Sons and daughters have showered moms with flowers, notes and handmade gifts on Mother’s Day from the holiday’s very beginnings. Although a bit over-commercialized now, the day wouldn’t be complete without some token of affection for those dearly loved mothers. Instead of running to a shop, try your hand at one of these easy, inexpensive gifts for the mothers in your life. (Or leave the link open on your significant other’s laptop and hope they get the hint.)
1. Mother’s Day photo Mason jar vase
It’s easy to see why Mason jars are such popular craft supplies lately: They’re readily available, durable and affordable, and they can hold anything from flowers to candles.
John Landis Mason invented the simple Mason jar in 1858. Canning jars had been around for about a hundred years, but he improved them by adding screw-top lids and rubber-rimmed tops to create a seal when heated. (The similar Ball and Kerr jars are popular, too.) All are durable and lasting, which is why many from the early 20th century still survive today. The Mason jar endures the passage of time just like a mother’s love, so it’s a natural fit for a Mother’s day photo craft.
You can make this easily with metallic spray paint, an adhesive label, tape, a photo, some ribbon and a wide-mouth Mason jar. You’ll also need a juice glass and marbles if you’re using the jar for flowers.
Adhere your label to the outside of the Mason jar, paint it, then peel off the label. Voilá! A fantastic frame for the photo you’ll place inside. Add some marbles, ribbon, flowers or whatever you choose to decorate the jar, and you’re done.
The jars look great in seasonal pastels. Chalk paint is a good choice; the matte finish shows off the glossy look of the glass and photo. This craft is fairly kid-friendly. Give kids a permanent marker so they can sign their names!
Consider adding a few white carnations — they’re the traditional bloom for Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis, the creator of the Mother’s Day movement, said this about the white carnation:
“Its whiteness is to symbolize the truth, purity and broad-charity of mother love; its fragrance, her memory, and her prayers. The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying.”
2. Handprint apron for Mom or Grandma
If the mother in your life is also a chef in your life, she might appreciate an apron — but not just any apron. This one’s personalized with the handprints of loved ones. Don’t forget the idea for Father’s Day, either: All those pockets are handy for men, too.
The apron was the costume of priests and pharaohs, used to protect their clothing during sacrifices and rituals. It appeared in literature and ancient writings from Crete, Egypt and Assyria, as well as in modern times (remember Raggedy Ann and Alice in Wonderland?). Aprons denote profession, trade, class and status, and have been worn by everyone from physicians to 1950s housewives. Cooking aprons, in particular, traditionally evoke feelings of comfort and plenty — a common sight in kitchens, which have always served as social refuges from the outside world. These days, aprons still keep splatters and dirt off duds and keep tools handy.
To make this very special handprint apron, you’ll just embellish a plain canvas one from the craft store with fabric paint and whatever embellishments you like. Some iron-on names or rick-rack can be nice touches. Colors and materials are up to you. It’s a fairly easy craft, and even the squirmiest little hands will create prints that a mom will treasure for years to come.
Fabric paint is forever, so have an idea of the placement of each hand before you go for it. The author in this example sewed the rick-rack onto the apron first to help guide the handprints into the correct place. Don’t stress about mistakes, though: even little flubs make this gift extra-special.
Want more ideas? Check out these other adorable Mother’s Day crafts!