Can you remember making those adorable crafts in the good old preschool days? The ones you would gift family members or friends? The ones that would be hung up on a wall in your house or on the fridge in the kitchen?

These days, all we seem to do is show up to the mall to pick out expensive presents—with no personalization or thoughtful input. So, in regard to Romanian Mother’s Day on May 6th (May 13th for most other countries), gather the scissors and pens—it’s DIY time.

Mother’s Day, which is typically celebrated in the months of March and May around the world, is a day to cherish one of the most important figures in our lives—our moms. Although creating presents ourselves may sound like a lot of work, it is also intended to be as enjoyable as possible. As founder and editor of the DIY blog Lovely Indeed, Chelsea Foy has described the process as “something we do for the pure joy of it—the joy of creating something with your own two hands, and the pride that comes along with it. If there’s no joy, there’s no point.”

 

Tin Can Planter

Image Source: thebestideasforkids.com

This extremely simple DIY gift is perfect for all of those who seek to create something personalized while keeping the process simple and easy. Only a couple of materials are necessary to create this planter:

  • Clean tin cans with no rust
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • Cut-out paper letters
  • A plant placed within a small plastic pot able to fit inside the size of the tins you have chosen
  • Clear tape

Directions:

  1. Start by cutting out the letters which you will need to create the message you want on the tin can.
  2. Cut out small pieces of clear tape and tape each piece to itself in order to create singular coils.
  3. Tape the coils to the back of each letter you have cut out and tape the letters onto the tin.
  4. Grab your paintbrush and paint (with the acrylic color you have selected) on the tin and letters.
  5. Wait 5 minutes for the paint to dry and remove the letters and tape from the tin.
  6. Place the small plant you have selected within the tin.

This craft is also a great way to recycle used products such as the tins and adding something a little new with the paint. Ms. Achim, the ELC ART teacher here at AISB, says she particularly likes upcycling things. “I think these materials are so easy to find and combining them with new materials makes for a good, cheap present,” she states.

*Go to TheBestIdeasForKids for the full directions.

 

Heart Thumbprint Platter

Image Source: simplykierste.com

If you’re looking for a present which is slightly more collective and cooperative between other family members, then a gift like this may be for you. A plate decorated with the thumbprints of all of your family members is a good way to get everyone included meaningfully. Once again, most of the materials necessary are ones which you can find in your house:

  • White plate
  • Glass paint
  • A sharpie
  • Damp paper towels (recommended to wipe out any mistakes made)

Directions:

  1. Divide the plate equally depending on how many fingerprints you want on it.
  2. Make a small mark with the paint you will use to know exactly where each print should go.
  3. Cover your finger with the paint and make two prints to form a heart.
  4. If you accidentally mess up, use the damp paper towels to wipe off the paint.
  5. Using the sharpie, write the names of the person under their print or decorate the rest of the plate however you want.

According to Foy, “I consider a successful project to be not just beautiful but functional as well.” As presents tend to lose their value, over time, according to their practicality, this sweet plate will be able to stand against time and be used whenever you would like.

*Check out SimplyKierste for the rest of the directions.

 

Marbled Mugs

Image Source: diycandy.com

This DIY idea is simple, inexpensive and accessible. The “nail polish and water” trend has been going on for quite some time now and these adorable mugs are just that! The materials are definitely ones that you will find around your house:

  • A mug
  • Nail polish (color of your choosing)
  • Toothpicks
  • A container filled with hot water

Directions:

  1. Pour a little bit of the nail polish into the container filled with hot water.
  2. With a toothpick, swirl the polish around in the water.
  3. Dip half of the mug into the swirl of polish and remove once the polish is on the mug.
  4. Let dry upside down overnight.

According to Foy, “(…) creating something that looks polished and beautiful is key. A DIY is most impressive when you can’t tell its DIY. The cherry on the top is if it’s built well enough to withstand daily use.” No present will seal the “polished and beautiful” deal better than a craft made with nail polish.

*Full directions at DIYCandy.

 

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Image Source: deliciouslysprinkled.com

If your mom is a foodie, then this super adorable, sweet, chewy-gooey, chocolatey delight may be the ultimate gift for you. Moms love chocolate covered strawberries, but here’s an opportunity to upgrade the game.

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips/white chocolate chips
  • additional chocolate chips, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 185°C and place parchment paper on a baking tray.
  2. Put all of the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt) in a large bowl and whisk them together.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix ingredients using an electric mixer.
  4. Keep mixing ingredients and add the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add the dry-ingredient mixture into the butter mixture and keep mixing with the electric mixer.
  6. Add in the strawberries and chocolate chips using a spatula and mix well until combined.
  7. Scoop 2 tablespoons of cookie mixture and place onto the baking sheet.
  8. Put the tray into the oven for approximately 10 minutes, then rotate the tray clockwise and bake for 4-5 minutes more or until golden brown around the edges.
  9. Directly after taking out the tray, sprinkle some more chocolate chips and let cool for 5 minutes.

*Click here for the full directions.

 

String Heart Card

Image Source: hellowonderful.co

These super impressive and artistic cards make a great best last-minute present if you didn’t have the time to make anything else. They take approximately 10 minutes to create, and the best part is that they don’t look like DIY’s. The necessary materials are super easy and chances are that you’ll find them around your house:

  • Yarn of your color of choice
  • Thick card stock cut to the size that you want
  • Large threading needle
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Trace a heart onto the card stock with a pencil (you can use a heart template such as a cookie cutter if you want a perfect heart).
  2. Using your needle, punch holes onto the traced heart and erase the pencil marks.
  3. Thread the yarn from hole to hole going in random directions. Once you are done, cut the excess yarn on the underside of the card and tie the yarn.

*You can find the rest of the steps at HelloWonderful.

 

DIY and Crafting Tips

  1. “The basic tools which you will need in the beginning [of crafting] such as good glue, scissors, pens, colored paper, and paint mixed with upcycled materials is a great way to start crafting without experience.”—Ms. Achim
  2. “You can find a great selection of colorful and affordable acrylic paints in just about any craft store in the world. And a fresh coat of paint can bring new life to just about anything.”—Chelsea Foy
  3. “I like to be inspired by color, shape, texture, nature, food, and more. Inspiration is everywhere.”—Chelsea Foy
  4. “[Some of the most accessible ART materials] in Romania are the simple crafting tools which you can find at Jumbo and Carrefour and places like that.”—Ms. Achim

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