Ever since my children were young, I've helped them handmake gifts. Now they're grown up, and they do the same thing with their kids.
Handmade Gifts Are Special
The DIY gift ideas listed here are easy to make, which means the kids can make them on their own—or they can make them with a little assist from you.
Handmade gifts are special because they come from the heart. Your mom will treasure these gifts always.
DIY Mom's Day Gift Ideas
Easy: For Children of Most Ages
- Decorate a Paper Lunch Bag
- Color a Picture From a Coloring Book
- Get Out the Construction Paper
- Write a Story
- Autograph a Pillow (or T-shirt)
- Decorate a One-Subject Notebook
- Make a Chore Gift Certificate
- Fashion a Tissue Paper Flower Bouquet
- Make a Scrapbook Page
- Create an Ornament
- Make a Key Chain
Needs an Adult's Help
- Make a Delicious Platter
- Cook Her Favorite Dish or Dessert
- Printing Is Fun
- Make a Bracelet or Necklace
- Crochet or Knit a Pot Holder
- Order a Personalized Photo Gift
Related to Gardening
- The Earth Is Rich
- Make (or Decorate) a Hanging Potted Plant
- Visit a Nursery
1. Decorate a Paper Lunch Bag
A decorated paper lunch bag can be an inexpensive way to make a gift. Give the kids supplies and let them decorate the bag after you have written "Happy Mother's Day" on the back and dated it. Once decorated, the bag(s) can be used for almost anything.
Get out the art supplies: crayons, paint, glitter, glue, sequins, stickers, etc. Anything goes!
How to Use the Bag
- Lunch or snacks, of course
- Packaging for yummy baked treats
- Luminary with a battery-operated candle.
- Fancy luminary made with shaped cutters to create a light show. A butterfly, for instance, seen by candlelight is a beautiful thing.
2. Color a Picture From a Coloring Book
Have the kids pick and color a picture that they like from a coloring book for Mom. When it is done, tear it out of the book, have the child sign (if they can), and then write "Happy Mother’s Day" and the date.
These pictures can be framed and are one of the easiest things to make because most kids are already coloring. Even if the kids just scribble on the page it will be special to Mom. Have the kids present it to Mom in an envelope or small box. My granddaughter once gave me one that was in a plastic baggy covered in stickers. I kept the baggy, too.
- Coloring is a wonderful thing. It fills the time and everything.
- Beauty comes from a variety of colors. Placed upon a page with others.
- Take the time to see the pages. Display the memory of their ages.
3. Get Out the Construction Paper
Construction paper can be used for almost anything, and Mother’s Day cards are no exception. Have the kids decorate and "autograph" something made out of construction paper. Date it and then frame it, if you want.
Mom will love this thoughtful gift from the very hearts of the kids, and it is easy to make. Don't limit them to hearts, though. Let them do what they want, you might be surprised at what they come up with.
Ideas With Construction Paper
- Make a card
- Cut out a heart to hang up
- A colorful page of stickers
- A sample of the child's writing
- Make a collage with magazine pictures
- Use a stamping kit
- Cut out a snowflake or other shapes
- Make a collage with other colors of construction paper for contrast
4. Write a Story
Have the kids write a short story about something. It can be about anything. Perhaps they can write about going to the park or getting a special gift from Mom. It doesn’t have to be perfect—just have them try their best.
Their stories may need a couple of revisions before they are "published." Once the story is written, put it into a large envelope (without correcting it). Let the kids decorate the envelope for added sparkle.
Example of a Story for Mom
(Note that I didn't correct the spelling in this story...)
Once upon on a time, a big ugly bad guy tried to take all of the goodies a girl had in her bag. She told her mom about the bad guy and her mom told him to give it all back. Mom doesn't know that Mark didn't give it all back to me but he made me swear I won't say nothin.
5. Autograph a Pillow (or T-shirt)
At this time of year, many stores have graduation items out for sale. Look for the plain cloth items that come with a fabric-safe pen or marker. Purchase one and have all the kids sign it (a plain pillow or T-shirt works, too).
- Date the item as a reminder of the kids writing at that age (it's okay if they scribble, if that is the only way they know).
- Make sure you mark the age of each child’s signature.
- This item can be used for several years worth of writing.
A Poll for the Dads
6. Decorate a One-Subject Notebook
The idea is to cover the notebook.
- Use cloth, decorated paper or a decorated paper bag to cover the front of the notebook.
- Then cut out or write out letters that say “Mom’s Journal” or something similar.
- She can use the notebook for shopping lists or phone messages. In fact she can use it for just about anything.
- Have the children use glitter and glue.
- Stickers are always a kid favorite and they come in lovely colors and different designs.
- Plastic flowers could be a pretty addition.
7. Make a Chore Gift Certificate
Write out several gift certificates for things you will do for her. You can write it for a special chore to be done when she "cashes it in." You can even write, "I will be good for a day"!
I once gave my mother a certificate that said I would vacuum her entire house. When she cashed it, I vacuumed all of her rugs, all of the nooks and crannies, and her floor. It was great for my mother who couldn’t do that sort of thing anymore.
Ideas for Chore Gift Certificates
- Vacuum the carpets
- Do the dishes
- Sweep the floors
- Dust the furniture
- Wash the floor
- Bring coffee all day
- Breakfast in bed
- Wash the car
- Make dinner
- Watch siblings
- Do the laundry
- Rake the yard
8. Fashion a Tissue Paper Flower Bouquet
You can make a bouquet of flowers using facial tissue (no lotion please) or wrapping tissue paper.
How to Make Tissue Paper Flowers
- Take two or three tissues (depending upon the thickness of the tissue) and fold them in half-inch accordion folds. For a smaller yet fuller flower, cut the tissues in half length-wise before folding.
- Tie a string or small piece of wire around the center of your fold.
- I like to use green pipe cleaners (though I used yellow in my demonstration so it could be seen).
- Open it up and scrunch the folds together.
- Add a spritz of perfume for a sweet scent. Be careful, though; too much will make the flowers droop.
9. Make a Scrapbook Page
If you are into scrapbooking, you can create a page with stickers of all the things your mom likes along with photos(s) of you (or all the kids). Date it and she can frame it or perhaps start her own scrapbook for pictures and such. Don't be upset if she just frames the page—some people like scrapbooking and others don't.
10. Create an Ornament
When you hear the word 'ornament', you think about Christmas ornaments for the tree, but you can make an ornament that is all about her. An ornament can be made out of just about anything. Use your imagination.
- Fill a glass ornament with colored shredded paper and tie a tag on it saying “#1 Mom” or something similar.
- Fill a clear ornament with potpourri so she can have a perfumed ornament.
- Paint a Styrofoam ornament with glue and use glitter or sequins to decorate it.
- Decorate a plastic canvas square with yarn, beads, etc.
- You should attach something that can be used to hang your ornament. Ribbons are great for hanging ornaments because they are fancy and generally handy.
11. Make a Key Chain
Try using what you might have on hand, such as an old beaded necklace that needs new life (like I used) or an old torn-up binder's rings (one ring makes one key chain). Look around before you go to the store to buy your supplies.
Just remember, this item will either be a key chain or will be placed on a key chain so make it with strong materials. Of course, If you make it with lots of decoration, your mom may choose to display it rather than risk damaging it with her keys.
- Base: wire, yarn, or string
- Decorations: beads, feathers, charms, bows, flowers
12. Make a Food Platter (or Flower Basket)
You can make a platter with just about anything. If you don’t want to make a platter you can:
- Fill a basket with fresh fruits, nuts, or cookies.
- Tie a bow or add flowers to your masterpiece.
- Flowers in a basket make great gifts that will last a lot longer than the real thing.
Ideas for a Platter
- Cheese and crackers
- Fruits and/or vegetables
- Candies, cookies, pie, or cake
- Finger sandwiches or finger foods
13. Cook Her Favorite Dish or Dessert
Mom usually does the cooking and makes the foods you like to eat. So for Mother's Day, you can make a meal for her (and make sure you clean up afterwards so she doesn’t have to!).
Ideas and Tips
- Ask Dad for help on this one.
- Make her favorite dessert.
- Make a "deli lunch": a sandwich with her favorite flavored chips and a drink.
- It doesn't have to be a gourmet dish, just one she will enjoy eating.
14. Printing Is Fun
If you have a printer, you have a world of opportunities.
- Take pictures of the kids or Mom’s favorite scenes and print them out.
- Write the name of the kids, their ages, and the year. Mom will love to have this to remind her of when the kids were small.
I once made a collage of family pictures. I copied the pictures so I wouldn't destroy the originals and then I put them on poster board in different patterns and shapes. My mom loved it and it hung on her wall for several years.
Demonstration of How to Use Memory Wire
15. Make a Bracelet or Necklace
Yes, you can do this!
- Use memory wire or a premade silver bracelet.
- Use embroidery thread in different colors to make great friendship bracelets.
- Put a large bead on a string with no other adornment.
- Use a crystal on a string to make rainbows in the sun.
- Purchase charms that mom might like for the bracelet or necklace.
If this one sounds hard, then watch my video on how to put together a bracelet using memory wire (it isn't the best video, but I'm trying). You will need a few tools to work with wire, but they are not that expensive and you can use them again and again.
Tools You Might Need
- Wire cutters
- Round end pliers
- Memory wire
- Embroidery thread
16. Crochet or Knit a Potholder
If you know how to crochet or knit then your worries are over. Make potholders for her using her favorite colors.
- Don't make it too big and use a single stitch with a smaller needle so the knots are close together. That way she won’t burn herself.
- I have a crocheted one in the images to give you an idea of what it would be like.
- The more squares you put together, the thicker the potholder is for more protection.
- They are washable.
- Surprise: You can get colorful hand towels that she can use like potholders and have the kids draw or write on the back using a permanent marker.
17. Order a Personalized Photo Gift
There are so many sites out there that let you send or upload a picture, add a saying and then get it made and sent back. Be sure to check out the site with the Better Business Bureau to ensure they are legitimate before you use them.
- I've used Zazzle before and I like them, but there are many other sites that make similar photo sites.
- Upload a photo of the kids, a favorite pet, Mom in her favorite chair, or a family snapshot. The site you choose will take care of everything else; all they need from you is the photo!
Personalized Photo Gift Ideas
- Mouse pad
- Coffee cup
- Your imagination is the limit!
18. The Earth Is Rich
The earth gives life to so many things, and on Mother’s Day it is obvious that spring has sprung. Let the earth help you give a gift of spring.
- Plant some seeds with your kid(s) in a clay pot (or bucket, egg carton, or whatever you have on hand).
- Line the outside of the pot with aluminum foil or paint it with spring decorations.
- On a craft stick, identify the plant and write who it's from.
- Leave it sitting on the table for Mom to find when she gets up.
- Make sure you follow the seeds planting instructions or the plant won't grow.
- You can put the seed container on a craft stick for reference.
19. Make (or Decorate) a Hanging Potted Plant
Whether Mom likes plants inside or out, a hanging potted plant can be a beautiful and personalized gift.
- Grab a cutting from a flower or plant and put it in water to start growing roots.
- Give the planting supplies along with the cutting.
- Make a card that tells her what the flower is.
- Be sure to put up a hook for her (where she wants it) so she can hang the plant.
- Decorate the pot with paint, foil, or tissue paper to make it pretty, especially if you got a pre-planted one.
- Hanging pot
- Cutting from a flower already growing
- Craft stick to identify the plant
20. Visit a Nursery
Moms just love getting plants. I especially like to get the kind of plants that don't need much upkeep, but that's just me.
- A small tree or a seedling would work.
- Put in a card saying you promise to plant it for her and help her care for it.
- With a tree, you can take yearly pictures to record its history.
- Give her a picture frame with several openings so she can show off the tree.
- Nurseries also have bushes to line the yard.
- You can decorate the tree with pictures or charms.
Happy Mother's Day!
I hope you've gotten some good ideas for easy homemade gifts for Mother's Day. Remember, it doesn't need to be perfect or even very beautiful—the important thing is that it was made with love. Isn't that what matters most?
Happy Mother's Day to all!
© 2017 Cheryl Simonds