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Make-It a Green Mother’s Day
This Mother’s Day, how about considering both of your moms – your human one and Mother Earth – and seek out ways to show them both you care by giving gifts from your hands and heart.
Since 150 million Mother’s Day cards are sold every year, let’s start there. Instead of purchasing a card that was most likely made from a virgin tree (or a portion thereof), look to alternatives. Even adults who consider themselves artistically challenged can create something beautiful, inventive and meaningful. After all, who can express your feelings toward your mom better than you? Young children are the leaders in handmade/homemade. We suggest you shed your inhibitions and your self-defeating ideas related to that fifth grade art teacher who said, “You can’t draw,” and try. Join a couple of kids, gather a few supplies and see what you come up with. A card doesn’t have to be made from paper. But, if you do use it, search your house for cardboard, newspaper, magazines and other pre-used alternatives to newly purchased. Boxes of every shape can be re-purposed into “cards” that contain memorabilia, for instance. In fact, almost any item can carry your loving message, from a hat (You’re head and shoulders above the rest!) to a tea cup (You’re my cup of tea). Let your imagination run wild!
When it comes to gifts, thoughtfully handmade gifts win over store bought every time. Among the most simple, yet “charming” gifts are charms made from items most people discard. Think about your mom and what she enjoys, then collect small items that represent her, a hobby or work. For instance, a bottle cap from a favorite drink, a face from a broken watch, seed pods from an area where she takes her daily walks. Is she a teacher? Gather a few pencil stubs. Once you’ve gathered your items, make simple charms from them.
How to Make a Personalized Charm Bracelet for Your Mom
Drill or punch a small hole somewhere at what will be the top of the item when it hangs. Feed a piece of wire through the hole. Make a very small loop with one side of the wire. You may have to experiment a bit to get the loop the right size so that a chain or ribbon can slide through. Wrap the other side of the wire around the bottom of the loop a few times and trim with a wire cutter. Congratulations, you’ve made a charm!
Now slide it onto a length of chain or ribbon, and write a sweet message explaining the meaning behind the gift. Another idea: make this idea a tradition by giving her a handmade charm each year.
crafty, eco-friendly ideas
Here are a few other ideas for handmade gifts for mom that don’t assume you hold a PhD in crafting. Glue (using strong adhesive) a small teapot with flat sides to the front of a plate. When the glue is dry, run a ribbon around the teapot and make a bow at the top. Fill the teapot with flowers to hang on a wall.
All moms love family photographs. Glue pictures to the outside of a mug, then fill to the brim with organic brownies or whatever treat she craves and that you can make yourself. Find a copy of a favorite book at a garage sale or thrift store. Make a bookmark from family photos, inscribe the book, and wrap in a beautiful piece of fabric. If you’ve got a sense of humor (and she does too), it’s fun to write your own commentary or insert photos unexpectedly throughout the book.
Try your hand at cooking up some of her favorite candy, bread, or other “special treats.” Remember to present it beautifully.
Fill a small box or jar with strips of paper. The strips can contain uplifting quotes, jokes, or simply compliments. Suggest she pull one out whenever she’s feeling in need of a positive moment.
Another idea that costs neither your pocketbook nor the planet: gifts of talent. If you play the guitar, write her a song. Like to garden? Give her a gift certificate for a month’s worth of weeding. (Okay, not so much fun for you, but we guarantee she’ll love you for it.) Give her a coupon book filled with offers to do chores she considers onerous, such as, washing dishes, cleaning out the fridge, washing her car, etc.
Any mom will love these gifts that thoughtfully speak to who she really is, yet cost so little in time or money. And of course, your other mother, Mother Earth will be pleased as well.
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of “Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family,” available at www.CelebrateGreen.net. Photos ©2008 I-Candi Studios.