Last week we showed you some fun gift ideas for Mother’s Day that you can buy, so this week we’re sharing some hands-on ideas for all you crafty ladies…

Handmade Soap

Powder room soaps are always a lovely gift especially when you add your personal touch by making them yourself. We love this recipe, which uses fruit to give fabulous freshness and pretty fragrance. To create your own collection of pretty handmade soaps, all you need is:

  • Glycerin
  • Assorted citrus peels, berries, and fruit of your choice. We like to use berries with seeds (exfoliating!) and lemon, but use whatever fruit is your mom’s favorite.
  • Clean, dry containers like yogurt cups, milk cartons, juice concentrate cans, etc. Get creative with your shapes and sizes and mix it up for a pretty assortment!
  • Heat-resistant glass measuring cup or bowl
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray or petroleum jelly
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paring knife

First thing’s first: make your purees. After washing and drying your fruit, mash and blend it until you make a fruity puree paste. If you have a food processor or blender, it might come in handy here. Once you have your puree, set aside.

To determine how much glycerin you need, fill your mold with water and measure the amount. Once you’ve taken note of the amount, dry your mold completely and evenly coat the inside with cooking spray or petroleum jelly.

Chop the glycerin into ½ inch pieces and microwave it in your heat-resistant bowl in 30 second intervals until it’s melted but not boiling. Remove and stir until smooth and let cool (but not solidfy).

Once the glycerin is melted and free of lumps, mix in your yummy purees. Start with 1 teaspoon of puree per cup of soap – you can add more from there – be patient, though: the color will intensify as the puree steeps.

Almost done! Now all you have to do is pour your soap into the molds. You can fill the mold partially for 1 bar, or fill completely to slice into several. Spray the surface with alcohol to prevent bubbles from forming. Now it’s just a waiting game – let the soap form for about 20 to 60 minutes depending on size, then transfer to freezer for about 2 hours.

Once your soaps are good and solid, tear away the cartons or pry soap out. Neaten the edges with a pairing knife and put them in a pretty package lined with tissue paper for a lovely heartfelt gift!

Dip-Dyed Stationary and Cards

Elegant stationary is a ladylike essential, so supply your mother’s correspondence collection with original dip dyed note cards and stationary. All you need is:

  • Plain white stationary or notecards of your choice. We recommend purchasing your cards at an art or craft supply store where a salesperson can recommend card stock that will hold dye best.
  • Plastic storage bin or galvanized-steel bin
  • Stir stick
  • All-purpose liquid or powder dye
  • Paper towel (to test out your dye)

This crafty card trick is surprisingly easy. First, fill the plastic bin with at least 6 inches of hot water. Stir in the dye, adding it little by little and using the paper towel to test the color. If you go overboard, you can always add more water. Once you’ve perfected your color, let your mix settle for a minute so that no more air bubbles rise to the top.

Next, holding your paper level and straight, dip it into the dye to the desired line. Keep it submerged until it has gotten dark enough, then hang to dry. And that’s it!

Etched Glass

Did you know that etching glass is incredibly easy? All you need is an adhesive stencil, etching paste, and a little patience to personalize any piece of glass. You can really get creative with this, but we think personalizing a baking dish or set of glasses is a pretty and thoughtful way to show mom you care. Here’s how:

Adhere your stencil to the glass, making sure there are no air bubbles near the area to be etched. Using a small brush, apply a thick layer of etching cream and allow it to set for about 30 minutes. After a half an hour, rinse off the etching cream under running water then wash with soap (wear gloves!). Et voila!

We hope you give these fun and thoughtful gift ideas a try! If you do, be sure to upload photos and share your experience with us! To learn how to submit photos, click here.


This is one of Lauren’s favorite ideas: Create a cookbook for your mother. Include all of your favorite recipes that she makes along with a few new ones that you think she would like to try. Leave a few pages blank so she can add more in. Each year, you can provide her with a new recipe to add to her collection. Better yet, offer to make one of the recipes with her when you give it to her on Mother’s Day.

What other DIY gifts will you be giving mom this year? Tell us about them (and how to do them!) in the comments below.

Also, let us know if you’re going to give any of the above crafts a try!

XO Team

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Lauren’s complete Mother’s Day gift guide too!

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