12 Handmade, Upcycled Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Happy Mother's Day

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Skip the mall for Mother’s Day this year and give mom something from the heart. For a bit of reuse inspiration to get you going, we gathered up 12 eco-friendly ideas that are sure to bring a smile to her face.

12 Handmade, Upcycled Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

1) Upcycled T-Shirt scarf

We wouldn’t normally recommend giving mom your old clothes for Mother’s Day. But for a reuse idea as stylish as this one, we’ll make an exception.  Follow these simple steps from Katelyn Wheaton of Ninth & Bird to transform your old tees into a brand new spring scarf mom is sure to love.

2) Wooden Jar Rack and Herb Garden

Like many of us, Serious Craft blogger Karen rescues pretty jars from her recycling bin for reuse around the house. In search of a unique way to show off her favorite finds, the Los Angeles-based crafter created this chic and minimal jar rack from hardware store materials to put her love for reuse on display. Assemble the rack with jar vases for fresh flowers, or take a page from Karen’s book and create a re-purposed herb garden that’s perfect for mom’s kitchen. Try it yourself with this detailed tutorial from Serious Craft.

3) Cardboard box photo cube

These adorable photo cube displays may look fresh from the pricy home decor shop, but they’re actually made from recycled light bulb boxes. To help mom show off her favorite memories in style, check out this simple tutorial from Tara Dennis to recreate these darling upcycled photo cubes yourself.  Worried about sturdiness? Don’t be. A bit of extra weight from stale beans keeps this cute memento in place.

4) Seashell flower necklace

Crafted from scallop-shaped seashells and a few basic jewelry materials, this lovely necklace is sure to be a hit with the mom in your life.  The professional results may make this project look tricky, but Debi of Debi’s Design Diary breaks it down so that even the crafting novice can give it a try with confidence.  Check out her tutorial, which includes an easy step-by-step video, at Debi’s Design Diary.

5) Living succulent wreath

Created almost entirely from natural materials, this stunning succulent wreath will make you wonder why you ever gifted mom with a lame ol’ grocery store bouquet.  Utah-based photographer and succulent aficionado Cassidy Tuttle filled a moss wreath with a variety of succulent cuttings to create this living work of art.  Want to give it a try for yourself? Check out her detailed tutorial and step-by-step video for all the guidance you’ll need to get it done.  Tip: The Succulents and Sunshine blogger notes that making this wreath is a fairly time-consuming process. Creating your own living masterpiece isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon, but you may want to save this one for mom’s birthday if you’re making your gift at the last minute.

6) Driftwood jewelry display

When San Francisco-based crafter Caitlin Dunn discovered a lovely piece of driftwood on a nature hike along the American River, she knew she’d eventually find a creative way to give it new life. After holding onto her found driftwood for a year, the teaspoon blogger finally got the inspiration she needed and created this chic and sea-worthy jewelry display that’s perfect for mom’s favorite bits of bling.  To give it a try on a piece of found wood from your neighborhood or favorite vacation spot, head to Dunn’s tutorial at teaspoon.

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7) Paper flower bouquet

Re-imagine the standard Mother’s Day bouquet with this beautiful handmade alternative from Maria Sadowski of Our Lake Life.  Not only will these pretty flowers never wilt, but they’re also made from waste paper for a planet-friendly present. Check out the full tutorial at Our Lake Life to give it a try for yourself.  Tip: Sadowski used coffee filters and leftover tissue paper to complete her bouquet. But feel free to use any bits of light waste paper you have on hand. Get creative!

8) Found wood slab clock

We love sourcing craft materials from the great outdoors, and this striking wood slab clock is no exception. The DIY pros at Whimseybox purchased their wood slab at a crafts store, but you can easily recreate their fab design with found wood.  Simply choose a piece of wood of the right shape and size, and cut off a thin slab with a hand saw or table saw before getting started. Then, head to Whimseybox for the full tutorial.

9) Pallet planter box

Pallets are typically easy to score on the cheap, making them ideal for low-cost reuse crafting.  Live Laugh Rowe blogger Kelly Rowe picked up her pallets for free on a curbside and got to work creating these pretty planter boxes that would look great on mom’s coffee table or patio.  For step-by-step instructions on how to build one yourself, head to the full tutorial at Live Laugh Rowe.

10) Tea towel market tote

A green gal can never have too many reusable shopping bags. So, why not upcycle some common household materials to make mom a customized bag on the cheap?  With only a few minutes of sewing, Stuff Steph Does blogger Stephanie Hayward created this fun drawstring tote from an old tea towel, and it’s perfect for those impromptu shopping trips.  Check out her guest-post tutorial at Petit Elefant to see how she did it, and give the gift of reusables this Mother’s Day.

11) Home state plaque

Made from materials you probably have in an under-the-sink toolbox, this lovely string art plaque celebrates the state that has mom’s heart.  This pretty pick mimics store-bought state displays that retail for $65 or more. But thanks to a little ingenuity, Moriya Harpster of The Harpster Home managed to make her’s for free. Want to give it a try? Check out the full tutorial at The Harpster Home.

12) Wood photo block

Looking for a unique way to display mom’s favorite photos? Try transferring them to wood blocks for a truly one-of-a-kind gift.  The process may sound tricky, but it’s actually much easier than you’d think. In a few simple steps, Ainhoa Vega Bayo of the blog A Little Bit of Everything will show you how it’s done.  Bet You’ll Love: PHOTOS: Stunning Mason Jar Crafts


Feature image credit:  Melpomene / Shutterstock

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.