3 Sweet & Easy DIY Mother's Day Surprises

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Mother's Day is just around the corner, and you can't decide what to get your mom: another collector's edition of "Steel Magnolias" or a new robe? But this year, rethink the stigma. Rather than buying something cliché and devoid of a personal touch, why don't you make your mom something at home? She'll certainly appreciate the gesture, and you can always run pick up a copy of "Magnolias" if things fall through. Here are a few great at-home projects that will show her you really care.

Colored Soap Cubes

These clever soap cubes are so adorable and unique, your mom will think you found them in a custom shop. In fact, you can make these little gems at home any time. You'll need blocks of glycerin, liquid food coloring, petroleum jelly, cotton swabs, a microwavable container and a plastic ice cube tray. For your cube tray, look for smaller cube options, or even go for creative designs like hearts and stars. You can find these at most craft stores.

Cut the glycerin to a size that will fit in your microwavable bowl. Smear a dab of liquid food coloring into the bowl with a cotton swab or a coffee stirrer. You only need a dab, because food coloring is extremely concentrated. Mix different colors for varied shades. Microwave the glycerin on high, stirring it at 15-second intervals, until it's completely melted. Using a cotton swab, coat the inside of the ice-cube tray with petroleum jelly, then pour the melted glycerin into the tray so that it fills each section almost to the top. Cool for about two hours. Then take the cubes out and store them in a clear soap container. Your mom can use it like regular hand soap!

Rose Petal Vase

This handmade beauty is perfect for the flower-lover, and you won't even have to wrap it, it's so beautiful. You'll need a 6-inch-tall container, such as a plastic yogurt cup or terra-cotta flower pot, sobo glue, a disposable foam paintbrush, silk rose petals and floral shears.

Remove all the petals from the stems of silk roses, available at craft shops, trimming them with shears if necessary. Some shops may also sell loose silk petals, which you can buy instead. Using a foam paintbrush, dab a thin layer of glue around the top rim of your container. Press the base of the first rose petal onto the glue, letting the top of the petal extend over the top of the container. Press additional petals onto the glue, overlapping one over another.

Once the rim is covered, brush a small amount of glue over the bases of the petals to secure them. Brush another thin layer of glue on the outside of the container below the already-attached petals, and press on more petals by their bases, concealing any glued portions of the top layer with the tips of the bottom layer. Don't press the petal tops into glue; let them stay free. Continue this pattern until the entire container is covered, tucking the bottom row petals underneath. Dab a bit of glue on the container's side and base.

Once dried, the vase is ready for flowers. Fill the container three-quarters full of cool water, placing your mom's favorite blooms in it. For best results, trim the bottoms of the stems at a 45-degree angle.

Leafy Surprise

Sometimes the littlest things are the best treasures. If you're giving your mom earrings this Mother's Day, then this wrapping idea will "leaf" her pleasantly surprised. You'll need a small, flat gift box, earrings, a fresh green leaf and a small sheet of white satin or store fabric.

For an unusual presentation of your mom's earrings, pin them through a beautiful, fresh green leaf. Choose a large, dark variety, such as one from a hosta, a lily or an iris, and place it on your small piece of cloth. For extra originality, use the leaf as your gift tag, as well, using a thin-tipped white felt or Sharpie pen to write your name and a small message. Place the leaf and fabric in your gift box, and voilá! A sweet and original gift wrap.

No matter your budget or style, you can always add a personal touch to your mom's gift this time of year. Take some extra time to go the extra mile; your mom certainly deserves it.

Last Updated: July 22, 2011
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for Idealhomegarden.com

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