Friday, May 6, 2011

Handmade for Mom

Well, it is almost Mother's Day and it was my intention to make monogrammed tea towels for my mom and show you how to make them (albeit a little last minute).  But, nothing ever goes as planned and it turns out that our local printer does not print on the iron on transfers that I would have needed to do the project.  Instead, I will give you a short list of handmade (and inexpensive) gifts to give mom this Sunday.  If she's amazing as my mom she deserves a whole lot more, but, really, there is no way we can ever pay back that love anyway.

One easy gift that I always wholeheartedly endorse is the gift of experience.  In fact, I have read that some studies show that money CAN actually buy happiness, when used to invest in experiences (going out to dinner, going to concerts, traveling) as opposed to material objects.  If you have a little money to spend on mom this year, I suggest taking her somewhere.  If she likes music, make it a concert.  If she likes decorating, like my mom, take her to a home tour or take her shopping and get her one thing she wants.  As long as your are doing it together (and you spend the day telling her how much you appreciate all she has done for you) she will enjoy it.

If you don't have money to spend (no shame in that) do the even more thoughtful thing and make her a fancy lunch at home (complete with flowers and a fancy cocktail) and be sure to invite all of your siblings.  Or set up a nice all-day spa day at home for her.  You can join her for homemade face masks and paint her toenails.  You could have some of her favorite magazines ready and make a nice spa-style lunch.  Just be sure to do ALL the work around the house: answering phones, cleaning up after yourself, getting her a glass of ice tea with lemon.  I really don't think there is a better gift than a fun mother-daughter/son bonding session.

As for some handmade gifts, I have found a lot on Martha Stewart's website.  Unless you have unlimited funding like Martha (or do insider trading) you are unlikely to be able to afford all the specialty products you need to do her projects.  So, they usually have to be adapted with ingredients and materials that you can find at your local grocery store or craft store. 

She had these Teacup Lights years and years ago, I think after I saw the idea in the magazine. I made them for Christmas and then made them several times after that.  I still make them from time to time and they are adorable and so easy.  Go to your local Goodwill/Salvation Army and get a few cute, old teacups or use any old ones that don't belong to a set anymore.  Get wicks and a block of wax from the craft store (the wax can be a little expensive, but you can use it for a lot of candles) or use many old semi-used candles and then melt the wax in a medium sized bowl over boiling water.  Tie the wicks to wooden skewers and place them on top of the cup.  Pour the wax in and wait for them to set.  It's as easy as that! (And Martha even gives you pictures!)

I wanted to make an altered version of the Iron-On Monogram Tote for Mother's Day this year (sorry to ruin any surprises mom) but I wanted to use the monograms for tea towels.  The beauty is that you can download the monogram pattern from her website and then use it however you want.  I thought it would be cute on some brightly colored tea towels and then was going to play around with a few other patterns on some.  Iron-ons are usually a piece of cake and if you have a functioning printer that also prints color they even easier. 

I am sorry that I can't show you a finished attempt! But maybe I will still make them after Mother's Day and let you know how they go.  I also like the idea of the Tub Teas and the Pantry Soaps, although the Tub Teas need specialty herbs from an online company.  I assume it's not cheap.  I'd look for loose teas at my grocery store.  The Pantry Soaps look beautiful and I have made soap before (although not for a long time) but I honestly have no idea where to get glycerine here.  If I could I would make these in a heartbeat!  They really do use all stuff I already have in my pantry!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these ideas for mom.  Probably you are already on top of it, but for those of you who are scrambling for some last minute ideas, here you are! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.  Until we become moms ourselves we will never know how much you give up for us and how appreciative we should be.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  And to my mom, you are the best and I can't imagine life without you.  I hope you know how much I love you from so far away.

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