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Mother’s Day Gifts to Make or Buy

Apr 24, 2015

by Aleksa Brown

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Whatever your mom is into — gardening, gabbing, the lost art of longhand letter-writing — a handmade gift that honors her passions never fails to please on Mother’s Day. From a beautifully scripted letter of appreciation to a stylish statement necklace assembled from painted polymer-clay beads, there are countless creative ways to show her how much you care. Fortunately, there are also countless supply kits and step-by-step tutorials to help you do it right, and we’ve collected some of our favorites from Etsy and beyond. Still, if you don’t quite feel up to the crafty task, don’t fret. We’ve also included a ready-to-ship version of each DIY gift idea that you can purchase now from an Etsy seller — because it can still be a handmade gift even if it’s not your hands doing the making.

Spring Succulent Wreath

Make: Succulent wreaths are the new bouquets — and they last longer, too. This how-to from Apartment Therapy will help you create a basic version, which you can dress up with accents and accessories to your heart’s content.

Buy: Love the look of a succulent display, but too pressed for time to make one yourself? No problem: California’s Windmill Floral Design offers finished wreaths in a range of sizes.

Bold Statement Necklace

Make: You don’t need access to a jeweler’s bench — or a high-fire kiln — to put together a beautiful beaded necklace inspired by ceramics. This tutorial from Fall For DIY shows how to do it with a little paint, some air-dry polymer clay, and a length of cotton cord.

Buy: The simple shapes and unexpected pops of color in Floti‘s hand-painted clay bead necklaces give them a surprisingly sophisticated vibe, for a style that would appeal to minimalist dressers and accessories obsessives alike.

Scented Bath Bombs

Make: Forget the obligatory spa outing – this project from A Beautiful Mess has all the deets you need to make mom a set of fragrant, fizzy bath bombs for a luxurious soak at home. Choose your own scents and add some pretty dried flower buds to the mix – Mom will love the end result!

Buy: Pink Parchments Soaps creator Trish Herndon has been making soap and body products since 2007, and her picture-perfect pods come in nearly a dozen scents, from buttercream and lemon verbena to lavender and rose (shown).

Letter of Appreciation

Make: Mother’s Day is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on all the reasons your mom is awesome. Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, why not put them into a letter? Make sure it’s extra pretty with a DIY calligraphy set. This starter kit from Linea Carta has all you need to learn the basics.

Buy: For folks who’d find even legible penmanship a stretch, enlisting a professional makes sense. Simply send your letter (typed or printed, whatever works) to one of the many talented calligraphers on Etsy, and they’ll transform your words into a keepsake she’ll treasure.

Feminine Phone Case

Make: FeltOnTheFly packages up all the supplies you need to make a personalized sleeve for your mother’s cell — down to the pre-cut felt leaves and embroidery floss for stitching her initials. (And remember: nobody’s stopping you from adding extra beads, buttons, or other whimsical extras from your own craft stash.)

Buy: Once your mom gets wind of the fact that all the phone cases in Katie Jobling‘s shop are based on her original oil paintings and watercolors — and inspired by the lush scenery of the English countryside surrounding Jobling’s studio — she’ll be hinting around about a piece for her wall next.

Personalized Cutting Board

Make: This clever tutorial by Clare McGibbon shows you the basics of burning your own design onto a blank wooden cutting board (an ideal gift for the fromage-phile who loves to host friends for wine and cheese). All it takes is a wood-burning tool and some creativity – the possibilities for customization are truly endless.

Buy: The mom who’s stayed true to her grandma’s Dutch apple pie recipe for decades is guaranteed to go teary when presented with a custom board by 3D Carving laser-engraved with granny’s own handwriting.

Miniature Pet Portrait

Make: An adorable handmade miniature is perfect for your favorite pet mom – and animal-loving mamas, too. Woolpets sells supply kits for whipping up needle-felted puppies, bunnies, turtles, horses, and more.

Buy: Making a palm-sized mini-pooch is one thing. Crafting a terrier so tiny it could fit on your fingertip (twice!) is a whole other matter — one perhaps best left to Etsy seller and micro-animal-maker SuAmi.

Custom Stamp

Make: A DIY stamp kit, like this one from Nayana Iliffe, is truly a gift that keeps on giving: you can use it to create dozens of sets of personalized stationery, for example, or to stamp the insides of her novels so they don’t get lost in the book-club shuffle.

Buy: Based in Atlanta, The Small Object creates the cutest stamps in a variety of styles. Pick the one that best suits your mom’s taste, like this custom home stamp, which can be used in lieu of return-address stickers.

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