If your mom is like mine, she will say she doesn’t want you to do anything special for her for Mother’s day; she would just like to spend some time with her loved ones. Well that’s crap. What mom really wants is to be pampered. But, if your mom truly is like my mom, she will also say she doesn’t want you to spend any money on her for Mother’s day; she would like a homemade gift from the heart. Now that’s the truth.
I don’t know about you but the last homemade gift I made my mom consisted of dried pasta glued to the side of a wood frame. While it’s the thought that counts, mom deserves a better thought than that. So how do you go above and beyond the macaroni art, without breaking the budget? Dig deep – into your kitchen cupboard that is.
Inspired by a book I found on small living, I went digging through my cupboards. The author lists dozens of natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin – and that any mom would love. All it takes is a little creativity to turn them into spa-worthy gifts that make her feel pampered.
MAKING THE GIFTS
Pampering starts at the toes, and works its way up. With a few recipes from the book, and some personal touches of my own, I was able to come up with some homemade gifts worth giving. And maybe some worth keeping.
Spring Bath Salts – Happy feet make for a happy sole, so mom can dip her toes, or fill the whole tub. This energizing bath salt mixture will feel great, and smell great too. The fresh lemon invigorates the skin while the essential oils create a calming atmosphere. Be sure to store this one in the fridge to keep it fresh.
Lemon Sugar Scrub – Nothing like a relaxing foot scrub, followed by a foot rub. The sugar and honey help to naturally exfoliate, while the oil restores the skin. This scrub is great on tired hands and feet.
Creamy Coconut Lotion – Perfect for all-over relaxation, this lotion will make mom’s tired skin feel rejuvenated and smooth (and you can finally use up the warehouse store-sized tub of coconut oil you bought for that diet you tried but never stuck to). This one requires an electric hand mixer, and a little elbow grease, but produces a fluffy lotion that indulges the skin. Combine ingredients and whip until light and smooth.
- 2 cups coconut oil and
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E
- Essential oil (orange, peppermint, etc.)
Mocha Face Mask – What wakes mom up better than coffee and cocoa (and screaming kids)? The caffeine in this face mask will energize the skin, leaving her feeling healthy and youthful. Warm this mixture before gently dabbing on face. Allow to dry, then rinse.
- ¼ cup fine coffee grounds
- ¼ cup cocoa
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
Conditioner – Oil is usually the last thing I want to add to my hair, but this conditioner is the perfect hair mask. It puts life back into dry, tired hair. After all those years of you driving mom nuts, she could really use it.
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E
Dry Shampoo – For those days when mom goes a little overboard on the conditioner, or just doesn’t feel like washing. This powdered shampoo naturally absorbs the oil at the roots, leaving hair looking volumized and smooth. Use a spice shaker to apply to the roots – a little at a time.
- 1/3 cup cornstarch (sub cocoa powder for dark hair)
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- Essential oil (eucalyptus, etc.)
PACKAGING THE GIFTS
Glass Jars – A kitchen’s best friend. My Grandma stored everything in old tubs of margarine, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. in an effort to save money. It was a great idea, until someone wanted the actual sour cream. Since then, I have always made it a point to have a few extra jars on hand. Canning jars, mason jars, and glass bottles make great choices. Use a variety of sizes and styles for a cute homemade gift set.
Spice Containers/Shakers – Dry conditioner and bath salts do well in these containers. The lids make for easy use, and keep you from pouring all your salts into the tub at once. Or ending up with a powdered scalp.
PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING
This is the tricky part. You’ve gone all homemade on the gifts and you are just dying to buy some cute bows and wrapping paper to make them look presentable. But mom wouldn’t want that.
Tissue/Newspaper – When all else fails, go with Marmaduke. The comics make great wrapping paper in a pinch, and can be composted later on! Stick a piece of tissue under the lid to give the bland jars some color.
Ribbon/String – My Grandpa reused every bow I ever gave him. I knew that because the piece of tape on the back always had an imprint of last year’s wrapping paper (and likely the year before). If you don’t happen to have a box of old ratty bows in your basement, ribbon works just as well. And if you don’t happen to have a box of equally ratty ribbon lying around, baker’s twine will do the trick.
Labels – Coconut oil looks like coconut oil, no matter what you mix it with. So to keep things straight, be sure to label the jars. You know, in case one ends up in the fridge next to the sour cream. White office labels work well, or you can make simple gift tags with some tissue and brown paper bags.
Basket/Lunch Bag – A basket makes this a true spa gift, but lunch bags work just as well. Cut a brown paper bag like a snowflake to give it some shape, or draw a few doodles on there, and stick your gifts inside. Tie it with ribbon/string.
DON’T FORGET A CARD
Now it’s time to break out the macaroni. Or get just as crafty with some paper and colored pencils. I may be close to 30, but I know my mom is going to want to keep the card I make her, so it has to be good.
Write a haiku – you don’t have to be a poet to come up with your own heartfelt limerick. Just ask Bill, who recently wrote a haiku about a chicken. Something short, sweet, and a tad bit funny is all you need to put a smile on mom’s face.
Today I must say
thank you for always washing
my socks and undies.
Sign it “with love” – because let’s face it, mom already knows who you are. Leave your name off the card, and sign it with a heart, xoxo, or private nickname instead. Unless you have a whole crew of siblings, then “Love, Pumpkin” might not be enough.
So what are you giving your mom this year? Is she the homemade-gifts type or the buy-me-something type?