4 Crafts You Can Do With One Hand (Try It Yourself!)

When a stroke, accident, or other event renders one of your hands unusable, it doesn’t mean that your crafting days are over. There are numerous crafts you can do with one hand with a little practice and maybe some additional equipment.

Taking up some of the following crafts with my daughter helped me feel better when I broke my arm in an accident:

Crafts You Can Do with One Hand

There are several things you can make with stamps. Knitting and crocheting are also relatively easy to do with one hand. Painting is great, but you could pick up some color pencils and get a coloring book if you feel that will engage you more. If you want something challenging, taking up pottery is a good idea.

Stamping Crafts

A Christmas tree shaped stamping tool made from a potato

First, clear the workspace and keep everything you will need on your table. Cutting paper or cardstock to size can be difficult, so consider having someone cut them for you beforehand. Use a small paperweight or another heavy object to hold the paper in place. Then, you can use your stamp(s) to decorate the paper or cardstock as you desire.

You can use some markers, pencils, and glitter after stamping to decorate the piece further. I also recommend that you pick up some stickers, buttons, and other embellishments to glue onto the paper. 

While you may think you’re limited to making cards with stamps, there’s a lot more you can do. With rubber stamps, you can make calendars, journals, and even jewelry. My daughter and I found stamping polymer clay a lot of fun. 

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Stamping Polymer Clay

Blocks of different colored polymer clay

Use a clay conditioning machine to get the clay to the desired thickness, or a kitchen rolling pin. Lay the clay onto a clean surface, pick out a stamp, and dab it on the ink pad. Press the stamp into the clay sheet firmly, and make sure you take your time with it. You can then pop it into the oven to cure or add more color to it with markers or paints if you like.

If you find that your stamps are sticking to the clay, dust the clay with just a little cornstarch. If that doesn’t work, spritzing a bit of water on the clay sheet should help the stamps come off without any hassle.

Knitting & Crochet

A pattern knitted with one hand

There are several devices that can make knitting and crochet very easy to do with one hand. You can get a clamp or a sling to hold the needles in place. All you’ll need to do is move the yarn into the right position. You could also use a loom or a knitting board to craft various items.

Portuguese knitting pin necklaces and knitting belts are worth looking into buying. However, you can also roll hair ties up one arm of a chair and slide the needle into them to hold it in place.

Regardless of which craft you choose to pick up, it’s important to remember,

Painting

A woman's hand painting a scene on a canvas with one hand

Using acrylics and watercolors is the right way to go when painting with one hand. However, if you like a challenge, you can use oil paints or any other type of paint. To make painting easier, set up an easel with a stationery holder or an attached pallet. This will allow you to focus on working with the brush and not worry about anything else.

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Regardless of which craft you pick up, using Blu-Tack can be extremely helpful. It will hold things in place for you, which often makes doing craft less frustrating and a lot more fun. 

Needlework

Picking out a fabric from a selection for needlework with one hand

Doing needlework with one hand becomes a lot easier with the right hoop. You can find stand hoops and stretcher bars that clamp to the table online or locally. Besides simple mending, you could also do cross stitching, embroidery, or crewelwork. 

There are many different hoop styles, and you will need to try a few hoops to find one that suits you best. Hooks, frames, and q-snaps help you keep the fabric taut as you work on it. Performance can vary greatly between hoop types and brands, so experimenting a little is key to great needlework.

Most hoops are made from wood or rubber, while q-snaps are typically made from plastic. Pick whichever you think will help you the most. 

I also recommend that you pair your hooks or q-snaps with a stand. It will hold the hoop for you, allowing you to work without much hassle. Depending on where you do your needlework, you can get a tabletop stand, lap stand, or floor stand. 

Getting a pattern holder is also a great idea since it makes needlework a little less burdensome.

After you find the right way to secure the fabric, you will find doing the handwork a lot less challenging than other crafts. 

Tip: It’s best to gently dip your toes into needlework, starting with small, simple patterns that aren’t too challenging.

While I consider hoops, stands, and pattern holders essential, there are a couple of other tools that can make needlework a tad bit more convenient. 

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Getting a needle threader will make threading a needle fast and easy. It will allow you to get started stitching a lot quicker. But you can always ask someone to thread needles you’re going to use for the day.

Needle minders are not essential either, but getting one can help you keep your threaded needles on the fabric and access them quickly. 

One Handed Crafts for Stroke Patients

One hand covered in paint for finger painting

Finger painting, chalk art, and paint stamping are three easy crafts you can try doing after a stroke. While painting can feel therapeutic after a stroke, it can also be frustrating, especially if you’ve been painting all your life. Adult coloring books are a nice place to start if painting feels too challenging. 

Doing plastic canvas is one of the most engaging and least frustrating crafts you can pick up after a stroke. As you recover, you can consider picking up activities like pottery and model-making. 

Glass/ceramic work and woodworking are advanced crafts with unique appeals, but each come with their own challenges.