Since it really is the “thought that counts”, as the saying goes, you can avoid expensive gifts for Mother’s Day and still express your appreciation for the moms in your life in a really thoughtful way. Mothers typically have the role of setting the household budget and making sure the household income goes as far as it can, so they understand real value. It’s not how much you spend, but how much of you went into the gift. Your thought, your effort, your sentiment.
Frugal homemade Mother’s Day Gifts
- If you have any old artwork lying around from your elementary school days taking up space in boxes, consider making a scrapbook out of it. On the cover of the book, attach an old photograph of you and your mother from when you were around that age.
- A mix CD of songs from your childhood – maybe even recordings of songs your mother used to sing to you, or whatever kinds of music you remember having around your house when you were young.
- A “Thanks Mom” scrapbook, with pages filled with specific things that you appreciate or have appreciated about your mother. You can use photos you have to illustrate your examples, or you can cut out pictures from magazines to make it more decorative without having to buy expensive scrapbooking materials. If you really can’t afford anything this year, you can even just put everything you would say into a letter. The point is to make it personal, not based on generic thoughts and ideas from cards you can buy in any store.
- If you have children of your own and your mother is the kind of grandmother who loves to tell stories about her grandkids, you can pull together a homemade, purse-sized “brag book” – include a couple of photos of your kids, some recollections of recent accomplishments or activities they’re involved in, maybe a piece of artwork or two.
- A recipe book collecting your favorite recipes – some that you used to eat in childhood, some that you may have adapted or discovered on your own, some that remind you of trips you took with your family. Add photos or stories of memories associated with certain recipes or with cooking and eating meals when you were growing up (it’s amazing how many of the most significant memories emerge when you start thinking about routine events and habits).
- Make a door sign that says “occupied”, and tell your mom it’s for whenever she needs some “me” time. She can hang it on the bathroom door, bedroom door, or the door to her office if she has one. This lets her know you understand she’s always there for everyone else, and she deserves some time off from that.
- Make her some homemade soaps. The process doesn’t have to involve lye – you can easily transform a bar of Dove or Ivory into something much more interesting to look at and smell. Pick a favorite scent of your mom’s, and get molds for the soap cakes in the shape of her favorite flower or anything else you think she’d like.
- Make her a lovely potpourri sachet, using any of our potpourri recipes.
Ideas from elsewhere
- Printables have made inexpensive but gorgeous gifts so much easier to create. Martha Stewart has a great template for a Mother’s Day Newspaper. Just print it out, let the kids get artistic with it, and you have a beautiful, thoughtful gift.
- Re-purpose an old jar into a lovely vase or pencil holder with some paint and some creativity. You could commemorate the occasion, or just paint on it images you think your mother would like.
- Photo Strip. This tutorial shows you how to make a decorative strip of family photos, mounted on craft foam and hanging from a ribbon. You could adjust the measurements to make a longer strip, or connect several strips together to make a beautiful wall-hanging – or even, possibly, a curtain for a kitchen door.
- Bath Salts. Make your own bath salts for your mom, scented however you think she’d like. (It’s a good idea to make sure she actually uses bath salts – some people don’t like them, and others have skin sensitivities that prevent them using them.)