How to Make Great Recycled Mother’s Day Gifts

Your mother probably taught you not to waste. You can show her that you listened and present her with a home-made Mother’s Day gift made from recycled materials. Here are some ideas for recycled gifts you can make yourself.

Glass jars and bottles

There are all kinds of possibilities for gifts made from used glass. Consider investing in some glass paint; when baked in the oven, your painted design becomes permanent. Or, spray paint the glass first and use regular acrylic craft paints over the spray-painted surface.

Glass bottles and jars can be made into flower vases, candle holders, and pretty much anything for which you need a decorative holder. Using decoupage medium or white glue thinned with a little water, you can make a stained glass effect by pasting colored tissue paper pieces onto a clear glass piece. This is an especially pretty effect for a candle holder.

Metal cans

Once again using decoupage medium, you can paste pictures from old magazines, books, or newspapers onto any metal can destined for the trash. You can spray paint the can first if you like. Beads, buttons, dried flowers, and other items can be glued to the side of the can with a glue gun. Decorated metal cans may be made into utensil crocks, pencil and pen holders, or even flower vases.

Plastic bottles and jugs

Some moms enjoy feeding birds. Cut a hole into the side of a plastic bottle at least 3 inches from the bottom (2 inches if using a small bottle). Decorate as you like using spray paint, decorative paints, stickers, etc. Using wire or string, tie a loop to the bottle’s neck for a hanger. Fill the bottom with birdseed. Plastic bottles can also be painted and made into vases or candle holders (the threaded top fits most dinner candles very well).

Cardboard boxes

Do you have a lot of little boxes left over from holidays or birthdays? Gather them up and make a jewelry box or organizer. Use a large, shallow box for the base. Into the base, set the lids and bottoms of various smaller boxes, filling the base as closely as possible. Glue the small boxes down inside the base and spray paint the whole thing for a uniform effect.

Paper towel or toilet paper tubes

You can make a desk organizer with these ubiquitous tubes. Cut both paper towel and toilet paper into varying heights. Paint each tube or cover with contact paper, fabric, etc. Set them all up in an arrangement with the tallest tubes in the back or the middle and the shortest ones on the outside. Then glue them together in your desired design.

Set the arrangement onto a piece of cardboard and trace the outline of the bottom of the tubes onto the cardboard. Cut out the piece of cardboard and glue the tube organizer onto it. Mom can use this for pens, pencils, paper clips, and so forth.

Go rummage in your recycling bin and let your creativity flow.