healthy and holistic living. She’s passionate about seeing the seniors in society live a more fulfilling life to the end. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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