Lacing cards (or sewing cards) are a simple way to enable someone to sew if they feel they cannot manage a more complex sewing task. Poor vision, loss of fine motor control, limited concentration skills and lack of confidence can cause a once avid crafter to stop altogether. Finding ways to simplify a task so that enjoyment of a favourite hobby can resume is a large part of my job. I aim to ensure that the activities are meaningful and not patronising and lacing cards are a prime example.
Lacing cards are designed for children. They are a great way to develop fine motor skills and introduce sewing. I've put an example here of cards most definitely aimed at the younger child, and therefore a little inappropriate to use with an older person.
With a little creativity or by searching the internet it is also possible to find lacing cards which are more versatile and ones which I would feel comfortable using with an adult. Here are some links to free, printable lacing cards which I think you might like to use;
These bright colourful cards are better when printed on coloured card / paper as in the photo but are just as fun on white.
For nature lovers the graphic illustrations here are unusual and straightforward.
I have also found some Autumn themed cards and in plenty of time for Christmas, some fun festive lacing.
Unless you have a printer that allows you to print these lovely lacing cards on thick card you will need to do a little work on the pictures before you can use them. I have found that sticking them onto some cardboard (I used a delivery box but a cereal box would do just as well) and then cutting out gave a nice sturdy result. Depending on the thickness of the card a ballpoint pen can make holes ready for sewing through, or you could use a hole punch in some cases.
The sewing can be done with a needle and embroidery thread or a shoe lace. I recently bought some children's plastic needles which are a safer alternative to a metal needle with sharp point.
You may feel it is a fun and constructive activity as it is, however I like the idea of using a sewn card as the basis for a greetings card or to be framed so that the effort has been for a recognisable gain. I feel uncomfortable asking someone to sew and then behind their back undo it so they can start again.
I am aware that I have slightly contradicted myself from my first blog post about the appropriateness of children's toys for adults; I have discounted the child-like lacing cards in favour of more 'grown up' alternatives. My approach to dementia care is constantly evolving, particularly as I have started to learn from the best teachers; people living with dementia and their care partners. I do think there is room for child-like toys on my activity shelves but I have also a line drawn in the sand.