5 simple mother’s day gifts for broke college students

By Unigo

Your mother may forgive you for forgetting her birthday or skipping out on a family vacation; she may even get over you wrecking her car, though that may take some time. One thing that she may not forgive you for is forgetting Mother’s Day. After years of taking care of your laundry, feeding you, chauffeuring you around and pretty much putting her life on hold to help you reach your dreams, all she’s asking for is a simple ‘Thank You.’ Now, if you are like most college students, you probably have limited funds and limited time, so finding something that is special may take a bit of creativity. Luckily, I have five simple gifts that almost anyone can make (or bake), and all are under $30 each.


1. DIY Jewelry Frame

Traditional jewelry boxes are old hat, so if your mom is still using some tired wooden box it’s time to give her an upgrade! Just grab two pictures frames (same size) of any size or color, some chicken wire, screws (or glue) and you’ll soon have a hip new way for your mom to display her items. You can even add other embellishments like buttons, ribbon or even wrap the frames in a pretty fabric print. Just use your imagination.


PVC Vase2. DIY Flower Vase

Does your mom love having fresh flowers in the house? Well, toss out those boring glass containers and replace them with a PVC pipe vase that showcases your smiling face. Head to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s and have a PVC pipe cut into four varying lengths. You’ll also need some pipe caps and pipe cement, a wooded base (try a local craft store), laser photo copies and some glue. If you don’t want use photos of yourself, grab some shots of mom’s favorite places or some cool graphic prints, instead.


3. Cute Cupcakes

Who doesn’t like cupcakes? Bake up a dozen and place them in a pretty box (you can get them at Michael’s or Walmart), and wrap it in a big bow. If you’re not skilled in the kitchen, consider having some shipped in from Georgetown Cupcakes or my personal favorite, CamiCakes! Be sure to try the Elvis and the Red Velvet.


Photo Pyramid4. Picture Pyramid

For this project, you’ll need some 2 x 4’s, paint (or mod podge), wire and photos. Cut the wood into six pieces, starting with the base piece (8 inches) and reducing by an inch until you reach the top piece (3 inches). Use screws or wood glue to hold the pieces together, tucking the wires between the layers. Curl the ends of the wire to make a photo holder. If you have siblings, you can use their names on the blocks, or you can add a nice sentiment and decorate with shots of you from birth to college. It’s really up to you.


5. Doing Dishes

If you are on a super tight budget, this is the perfect gift for both you and your mom. Buy some pretty paper plates, matching napkins, and some cups. Then, wrap them in a pretty fabric bow with a handmade tag that reads, ‘This Mother’s Day, my wish for you is that you’ll have fewer dishes to do!’ It’s inexpensive, yet very practical; best of all, mom gets a night off from cleaning up.

Mother’s Day is May 12, so don’t wait too long to start planning your gift. Even if you are completely broke, there’s no excuse for missing this special day. Pick up the phone or better yet, Skype™ your mom and tell her how much she means to you. Sometimes, it's the simplest gestures that mean the most.