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IMG_5606A work related project commonly becomes a whole family affair in our home! Recently I had to come up with a craft project for 15 “90 somethings”. For this project I wanted something that would be fun and functional. If any of you have ever worked with the elderly you know that Bingo is one of the most anticipated of weekly activities. Our community is no different, and to make it even better our residents earn Bingo Bucks that can be used to purchase items at the Bingo Store. The thrill of the “BINGO!” just became even more exciting! After the game the bucks are generally tossed into a walker, stuffed into a pocket or plastic baggie, or mistakenly left behind when dropped on the floor. I thought it would be fun to make a small “Bingo Bucks” pouch for attaching to a walker or wheelchair for “buck” safekeeping.

Being that Mom lives with us, is 83 and a willing participant, she was recruited to help with the prototype. I cut out the first sets of flowers and sewed the pouches. Mom then attached the center buttons with needle and thread and glued flowers onto the pouch to make a sample to share with the prospective crafters. The residents love to hear stories about how my Mom lives with us. When I show them her sample pouch and tell them she made it, their faces light up and they respond with an “oh really!”

Originally I was going to make the pouches out of felt only. Then after talking and bonding with a fellow crafter at the neighborhood JoAnne’s Store, she suggested using a different fabric for the lining, as things tend to stick to felt. She was right, the first felt only pouch was not user friendly. At 90+ years the dexterity is not what it used to be and I wanted the pouch to be as functional as possible. So…even though it would require additional prep work, I reluctantly succumbed to the idea that a cotton blend fabric lining would be a better choice for this project. Ribbon or felt handles were added for looping around the front brace of a walker or arm of a wheelchair, then velcro was added for easy removal.

felt craft collage 1As mentioned before, with a very curious and inquisitive 3 year old around, our projects usually have to be expanded to allow ALL to participate. Great-Grandma assisted with gluing flowers and buttons onto a small tote for Noah. The family that crafts together, stays happy together!

felt pouch collage 2Where is Mom now… she’s in her bedroom patiently sewing button centers onto flowers. Nothing like getting the whole family involved. I appreciate her willingness to help prepare for the older folk. We expect a good turnout for craft hour tomorrow.


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