23 DIY Personalized Photo Gifts to Give Her for Mother's Day
Acrylic Floating Frame
Showcase mom's favorite photos with a DIY floating frame. These minimalist picture frames are made using inexpensive acrylic sheets. Customize them to fit your photo sizes and group several together for a stylish gallery wall Mom will love.
Retouch an old black-and-white photo with a bit of watercolor paint ($4, Target) to give a fond memory a fun makeover for Mother's Day. Convert a digital photo to black-and-white, then print it from a laser printer on lightweight cardstock or watercolor paper. Tint certain details from the image with watercolor paints (lighter colors work best) and a soft brush. Leave the rest of the photo unaltered, and let dry for at least three hours.
Editor's Tip: If the first layer of color isn't bright enough, apply a second coat. Let the picture dry completely before framing.
Custom Photo Frame
Give old picture frames a fuzzy refresh that makes a fun Mother's Day gift. Starting at the bottom of the frame, affix a row of pom-pom trim using a hot-glue gun ($12, Target). Repeat the process, slightly overlapping the previous row of pom-poms. Continue until the frame is covered. For a playful look, alternate colors or sizes of pom-pom trim.
Editor's Tip: Fill any holes by snipping and gluing individual pom-poms from extra trim.
DIY Photo Candles
Glass Container Photo Display
Put basic glass containers to work and show Mom how much you care this Mother's Day. Print your favorite family photos on regular printer paper, cut them to size, and place them in a variety of clear glass vases and containers.
Your mother won't be able to control her laughter when she receives a group of personalized Mother's Day photo gift planters bearing the faces of her loved ones. Select glazed planters with smooth, straight sides. Print your family members' photos, enlarged so that the head is roughly the height of your pots. Cut out the heads, then trim across the top of the foreheads. Cut pieces of clear contact paper ($6, Target) a few inches taller than the pots and wide enough to encircle it. Peel off the backing. Center the heads, facedown, on the top edge of the contact paper. Wrap the contact paper around the pots, smoothing any bubbles as you go. Trim the edges with scissors or a crafts knife. Add green plants that create hilarious looking hairdos.
When the coasters aren't being used, repurpose a decorative plate holder to show off your adorable pictures. Purchase acrylic plastic tiles in whatever shape you prefer; cut photos to fit (or back your photos with scrapbooking paper to help them fit). Use a decoupage medium such as Mod Podge ($5, Target) to adhere your photos to the acrylic plastic tiles and cover the back with the decoupage medium to waterproof.
Editor's Tip: Before adhering the photos to the tiles, make sure they are clean to avoid any dirt or dust in your photos.
Family Photo Vases
Show off Mom's favorite people with a collection of vases displaying their faces. Gently roll and insert photocopies into glass vessels, such as bottles, jars, and glasses, using a long, thin tool to adjust them inside. Add sprigs and twigs of greenery; tie off the tops with natural jute.
Photo Outlet Cover
Give Mom something to smile about every time she walks into her kitchen with our thoughtful Mother's Day photo gift. To make, print your favorite family photos on thick paper; back on a piece of poster board for extra security. Then hot glue the photo to pre-purchased outlet covers to cover your plugs.
Mother's Day Photo Message
Welcome Mom home each day with a photo-topped word she can prop above the coat hooks. Simply paint ready-made medium-density fiberboard to your desired color. When dry, select one letter and arrange photos over it, taping together with low-tack artist's tape (available at craft stores). Carefully flip the photos and letter facedown and trace around the letter with a pencil. Remove the letter and cut photos along the traced line. Adhere the photo collage to the front of the letter with a decoupage medium. Remove low-tack tape from photos.
Suitcase Photo Display
Give some of your favorite family photos greater exposure by gifting a unique and creative display case. To make, secure an enlarged photo with double-sided tape ($5 for a three-pack, Walmart) to the lid of a vintage-style suitcase, picnic basket, or lunch box. Fill with fruit, beautiful pebbles, or photo print-offs for the family to enjoy.
Repurposed Book Picture Frame
Turn a beautiful old book into a cute frame with a favorite photo for Mom. Cut a rectangle from the front of the book using an Xacto knife ($4, Walmart). To create a photo mat, cut a rectangular opening from a few inside pages (keeping the rectangle slightly smaller than the cover opening). Secure those pages together and then to the cover using glue, then tape a photo in place using double-stick tape.
Freestanding Photo Collage
Give Mom a fun trip down memory lane with a Mother's Day gift that you can make in minutes. Select 14-20 photos that are special to you and Mom, and crop them into 4-inch squares; print onto photo paper. Using adhesive strips or a decoupage medium, carefully adhere each photo to a thick piece of white cardstock (the paper has to be thick enough to stand on its own). Use a crafts knife to cut out each photo, leaving a small border. On all four sides of each photo, cut small slits as shown. Assemble your photo collage by fitting the photos together using the cut slits.
Ombre Paint-Chip Photo Gift
Wow Mom with a photo gift like no other. Our sweet Mother's Day gift idea uses paint chips to add a colorful ombre effect to treasured photos. Trim a large, gradient-style paint chip to a standard photo size (such as 4x6 or 5x7 inches). Convert a special photo to black-and-white, and adjust your printer's settings so it prints the photo at the appropriate size. Feed a paint chip into your ink-jet printer and print the photo. Repeat with paint chips in different colors to create a fun wall display.
Black-and-White Photo Collage
Pay tribute to Mom with our special photo collage she can hang up and admire for years. Take a wooden crafts letter (we chose "M" for Mom, but her first initial would work as well) and paint the outside edges with a bright accent color; let dry. Print a variety of meaningful black-and-white photos. Cut the photos to fit the front of the letter and adhere each one carefully using a thin layer of decoupage medium.
Colorful Photo To-Do Board
Spruce up Mom's to-do board with small reminders of the things she treasures most. Craft easy magnetic picture frames with a square punch, a self-adhesive magnetic sheet, and paint chips. Simply peel away the backing on a piece of magnetic sheet and press a paint chip to the adhesive. Trim around the paint chip with a crafts knife, and punch a square near the top to frame special photos.
Editor's Tip: If Mom doesn't have a magnetic to-do board, stick a collage of these paint-chip frames to the fridge for fun magnets.
"Stained Glass" Photo Frame
This Mother's Day, display a nice photo of Mom in a colorful, easy-to-make transparent frame that resembles stained glass. To make, layer colorful painted stripes in a float frame. Mask off stripes on the fronts of both glass panes using painter's tape, paying attention to how the transparent stripes will look once they overlap each other in the finished product. Dip a small foam roller in glass paint ($8, Walmart) and roll on the backs of the glass panes. Peel off the tape to reveal your stripes; let dry. Put the frame together to make a lovely Mother's Day gift.
Handmade Family Photo Frame
Mom will appreciate the sentiment of a colorful frame that holds photos of everyone she holds dear for this year's Mother's Day gift. To make, stitch or glue squares of scrapbook paper together. Add photos to painted metal frames, then attach a frame to each paper square. Add a thick piece of chipboard, foam-core board, or particleboard to the back of the stitched-together squares, and use painted metal strips to create the outer frame. Add accents that match, and use a bright ribbon to hang.
Flower Vase with Photos
A Mother's Day bouquet is extra special when each of the flowers is holding favorite family photos. To make the everlasting bouquet, paint wooden dowels a light green; let dry. Use a flower-shape crafts punch to punch flowers from colored paper and crepe paper. Glue an acrylic pebble (available at scrapbooking or crafts stores) to the center of each flower and a mini clothespin to the back. Clip each flower to a painted dowel and attach a photo.
Rosette Candy Jar
The day is all about Mom, so pamper her with her favorite treats. Decorate a simple candy jar with a strip of paper and a sweet sentiment. To create the rosette on top, cut a 12-inch strip of pretty patterned paper, score every 1/4 inch, and accordion-fold. Glue the ends together and push the center down into a rosette. To keep it in place, adhere the rosette to a punched circle using an adhesive. Top with a darling photo of Mom, and you have an irresistible gift!
Photo Flowers in a Card Stand
Give Mom a bouquet that she can treasure long past Mother's Day. Cut pictures into circles and adhere them to the inside bottoms of paper muffin liners. Cut stems and leaves from green paper and form them—with the liners—into picture blossoms on a cardstock background. Have everyone in the family make a card for Mom, then place them in a card stand.
Picture-Perfect Mother's Day Card
Deck your Mother's Day card with a vintage photo of her or one of the special women in her life. Punch a picture into a circle and adhere it to a pretty sticker. Attach it to the front of cardstock card to make a very personal and endearing Mother's Day gift.
These simple and easy boxes not only make great gifts for Mom on Mother's Day, they're also great for preserving special photos and mementos. Select two complementing patterns of paper and wrap the boxes and lids. Add a beloved photo to a small metal frame (available at a crafts store) and glue it to the box front.