Written by Cassie Fairy
If you want to give your mum something unique for Mother's Day this year, look no further! Today's blog post contains three DIY upcycling ideas that you can make at home to create a gift for your mother that no-one else will have...
PERSONALISED GIFT HAMPER
Sometimes one gift just isn’t enough, so why not put together a few low-cost gifts in a special hamper that’s tailored to your mother’s hobbies. We’ve taken an old wicker basket and have upcycled it with a coat of fresh white spray paint to turn it into gift hamper. The spray paint makes it easy to cover all the woven texture from different angles. You could also make use of any emulsion paint you already have and use a brush to work it into the basket weave.
Then all you need to do is pile in lots of treats for mum and tie a bow around the lid of the hamper. To make a bath-time ‘pamper hamper’ we laid fresh new flannels in the hamper to line it, and then popped in some bath fizzers, face masks and luxurious creams.
Put taller items towards the back of the hamper, such as these low-cost fluffy slippers and a mini bottle of bubbly. To make bath crystals a little more special, pour into an old jam jar, spray paint the lid and tie an organza ribbon around the neck of the jar. Add a scented candle, et voila! Everything mum needs for a pampering evening in.
Alternatively, find a basket you’re happy with from a charity shop or car boot sale, and simply dress it up with some homemade packaging. To make the shredded base, you can use chive scissors to recycled old brown paper from a parcel you’ve received. This shreds the paper into a straw-like texture to cover the base of the basket. Alternatively, you could use a paper shredder to bulk-cut strips of paper. Again, we’ve used recycled brown paper, but you could use metallic wrapping paper for a glitzy finish.
For a Mother who loves gardening, why not make a basket full of supplies for your mum’s hobby? We’ve added gardening gloves, pruning scissors, packs of seeds, hand tools, a rose-print bamboo cup for an al fresco coffee while she’s pottering outdoors and hand cream to give her hands a treat after all the hard work she does in the garden.
In fact, ANY gifts can be added to the upcycled hamper to delight your mother – just think about her hobbies and then add a few of her favourite things to a basket. Even if your mum simply needs to put her feet up and relax, you could fill a basket with a mug, her favourite hot chocolate mix, flavoured syrups, marshmallows and chocolate spoons to help her chill out with a steaming cup of cocoa.
UPCYCLED SLOGAN T-SHIRT
For a gift that looks like it’s come right off the rails of a fashion shop, why not try making your mum her very own slogan T-shirt? You can upcycle a second-hand tee from a charity shop or buy a low-cost basic jersey top to customise. The hardest part is choosing a slogan just for mum! We went for ‘You are my sunshine’ and ‘Happy’, but you could add any message that means something to your mother.
Use a sheet of iron-on vinyl, available from craft shops and online, to cut out the slogan. You can program the message into a paper cutting machine if you have one and simply pick away the vinyl that you don’t want to transfer onto the T-shirt. Just remember to cut the text in a mirror image so that it’s reads forward once it’s ironed onto the T-shirt!
If you don’t have a cutting machine, print out the slogan onto paper and then trace around the edge of the text using a pencil. Then flip it onto the back of the vinyl sheet and scribble over the edges of the text to transfer the shape of the text onto the vinyl. This should be a mirror-image of the text, that you can then cut out using scissors.
Position the slogan onto the T-shirt across the chest and use an iron to attach the vinyl to the fabric. We’ve used Aeon Steam Iron, but make sure that the steam setting is turned off so that the vinyl transfers correctly. Once the vinyl has cooled a little, you can peel away the plastic backing from the text to reveal mum’s brand-new slogan T-shirt.
CUSTOMISED TOTE BAG
Everyone needs a canvas tote bag to take the shops, so make an extra-special one for mum by customising it. You can buy basic canvas bags from the pound shop and add a personalised photo or message. We’ve used iron-on T-shirt transfer paper to print a photograph on to the canvas surface. Simply choose a favourite photo, pop the transfer paper into the printer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to transfer the image onto the bag.
We chose a photo of a favourite day out at the beach with mum, but you could add images of her pets, photos of her grandchildren, or any vintage snaps from your childhood. Ensure that the image will cover the full A4 size piece of transfer paper and set it to print at ‘full bleed’. Once the photo has been printed onto the paper, position it face-down onto the canvas bag and iron into place.
You’ll need a sturdy surface to apply the heat and pressure from the iron so we’ve used the large Shirtmaster ironing board. Follow the instructions on the transfer paper to find out how long to iron the design onto the canvas bag. The transfer paper that we used could have two different finishes – we opted to remove the transfer backing-paper while warm, which created a matt, vintage-style photograph, or the backing-paper could be removed after it had cooled for a solid gloss finish.
This method can also be used to apply photos to T-shirts, cushion covers or any fabric that you can then use to create a make-up bag, device cover or even a quilt.
So, there you have it – three handmade gift ideas that can be fully customised to suit your mother. We hope you enjoy making these projects as much as your mum will enjoy receiving them on Mother’s Day.