Mother’s Day gifts and crafts

Mother’s Day is almost here! I can hardly believe that this is going to be my 5th Mother’s Day as a mom. Whether you are a mama-to-be, a new mama, or a seasoned pro, one thing is for certain, you deserve to be pampered!

Whether you love to spend the day with the little reasons you are a mom, or need a little time to yourself, there are plenty of ways to make the day special.

I love, love getting homemade projects and art (hint, hint). It has to be one of my favorite gifts. Something made by little hands out of love, what can be better than that? Maybe a little pampering too?

Homemade Gift Guide:

One fun project for kids is coffee filter flowers. To maximize the green factor, use safe, non-toxic materials that you already have around the house. All you really need are coffee filters (choose recycled, non-bleached filters), paint or markers, something for the stem, like a chenille stick or pencil, and tape (clear or green works best).

  1. Have kids paint or draw on as many coffee filters as you would like to use. You will need two filters for each flower you make. If using markers, spray a small amount of water to let the colors run together a bit.
  2. Let dry.
  3. Take one coffee filter. Fold in half. Fold in half again. Keep folding in half until you have a small triangle shape.
  4. Cut the very tip of the triangle. This will make a small hole for the stem to come through.
  5. Cut the large end of the triangle into a rounded shape. Take a minimal amount off the end.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the second coffee filter, but when cutting the rounded shape, take more off the end for a nice layered look.
  7. Layer the smaller filter on top of the larger one and put the stem through the holes in the filters. Then scrunch and twist the middle of the filters around the stem to make a flower shape. Wrap tape around filters and stem to hold in place.
  8. Optionally you can add a small ball of homemade playdough on the top of the stem for a pretty center for your flower.
  9. Make one or make a bouquet!

Another fun gift that moms and grandmas of little ones love is a handprint project. My son did this handprint project for my mom a couple of years ago. Again you can just use materials that you have around the house, paper, safe, non-toxic paint, and any other embellishments you and your little one want to add. We used an old scrapbooking page that I had lying around. I painted his little hand with tempera paint and placed his hand on the paper. We repeated the paint process again and again making a circle shape around the paper. I found a sweet poem that I wrote in the middle and voilà, a great gift. If your child is a little older he could write his own poem and add additional embellishments as desired.

Our Non-Homemade Gift Guide:

For the mamas who love to give back:

Mother’s Day Gift Baskets from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) help families uprooted by crisis survive and rebuild their lives. These gift baskets are filled with quality prenatal care, emergency obstetric services, and family planning programs. The IRC works in 42 countries and 24 U.S. cities. When you help a mother you give hope to another.

Mercy Kits from Portland-based Mercy Corps is another great option for mama this year. The $25 Children’s Food Kit, $45 Women’s Small Business Kit, and $75 Breastfeeding Kit are some of the kits specifically recommended for mamas. A beautiful card (sent by your choice of e-mail, USPS, or print from your computer) is also included for the woman you are honoring with this gift.

For the domestic mamas:

Kids Central Kitchen has fabulous baking mixes, utensils, and baking kits for mom (or dad, or grandma :D ) to use with their kids. I have tried most of their mixes and they are wonderful and both my boys loved them. Now they even have a new gluten-free/wheat-free chocolate chip bar cookie mix!

A gift certificate for a green housecleaning service is another great option for those domestic goddesses that need a break! Look for a service that uses safe, non-toxic cleaners and practices sustainability.

If you must buy flowers, buy organic, or better yet buy a native plant that can be grown in your yard or garden with less water and chemicals. The Wildflower Center has a great database for searching for just the right native plant for you based on where you live, what type of plant you want, and even when it blooms. Plant Native has a native plant nursery finder so you can buy local.

Reusable totes and market baskets are always great options. Farmers Market season is approaching and I know I would love to have a practical market basket to bring all my finds home in. Check out my favorites Envirosax and Reisenthel.

For the mamas that need a little pampering:

Gift certificates are always great ideas too, especially since she can shop guilt-free for whatever her heart desires. Add in some time for her to shop all by herself and you are golden.

Chocolate! How many mamas can use a little chocolate in their lives? There are more and more organic and fair-trade options available so you can enjoy a yummy treat and be confident that your money is not going to support child slavery. I love Equal Exchange and Dagoba.

Spa services are always a fun treat. Check out Green Spa Network, Spa Index, or Spa Finder for an eco-friendly day spa near you. Gift certificates are good, but setting up the appointment and child care are even better!

I wish you all happiness and good weather for your Mother’s Day celebrations!

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