DIY Mother's Day gifts

It’s the thought behind the gift that matters most. Put a little effort into it. Isn’t Mom worth it?

A mother and daughter hugging in a kitchen. Photo: Elina Fairytale

Mother’s Day is always on the second Sunday of May in Canada, which isn’t far after the end of exams. That’s why it often falls through the cracks for me, and I’m left trying to figure out my plan the night before. This year I want things to be different. Here are a few gift ideas that might help you narrow down how you can celebrate your mother on this special day.



I’m not sure about you, but my mom took pride in photographing my childhood, capturing playdates, Halloween, birthdays, and other holidays. My house is filled with framed family photos and baby pictures, documenting my life from my first steps to high school graduation. If your mom is anything like mine, then honouring all the work she’s put into capturing our lives is a great way to celebrate her. A few ways to do this are:

  • Photo albums: There are a couple options here. You could:
    • piece together your favourite childhood photos
    • make an album of your mom's childhood photos, or
    • take new photos to tell a new chapter of your life. Add some fun captions, stickers, jokes, or symbols to take your album to the next level.
  • A framed photo: You don’t need to go crazy with the number of photos you give. A picture holds 1,000 words, and using one with a great memory attached and framing it is a perfect way to show your mom how much you care.
  • Recreate photos: This is one of my favourite options. Choose a family/childhood photo and try to recreate it as accurately as possible. Not only does this make a great gift, but also a funny story to tell afterwards.



This may be a cliché idea, but it’s overused for a reason. Picking out your mom's favourite foods to spoil her with snacks, treats, and meals shows that you pay attention to the things she likes and the things she doesn’t. Some ideas are:

  • Breakfast in bed: Who wouldn’t want this? Wake up before your mom and spend the morning making her a breakfast of all her favourites. It's a classic.
  • Cook her favourite meal: Maybe breakfast isn’t her thing, or perhaps she’s not a morning person. That doesn’t limit your chance to wow her with your cooking skills. Pick her favourite meal and start from scratch.
  • Bake: Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Bake a cake, some cookies, cupcakes, or maybe even a pie—whatever makes your mom the happiest! Not only does it make a great gift, but it will also leave your house smelling delicious.


Spa day

Our moms work hard, and one of the best ways to thank them for all they do is to treat them to a spa day. I know spa packages can get costly, and often out of budget for us students, but that doesn’t have to prevent your mom from getting the pampering she deserves. You can put together a homemade spa package with face masks, bath bombs, nail polish, body wash, etc., with items easily being purchased for a decent price at Walmart, Shoppers, or other grocery stores.

If you're feeling extra crafty, Pinterest has tons of recipes for homemade products made from ingredients found in most kitchens. No matter how it comes together, giving your mom a spa getaway from the comfort of her own home makes for the perfect, thoughtful gift.