Mother’s Day DIY

Mother’s Day seems to be sneaking up a little earlier this year, and of course it means us moms have to get started on the Mother’s Day DIY  for all the other lovely mommas in our lives (yes, it’s quite ironic, I know).  If you are stuck on ideas for some thoughtful gifts for Mother’s Day this year, here are a few creative projects you can make for your mom, mother-in-law, mom BFF, or let’s face it, yourself.IMG_8282For my first Mother’s Day, my super thoughtful and sweet sister put together a book featuring photos of my daughter Mila, who was only 9 months old at the time. Inspired by the book, Celebrating Mother’s Day, Mom’s Memory Box by Sandi Hill, she took photos of Mila holding the various items listed in the book that served as symbols for all the ways moms care for their kids. She had to take all the photos in one quick session while she was babysitting for me. My sister was teaching Kindergarten at the time, and used this idea in her classroom as well. She also made a version for my husband that year for Father’s Day using a similar book geared toward dads. Told you she is super thoughtful. IMG_8271Inspired by my sister’s gift for me, last year I made my mom BFF Andria a version of I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, using photos of her ever-so-cute daughter that I took while we were on a joint family vacation together. When you’re as close as Andria and I are, it’s perfectly natural to get each other Mother’s Day gifts, after all who else understands all the challenges you face on a daily basis as a mom like your mom BFF? IMG_2536IMG_0034 For more details on how to create this book, see I Love You Through and Through with Mila and Marlowe. Below are three versions of this book I have made for my own daughters. IMG_5721The last 4 years I have also been lucky enough to go on family vacations accompanied by either my mother or my mother-in-law. So it was a natural idea for me to make photo books chronicling our week in paradise, ensuring I include lots of photos of grandma cuddling with the grandkids. The photo-books were created using Photos on my Macbook Pro, which has proven to be a little disappointing lately (missing titles, inability to print multiple copies, etc.), so I think I’ll be trying some other printing sources soon. Apple, I can only stay loyal for so long. But regardless, photo-books chronicling a special time are no-brainers as gifts for those sentimental moms. IMG_8269This year, I wanted to help my daughters create something extra special for my mother-in-law who has been a true lifesaver since the kiddos entered school. The girls have been catching all kinds of cooties and getting sick almost weekly and the hubby and I are running out of sick days, so cue Nonna, with her infinite supply of cookies and treats. I’m beginning to think the last couple of times the girls just played sick so that they could stay home with her and indulge in sweets. Since my mother-in-law by all accounts is a “good woman” and “they don’t make them like that anymore” (direct quotes taken from her sons), she appreciates a good apron and is almost always wearing one when she is cooking and baking away with love for her large family.

I decided to decorate an apron with artwork created by the girls for her. I purchased a white painting apron and some fabric crayons from De Serres and  I borrowed an iron from my mother (I am clearly not a “good woman” since I don’t even own an iron).IMG_8262I cut some paper in to smaller pieces and gave them to my daughters and encouraged them to draw things that remind them of their Nonna. Mila, being four and a half, and rather artistic, was very excited about this idea and began working away. Marlowe, being two and half, and easily distracted, gave me some nice scribble drawings, but hey, it’s the thought that counts. I found that giving the girls smaller pieces of paper to work with is less overwhelming for them, and it allowed me to edit and decide on the placement of the images, and it encouraged them to work on the pieces over a few days.IMG_8260After the girls drew some pictures, I started ironing the images onto the apron. Since the pictures are drawn with fabric crayon, some areas don’t transfer as well as others, but I was okay with imperfections. Hey, it’s children’s art on an apron, what’s perfect about that? I chose not to include any text, but just a reminder that if you choose to include text in your piece it should be written in reverse. As I started transferring the images onto the apron, it started to look a little familiar to me, and I was reminded of Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress and veil which was covered with her kids’ artwork. Sorry Angelina, but I think this idea works a lot better on an apron, and Versace wedding gowns should be left as is.IMG_8263I purchased some wooden spoons to place in the pockets of the apron, since you can never have enough wooden spoons when you’re an Italian Nonna (and a mom of three boys) and ta da, here is a creative and original gift idea for all the apron wearing mommas in your life (I am not one of them, but hey, I would appreciate a cool reusable shopping bag version of this project). This project only cost about $15 to make (including the spoons) and was done over a span of a few days, totalling about an hour and half of time. If your mom isn’t much of an apron wearer, maybe take on a smaller version of this project using dish clothes. I am most looking forward to seeing the excitement in my girls faces when they see Nonna stirring her sauce in their apron design. IMG_8274I used to think that Mother’s Day was another way for Hallmark and florists to cash in on ill-prepared guilt-ridden children and husbands, and I guess I still kind of do, but now I see it as an opportunity to take some time to create something personal and meaningful for all the overworked moms in our lives and to show just a little bit of appreciation for all that they do. But just know that if you don’t have the time to DIY, Chanel will do just fine.

For more DIY projects, check out:

I Love You Through and Through with Mila and Marlowe

Card-Making with Mila & Marlowe

Alphabet Art

Celebrating Mila and Marlowe

A Year of Mila and Marlowe

Salvaged Window Frame

Shelf-Liner – The BEST Invention Ever



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