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DIY: Mother's Day

Homemade Mother's Day gifts, like this teacup pincushion, can be customized. (Republican Eagle photos by Danielle Killey)1 / 2
Decorate a vase or jar before filling with flowers as a gift on Mother's Day, adding a twist to a traditional present. 2 / 2

Mother’s Day is not far away, and many kids — or spouses — may still be searching for the perfect present for moms or grandmas.

While moms likely will enjoy any gift picked out by their loved ones, handmade presents add a personal touch to the celebration.

One way to do that is to try homemade variations on typical gifts, like flowers. For example, decorate a vase with paint, stickers or other embellishments and then fill with flowers for mom.

You also can add a personal, customized aspect to Mother’s Day presents by including photographs, thumb or handprints or other homemade gifts from kids and others.

Here are a few ideas for Mother’s Day gifts that can be made at home.

Salt dough fingerprint necklace/keychain Materials:

•1/2 cup cornstarch

•1 cup baking soda

•3/4 cup water

•Cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper

•Toothpick or skewer

•Ribbon/string/yarn for necklace or ring for key chain

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Mix the cornstarch and baking soda in a saucepan. Add water slowly, stirring as you pour. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s well combined. Let it cool.

Roll the dough into balls and press to flatten, or use rolling pin and cut to desired shape (such as a heart).

Firmly press your thumb into the smooth dough to imprint.

Use a toothpick or skewer to make a hole at the top for the ring or ribbon.

Bake the finished dough pieces on the cookie sheet for a half-hour or until hardened.

Let cool and add the ribbon or ring.

Photo card or art Materials:


•Three-photo frame or card materials

•Letter signs (ex. M and O to spell “mom”) or words (ex. Happy Mother’s Day, each on a separate piece of paper)

Take a photo of your child or children holding each letter or word, with a separate photo for each one. Kids can pose together if there are more than three, or do different poses or styles of photographs for each letter or word.

Print the photographs and place on the front of cardstock to create a card, and embellish as much as you want, or find a three-photo frame, large frame that can fit three photographs or three separate frames and present the images that way.

I Love You card Materials:

•Plain construction paper

•Colored construction paper

•Pen or pencil



Fold the plain paper in half. Set aside.

Trace your hand on the colored construction paper and cut it out.

Fold over the ring and middle finger of the hand (making the symbol for “I love you” in sign language) and glue the hand to the plain construction paper to make a card.

You can glue the fingers to the hand, but it’s not necessary.

Decorate the card however you’d like.

Teacup pincushion Materials:

•A small teacup (find at thrift store, dollar store, garage sale, etc.)

•Stuffing or fabric scraps

•Six-inch circle of fabric

•Hot glue gun

Put a ring of glue around the inside of the teacup, a bit down from the top, and place the fabric for the top of the pincushion inside, making it slightly taller than the lip of the cup. Leave a small area unglued as a hole for the stuffing.

Put the stuffing or fabric scraps through the small hole until filled. You want it to be smooth and full, but not overflowing.

Glue the final piece of the top fabric to the cup.

(Another option is to sew the pincushion, stuff, and finish sewing shut, then glue inside the teacup.)

3-D flower card Materials:

•Real or fake flower


•Photo paper (optional)

•Construction paper

•Craft utility knife

Take a photo of you or your child, with an arm stuck out toward the camera making a fist.

Print the photo.

Use the knife to cut a small slit at the top and bottom of the fist in the photograph.

Insert the flower through the slot just created, so it looks like the photo subject is holding it.

Glue the photo to folded construction paper to make a card and decorate.

Handprint bouquet Materials:

•Washable paint, various colors

•Ribbon or another color paint or marker

•Green paint or marker

•Canvas or construction paper

Paint the palm of your hand and make handprints in various colors on the paper or canvas, clustered toward the top and center.

Using the green marker or paint, draw stems coming from the handprints to make them look like flowers.

Once the stems dry, paint or draw a ribbon around the center to “tie” the bouquet together, or glue on actual ribbon for a 3-D effect.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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