Handmade Gifts We Made for Mom

Beth Rice 09/05/2019

Handmade gifts are special. Knowing someone put in the thought, time and effort to create something carries some weight .

With Mother’s Day in mind, I asked the DutchCrafters staff to share some of the handmade Mother’s Day gifts they remember making, but first, let’s start with you. I would LOVE to hear and share yours.

What handmade gifts did you make your mother or grandmother for Mother’s Day? Do you remember her reaction? Does she still have any of them? How about handmade gifts you received? What was your favorite? Ponder as you read through this blog and please share those handmade gift stories with us in the comments below!

From Beth

Ok, I’ll go first. At the top of my list s a yarn soap necklace and a popcorn egg!

One of my elementary school teachers had us bring in a thinned-out bar of soap when there’s no longer enough left to use it. We also had to bring in a photo of ourselves with our mother. We glued the picture to the soap, put shellac over it and then glued yarn around the edge to make it into a tie on soap/yarn necklace! I proudly gave my Mom pastel green soap (probably Irish Spring) with navy blue yarn with our picture in the middle…and…she wore it! It really was hideous. And there’s a picture somewhere, bless her heart.

Handmade Mother's Day Gift
Artwork made from matches that my daughter gave me when she was in third grade. Pictures continue throughout this blog post of handmade gifts my daughters gave to me or my husband.
Homemade Mother's Day gift.

Then there was the egg. It was a popcorn egg, and I gave it to my mom for Easter when I was about 7 years old. I had to bring a squared piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil to school. In class, we popped popcorn and mixed it with something sticky and sweet. On top of our aluminum wrapped cardboard, my teacher carefully spooned some of the sweet popcorn mix. Then we shaped it into a large egg shape and decorated it with gum drops. On Easter I presented my mom with the popcorn egg, and she did the “Oh wow that’s beautiful and looks delicious” mom thing that moms do. My Aunt Julie came over to have Easter dinner with us and after dinner, Mom asked me to get her delicious popcorn egg and bring it to the table to share. I retrieved it from the kitchen and was on my way to the dining room when, (I think you know where I’m going with this) I had some kind of 7-year-old spasm and dropped it. Of course, it landed face down. I immediately started crying. My mother and aunt rushed to me and this is the reason I remember this gift that I made for my mom some 40 years ago. It wasn’t the brightly colored gum drops or the way it tasted or the fun egg shape. It was her reaction to it when it fell on the floor. “It’s ok!” my mother said as she expertly managed to flip the aluminum foil base and most of the egg over. “It’s fine! Honey, don’t cry!” she soothed. The popcorn egg was now misshapen and lopsided and some of the gum drops had fallen off. My mom, my aunt and I were all kneeling on the floor with my mom quickly scooping up popcorn from the floor and trying to reshape the egg. “This still looks delicious,” she said smiling brightly while I tried to stop crying.  “It does!” my aunt said, eating a gum drop off the floor and replacing some of the others. “Scrumptious!” And they were both smiling and irresistible, and I won’t ever forget it.

From Sara

I don’t have any memories of making gifts for my mom, but I remember cutting flowers for her.  My sister’s girls made super cute Mother’s Day gifts for her when they were in nursery school. They made painted flower pots with popsicle stick stems…with a cut out close-up picture of their faces. My sister still has them on a shelf in her kitchen.

Handmade Gifts
A foam fish my husband cannot part with. Our youngest made it for him. It’s been on his bathroom mirror for years!

From Milca

In the third grade, we were told to bring in some rocks because we would be drawing on them. My mom and I went searching for rocks, and we found a few, but my favorite was one that was a rounded triangle shape. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I was going to draw on that rock – a face – because this rock was the perfect head shape. That’s what I did, with marker that was sprayed with something to keep the drawing on and give it sheen. My teacher liked it so much, she asked if she could keep it. However, I liked that rock and the design I had created so much that on the back I had already dedicated it to a very special person – my momma. I think I saw that rock somewhere inside my parents’ house recently. The marker has faded a bit, but my momma is still super-special.

Handmade Gifts
I can’t seem to take this down. The refrigerator’s been replaced but this gift remains. My daughter is 2 or 3 in the photo. She’s 18 now…..

From Shannon

My elementary school art department was part of a program where parents could purchase a t-shirt, mug, magnets, etc. with their kid’s drawing on it. We had a different theme every year; my mom usually bought the magnets to use on our fridge. In fifth grade, I decided not to pay attention or go with the theme at all. I drew a really abstract geometric design that looked almost like a puzzle. I got in trouble with my art teacher for not sticking to the theme, but my mom was happy I was being so “creative,” and she proudly bought the magnets. I actually have one on my fridge now. It’s a nice little reminder of how creative I was as a kid.

Handmade Gifts
Yes, these were Christmas gifts. They are super heavy and made with bricks. I’m not sure where the teacher got so much brick material. I keep them under my kitchen counter year round heaven forbid I ever needed to defend myself against an intruder!

From Kari Jo

I emailed my mom and asked her what her most memorable Mother’s Day gifts have been. She said she loves and still uses a recipe box I made with a poem on the box. My mom does not cook, so I am not sure what she uses the box for, but she says it is one of her favorites. My mom always reacted to my gifts with a big smile and a hug. She always made me feel like I was giving her a pile of diamonds instead of some handmade craft.

Handmade Gifts
A clay pencil holder with Christmas theme.

The Origins of Mother’s Day

If you’re wondering how Mother’s Day began, I was wondering the same thing.

Some people confuse Mother’s Day with Mothering Sunday, which was a religious practice that happened during the 16th century. It was not about mothers but about the church. It was a tradition on the fourth Sunday of Lent for people to go to their “mother church” or the main church of the region they lived in for a special service. It came to be revered as a holiday of sorts. It is not connected to the beginning of Mother’s Day.

The story behind Mother’s Day involves a woman named Anna Jarvis who in 1908, was looking for a way to honor her mother who had been a peace activist during the U.S. Civil War. She was actually looking to have a day dedicated to peace in honor of her mother’s work. Initially, she was not taken seriously, but her persistence paid off, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into existence to celebrate America’s mothers on the second Sunday each May.

We’ve come to the end of our Mother’s Day blog. Have those handmade gift stories ready? We can’t wait to hear them!

If you’re in need of a Mother’s Day card and love DIY projects, here’s a link to some of the cutest homemade Mother’s Day cards from Good Housekeeping. You don’t want to miss the cute tulip and pom pom cards! Happy Mother’s Day. Thanks for being here.

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