21 Simple gifts to make for Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day is this Sunday (11th May) here in Australia.  I’ve compiled a quick list for you of fun and simple handmade gift ideas that you can whip up with the kids for Mother’s Day gifts. These are all things that we have made over the last few years and quite a few of them would be great made in bulk for Mother’s Day stalls as well.
For those of us who are a little time poor, but still love to dabble in a bit of creative DIY, these are all the kinds of gifts that you can grab the supplies for during the week (if you don’t already have them on hand) and then whip up on Saturday ready for Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Seriously.
Just click on the link in the heading and it’ll take you to a step by step tutorial for each one, or at least a link to one.  Enjoy!
1. Terrariums in jars
We made the ones in the pic below for teacher gifts at Christmas time.  You can find cool jars of all sizes at op shops & discount stores.

2. Bath salts

Any colour or scent will do and these babies don’t take long at all!

3. Soup-in-a-jar

Great gift for a new Mum who could do with a meal.  I find it difficult enough getting a meal on my own table, let alone making one for someone else, but this tutorial shares how to get the kids involved in this one, making it totally manageable.

4. Chocolates
We made the chocolate below by simply melting dark chocolate, pouring it onto some baking paper on a cookie tray and sprinkling with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries.  When it had set we broke it into pieces.  The link above leads to a tutorial for making your own chocolates using a mould.  Moulds in various shapes and sizes can be found at Spotlight, Riot art, online or your local cake supply store.

5. Cookies-in-a-jar
These jars were made as party favours for Goose’s baking party earlier this year and we’ve used them for party favours at a farm party and for Christmas presents and new Mum presents.  Click on the link above to find a link to the recipe that we used.  These are great to make in bulk and just have in the cupboard for emergencies too!

6. Decoupaged tissue box or letter
My girls made these out of paper serviettes and glue.  Click on the link for the full tutorial.

7. Wool wrapped jars
Sometimes the most inexpensive gifts can be the best!  You’ll see more, along with a simple how-to, if you follow the link.

8. Clay herb labels
Imprinting leaves and stamps into oven baked clay and you’ve got some herb labels that will last forever out in the garden.

9. Clay necklaces
Same as the herb labels, these are made by imprinting leaves onto clay, then attached to a necklace or a brooch back.  For more clay jewellery ideas, clay beads are so much easier to make than you’d realise!

10. Laminated bookmarks
Made with whatever paper scraps you have lying around, they would also look cute with kids drawings or pressed flowers.

11. Masala Chai tea sachets
We used seed packet sized envelopes from Officeworks and popped enough chai ingredients for one into the bag.  Make a cute label and you’re done.  Click on link above for recipe.

12. Make your own Hot Chocolate-in-a-jar.
Perfect for this time of year as the weather starts to get colder.

13. Sew your own teatowel.

Cut a rectangle from linen/cotton blend fabric and give it a hem. I added a small piece of twill tape on mine to make a little fancier ;).  I’d love to find some plain linen/cotton fabric and get the kids to paint or draw with fabric paint or fabric markers.

14. Sew a Bag Bag
You know those things you put your spare plastic bags in from the supermarket.
For those times when you forget your green bag again!

You’ll find a great bag-bag tutorial here.

15. Decorate a Shopping Bag
In counteraction to the last suggestion, for those mothers who do actually remember their bags at the supermarket a little more regularly, decorating a calico shopping bag is something we love to do.  Whether it is apple printingfabric paint or no-sew applique. We buy our bags from here.

16. Sew a Wheat Bag

The nights are getting colder here in Melbourne and our wheat bags are coming out every night.  Just a minute & a half in the microwave and the bed is nice and toasty.  There are some gorgeous corduroy fabrics around which are lovely and soft.  There is a tutorial here if you’d like to give these a try.  Perfect project for a beginner sewer.

17. Fabric Covered Gift Cards
Here is a tutorial for how to make your own fabric covered cards. I often give these away in a nice tin for the recipient to use whenever a card is required.

18. Fabric Covered Coat hangers
I made these babies for my Mum last year.  If you like my scruffy & tattered look, I followed this tutorial, however one step up from coathangers, impeccably made & not frayed or tattered in the slightest, my friend Jane from Planet Joy makes beautiful made to order Liberty fabric wrapped wire words.  (Sometimes it’s easier to buy handmade than to make yourself, right?)

19. No-sew Upcycled Tshirt Scarf

20. Vintage Button Earrings
Just glue some earring backs on the back of some vintage buttons (or small toys or clay beads) and you have some pretty funky earrings. Details of earring back suppliers in the post.

21. Homemade bath bombs

BONUS:  I just remembered these from a few years ago and they definitely need a revisit!

22. Homemade Bubble bath and Chocolate Body Scrub

If you have any question whatsoever about any of these crafts, you know that you can always just ask, right?  I’m pretty good at replying and always happy to help.

Does your school or kinder have a Mother’s Day stall?  Do they ask you to donate?  My kids are each at new schools this year, so I am interested to see whether the tackiest of tacky gifts will be the same!  Not that I don’t cherish each and every gift that I receive of course! ;)

How to make your own bath salts

As Mother’s Day is approaching here in Australia (Sun 11th May) I thought I’d share a post that I wrote for Kidspot this time last year – how to make your own bath salts.  It is a quick and easy Mother’s Day gift that is simple enough for the youngest of children to make for their Mum’s, Grandma’s or special women in their lives …

Last year my daughter purchased me some bath salts as a gift for Mother’s Day.  When I used them all up in one go in a long and relaxing bath all on my own, she was disappointed that I hadn’t saved any bath salts for her!  After refraining from having a little discussion on the art of gift giving and the concept of Mother’s Day, I told her that she could always make some for herself.  If you’d like to make some too, here is what we did.

You will need:

Epsom salt
Food colouring
Essential oil
Mixing bowl
Spoon

1. Pour the Epsom salt into the mixing bowl.  Any amount will do.  My kids were fascinated by the salt that looked like snow and they couldn’t resist running their fingers through it.

2. Add a drop or two of food dye to the salt and stir with a spoon to integrate the colour.  Any colour will do – we chose purple to match our lavender essential oil.
DSC04234-660x371

3. Add a few drops of essential oil.  We chose lavender as it was all that we had in the cupboard and it is known for it’s soothing & calming qualities.  Nikki mentions some of the benefits of particular essential oils in this article.

4.  Mix the salt, colour and scent around with your spoon until they are all combined

We couldn’t resist having a good smell or two – it smelled divine!

 5.  Why not make some more using a different colour?  With my girls, pink and purple are always the colour of choice!

6.  Pop it into a jar for storage, or pretty it up as a gift.  We thought that it would be fun to layer the two colours and package them up as gifts.  Don’t you just love five year old’s handwriting?

7. Now go and run the bath and relax with a soothing lavender scented soak in the tub – you deserve it!

What is your favourite way to relax?  Do you ever make time for a bath?

 

You might like to try making some bath bombs to go with it as it uses some of the same ingredients and is also fun and simple to make with kids.

You can find some more gifts to make in jars in this post and some more Mother’s Day gifts for you to make in this post. xo

 

This year’s handmade teacher gifts

Yesterday after school, the girls and I made some mini terrariums to give to their school and kinder teachers as Christmas gifts.  Making a handmade gift for the children’s teachers has become a little tradition here at FGB.  I purchased the jars from ‘Provincial Living’ for a few dollars and got the succulents, succulent potting mix, activated charcoal and pebbles from my local nursery.*  You can find a full tutorial here in the FGB archives.
Bear decided that he didn’t want to give a terrarium to his teachers, so he and I made some of our cheat’s chocolate Christmas puddings today to package up for his teachers as well as quite a few more to bring along to Christmas parties and to give to neighbours/friends.


I know handmade gifts are not for all, but I also know there are many who read this blog who share my love of handmade who may be looking for ideas so, along with the terrariums and chocolate puddings, here is a collection of handmade gifts that we’ve made in the past that would be perfect for Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbours or friends.  They are all simple enough for the kids to help with, inexpensive, can be made in bulk and more importantly, can be made last minute!  



Clay Decorations with their name imprinted




this tutorial is for Easter chocolates, but just switch the mould to a Christmas one and it is perfectly transferrable!
Other cool handmade teacher gift ideas that I’ve seen around the traps are these clay necklaces or teacup candles or bookmarks and to be honest I also think that a hand written card from your child letting the teacher know how much they have been appreciated could possibly be one of the best handmade gifts of all.

From a slightly different angle, a fabulous gift that I know a few friends have done is to give a charity gift card like this one for $10 which goes toward teacher training in a developing country or this one for $5 for education supplies.

Do your children give gifts to their teachers?
Am I the only crazy one who does handmade?



* I now have lots of soil, charcoal, pebbles and succulents left, so for those of you who know me in the off-blog world, if you would like to make some of these – feel free to pop over!

Nine Simple DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas from FGB

1. Make some masala chai for one.  
We have made lots and lots of these tea sachets using seed packet sized envelopes purchased at office supply stores and I’d highly recommend, however I ordered some tea bags from the Haby Goddess last week and they arrived this morning.  I’m really excited to try out our masala chai for one recipe in the tea bags and also Jodie’s hot chocolate recipe which simply uses grated chocolate and marshmallows in the tea bags – yum!

2. Make your own flavoured Hot Chocolate.
As mentioned above, how cool would these be in tea bags?  
You’ll find the recipes for the ones we made below in this post.


3. Sew your own teatowel.


Cut a rectangle from linen/cotton blend fabric and give it a hem. I added a small piece of twill tape on mine to make a little fancier ;).  I’d love to find some plain linen/cotton fabric and get the kids to paint or draw with fabric paint or fabric markers.

4. Sew a Bag Bag (aka grocery bag holder)
You know those things you put your spare plastic bags in from the supermarket. 
For those times when you forget your green bag again! 

You’ll find a great bag-bag tutorial here. 
5. Decorate a Shopping Bag
In counteraction to the last suggestion, for those mothers who do actually remember their bags at the supermarket a little more regularly, decorating a calico shopping bag is something we love to do.  Whether it is apple printing, fabric paint or no-sew applique
6. Sew a Wheat Bag
The nights are getting colder here in Melbourne and our wheat bags are coming out every night.  Just a minute & a half in the microwave and the bed is nice and toasty.  There are some gorgeous corduroy fabrics around which are lovely and soft.  There is a tutorial here if you’d like to give these a try.  Perfect project for a beginner sewer.


7. Make some Fabric Covered Gift Cards
Here is a tutorial for how to make your own fabric covered cards.  I often give these away in a nice tin for the recipient to use whenever a card is required.

8. Fabric Covered Coat hangers
These babies are going to my Mum this year (don’t worry she’s already seen them – in fact I was making them for myself and she practically asked for them).  If you like my scruffy & tattered look, I followed this tutorial, however one step up from coathangers, impeccably made & not frayed or tattered in the slightest, my friend Jane from Planet Joy makes beautiful made to order Liberty fabric wrapped wire words.  (Sometimes it’s easier to buy handmade than to make yourself, right?)


9. Make a no-sew Upcycled Tshirt Scarf

For those of us who are a little time poor, but still love to dabble in a bit of creative DIY, if you already have the supplies on hand, perfect, otherwise the aforementioned ideas are all the kind of gifts you can grab the supplies for during the week and then whip up on Saturday ready for Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Seriously.  Quick and easy.  What Mum doesn’t love the extra special touch of handmade, right?  ;)
What are your thoughts on handmade gifts?  
Not worth the hassle?  Cheapskate?  You just can’t top handmade?  
Love handmade, but just prefer someone else to make it?


P.S. Addition (20/05/2013) – Thought I’d be a bit cheeky and come back later and add 3 more quick & easy DIY ideas to the list above… All things that we’ve made here at FGB headquarters…

10. Vintage Button Earrings
Just glue some earring backs on the back of some vintage buttons and you have some pretty funky earrings.  Details of suppliers in this post.

11. DIY bath bombs 
Fun & fizzy in the bath.  For step by step instructions on how we made these go to this post.

12. Peg magnets
Some origami paper stuck on a wooden clothes peg using double sided tape and magnetic strip attached to the back.

For the Blokes – Mugstaches & Reinbeer

Goose has a male teacher this year.  A cool young one that she loves and who plays Beatles songs on his guitar at the end of every day.  


We didn’t think that the Cookies in a Jar that her siblings gave their female kinder teachers would quite be his style, so drawing on inspiration from father’s day, she decided to make him a mo mug with a little note on the back from her.  I know that mugs are probably the most common ‘teacher gift’ on the planet, but apparently he loved the personal touch!  We also whipped up some more for some KK gifts for this weekend.



We filled our mugs with some timtam balls for something new.  I got nothing but thumbs up from my taste testers, but I still think that my chocolate truffles are even better.  I’d recommend either recipe for a failsafe, ‘no-cook’ treat that the kids can pretty much do on their own.* 

Sticking with our current reindeer obsession, for one of our Christmas parties this weekend, inspired by some seen on pinterest and the fact that we already had the supplies, we made some reinbeer!

I purchased a beer with a red label to ‘match’ the reindeer, but you could purchase any drink you desired, non alcoholic or otherwise, remove the label and replace it with your own labels.  I made the labels below in about 5 minutes using this awesome and free beer label site to go with the next batch.  You just change the wording on their predesigned labels, et voila!


I find shopping for gifts for men extremely difficult.  Finding a handmade gift for men, even harder!  I managed to draw the male straw in almost every kriskringle this year.  

Do you have the same difficulty?  
What are you giving the men in your life this year for Christmas?


*when I say ‘pretty much’, i really mean that they could ‘easily’ do it themselves, unless like mine they didn’t want to get their fingers messy and really couldn’t be bothered, but were quite happy to partake in the eating once Mum had finished making them all!

Christmas Boxes

Yes, I’m writing a post about Christmas and it is only October.  Never fear, I am not one of those people who is super organised and has my Christmas presents sorted.  Far from it!  I’ll start thinking about that in a couple of months time and kick myself again that I didn’t start getting organised back in October!

I’m always looking for ways that I can help my children look a little beyond themselves and be a little more aware of those who do not share the privileges they do. It started the year that I attempted to buy a gift from the Kmart Wishing Tree when Goose was younger and she had a meltdown over the fact that we were not buying the same gift for her also.  It was a foreign concept that she just did not understand.  I felt that things needed to change.  

I thought I’d share with you something that the children and I did for the first time last year.  We put together a Christmas Box for Operation Christmas Child.  Run by international aid organisation, Samaritan’s Pursethe idea is to collect small presents that will fit inside a shoe box and they are sent overseas to those who would otherwise not be receiving a gift for Christmas. 
The photo below is what we sent last year for a girl aged 2-4.  Can you tell that this box was put together with the help of my pink obsessed 3 year old?


They provide the box for you and you choose the gender and age group that your gifts would suit and purchase (or make your own) one or more gifts from the following categories:

- something to love
- something for school
- something to wear
-something to play with
- something for personal hygiene
- something special
They are all relatively inexpensive things and we even made a few ourselves, such as the drawstring bag and fabric covered hairties.  Their website is very informative and will let you know all that you need to know. 

Something that I think is quite special is that they also give you the chance to follow where your box is sent.  There are some beautiful videos on their website of children receiving their gifts also.

If you’d like to put together a box or 2, you’ve got until the 25th of October to get them in for this year.  You can check here for your nearest collection point if you live in Australia or New Zealand.

I’d love to hear of any ways you get the message of the joy of giving, instead of receiving, across to your kids at Christmas time or any time of the year really, as quite frankly mine need a good dose!

To Market, To market…

I just can’t seem to help myself when it comes to markets at the moment…

 I have no time whatsoever to be doing things like this, but they’re so much fun and quite frankly I give so much of my life for others I need something just for me sometimes!

Here’s a sneak peak of just a few of the things that you can expect to see at Pascoe Vale Community Facility tomorrow night from 6.30 – 8.30 if you happen to be in the area… The lovely Brenda of Mira Narnie will be there too!
How do you like my new little tags?  You can get some of your own on etsy.  I got mine made by the lovely Michelle from Inked Papers.  She was very lovely to work with.
Frog, Goose & Bear will also be having a suitcase or three at the upcoming Suitcase Rummage at the Thornbury Theatre next Sunday 23rd Sep.


Do you have your own labels?  
Even though you only make for friends and family or the occasional market?  

What do you do that you really have no time for, but you make the time because it energises you?





P.S.  I will get around to that etsy store one day… one day… Just for fun.  I just need to find some time to take a few pics and upload all the details… but in the meantime if there is anything that you particularly fancy and you’re not in the Melbourne area, let me know and I’d be happy to send it to you!

Made ‘n’ Thornbury Market

This Saturday my friend Candy and I are going to have a little stall at the Made ‘n’ Thornbury Mother’s Day Market.  Just for fun.  It’s a great little community market and advantageously, for the weather forecast for the weekend, it is indoors!

For my half of the stall I’ve made some fabric covered cardsbunting cardspaper garlands & mini map buntinglittle clay birdies and some wheat bags if I actually get around to making them.

If you are in the area – please drop in and say hi!  

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