1. Handprint apron
When the young'uns are running around the kitchen while mom's trying to make dinner, there's a high likelihood their handprints might end up on her shirt, anyway. Preempt the mess with this cute, personalized, and relatively cheap gift. Here are more detailed instructions.
Supplies: apron, kid-friendly fabric paint
Good for: Young kids whose mom loves to cook
2. Recreate old photos
We all have that one awkward family photo that we wish would go away, but we keep it around because mom loves it. To give her some grins and giggles, retake the picture as adults and frame it beside the original. Or go all-out and make 12 of these into a calendar, like this family did.
Good for: Adult "children" with a self-deprecating sense of humor
3. Chore coupons
Nothing says "I love you and I would do anything for you" more than scrubbing the bathroom clean from shower head to floor tile. Show mom you know how much she does for you by putting in writing this pact to help out (and promise to follow through, ok?)
Supplies: Pen and paper, or these free printable coupons
Good for: Teenagers, anyone who doesn't usually do chores (you know who you are!)
4. Make her breakfast in bed
It's only a cliche because every mom loves it. What better way to start the day than with her kids and some delicious food, all without having to lift a finger? Just make sure to keep your good streak going by washing the dishes afterward.
Good for: Anyone old enough to cook (or to sneak out to her favorite breakfast spot for some take-out)
5. DIY cards
There are endless ways to customize a card that will be guaranteed to make mom's heart melt: write a poem, make her name into an acronym for adjectives that describe her, or just finish the sentence, "Mom, I love you because__." If you're not much of a writer, try making some spinning photo cards.
Good for: The young and young at heart
6. Mail-a-hug craft
Though this is a popular Grandparents Day craft, moms love hugs, too. The basic idea is to measure the hugger's arms, fingertip to fingertip, and cut out a ribbon or construction paper that length, attaching paper handprints on the end. This version is smaller and easy to send in an envelope.
Supplies: Ribbon, construction paper, scissors
Good for: Anyone who can't be there in person on Mother's Day
7. Personalized placemats
Sometimes having extended family over on Mother's Day can just mean more stress for the hostess on her day. Help her out by setting the table, and make it easier for her to know where to sit by drawing a picture with her name on it.
Supplies: Paper placemats, crayons or markers
Good for: Young cousins at a big family gathering
8. Rice bag hand and neck warmers
This is one gift that can be made (and appreciated) a lot of different ways. They can be made with just about any fabric and the shapes and size possibilities are endless (like these cute owl-shaped ones). Just make sure you don't use instant rice.
Supplies: Fabric, sewing kit or fabric glue, rice, herbs (optional)
Good for: Anyone whose mom gets cold easily or has aches and pains
9. Take her out... to a picnic
Whether it's at the top of a beautiful mountain peak or a few steps from your backdoor, Mother's Day will be that much sweeter with some fresh air. If you love to craft, make this cute picnic caddy to carry the utensils, then give it to mom!
Good for: Anyone whose mom loves the great outdoors
10. Wall art
Does your mom have a catch phrase? Show her you take it to heart and spice up her decor at the same time. This blog explains how you can do it for under $10.
Supplies: Photoshop, a local printer, an old picture frame
Good for: Anyone whose mom loves religious or inspirational quotes or has some great mom-isms
11. Mix CD
It's a little old-school and may require some research (AKA asking Dad), but mom will appreciate that you know her favorite tunes. If your mom's hip with new technology, buy a playlist of the songs instead and use it for background during your Mother's Day brunch. When she compliments the song choices, tell her you stole her iPod and uploaded it already.
Good for: Anyone who thinks this sounds like a breeze (we're looking at you, teenagers)