1. Makeup organizing case
A customized makeup case is both easy to make and an excellent gift. Choose a washable fabric, or, better yet, line the case with vinyl, which will easily wipe clean. Match the case to your mom’s personal style with bold graphic prints, soft, vintage-style lace trim, or classic neutral tones. You can also take your gift to the next level and create a complete vanity set. Add a roll-up case with elastic loops to keep makeup brushes neat and tidy, and a mini zip-pouch for odds and ends, and you’ll have a gift Mom will love!
2. Family patchwork quilt
This is a gift that requires a little planning, and a bit of family cooperation, but it’s guaranteed to be something special! Use patches of fabric from baby blankets, wedding clothes, uniforms or other sentimental items to create an heirloom quilt that ties together generations. Take special care to reinforce delicate fabrics, and choose a simple quilting pattern that makes these special memories the stars of the show. Add a tag that tells the quilt’s story, so it can continue to be told years into the future!
3. Easy reverse applique handbag
Reverse applique is a technique that looks complex, but is much easier to achieve than you might think. This handbag uses reverse applique to create a cute flower pattern with rustic hand stitching for a bag that’s useful and stylish too! Change up the colors or patterns to match your mom’s style, but be sure to use a sturdy fabric or interfacing to give the bag structure and stability.
4. Gardening apron
Does your mom love to garden? This is the perfect accessory for her! Not only does it keep all her gardening tools right at her fingertips, it also helps keep the worst of the dirt and stains off her clothes. Choose a fabric with a blend of synthetic fibers, as these will hold up to the constant dirt and water of gardening. Spacious pockets are a must, and it might be a good idea to reinforce them to prevent punctures from pointed gardening tools. Need help getting started? Check out this tutorial.
5. Applique handprint pillow
A great project for moms with young kids, or for grandmas who want a special keepsake of their grandchildren. Let each child in the family choose a special fabric print, and trace their handprint onto it. Cut out the shapes, creating appliques that you can then stitch onto a base fabric to create your pillow. Hand-embroider the names and dates of each child, and you’ve got a special gift that’s truly one of a kind!
6. Stitched cards for kids
For little sewists just getting started with needle and thread, these cards are a great way to work on their skills and make special cards for Mom, Grandma, or other role models in their lives. Use a pencil to trace a heart onto sturdy cardstock, then use an awl or a hole punch to pierce holes along the outline. Erase any remaining marks, and then let your little sewist use a plastic tapestry needle threaded with yarn or colorful string to stitch patterns to form the heart shape.
7. Elegant sheer scarf
Another deceptively easy project! All you’ll need for this is a length of delicate sheer or semi-sheer fabric, such as chiffon, organza, or georgette, and, if you prefer, fringe, tassels, or other embellishments to add to the ends. Use rolled hems to create narrow finished edges on your scarf. These can be created by hand, or using a narrow-hem or rolled hem foot on your sewing machine. Though stay-stitching is most commonly used to prevent curved cuts from stretching on the bias, it also comes in handy with projects like these, since the loose weave of sheer fabrics can warp while you sew if not properly supported. Stay-stitching your edges before hemming helps provide extra stability.
8. Pretty and practical kitchen apron
Is your mom a total foodie? Make sure her kitchen adventures end up on the plate and not on her clothes with a chic and practical apron. With so many styles to choose from, there’s something for everyone, from a sweetheart neckline and ruffles to a plain chef’s style apron heavy on the pockets.
9. Recipe-embroidered tea towels
A sweet and sentimental gift that’s easy to create. Take a favorite family recipe and, using a marking pen or pencil, write out the recipe on a tea-towel. Pro tip: script tends to be easier to embroider than printed words. Use embroidery floss to stitch over the words, embellishing here and there if you choose with flowers or other shapes.
10. Felt flower bouquet
Another excellent project for little sewists! Let your young helpers cut out flower shapes from brightly colored sheets of lightweight felt. Layer shapes together, adding button centers if you desire, and stitch them together by hand. Use glue or thread to attach your blossoms to painted craft sticks, bamboo skewers, or floral wire, then bundle your bouquet together with a ribbon to present to Mom!
11. Vintage-inspired fabric bookmarks
Is your mom a booklover? Give her a classy set of bookmarks to match her style. Use strips of vintage ribbon or fabric, making sure both edges are finished. Add a ribbon-end crimp to one end, and hang a pretty charm for a touch of glam. For something extra special, create an embossed velvet monogrammed bookmark, using velvet ribbon or a strip of velvet fabric and a rubber stamp with your mom’s initials. Dampen your fabric with water, then, with the rubber stamp face up on your workspace, position the bookmark over it with the pile side down. Use an iron set to the appropriate temperature for your velvet to press the velvet into the stamp. The imprint that remains is permanent!
12. Handmade market bags
A set of soft, washable bags is a gift that’s both fun and practical. Choose a gusseted design that will stand open as you fill it for maximum capacity, and a soft but sturdy fabric like heavy muslin or light denim. Embellish using your favorite techniques, and you’re good to go! Keep in mind that it’s important for market bags to be washable, so there’s no accidental cross contamination of groceries.
13. Wine tote
Who wouldn’t love a classy wine tote, especially if it comes pre-filled with Mom’s favorite bottle of wine? These carriers keep your bottles safe and protected on their way to a party with friends or a romantic picnic away from the kids. Quilting your tote adds an extra layer of padding, plus the opportunity to try out new stitching patterns. Add a woven nylon handle for easy carrying, or opt for a design with handles built in to the shape of the tote itself!
14. Lavender sleep mask
Did you know that the scent of lavender helps you relax and can even make it easier to fall asleep? Create a scented sleep mask by filling a silky, pillow-like mask with dried lavender buds. Add a soft elastic strap to keep it in place, and this quick gift is ready for some beauty sleep!
15. Silky spa bathrobe
Though handmade clothing can be tricky as a surprise gift, a bathrobe is easy to create since it doesn’t require any finicky fitting. Use a soft, silky fabric for a luxurious feel, and kimono-style sleeves, which will give a relaxed fit and elegant draped look.
16. Felt love note envelope
Give Mom somewhere to keep all those special notes, drawings, and other mementos with a felt keepsake envelope. Fold an envelope shape from a sheet of soft felt, being sure that there’s enough overlap to stitch the flaps together. Hand sew your envelope together using a contrasting thread and a decorative edge stitch, like blanket stitch. Add a magnetic clasp to the point of the envelope to hold it closed, and cover the back of the clasp with a felt heart stitched in place.
17. Travel duffel
For the mom on the go, a handmade duffel bag isn’t just a thoughtful gift— it’s a stylish one too! This duffel has a modern, boxy shape, and easily accessible side pockets so you don’t have to dig through to find the essentials. Perfect for use as an overnight bag, or as an airline carry-on bag when Mom finally takes that much-deserved vacation!