Writing at this blog has been transformative for me. Just one of the many, many changes has been in regard to gift-giving.
Prior to writing here I would always send some type of (usually $$$) gift for Mother’s Day to all the important women in my life. I am fortunate to have many: My mom, 2 living grandmothers on my side, hubs’ mom, and one grandma on his side. That’s FIVE people to whom we’d send gifts every Mother’s Day. Generally I’d spend about $50/person. I remember shipping Bath and Body Works gift packages one year. I did a chocolate-of-the-month gift one year. I’ve done gift cards to restaurants. You get the picture. This holiday was pricey for me.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Matt wrote an excellent post where he discussed that all his Mom really wants is time together with the family (his post was specifically about his Mom’s birthday, but I think the same applies to Mother’s Day).
I’m in an unfortunate situation where we can’t easily spend time together since we live so far away. BUT, that doesn’t mean that our only option is to spend a bunch of money on stuff/junk that no one really needs anyway (side note: that chocolate-of-the-month club was one of the more expensive gifts I’ve sent, and was a miserable failure as every.single.month the chocolate arrived totally melted).
So I’ve really enjoyed doing these cheap little toddler crafts. I think it’s so much more meaningful to the recipients than it would be to receive a gift card or the newest lotion and candle from B&B Works. Not only do the recipients get a gift of love, but I like to snap a couple pictures of the girls actually making the craft that I include in the card. The total cost is typically less than $3/card (honestly, probably much less than that. I already have a huge craft box, so I only ever buy envelopes, stamps, and the cost of the pictures that I include). And I’ve gone back to Texas to visit and seen these works of art hanging on fridges, or framed and hung on a wall like a true piece of art (<<This is for real. I was so shocked and humbled to see the girls’ flower art on the wall of their Nana’s home, in a frame and everything. Warmed my heart).
The whole point is that if you think outside the box, you can often think of more meaningful and less costly gifts for ANY type of occasion than you would if you’re just rushing to the nearest Walgreens to buy a generic gift card to stuff inside a Hallmark card.
So, sorry if you’re getting tired of these craft ideas. I know I’ve done a bunch of these now…and I spared you my Easter craft this year because we did one of those, too! Here’s a quick pic for proof:
Toddler Easter Card/Craft Idea
Oops, apparently I never took a pic of the finished product, but here’s a quick explanation…
I made little Easter eggs (here, you see the tracing outline of 2 eggs on a piece of white paper), and let the girls color the paper for decoration. I then cut out along the outside and folded the two end flaps to meet in the middle. I had a picture of the girls inside so when you opened the egg you saw a picture of them! Pretty cute, right? Most of my crafts are ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest, but this one was entirely my own! ; )
Toddler Mother’s Day Craft Idea
This was a super easy-peasy one (the painting crafts are always a little more time-intensive since they require mandatory baby clean-up/baths afterward). I started by giving the girls markers to color on long white paper (we just used the paper that came with our art easel, seen in this post). Then I traced the girls’ hands onto some colored construction paper and measured their arm span. That’s it for the girls’ part! Sooo easy!
After they went to bed for the night I cut the long white paper into strips. I wanted the paper to be the actual length of the girls’ armspan, so that’s why I took their measurements. I glued the two hands to the end and wrote the message (I love you…. THIS Much!!!) On each craft I used one hand that was Bailey’s and one that was Brooke’s so I labeled their hands on the back and wrote on the back of the white paper “actual armspan” so the recipients would know that this is a true-to-scale long-distance HUG from the girls! Isn’t that cute!
Since there really wasn’t room on the back of the hands to write a nice message, I also bought cheap Mother’s Day cards from the Dollar Tree (2 for $1). I wrote a personal message to each recipient, included a couple of recent photos of the girls, and slipped the “hug” inside.
If you are still looking for an easy and cheap Mother’s Day craft, this is the way to go! This was by far one of the easiest crafts I’ve done to date. The whole thing start-to-finish took maybe 10 minutes and I made 6 crafts (I’ll send 5 out for Mother’s Day gifts and I’m saving one to send to my Dad for his birthday later this month).
I hope you all have a great rest of your week, and a happy early mother’s day to all the moms out there! (and hugs to all the motherless daughters on what I’m sure is a painful and/or bittersweet day. Here’s a post a friend shared on Facebook that you may find of interest).