Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 12! And while some of you may have simple traditions like buying flowers, making Mom dinner or collaborating on a gift with Dad, others might be looking for fun and unique things to gift your mom for her special day.
If cash flow is a concern (or if you’re just interested in giving her something handmade), we’ve rounded up three of our favorite DIY projects to inspire you! Making presents for your loved ones is a really rewarding thing for both you and them, and all of these items are inexpensive and easy to make. Plus, you’ve still got a little time to round up the components and do a trial run. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
LAVENDER BATH SALTS
- 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
- 2 cups epsom salts
- 1 tablespoon lavender buds
- Container of your choice
1. Mix the salts with the lavender buds and oil, spreading the lavender evenly throughout the salts. Spread the salt mixture out onto a flat surface and allow to dry for a few hours, mixing periodically.
2. Once the oil has been absorbed by the salts, give it one more mix and put your salts into a container of your choice. You could use glass tubs from somewhere like Ikea, glass jars or plastic containers.
Source: Hardly Housewives
The handmade bracelets pictured here were crafted by June at Created Dream. Although she doesn’t have a tutorial for her wares (and mentions that it’s a pretty long and tough process to make them the way she does), we hope that the idea can start a brainstorm for you!
Consider looking for plain wooden or plastic bangle bracelets at a local Goodwill or craft store, then covering them with decorated paper (whether it be plain newspapers, a page from Mom’s favorite magazine or something you doodled) and coating them over the bracelet with a craft glue or paste like Mod Podge.
- Pillow cases or fabric of your choosing
- Actual pillow inserts
- Awesome buttons (if you’re sewing your own or your cases don’t have a zipper closure)
- Felt in a dark color like black or brown
- Felt stickers in numbers (same color as your felt)
- Heat’n Bond Ultrahold Iron-on Adhesive
- Scotch tape
- Ruler or measuring tape
The pillow fabric you use will impact the overall appearance of your pillows. Decide if you’d like to buy pre-made pillow covers, or if you’d like to buy fabric and sew your own (for the more experienced crafter). We suggest getting either 12×12 or 16×16 covers. If you’re buying pr-emade covers, make sure to buy those that are sold separately from their actual pillow, or that will at least unzip and slide off. If you’re sewing your own, remember to leave a side open until you’re ready to stuff your pillow. We chose a very retro, fun print for our pillows, but feel free to go “standard Scrabble” with a set of plain sand, black or camel colored pillows.
Next, decide on a font for your Scrabble letters. We used a simple Arial, but feel free to be as creative as you’d like! You’ll also want to decide what your pillows will “spell.” Maybe “Mom” would work best? Or her name? Print out your letters one at a time in a large font size. (This will depend on your pillow size and how big you want your letters to be.) We made 16×16 throws, so we went with 600 in Microsoft Word. Lay your print out on top of your pillow on a flat surface. Does the size seem right? Resize and reprint until you have the right fit.
1. Once your perfectly-sized letters are printed, you’re ready for the next step. Break out the Heat’n Bond paper and lay one letter down on the paper, lining up the bottom of each sheet. Tape the letter-printed paper onto the Heat’n Bond paper along the perimeter. Be careful not to tape any part of the actual letter. Then, carefully cut the outline of your letter from the two papers. Repeat for each letter in your chosen Scrabble word.
2. Now that you have all of your letters cut out in Heat’n Bond paper, take out your felt. We used black, but brown, gold, silver or anything dark enough to show up well on your pillow works too. Cut a square large enough to hold your letter plus a few inches of excess on all four sides.
On a smooth surface, lay the letter down in the middle of the square with the paper liner face up. Use a ruler if you’re having trouble keeping it straight. Preheat your iron to medium heat, no steam. When it’s ready, place and hold the iron on the paper liner for 2 seconds. Repeat until the entire surface is bonded. Allow to cool. Repeat for each letter.
3. Now you’re ready to apply your felt letters to your pillow cases. Iron your cases first, making sure they’re smooth and ready for application. Then take one pillow case and your first letter and place the letter, adhesive side down, on top of the pillow. Use a ruler and another set of eyes to assure that your letter is lined up properly and where you want it on your pillow. Again, make sure that you’re working on a sturdy and flat surface. Use a light pen to mark the top and left side of the letter then peel back the sticker. Lightly lay it back down in its place.
Preheat iron to medium heat, no steam. Press and hold the iron for 6 seconds on each section until the entire letter is bonded to the pillow. If the letter isn’t sticking, repeat for two more seconds (not unusual for thicker fabrics). Repeat this for each pillow and letter. If you sewed your pillows and would rather sew on your letters, use the same process but use Heat’n Bond Lite. Minimal stitching will be required after you iron on your letters. This is more work, but some people enjoy the shabby-chic feel of visible stitches. If you want to get extra funky, stitch your letter in a neon or bright color.
4. The exact process that you used to cut and apply your letters can be used, in a much smaller font, for the Scrabble tile numbers. But if you want to “cheat” and keep it simple, use the felt letters or numbers we recommended in the materials list. Lay out your pillows and look up their numerical Scrabble score here. Want to make up your own point system? Go for it; we won’t tell! Once you’ve got your felt numbers picked out of your bag, lay them on top of your pillows in the bottom right corner. If you want to be precise with placement, use a ruler to measure a couple of inches to the right then a few more down from your number.
Step away from the pillow and see if your number looks well-placed. Make a small mark with a pen onto your pillow from the corner of your number. Then strip off the backing and place it back down, gently at first. Step back again. Look good? Push the felt sticker down onto the fabric with your palm, rubbing it in from all corners. Repeat for each pillow.Once again, extra stitching is up to you!
5. Once the pillows are decorated with letters and numbers, break out that iron again. Gently iron both sides of your pillow, going around the edges of your letters and numbers. Let them set for at least ten minutes. Then, carefully stuff your pillows into your pillow cases and zip them shut. Fluff appropriately. If you sewed your own pillows, consider using cute, large buttons as closures in lieu of a zipper. Used pre-made cases with a zipper? Use felt and adhesive to put a jaunty heart or star on the other side of the pillow.
6. Where do you want to showcase your labor of love? Try out your pillows in different locales and find your best fit. Remember that while your pillows are tough, they’re handmade and not meant for being sat on or tossed around too much. To preserve the applied letters, use them as decorative throw pillows. Don’t be surprised if friends beg you to make them a set!
Girls, what are you planning to do for your mom for Mother’s Day this year? Will you try any of these DIY projects?