We’re all about simple and frugal in our house. When it comes to gifts, we’re fond of practical as well. And if the kids can have a hand in creating them, even better.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my favorite gifts I’ve received over the years.
Most of them have been handmade and the ones that have been purchased have been incredibly thoughtful and useful (like the brand-new copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette my husband got since I’d checked it out from the library and renewed it, oh, a gajillion times).
And when it comes to gifts I give my own mom, her appreciation of these kinds of gifts has increased as well because they are so much more thoughtful than a last-minute gift picked up at the store (and she can actually use them).
So if you’re looking for simple gift ideas for the special mom in your life (that she’ll use and enjoy), here’s a list of our favorites:
1. Lip Balm
Lip Balm is one of the easiest DIY gifts around. You can make a simple peppermint lip balm or use a blend of essential oils for a special scent. You can also make your own herb-infused healing lip balm for a more therapeutic gift (don’t infuse the herbs and skip the lavender essential oil if you want plain ‘ol peppermint).
2. Bar Soap
My mom loves my homemade bar soap and normally buys it from me, so I like to include it with whatever gift I’m giving her. If you’d like to try your hand at making it yourself, here’s my recipe.
3. Laundry Detergent
Yes, laundry detergent. This has been requested by several moms in my family as it’s practical and they love the different essential oil blends I use.
Simply package it in a jar like this one, thread some twine through a metal scoop and tie a bow around the top. Here’s my laundry detergent recipe.
Do you remember making coupons when you were little? I remember ones that said I’d do my chores without whining or water the flowers or fold the laundry.
I’ve made them for my Grandma since I’ve become an adult and included for coupons for running errands, cooking a meal and yard work. Lots of possibilities. (Husband, I’d love it if the kids made me some of these. 😉 ).
5. Lotion bars
Lotion bars are super easy to make and can be poured into all kinds of different molds. Create heart-shaped bars, bar-shaped bars or whatever other shape suits your fancy. Here’s the recipe we use.
6. Tasty Treats
Treats make wonderful gifts. Heck, any food does. Homemade sourdough bread and butter? Yes, please. Or how about a batch of your mom’s favorite cookies?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to tasty treats and it really depends on what you know your mom loves. Here’s what we like to give:
- Ice Cream – there’s lot of room for creativity with homemade ice cream and you have the pleasure of knowing that there aren’t nasty ingredients in it (so you can eat as much as you want, right? ;)).
- Caramel Sauce – add it to coffee, drizzle it over ice cream, use it as a dip for apples or enjoy it on a spoon. Homemade caramel sauce is a great gift – just put it in a pretty jar.
- Cookies – make her favorite kind.
- Jam – if you don’t have any homemade jam on hand, give here some from here.
7. Bath Salts
I’ll use any excuse to take a bath, which is why I love bath salts. If your mom also loves her baths, try whipping up some DIY bath salts. They take little time at all and your kids can even do it solo while you give instructions.
One year, my husband took a picture of each of our kids and had it printed. He then spray painted some unused picture frames with spray paint leftover from a project (he made me a bike and painted it my favorite color).
At the bottom of each picture, he taped a piece of paper where he had written out the kids’ response to the question, “what’s something you love about mama?” It was a wonderful gift.
You (or the kids) can create any of a number of different kinds of art. Choose what you feel most comfortable with.
If your mom is a tea lover, try blending her something tasty like this herbal Sleepy Tea or this Winter Chai.
You could also kick loose leaf Earl Grey up a notch a bit lavender buds (I do 1 tsp lavender per 2 tbsp Earl Grey). Make sure she has a way to infuse it, like this brewing basket.
10. Experience Certificates
Gifts of experience are a wonderful gift to give anyone, especially moms. Give the present of your presence to your mom and make your own gift certificate to give her.
It can specify an activity, a length of time or whatever feels right for you. One friend created one for each month of the year, with different frugal activities she and her mom enjoy doing together.
These are great! Thank you for sharing! PS where did you get your cute little labels?!!
Love your ideas, Nina! Have a Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂
The coupon idea is always a big hit! I made some for a mama for her baby shower: 1 for a meal, 1 for an afternoon of help around her house, and 1 for a night of babysitting her 2 older kids so she and her husband could go on a date before the baby came.
Thanks, Brittany! I get them from here: http://www.labelsbythesheet.com/
Last year I made my mom a scented therapy pillow that she could heat in the microwave. She loves it! One of the homemade things I’m giving her this year is vanilla extract, but you have to plan ahead in order to have it ready on time.
These are great! Our culture makes it seem like we have to spend lots of money to treat the ones we love but that is furthest from the truth. It’s nice to have some frugal options.
These are great! I ended up making the lotion bars for my mom and MIL, but they seem to be very greasy. Thinking I used too much coconut oil… should I remelt and add a bit more beeswax or cocoa butter?
These are great ideas. karlamcurry. How do you make a scented therapy pillow? If you dont want to post it here pls email me instructions at email@example.com with the title therapy pillow. Thanks.
Oh, so sweet!! I want them all!!!! And yes, I forwarded this post to my teenage daughters… =)