Stringing Beads and Other Things-A Simple Sensory Craft

Sometimes, simple sensory crafts are better suited for some older adults than more complex crafts.

Those folks with dementia or other special needs may find it easier to do repetitive tasks, and stringing things together might be a craft to consider. Remember when many of our older generation strung popcorn and cranberries together to make a Christmas garland? Sometimes that was the only decoration on the tree. They may remember that craft as they string other things together. I always try to consider making something purposeful like a bookmark. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case, as long as your loved one is having fun doing it. He can do it as a regular activity.

Bookmark and string of buttons

Here are some ideas for stringing things together.

  • Stringing beads together is one of the most common things to do. Use beads with large holes and string of your choosing. If you choose to make a necklace or bracelet from the stringed beads, consider using elastic cording for jewelry. Then tie the ends together. If you choose to make a bookmark, consider using string or even a thin ribbon that would fit into the hole of the bead. Cut your string or ribbon larger than the size of a book and string a few beads onto each end. Tie a knot at each end to secure the beads and your bookmark is done!
  • Stringing old buttons together can make for quite a conversation while doing the craft. I like to use some of the new and interesting buttons available today, as well. Craft stores have a variety available. Secure the ends of the string together. I sometimes even tie a knot in between each button so they don’t shift, but you can do without it. You may use these for reminiscing, sensory, and I have even strung buttons to make a button doll. (The stringed buttons became arms and legs, with the body and head being large wooden beads.)
  • Children love to string things together and getting together with a Grandparent to do this might be fun. With children you can string elbow macaroni or cereals like Fruit Loops® and Cheerios™ for fun necklaces.


  • Place beads, buttons, or macaroni in a cupcake tin to keep them from falling or to keep certain colors together. Also, craft pieces laid out on a piece of felt works well to prevent items from rolling onto the floor.
  • A needle and thread could be used with buttons if needed and is appropriate for your loved one.


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