Wednesday 25 August 2021

Beading & Lacing - Art Therapy for those with Alzheimer's

My mum's Dementia is now in advanced stages, however she still gets great joy from being creative. Sadly there are many activities that she can no longer manage on her own but I have found a couple of lovely crafts that she can do all by herself ... beading and lacing! 


We use pony beads which have a 4mm hole and so they are easy to thread onto twine, pipe cleaners and even shoe laces! 

My mum enjoys stringing the brightly coloured beads, shells and charms and makes beautiful strands that together we use to create window hangings.

The beads we use are readily available on ebay and Amazon and are relatively inexpensive. We buy 1,000 beads for £5 - £6 ... there are a great variety of different beads (and prices) so its important to shop around!

Mum's favourite beads are the flower ones ... especially forget-me-not beads.

Our favourite hangings are sun catchers which create lovely rainbows across the room. Our living room window is full of lots of mum's beautiful creations!

I tend to give mum twine to sting her beads on and find that by adding some PVA glue to the end, it makes it stiff enough to easily pass through the beads. 

We have also made some lovely flowers and butterflies using pipe-cleaners!

Keeping mum's hands busy lessens her anxiety so having meaningful activities like beading is very important. I make sure she has crafts and puzzles to do every day and its just lovely to see her proud of all her creations!

I hope our bead projects inspire and help others who are struggling to find a simple yet beautiful craft they can enjoy!


My mum had been an incredible seamstress … she made all my clothes when I was little … she made my beautiful wedding dress … she embroidered, quilted, upholstered and so much more!
When I discovered lacing in the later stages of her Dementia, I knew it would be perfect for her as it was the same sewing action she was so familiar with. This activity engages hand-eye coordination, fine motor and attention skills … all which I felt were extremely important to try to preserve for as long as possible.

I found great lacing cards on Amazon with animal pictures and she loved these!

Lacing is a simple activity but very valuable in keeping hand-eye co-ordination!

I hung some of mum’s laced animals on our display tree. I liked to have her creations all over the house so she could see them and I could tell her how clever she was.

I bought a couple of different children’s lacing packs but mum’s favourite was the Mellissa & Doug one from Amazon

We found lacing to be a relaxing, meaningful activity. I hope others will enjoy it as much as my mum did.


  1. Thanks for sharing your activities with your mother. I read from this post that art therapy boosts cognitive function, moods, and motor skills of older adults. Art therapy also helps alleviating pain. It lets them focus on creating art than the discomfort they are in.

    1. Thats a very good point ... I agree any form of creative activity can help take the focus away from pain and anxiety. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post.