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! ;)

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.

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part twelve {guest post}

There are so many fabulous and simple handmade gifts for girls out there that I thought I’d ask a few of my clever & creative blogging friends to share with you some of their ideas…

If you haven’t met Jane from Life on Planet Baby, then you really, really must!  She is one of the loveliest ladies in blogland.  She is kind, creative, passionate and brave and I love reading her blog for her genuine honesty and warmth.  She is sharing with us such a simple and fun idea.  Goose and I have already made one using a piece of her art.  

Hello you gorgeous readers of Emma’s fabulous blog! Isn’t it just full of bubbly life, inspiration, fun and love? That’s why her little haven in Blogland is always one of my ‘must-reads’ and especially because we’re both the busy mums of three littlies who keep us on our toes – we have a lot in common! I was really flattered when she invited me to contribute to her brilliant series, Simple handmade gifts for girls. Only in the past year or so since I started blogging have I discovered my creative side and now I never have enough time to make all the brilliant ideas I find in Blogland and on Pinterest. Anyway, today I thought I’d share an easy-peasy, inexpensive gift that any little girl would love. 
So, are you ready? Great – let’s get cracking!

This is what we’re going to make –

an erasable whiteboard.


The supplies

Here’s what you need to make it:


-  A picture frame with glass (this was from Typo costing $15 – you can buy them online here);
 Some complementary coloured scrapbook paper;
-   A pencil; and
-  A paper trimmer.

The instructions

1.              Remove the backing from the frame, together with the paper inserts.

2.              Place the glass onto the scrapbooking paper, lining it up to fit in at the corner and trace around the glass with a pencil (it’s tricky to photograph whilst in action, hence the reflection of me!).


3.              Place the glass aside and cut out the rectangle you have traced, using your paper trimmer.


4.              After making sure your glass is clean, place it into the frame, then the paper (the side you’re using should be face down) and finish with the backing.

5.              Flip it over and your masterpiece is complete (yes, that’s my reflection again ☺)!

6.              Gift it with an erasable marker (I’m fond of Sharpies) and your little friend will be ready to get writing. Here’s an example of how to use it.

7.              When you need to erase the message, the glass can simply be wiped clean with a tissue, a damp cloth or a spray of Windex.

8.              This gift can be changed so easily as tastes change – all you need to do is replace the paper and/or paint the frame.

Here’s one I use in our kitchen. 
Our pixies take great delight in crossing off tasks or adding their own, now they’re learning to write.

Thanks, Emma, for letting me share this idea with your readers. I’d love to know if any of you make one – you can contact me at my blog, Life on Planet Baby. I’d really enjoy seeing what you come up with!

Come back next Monday for another simple handmade gift for girls.  I’m planning on posting an idea every Monday until Christmas, so if you have an idea to share and would like to guest post – send me an email.  I’d LOVE to hear from you! 

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part three

Got a bit distracted with birthday parties and the like over the last couple of weeks, but I’m back on board continuing with a little series of posts on quick and simple handmade gifts for girls.  Click here to see parts one and two.  There will be more to follow.  There are just so many ideas out there!

Part three – Fabric Covered Buttons


Once again, a fantastic way to use up scraps of fabric and are very quick to make.  You will be surprised how ridiculously simple they are to make and also how ridiculously addictive they are too!  They also make great party favours.

There is a very easy to follow tutorial here.  


There are many places where you can purchase the tools required to make these buttons.  I purchase mine from here and there is another supplier mentioned in the tutorial link.

Once you have the hairties down pat you can move on to using the same technique to make buttons to add to hairclips, bobby pins, headbands, brooches, necklaces, bookmarks, rings, magnets and even drawing pins.

This photo was taken of Frog when she was younger wearing a gorgeous fabric covered button headband made by her gorgeous aunty Lou - who is the button queen!  Incidentally it also happens to be her birthday today – Happy Birthday Lou!

Now go and give it a try – you will not be able to stop once you do!


P.S. Just don’t give them to kids with not enough hair to put up in a ponytail (I have done this three times recently! three!).  The headband would be a better option in that case… I think I might try that next time!

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part two

When I was in my late teens/early twenties I went through a stage of giving homemade gifts to everyone.   Tie-dyed underwear and socks, fish printed t-shirts (using real fish) and pickled chillies may not have been everybodies first choice of gift.*  Since then I’ve made the odd handmade gift here and there to people that I think might appreciate it… mainly to babies (they don’t seem to mind).
Since I started this blog a little over a year ago, I’ve been inspired to re-kickstart the giving of handmade gifts.  This time I’d like to think that I’m a little more on the money with gifts that might be a little more appealing.


Part two – Reversible Headbands

When Goose and I started searching for ideas for gifts to make for her friends birthdays, we found these reversible headbands on Catherine’s blog** (along with other great ideas that were not within my ability but might be in yours) and I gave them a go.  I have made quite a few more since then.  Two headbands for the price of one!  A little addictive and they actually stay in Frog’s hair.  Once again, this project can be made in about 15 mins and using scraps.  I made these with scraps from one of Granny’s quilts and from a favorite shirt of Goose’s that she ruined with house paint (grrrrr).


 If you’d like to give these headbands a go, head over here.  You may just get lost for an hour like I did with all of her brilliant tutorials.  I think this one could also be a great quick and simple handmade gift for girls.

I have also come across some simple fabric headband tutorials herehere.

I’m joining in today with Our Creative Spaces.  So much inspiration.. I could be lost for hours again…

* I kid you not, I actually made lots and lots of these – the fish printing was a particular favorite…
** Catherine has a gorgeous handmade giveaway on her blog right now..

SIMPLE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR GIRLS… part one

This is the first installment, as promised, in a little series of posts of quick and simple, yet stylish handmade gifts for girls that even a beginner sewer like me can make.  So quick in fact that you can make most of them in about 5 – 20 minutes, therefore making them the perfect last minute, whipup the night before, gift for those of us who may or may not be 100% organised!  

Part one – Fabric Knotted necklaces.

 I made the two in the photo above for my two girls.  As you only need a very thin strip of fabric, you can get away with purchasing just a 10cm strip of fabric, use leftover scraps, or even recycle old or thrifted clothes!  The necklace on the left, was made using one of Goose’s old skirts.  You can thrift an old beaded necklace, or just use marbles.  In mine, I used 20mm wooden beads purchased at Spotlight.

Serendipitously, I discovered a new blog this week who happend to have a tutorial ready made for these necklaces, just as I had made them.  Thanks Amy for saving me the trouble!
So, if you’d like to give these a try, head over here for an excellent tutorial.
Or, if you’d like to try a bracelet, using the same method, head over here.
Stay tuned for more simple handmade gifts for girls over the next couple of weeks.   Thanks so much to those of you who have forwarded me links of things that you or others have made that I might like to try – keep them coming!
* Please excuse the blurry photos – although she loved the posing (a little too much for my liking!) she would not keep still!  One day I will get myself a fancy pancy SLR, but for now I will continue dreaming…

AT MY HOUSE…

At my house we have a house full of sickies. Well, myself and the youngest two. The Dad’s been so busy at work he hasn’t had time to catch it and Goose has gone to Granny’s for a few days, so those that remain are doing the absolute bare minimum!

The dolls clothes that Grandma lovingly sewed many years ago for their big sister have been discovered with much excitement and have been the hit for the day.

So good to see them actually in use – Goose was not much of a doll girl.

When things are handmade, you know the effort and love put into making them and it makes you appreciate the items so much more.

One of my favorite toys of the kids is this vintage dolls pram. It belonged to my husband when he was a boy….. he came from a family of all boys….. no gender stereotyping there!
The only thing I ever heard of them using it for though was for giving each other rides up and down the hall way ….

Play along over at Lou’s this week
& don’t forget to take a photo of those easy peasy dinners and play along here tomorrow….


P.S. If only they were old enough to put the clothes on and off all by themselves!! In your experience, does the age of doll playing ever coincide with the ability to actually dress them themselves or are they generally over it by that age?
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