DIY Mother’s Day Gifts (That She Will Actually Use)

Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away now, and you might be panicking about how to get her something she loves. Well, she isn’t going to be toting her new purse to lunch or kicking up a gift of shoes for a night of dancing anytime soon. Why not make her something yourself? Something that she will actually like? Yes, yes, I know, ALL homemade gifts are great because they come from the heart. BUT. Some homemade gifts are lovely because of the thought and effort that is put into them, and some have that cherry-on-top vibe because it is something that they can actually use/truly like. Here are my top 5 DIY Mother’s Day gifts that won’t get stuck on a shelf somewhere.


I showed some of these ideas on Fox 32 with Sylvia today:

Hand-Decorated Journal or Do Not Disturb Sign

Journaling can relieve stress, help you focus, boost your mood, help stave off depression, and bring about mindfulness. FYI- these are all things moms need. Why not create a hand-decorated journal for her so she thinks about how much you care every time she jots her thoughts down? This is one DIY Mother’s Day gift that lasts the whole year.

I used the Xyron Creative Station Lite to put adhesive on the back of a piece of cardstock that I printed a quote on. The shiny letters were achieved by this Glaminator (I just love the name of the machine…it sounds like my type of superhero). I affixed the cardstock to the front of the journal and instant personalization!



I used a quote for mine that was inspiration/encouraging, but use whatever best fits your mom!

Custom Journal

Mom needs a little time to herself, especially since everyone is home with her 24/7 now. You can easily make a “Do Not Disturb” sign for her and assure her that when it is hung on the door, everyone in the family will abide by the directive.

Find a small photo frame with glass. Remove photo and insert a plain-colored background. Hot glue a ribbon to the top- each end is glued to a corner. She can use a dry erase marker to write a little message on the frame.

*NOTE- Since this is made of glass, technically it could break. Use caution, especially around little kids.

Mother's Day DIY Door Sign

You can also laminate cardboard with tissue paper to create a pretty background, then affix foam letters to spell out your message:

Mother's Day DIY: Do Not Disturb Sign

Paper Flower Pens in a Pot

I have a jar of pens on my desk and EVERY time I go to use one they are gone. Someone has borrowed (without any intention of returning) a pen and it drives me a little more insane each time it happens. Why not make mom a collection of her own decorated pens and cute pen holder?

DIY Paper Flower Pen

You can use tissue paper or crepe paper to make flowers. You can cut the “petals” into different shapes depending upon what type of flower you want to make. First, wrap a strip of green tissue paper around a pen and secure it with glue. Next, wrap the top of the pen with your strip of tissue or crepe paper, gluing the bottom as you go.

DIY Mother's Day Paper Flower Pens

To create a pen holder, use a small terra cotta flower pot and stuff with brown paper shreds. This DIY Mother’s Day gift is both adorable and useful.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Many of the taco seasoning packets sold in stores contain artificial or unnecessary ingredients. For example, maltodextrin (artificial sugar), partially hydrogenated soybean oil (can we say trans-fats?) and silicon dioxide (fancy name for SAND) can be found in popular brands. Homemade taco seasoning is simple to make, tastes better than those with preservatives, and is fairly inexpensive when you break it down on a per-serving basis.

DIY Taco Sesasoning

If you are looking for premium spices to use, check out The Spice House- they offer small portions of spices (1/2 cup) in “flatpacks.” These are easy to store and seal bags that ship free. In general, ground spices have a shelf life of about 2 to 4 years, and dried leafy herbs stay fresh for about 1 to 3 years.

Here is the recipe I use:

  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine and store in an airtight container.

Mother's Day DIY Taco Seasoning

You can make your own personalized labels and present this is a cute glass jar! Here are some Taco Puns that might be cute to use on your label:

  • Let’s Taco Bout How Wonderful You Are!
  • Have a Spec-taco-ler Day!
  • Taco Bout a Great Mom!
  • Nacho Average Mom
  • FantasTaco

Hand-Painted Moroccan-Inspired Lanterns

I think one of the best DIY gifts I have given my mom (which she still uses) are handmade candle lanterns. I decoupaged tissue paper to the outside and voila- instant lantern glow when lit from inside. Another way to do this to paint the glass and embellish with puffy paint and/or old jewelry! They are very Moroccan-inspired, perfect for summer patio parties.

Moroccan-Inspired DIY Lantern

Pick a selection of glass jars- you can use the same size or different. Spaghetti jars, baby food jars, jam jars, pickle jars, etc… all have ideal shapes. To remove the glue completely, mix together equal parts of vegetable oil and baking soda. Rub on the label residue and let sit for a half-hour. Take an abrasive scrubbing tool (steel wool) and use some elbow grease. Wash with soap and water.

Glass paint- DIY Lantern

Next, grab food coloring and Mod Podge. Add 1/4 teaspoon water to a mixing bowl, 1 Tablespoon Mod Podge and 25 drops food coloring. Mix and pour into jar, coat and pour out. Put upside down on a cooling rack with foil under and let dry for 24 hours (I use a piece of foil and curl up the edges so the dye doesn’t run all over; cooling rack is used so air can circulate and the paint doesn’t pool). Use gold or silver puffy paint to embellish, adding in old jewelry (chains, earrings) if desired.

Decorative DIY Lantern

Sugar Coffee Body Scrub

Mother's Day DIY Sugar Coffee Scrub

Summer weather is coming, and you can help mom get soft skin to show off. Mix together 4 tablespoons brewed coffee grounds, 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or other coarse sugar), and 1 tablespoon olive oil to form a wet paste. Use it to exfoliate skin, making sure to rinse thoroughly. Package in a small Mason jar and attach a gift tag!

Cheers to making mom a Mother’s Day gift that she will actually use and not put in a box in the attic!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links- if you purchase through my link, I make a small commission but it does not cost you money. I received Xyron products for review purposes but was not compensated for posting about them; all opinions are honest and my own as always.