Kids & Parenting

Homemade Mother's Day gifts are green

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glass jar of cookies
Simple homemade Mother's Day gifts are a welcome choice for mom -- and the earth
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Moms love homemade Mother's Day gifts most of all

In some ways, moms have been lucky. While dads have been stuck with ties and shirts for Father's Day, we have had a broader array of gifts.  But the truth is even most of the traditional Mother's Day gifts aren't quite as in demand as in years past.

I think back on what I gave my mom. Paper and glue homemade Mother's Day gifts and cards, but that stopped around third grade. Perfume. She always wore it, but most moms I know now don't. Necklaces with matching earrings. Nope, not my style. Nightgowns?  A t-shirt is more comfortable for me.  Same goes for most of my friends.

Not just the gifts but the ideas have changed since the 1970's. Now green is more a way of life. Family time is harder to come by, and so much more precious. And in a kind of weird throw-back to an earlier era, homemade is back in vogue. Put those together, and the idea of homemade Mother's Day gifts from the family starts to make sense.

So now what? You want to make something for Mother's Day. It's got to be simple.  And of course, it has to be green.  And above all, something Mom will love.

As a mom, and a pretty earth-conscious one at that, here are some ideas I've found that might just fit the bill:

Head for the kitchen

What is mom's favorite kind of cookie? Find out, assemble your baking ingredients and make a batch or two. Let the cookies cool completely. Fill some glass jars with cooled cookies, top with wax paper or brown paper and tie with a pretty ribbon or string. Shred leftover, colorful junk mail, newspaper ads and magazine pages, and use them to line the bottom of a basket. Fill a basket with the jars of cookies, and you have a Mother's Day gift that is not only delicious, earth friendly and green, but can also be shared with her coworkers at the office on Monday.

Homemade tea lights

Old teacups make perfect homemade Mother's Day gifts when they're filled with candles. Head for the nearest thrift store and look for tea cups (the kind that came with saucers, although you don't need the saucers for this project) then gather the rest of the supplies:

Sauce pan
Empty, clean coffee can or other large food cans
Left over candles or new candle wax from a craft store
Candy thermometer
Kitchen tongs, if you're using old candles
Candle wick material
Paper clips or wick holders
Thin straight twigs long enough to stay across the teacup top (or wooden skewers)

  • Place the can in a pan of water. Put candles or candle wax in the can. Heat on the stove.
  • Use the candy thermometer to make sure the temperature of the wax stays at about 185 degrees. Hot wax can catch on fire, so be careful
  • Once the wax is melted, remove any metal bits or old wicks with the tongs.

For each teacup:

  • Cut a new piece of candle wick to the cup's height plus about 2 inches.
  • Attach one end to a paper clip or wick holder
  • Tie the other end around a twig.
  • Dip each wick and the clip or holder into melted wax to coat them.
  • Press the clip or holder to the cup's bottom.
  • Slowly pour in the wax, leaving about 1/2 " from the rim.
  • Allow the wax to set for about an hour.
  • The candle may form a dip in the center as it cools. To even it out, use a skewer or slender nail to prick a circle of holes about 1/16" deep around the wick.
  • Pour in more melted wax until surface is 1/4" from the rim.
  • Trim the wick off of the twig.
Sources for more homemade Mother's Day gifts you can make

Look around your local craft store for inspiration. Handcrafted jewelry, embroidered linens, decorative boxes or family scrapbooks are just a few more of the ideas you'll find. 
Take your time and consider how you can use the tools, supplies and skills you have to create something your mom will love. 

No matter what you decide to make, your mom will love the fact that you took the time to make it yourself.

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