19 Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas to Surprise Her
Pull together a meaningful tribute to Mom in minutes. These presents will help create memories she'll cherish for a lifetime, and she'll have no idea that you were able to make it in a flash.
What to get Mom? If those four little words have left you realizing that you're still empty-handed with just days to go until Mother's Day, know that we're here to help. Despite your best intentions to plan ahead, pick the perfect gift, and shower her with all of the appreciation that a Mom could ever hope for, things don't always go as you've envisioned. Even so, it's never too late to get—or make—your mother a present she'll love.
To delight and surprise her, browse our best last-minute Mother's Day gift ideas. For the culinary-minded mom with a sophisticated palate, we have recipes for cupcakes, snacks, and chocolate-dipped strawberries that burst with flavor in a single bite. For the creative mom, we have pop-up cards that will wow her with paper flowers and designs that go well beyond your school-day handprints. For the mom with a green thumb, we have ideas for packaging and presenting flowers that will inspire her to get back out into her garden. For the sentimental mom, learn how to turn all of her favorite photographs, mementos, and more into gift-worthy keepsakes.
In short, we have ideas for everything from handmade gifts that can be made in minutes to easy recipes that will wow her instantly, plus templates for writing custom cards and more. She raised you to be resourceful and think on your feet, so we're sure she won't mind if you put those skills into action. Simply put, if Mother's Day snuck up on you this year, don't fret! Read on to discover all the meaningful ways you can celebrate Mom.
Flowers are a surefire way to please Mom on her special day. To make this craft, download our templates, print them onto card stock, and then cut out each pattern with scissors. For each tulip, lightly trace petals onto pink cover stock or heavy paper. Cut out with scissors, and cut the slits as marked. Interlock the two shapes, sliding the bottom slit from one into the top slit of the other. Cut an 18-inch length of 16-gauge green cloth-wrapped floral wire for a stem. Apply glue to one end of the wire, then secure to the bottom of the petals and let it dry. Trace a leaf onto green vellum, and cut out with sharp scissors. Attach the leaf to the stem near the bottom with double-sided tape, and fold the base of the leaf around the floral wire. Slip the stem into the leaves of the potted tulip bulb, and push just the tip of it into the bulb to anchor it.
Give her the ultimate surprise on the morning of Mother's Day with this lovely bouquet. Use our template to print letters on cardstock; cut them out, and then punch a hole at the top of each. String the letters onto three helium-filled balloons using baker's twine. Finally, fasten the balloons to Mom's chair or bed, spacing them out a bit. Wishing her the best day never looked so creative. The cheerful display will have her floating on air.
Let's face it: Even a bowl of cereal tastes better when it's made with love, or by someone else. All you really need is a steady hand to pour her milk (but if you wish to go a more elaborate route, we can offer a few suggestions). Tell Mom you love her in a special way by spelling it out with cinnamon sugar on toast. Bonus points if you pair it with a fruit-on-the-bottom, hearts-on-the-top yogurt parfait for a tasty side dish.
She rarely treats herself, so give Mom a gift that ensures she spends part of her special day prioritizing self-care. This scrub should do the trick. Best of all, you don't even need to leave the kitchen to gather your materials and supplies. Green tea isn't just for drinking—it has antioxidant properties that remove impurities and can improve dry skin. This soothing exfoliant calls for a few other natural ingredients, all of which pack a powerful punch: sugar, coconut oil, and dried rose petals.
Is Mom more into creating than consuming? Then you can skip real flowers this year and give her a gift that will last a lifetime. Reserve an afternoon at home for a mother-daughter pin-making session using her favorite fabrics. More than just your average heirloom, the floral beauties can help Mom dress up an outfit for a special occasion or simply adorn a part of the home like décor throughout the year.
Candy Flower Cupcakes
If Mom has a sweet tooth, she'll be doubly impressed by the taste and panache of these adorable candy-topped cupcakes. Each one is made to look like a different flower—a dahlia, daisy, garden rose, geranium. The most special part about these sweet treats? They are as simple to make as they are delicious to eat. Just cut up gummies and add them to the top of frosted cupcakes in an artful arrangement to make these tasty desserts.
Shop Now: Wilton Citrus Circles Standard Baking Cups, $4, target.com.
Screen (and Face) Time
When you were little, you had all the time in the world to spend with Mom. From the small moments to big—you two were likely side by side as you made everlasting memories. You can still show her how much you love her by planning a special night in for the two of you. You can cuddle up together with a favorite film and a bowl of homemade popcorn for a Mother's Day to remember.
Fill sachets with a mix of her favorite loose teas or scribble heartfelt messages onto custom tea tags. When she goes to make her daily brew, she'll be reminded of how much you care. Choose loose teas, then create your desired blends. Place two tablespoons toward the top edge of a cheesecloth square. Roll up the cheesecloth. Gather ends of bundle to create a pouch, and tie closed with cotton string. Next, make a tag for each flavor using craft punches and cardstock. Punch a hole in the center of each tag. Thread tea-bag strings through each tag, and knot. Cut two rectangles from cardstock to fit inside top and bottom of gift box. Snip the corners to create flaps. Glue the bottom rectangle inside the box and glue tags to the top cardstock rectangle, and label. Glue to the inside lid of the box.
"I Love You, Mom" Strawberries
Chocolate-covered strawberries are the ultimate semisweet luxury—and probably not something she'd make for herself every day. Give Mom the treat she may not have known she wanted—and one that won't be hard for you to whip up the kitchen. Just make sure to have melted chocolate on hand and a pipe to write "I love you" on the fresh fruit. Mom will love them and the sentiment they spell out in edible letters.
Wrap Her Flowers
In the time it would take you to wrap a store-bought gift, you could download and print a patterned sheet of paper to house a handpicked bouquet. Print your favorite design on vellum paper, trim as needed, and roll it around the floral arrangement (bonus points if said blooms came from your own backyard). Secure the paper with double-sided tape and there you have it—a beautiful gift she can now call her own.
Shop Now: Recollections Clear Vellum Paper Value Pack, 8.5" x 11", $16, michaels.com.
Only a few minutes left 'til your visit with Mom? You can’t go wrong with handmade jewelry, and we think a pair of statement earrings that she can wear time and time again is the way to go. All you need is a length of gold wire, a few household tools, and any cylindrical object you can find—a spice jar, shot glass, or spool of thread will do the trick.
Put It on Paper
When making a homemade gift, nothing says, "I love you" like, well, a card that says, "I love you." Write from the heart, and we guarantee she won't want anything else. To make a tie-dye card, fill a plastic bin with six inches of hot water, then stir in the dye. Let the solution settle, so there are no bubbles at the surface. Holding your paper straight, dip it into the dye solution to a desired line. Keep paper in the dye until it turns the color you like.
If you have fresh flowers, a teacup, a plate, and a glass dome, then you have everything you need to make a wow-worthy flower arrangement. Bundle a handful of bright flowers into a cup, and fit them underneath a bell-shaped cloche. Place floral clay on the bottom of a flower-pin frog to secure it inside a small, sturdy cup. Fill the cup three-quarters full with water. Next, cut flowers and greenery and stick them onto the pins. Set the cup on a plate and cover it with the cloche.
For Moms near and far, this gorgeous greeting card makes for a special flower delivery. A flat card blooms into a three-dimensional arrangement that's much more unexpected than a vase of roses. It looks intricate but takes only some snippets of paper and cleverly placed tape to create. To show your Mom more appreciation, pick out paper in her favorite color to create the gift. Top it off with loving words to make this card even more special.
Create a gift that will keep on giving on Mom's big day. Even though it is a day dedicated to celebrating all she does for you, she will likely want you to be a part of it, too. You can make this happen by framing a cherished photo of the two of you. To make it even more memorable, you can add a heart embroidery to truly show your love and create a present she can look back on for years to come.
Custom Photo Album Cover
You can help Mom reflect on her favorite memories with a personalized photo album made just for her. To make this craft, start by scanning or downloading a photo; you'll need image-editing software to add text. For labels, search clip-art books or websites for borders and embellishments; leave the text or background white if you want the cover's hue to show through. Print the reverse image onto an iron-on transfer sheet. Cut out the image and position on the album cover. Lastly, lay a pressing cloth over it. Iron, let it cool, then peel off the paper backing for the finished product.
Floral Mother's Day Card
Make a Mother's Day card with floral designs that offers a subtle twist on stationery she will absolutely love. Best of all, this craft is so simple. You start by downloading one of our clip-art patterns. Print your design of choice on cardstock and cut it out, then fold it in half so it fits inside a standard card envelope. This homemade masterpiece is a keepsake she can hold onto for time to come.
Shop Now: Recollections Essentials Cardstock Paper, 6" by 6", michaels.com.
While Mom will love anything you make, a present that helps her relax is bound to be all the more appreciated, so why not treat her to a custom sleep mask? To create this craft, print the sleep-mask clip art onto a piece of cardstock. Write a message on the back, and decorate if desired—we used glitter on the eyelids and pipe cleaners around the border. Punch a hole in each side, and thread with ribbon ties.
Fabric-Punched Mother's Day Card
Make a card for Mom with a fabric touch. Begin by punching fabric flowers: Lay a piece of fabric in a shallow tray. With a paintbrush, apply enough fabric stiffener to saturate, but not soak, the fabric. Let it dry, about one hour. Repeat with any remaining fabric. Using craft punches, punch out petals and leaves as close together on the fabric as possible. Glue just the centers of leaves and flowers to a card, so their tips curl upward. Draw stems and a message by hand.
Shop Now: Golden GAC 400 Fabric Stiffener, 8 ounces, $11.89, dickblick.com.