Monday, April 28, 2008

Resourceful Mom: Mother's Day Ideas

So I wanted to start doing a "resourceful mom" section of my blog once a week... or however often I am inspired. Some might call me cheap, thrifty, crunchy or just plain Hippie... but I call it being resourceful! So I will offer ideas (and hopefully get even more ideas) for creative, greener, and healthier living on a budget. Let me know what you think.

I decided to start with ideas for mothers day. I always struggle to find the perfect gift for my mom who has too much already. She has at least 8 bars of soap, 2 gallons of bubble bath and smelly lotions, drawers of pretty candles, etc. So I try to find her items that are useful, unique, special and crafty. These ideas could be for your mom, step mom, aunt, cousin or a friend who just needs a reminder that she is an excellent mom. :) I also tried to pick things kids can help with as well.

For Anyone:

Sachets. Sew a little pillow stuffed with lavender or something else nice smelling. You can even make them refillable to be tossed in the dryer in place of a dryer sheet or buy a small organza bag and fill with some store-bought or homemade potpourri.

Family Fun has a really cute pattern for kids to make beauty masks... but you could easily sew one up as well and it is still incredibly thoughtful. I am going to make me one for mothers day! Family Fun also has a whole list of kid-friendly mothers day crafts to check out.

Tissue cozies are always a nice and useful gift. Michael's has cute decorative tissue packs for $1 each or check the trial section of department stores.

These mother/daughter Lip Conditioners are so great! You have to check out all her adorable lip conditioner flavors. My favorite is the mom-to-be ice cream and pickles! I have to try it... just out of pure curiosity! Burt's Bees makes some really nice lotions and hand creams in trial sizes (perfect for a purse) and can be found at most department and drug stores!

Here is a Youtube video on making a flower arrangement in a teacup! You can generally find a teacup at a thrift store or antique shop for less than $10. You could pair it with a bag/box of tea, some local honey and some homemade bath tea. You could have kids help by picking the flowers, arranging, picking out the perfect cup, mixing bath tea ingredients.

If you have basic embroidery skills you can have your child draw on a tea towel or napkin with an erasable fabric pen. Embroider over their design in their specified colors for lasting artwork.

Framing some of your child's art is always special or have them paint/decorate a frame and put their picture in it.

Buy some reusable napkins and have kids decorate a cut-up paper towel or toilet paper roll, or glue buttons/beads onto ribbon and sew/glue gun the end for some creative napkin holders.

With even the most basic quilting skills, these quilted coasters at the purl bee would be a lovely gift. Add some lavender, rose petals or cloves to the inside that will release the scent when you set a hot mug on top.

Thrift stores generally have pretty vases/jars for sale and adding kid-picked wildflowers make a perfect gift!

For the Gardener:

Martha Stewart's Gardener's Apron is a very easy sewing craft that requires a minimal amount of fabric.

This gardening bucket requires more effort in the sewing department but is well worth it. I made it last year and it turned out great! I didn't do it with the embroidery though.

A no-sew project could be these natural plant markers (pictured right) also from Martha Stewart. You could have older kids paint them, make baby fingerprint flowers. With a big enough rock you could do an entire hand as a garden decoration. The hard part would be to find a kid-friendly, weather resistant paint.

Last year I painted some of my mom's pots for her plants and made pictures out of Anastasia's hand and finger prints and added nature quotes. Add a nice sunny perennial and you have a perfect gift!

Kids could sculpt little things out of polymer clay and glue to a stake or Popsicle stick to add to a potted plant or pair with painted rocks, and seeds.

For the least crafty individual, you could fill an already decorated flower pot with gardening tools and add some seed packets and a homemade, store-bought or kid-crafted card.

Gardening tools and seeds can be found cheaply at dollar stores, department stores and craft stores.

Handmade Gift Wrap Ideas

Sew a simple draw-string bag
Wrap the gift in a towel tied at the corners with a pretty ribbon
Put groups of items in a basket or have kids decorate a paper bag
Use an paper bag with hand prints or have a young child walk across it with inked feet for a special touch.

It took me forever to compile all these, hopefully this will make it easier for others to find that perfect gift! Let me know of any other great ideas you might have!


Annie said...


I think I'm definitely going to do the teacup flower arrangement for our moms this year. Martin loves getting people flowers. (Okay, he loves arranging them too...) so we always get them flowers, but the teacup would be great! Both our moms have an appreciation for both tea AND pretty china AND stuff found in antique stores.

Thanks for posting all your ideas, Clare! You should put a label on that post to make it easier for you to find at a later date.

Clare said...

Yeah my mom actually made a tea cup arrangement and it was so pretty!! I loved it. But I probably won't be making her one... since she already did it. I meant to add a label but forgot by the time I posted! Thanks for reminding me!