For the woman who carried you for nine months and withstood grueling hours of labor to bring you into the world, do you really want to give her another necklace and dozen roses this year?
Mom is more special than that, so surprise her on Mother’s Day—or any day—with an unexpected gift! Sure, she might ooh and ahh at the roses and necklace, and even eat up a box of chocolates. But, if you really want to bring a tear to her eye, forget the one-size-fits-all gifts. Every mom is unique, and so shopping for the perfect present requires some thought—but it doesn’t have to take a ton of time.
We’ve rounded up the best gift ideas for moms (and grandmas, too). Whether she loves to be pampered or appreciates an unusual present, here’s how you can DIY or buy your way into her heart.
For moms who need a spa day
Maybe you can’t afford to send mom to the spa for a day, but she’s guaranteed to be impressed with this DIY body scrub infused with fragrant jasmine tea leaves. Even better, she’ll never have to leave the comfort of her own bathroom to get polished skin and a moment of relaxation (the scent of jasmine tea is proven to have sedative effects).
Buy: Gentle Face Scrub
What’s a home spa without a luxurious scrub? This natural exfoliator made with jojoba seed, almond, and oat will make mom feel like the queen she is. Her skin will feel fresh, clean, and reinvigorated.
For moms who adore baths
DIY: “Wine” bath
Vinotherapy is actually a thing. Though we wish it meant pouring wine into the tub and drinking up, the real idea is to harness red grapes’ antioxidant power in soothing body treatments. You can make mom a simple (and ultra skin-softening) bath oil by combining grapeseed oil and another essential oil of your choice (go for her favorite scent). To make: Pour two cups of grapeseed oil into a jar or bottle and add in 40 drops of any essential oil. (Try lavender for relaxation or orange for something more energizing.)
Buy: Lavender bubble bath
For a ready-made aromatherapy bath, try this relaxing potion. It’ll have mom dreaming of lavender fields sprinkled with sweet herbs.
For moms who hop on beauty trends
DIY: Sheet mask kit
If you’ve got a mom who’s totally in-the-know as far as beauty trends go, she’ll love this handmade Korean sheet mask. The trend has taken the world by storm in recent years, and as it turns out, making them is pretty easy. Simply put the following ingredients together in a cute box and include a card with the instructions:
In a bowl, combine serum, rosewater, and vegetable glycerine, and mix thoroughly. Soak cotton pads or gauze in mixture. Separate cotton layers and place them over the entire face, including the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and jawline. Leave on for 20 minutes. Peel off and massage any leftover product into the skin.
Buy: Skin brush
Dry brushing may be a centuries-old practice from Ancient Greece, but modern-day beauty enthusiasts have brought it back into the mainstream. This essential tool enables excellent full-body exfoliation and, in the process, will also increase circulation for positively glowing skin.
For moms serious about skin care
Face wash, scrub, toner, moisturizer, eye cream—adhering to a disciplined skin care routine takes a lot of products. But this DIY kit can introduce mom to an easy regimen with all-natural ingredients to boot. All you need are 11 items to create this homemade collection that will leave her with the gift that keeps on giving: a healthy complexion.
Buy: Cleanser + scrub + toner + moisturizer + eye cream
Don’t have time to DIY? Mom will love these picks just as much, especially when she learns they’re all cruelty-free and made with clean and safe ingredients.
For moms with a body butter habit
Just because it’s called body butter doesn’t mean it has to smell like food. With this easy-to-make DIY version, there are no nauseating artificial fragrances—just the natural scents of vanilla, cinnamon, almond, and coconut that gives mom a real sweet treat.
Buy: Shea body butter
This super rich body butter by Nourish Organic will give dry skin deep, decadent moisture. And the price tag is just as nice.
For moms obsessed with coconut oil
It seems like coconut oil is the holy grail of natural beauty ingredients these days. But what some might not know is that you can whip it for a creamy, fluffy texture that feels like a lotion (and will not have the normal rock solid consistency at cold temperatures).
If you’re in a pinch, buy this body butter that manages to make coconut oil even more luxurious with added shea butter and sunflower oil. Investing in a jar of this fair trade product is also a gift to workers in West Africa who benefit from every purchase.
For moms who love hair care
Here’s an herbaceous dynamic duo that will really get mom into all-natural hair care. While the scent of the shampoo fills the shower with irresistible aromas, the vitamin E and healthy fats in the organic coconut base work to replenish hair and promote growth. The conditioner takes it a step further with shea butter and coconut oil to hydrate locks, and vegetable glycerin to add even more moisture to give hair a soft and shiny look and feel.
Buy: Moroccan argan oil shampoo + conditioner
These two are bestsellers for a reason. The combo is rich with fatty acids pulled from sea buckthorn and pumpkin seed oils—and the argan oil and argan stem cells further help hair reach its best shine potential.
For moms who DIY
DIY: Essential oil blends
Tinkering moms will definitely appreciate a good DIY gift. Pick up some essential oils, and create mood-boosting blends that she can use to inspire joy, serenity, alertness, and even soothe PMS. Or, let her be hands-on by passing along our guide with tips for how to mix up essential oils that she can enjoy every day.
Buy: DIY beauty kit
Put together a generous goodie box packed with all the essentials she’ll need to whip up as many beauty elixirs as her heart desires. (Better yet, get a mother-daughter day on the books to try some experiments together.) Here’s some DIY beauty staples to include:
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil
- Brown sugar
- Cacao powder
- Apple cider vinegar
- Raw honey
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
- Green tea
- Lavender oil
- Vitamin E oil
- Rosehip seed oil
For moms who love fragrant candles
Making your own candles doesn’t take burning the midnight oil. It’s easier than you think, and there’s a major bonus gift: Mom won’t have to breathe in harmful petrochemicals from the paraffin wax. This alternative uses beeswax, which can actually purify the air.
If candlemaking is not your thing, no problem. Scoop up this calming French lavender statement piece made from coconut wax. So fancy.
For moms who do tea time
If your mom loves sipping a good afternoon tea or partaking in an herbal nightcap, this is the gift for her. Add a personal touch by concocting custom tea blends, including a relaxing combo of lavender with Earl Grey; a fresh digestive tonic with mint, rosemary, and lavender; and a spicy dark brew with black tea, rose, and cardamom.
Buy: Green tea latte mix
If matcha is mom’s favorite, she’s sure to love this creamy green tea mix with hints of coconut (and sans milk if she is dairy-free). Or, you can always make your own sampler box full of a wide variety of tea—and coffee is she goes both ways.
For foodie moms
DIY: Breakfast pizza
Instead of going out for brunch, make mom breakfast in bed like the old days with this simple yet fulfilling breakfast pizza for two. It’s Paleo and gluten-free with bacon, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and eggs to make it a hearty start to Mother’s Day—or any day!
For chocoholic moms
DIY: Almond butter cups
Who could say no to a healthy version of the classic peanut butter cup? These special treats are Paleo and vegan-friendly, but also quite tasty. One bite and mom won’t even miss “real candy.” And there will be no guilt for you when she urges you to indulge with her. Win-win!
This DIY or buy choice is a real toss-up because we love these organic truffles just as much as the homemade treats above. The dark chocolate nibbles are made with cacao from Ecuador—one of the most divine sources in the world—giving them an exotic twist on the go-to box of candy.
For earthy moms
DIY: Herb, fruit, and vegetable plants
Forget about flowers that wilt in a few days—a plant can last until next Mother’s Day! Just grab some seed packets—popular picks include tomatoes, peppers, squash, basil, arugula, kale, and carrots—and sow the seeds in decorative planters (or you can even paint one yourself). Mom will absolutely adore her garden-in-the-making—especially once the goods start to grow.
Buy: Bamboo coasters
Eco-friendly moms will really appreciate these cute motif coasters made from bamboo—one of the strongest, most sustainable, and abundant types of wood in the world. Durable and complementary to most home decor, they will forever be a beautiful token of love.
For mystical moms
DIY: Lavender salt scrub
We all know moms are sages, but those who tap even more into their mystical side will appreciate this scrub that transcends regular spa products with the healing powers of Epsom salt. To make, mix two cups of salt with one cup of carrier oil—olive or coconut are good picks, but we also like almond as a sweet-smelling choice. Then, add 20 to 30 drops of lavender oil. Store in a glass jar with a lid, and tie a bow around the top for the perfect finishing touch.
Buy: Himalayan salt lamp
Few are able to resist the magnetizing glow of a salt lamp. But, this little gadget is functional, too. It emits negative ions that bind to positively charged particles like allergens, dust, pollen, fungus, pet dander, and odors, and neutralizes them in the process. The lamp will leave the air in mom’s home so fresh, plus, it’s a pretty cool novelty decoration.
For moms who love a unique gift
DIY: Upcycled serving tray
Mom has probably run out of room on her fridge for your artwork, so it’s time to start filling up another room. Try this multi-functional serving tray that will easily be the piece de resistance.
First, you’ll want to find a new or vintage serving tray or board (whatever style she likes best). Then, head to the craft store and pick up non-toxic chalkboard paint, chalk, a paintbrush, and masking tape. Place the masking tape along the edges of the tray wherever you want the paint to stop.
To decorate, start with the paint. Follow the directions on the container—typically you can do a couple of coats, wait one hour, add a third coat, and then let dry for 24 hours. Then doodle away with the chalk or add a sweet message (or, you can wrap it up for her to use later, like when she wants to label her cheese tray). Gift wrap the tray with brown paper and a simple black ribbon for a chic and rustic presentation.
Buy: Emote throw blanket
Unconventional moms will love the quirky design of this soft blanket. (Seriously, it feels like getting the warmest hug on Earth—something she should know all about.) For even more effect, go all out with the matching pillow cover.
Got your favorite gift for mom picked out? Whether you opt for homemade or store-bought, she will definitely never forget the time you started her edible garden or gave her that funky little salt lamp. So, leave the roses and jewelry for the amateurs.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho, Paul Delmont