They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach with some tasty treats, but the way to a mom’s heart is definitely through a homemade present. Most of us know that finding the perfect gift can be difficult, no matter what occasion or time of year. As Mother’s Day quickly approached, I knew of five kids who would love to create a gift for their mother. They also love seeing mom’s face as she opens her gift. I wanted to give them an opportunity to make and give their mother three homemade gifts. So, if you like this idea, but aren’t sure where to start and aren’t particularly crafty, keep reading. Below are a few creative DIY gift ideas that these five kids made, from easy-peasy to needs-a-bit-of-help-from-me.
We all know that moms are superheroes, and Mother’s Day is the perfect time to express our gratitude. What better way to do this than with a DIY “Thank You” jar? I found three medium sized jars (for three moms). I asked the kids to write five thank you notes on brightly colored paper. Then fold the paper into a small square, and then drop them into their mother’s jar. I watched Chloe, 15; Ava, 13; Sophia, 10; Cole, 8; and Kinsley, 7 intently hunched over as they wrote from their little hearts. Sometimes they used their other hand to hide what they were writing, as if I had given them a top-secret writing assignment. Speaking of assignment, I didn’t want the kids to feel like they were stuck doing homework. So, as soon as they finished writing five thank you(s), I suggested they put down their pens and pencils to get ready to make a craft. The suggestion brought huge smiles.
I’ll come back to the “Thank You” jars in a few minutes. Let’s move on to the second homemade project: Button bouquet in a salt (or pepper) shaker.
I’m pretty certain that these three mother’s love flowers. But I wanted the mom’s to have something that wouldn’t be dead in a week. You know how standard flower bouquets are. They look and smell wonderful at first. But even after they’ve been trimmed, the petals soon start dropping off, and the water turns a nasty color.
I came across several online cute-as-a-button ideas which made the cutest miniature flower bouquets. And the best part about these bouquets is they’re not only unique and beautiful, but they will last, too. The flowers will never need watering and they’ll never wilt!
- A salt and pepper shaker. (I found a set of two at the Dollar Tree for $1.25.)
- Floral foam
- Either green or uncoated floral wire. I recommend buying regular floral wire as “stems” instead of coiled wired, that way it’s already straight. 22-gauge is the perfect weight wire for a button bouquet.
- Assorted buttons. (I found some great variety packs at Hobby Lobby.)
- Felt or color paper to cover the button backs. (We used sticky labels.)
- Hot glue
- Wire cutters, round nose jewelry pliers, and needle nose pliers.
- Small paint brush, pencil, or ink pen (round objects for coiling stems).
I purchased wire that was 18 inches long, so we were able to get two flower stems out of each wire. But I recommend starting out with using a whole 18-inch wire. Then attach it to a button (instructions below), and then trim it to your desired height.
To make your bouquet as fun as possible, I recommend a variety of different button sizes, as well as buttons with varying amounts of holes
How to attach floral wire to each button to form a stem:
- If the button has two holes, stick one end of the wire through the first button hole.
- Pull the wire out a couple of inches.
- Then pull the wire through the other button hole.
- Twist the short wire together with jewelry pliers.
- When you’re done, carefully cut the leftover wire (the small piece, not the big one) with wire cutters.
- Finally, push the twisted wire flat against the button (you can push the button flat against a table or hard object to help).
We decided we didn’t like the backs of the buttons—they were kinda ugly. So, the children cut a circle out of sticky labels to cover the backs. The kids made sure their sticky label circle was smaller than the button so they couldn’t see the circle (sticky label) from the front. This made the buttons look so much cleaner and it covered up any sharp wire pieces.
Next, the kids stuffed small pieces of foam inside the vase (salt shaker). When the kids were assembling their bouquets, they trimmed some of the stems with wire cutters to give their flowers varied heights. They also shortened their stems by coiling the wire stem around a pencil or other round object a few times. Coiling the wire definitely added a lot of dimension and personality to the bouquets, so don’t skip this step.
Next, I asked the kids to write five more “thank you” notes for their moms. While they were writing, I prepared a snack for them. After the additional thank you notes were placed in the jars, we attached a ribbon and a tag to each jar. The tag said “Thank You” on each jar.
Then we took a snack break. Boy, can little kids eat! It was either that…or they were excited to move on to another hands-on project. Next up was Popsicle stick pencil holders.
Popsicle Stick Pencil Holder:
- We took the label off of a plastic bottle. The bottle can be any size, shape, or color you want. We used plastic water bottles.
- We rinsed the bottle with soap and water, and then dried with a towel.
- We used a box cutter to cut the top part off the bottle. Don’t worry: I helped each child with this step. There was no need to be too exact when cutting. We trimmed the water bottle down just a tad shorter than the Popsicle sticks.
- If the water bottle has “ribs,” use the grooves as a guideline.
- Each child applied a thin line of hot glue on the edge of the Popsicle sticks and then stuck it on the water bottle. (Yes, there were yelps and some squeals when the hot glue touched their bare skin. But no one was seriously burned, thank goodness.)
- Press Popsicle stick firmly and hold against the water bottle.
- Some leftover buttons were used to create flowers, and jute twine, gave the finishing touches on these cute pencil holders.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I suggested making the “Thank You” jars. But what an incredible gift they turned out to be! I’m running out of space here. But I can honestly say, hand on heart, that these three moms will literally hold the “Thank You” jars near and dear to their hearts. There’s no better gift from a kid than a homemade one.
The mothers shared some of their thank you(s) with me. Wait ’til you read some of them. I’m always on the verge of tears every time I read them.
Thank you for the trips you take me on.
Thank you for raising me.
Thank you for feeding us healthy food.
Thank you for giving us a home.
Thank you for being part of the reason I know my way around the kitchen.
Thank you for showing me kindness.
Thank you for helping me learn.
Thank you for all you have done.
Thank you for making me safe.
Thank you for letting me have fun.
Thank you for teaching me manners.
One more thing before I go. These five kids may not have everything they want, but they have a mother who loves them more than anything in the world.