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! ;)

Make your own “Winter Warmer” Soup-in-a-Jar

Mother’s Day is next weekend and today is a blistering cold day here in Melbourne town which makes it the perfect day to get the kids onto making you (or Grandma) a mother’s day gift.  Here is an idea for a quick and easy gift that is especially useful on days like today.  You might even like to make an extra one and have it for dinner tonight.

I don’t know about you, but for me winter brings with it the desire for plenty of nice big bowls of warm and hearty soup.  Unfortunately winter also brings with it a little lethargy and can’t be bothered cooking-ness as well.  I’d much rather be rugged up in front of the fire on days like today, but unfortunately for me the children must still be fed.  I have discovered the perfect solution … let me share with you my recipe for ‘winter warmer’ soup in a jar… easy enough for the kids to make all on their own!

‘WINTER’ WARMER SOUP IN A JAR
YOU’LL NEED

Ingredients

1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. vegetable stock powder
1/4 cup yellow split peas
1/4 cup green split peas
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup soup pasta/risoni

You’ll also need

300ml jar with lid
1 teaspoon measure
1 quarter cup measure
8 bowls to hold ingredients

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Set up ingredients in bowls along the table in order of the list above.  No need to measure out at this stage, just pour more than you need into each bowl.  This was Frog’s favourite part.

2. Make labels and place in front of the corresponding bowls, so that your child knows what amount of each ingredient to put into the jar.  Two x 1 teaspoon labels, one x 2 teaspoon label and 5 x quarter cup labels.

3. Get your child to one by one, place the ingredients into the jar, in order of the list above, creating layers as they go. The layers give a fun effect, but if this is just too tricky for your child, put them all into the jar and let them create their own effect – as long as it’s the right amount, it’ll still taste the same!

While they’re there, they might as well keep going and fill more jars!  It won’t matter if the jar is larger than 300ml, any jar will do.

4. Pop the lid on carefully so as not to disturb the layers.  Not that it really matters as it is fun to shake and it still looks pretty all mixed together.

5.  Make a label for your jar with instructions, so that you (or your gift recipient) knows what to do when it’s time to cook the soup.  Glue the label straight onto the jar, or attach it with string or ribbon.  If you’d like the labels that I used, just email me and I’ll send you the printables, otherwise the instructions are as follows:

1. In a large saucepan, add contents of jar to 6-8 cups of boiling water.
2. Bring to boil and, with lid on, simmer gently for 45 mins or until ingredients are soft.
3. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
4. Makes 4 hearty serves.  Enjoy!
P.S. You could get creative by adding fried bacon, shredded chicken or grated carrot into the mix!

6. When you’re done you can always let your child use the leftovers to create some soup art with some white glue, paint brush & a piece of card… It could keep them occupied for at least another 15 minutes!

This ‘Winter warmer’ soup-in-a-jar makes a great gift or to have in the pantry for those days that you really can’t be bothered preparing a meal!

So, there you go. You got to put your feet up in front of the fire and your preschooler has just made dinner for the next 2 Sundays as well as a gift for your friend whose just had a baby.  So helpful … although it may be a little messy! Perhaps you could let them loose with the vacuum cleaner afterwards – mine seem to love that!

—————————————-

If you’d like to give these a go and use the gorgeous printable labels that my clever friend Jess designed for me then just email me and I’ll send it right to you.

You can find some more simple handmade Mother’s Day gift ideas here.  All perfect for the last minute (that’s how we like to roll here!)

Stay tuned for even more on Tuesday morning here on the blog. Keep warm my friends!

* This tutorial was originally published on Kidspot in June 2013.

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

 

DIY Vintage Button Earrings

I was at my sister Lou’s house recently and, as she’s got a very new little bub, I was helping her make some vintage button earrings for the mother’s day stall at her son’s school.  So effective and so simple!  I went straight home afterward and delved deep in the vintage button stash that I inherited from my husband’s great aunt to find as many matching buttons as I could so I could make some for myself!
All the supplies, from the earring backs (you can even purchase the clip-on kind) to the special glue and even the vintage buttons, can be purchased online from Etsy or Craftumi (among other sites).  The store I have used before is here


 The strongest and best glue to use when making the earrings is E6000.  The glue does take a few days to fully set though, so although these are the ideal quick and easy DIY, you’d need to give yourself a few days before wearing or gifting them.

Do you love vintage buttons?  Which ones are your favourite in the pic above?

For more easy peasy gift ideas (for yourself or others!) you might like to check out my series on Simple Handmade Gifts for Girls or my recent post on Simple DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas.

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.

DIY Mother’s Day Gift – Bath Bombs

Mother’s Day is coming very soon here in Australia and in the lead up I thought I’d do a couple of posts on quick and simple (yet still stylish) gifts for Mums that kids can be involved in or totally make on their own.  I’m notoriously late in organising pressies and can often be found quickly whipping something up the night before.  These gifts all fit into that category – perfect last minute gifts!

Last year bath bombs were all the rage at our place.  These pics were snapped a year ago when Frog and I were having a practise before we made them with the MOPS Mums.  I’ve been meaning to share them with you ever since…

You’ll see pics of two colours here which I hope isn’t too confusing.  The purple mix was for lavender bath bombs where we used dried lavender, lavender essential oil and purple food dye and the yellow mix was for citrus bath bombs where we used grated lemon and lime rind, lemon essence and yellow food dye.  
BATH BOMB RECIPE:


1. Mix dry ingredients together:
½ cup baking soda
¼ cup citric acid
¼ cup corn flour

2. Mix together wet ingredients:
½ tspn dried lavender or grated peel if desired
2 drops grapeseed oil
2 drops of colouring 
2 drops of essential oil or essence

3.  Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture.

4.  Add some water, using a spray bottle, a little at a time and mix together with your hands until it becomes a thick, slightly damp powder.

The pic below is an example of how much water to put in.  When you scrunch it up in your hand, if it holds it’s shape, you have enough.  If you put in too much water you’ll know as it starts to expand when you put it in the moulds and won’t stay put! 


5. Pack the mixture firmly into silicone molds.  I used ice cube & mini muffin trays.

Frog was 3 years old at the time these pics were taken and even though, as you can see, a rather large mess was created, she was very involved in the process and did lots of it on her own (under a watchful eye of course)!


6.  Leave them to dry in the mold for about 10 minutes before popping them out of the mold onto a teatowel to dry.  Leave them overnight to really harden. Or you can just leave them in the mold overnight before popping them out in the morning.

7. The next morning, once they are completely dry, run yourself a bath! Or package them up as a gift for Mother’s Day!
Above is a pic of some that we made one Christmas using orange rind and essential oil – the smell was divine!

You might also like to try making some bubble bath to go with the gift like the one we made below.  See this post for our recipe.

Stay tuned over the next week for more quick and easy gifts that you can make for Mother’s Day, or any time of the year really.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day this year?

Last Minute Mothers Day Printables

As has become the tradition on this blog, here are some last minute mothers day printables to brighten up that package or that table this Sunday…

You might like these babushka candy wrappers from funkytime, these Adorable free printable cards from tinyme or these gorgeous printable pics from colour me there.
Or alternatively, you might like to check out the last two years, much larger & still valid, mothers day printable collations here.

What are you up to this Mothers Day?

I’m very intrigued to see what comes home from the mothers day stall this year and am very much looking forward to all of the beautiful creations that have been made over the last weeks.

P.S.  I’m having a giveaway…. head over here to enter!

MOTHERS DAY PRINTABLES…


Last year I did a rather large round up of free mothers day printables that I had found across blogland. Why not head over there and check them out as well as some new ones that I’ve found this year…



What will you be doing this Mothers Day?


AT MY HOUSE…


At my house yesterday we had my Mum and sisters and their families over for a BBQ dinner to celebrate Mothers Day. My 6 year old decided to put on a special mothers day performance. She sat at her desk for a very long time practising and penning the following words (exclamation marks are her own)…
“Mothers, Mothers, Mothers, oh Mothers!
Sometimes they shout and sometimes they don’t!
I love cuddles and luddlles and stuff!
They teach us cool stuff!
They give us a smile, they give us a frown!
They give us cool presents on our birthday!
So give three cheers for mothers!
Hip, hip hooray!
We love our Mummys!
So sweet and so sound!
So good day and good bye to all our good friends!”
(bow, bow)

by Goose, 9th May 2010.

Photo of the performance.
She set up the stage using flowers from our garden and cut out the mothers day banner from here.
I was so proud.

What is happening at your house today?
Check out Lou’s At my house, Fat Mum Slim’s Point & Shoot or Hello Owls My Place & Yours to find out what every one else has been up to.
Look at that, one post can fit into so many different games… I hope that is not against the rules…

LAST MINUTE MOTHERS DAY PRINTABLES…

image from poppytalk

I may have mentioned before that I have a bit of a thing for ‘printables’.
I find printables the perfect last minute gift. When you just don’t have time to go & buy something, but it provides the incentive to make something & to make it look really quite classy even when you have no skill whatsoever.
Here are some links to some free printables for mothers day….

FREE PRINTABLE CARDS & DECORATIONS:

FREE PRINTABLE GIFT IDEAS:

That should keep you busy for a while….

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