We get it: you love mom and the mother of your child, but life is busy. With Mother’s Day around the corner you don’t have to spend a fortune or take days to create a gift: we’ve got 10 ideas that are sweet, thoughtful and just what mom would love. Read on to get started.

1. DIY Terrarium

It doesn’t take much to make a sweet little green gift for mom. She can take it to work or keep it in her home office or display it in the living room. Stick with plants that are low-to-no maintenance like tillandsias. For more tips on making one yourself (plus several other gifts in a jar) click here.

photo: Art.com via Facebook

2. Phone to Frame

Take a special photo or a snapshot or scan of your kiddos best art and use one of these apps to get it off of your phone and into a wall-worthy frame in just seconds.

photo: Christina Fiedler

3. Footprint Notes

This one is so easy even an exhausted new parent can take it on. It’s incredibly cute and perfect for mom or grandma. To get tips on how to recreate it (big tip: don’t let mom see the paint on the feet!) click here.

photo: Sara Ortega 

4. Prints on a String

Create a super-sweet necklace with the kiddo’s prints for mom with this fab tutorial from Sarah Ortega. Creating this precious gem is affordable and the finished product is just as awesome as any bought in a store. Just grab some paint, a silver chain, oven bake clay and be on your way.

photo: laterjay via pixabay 

5. House Cleaning

We’re not just talking about taking out the trash, w’ere talking detailed, professional cleaning to get the house sparkling. Bonus points if you can schedule this as a surprise while mom is out: treat her to lunch on the Saturday before Mother’s Day so the cleaners can come in, or schedule it while everyone is at work/school on Friday. The key here is to get it as close to Mother’s Day as possible so the clean lasts! Brave enough to tackle this job on your own? Get the kids to help with a few tips.

photo: Stephanie Gerber via Hello Natural

6. Mint Mojito Bath Salts

The mint Mojito recipe from Hello Natural is a 2-step mix and it’s easy enough the kiddos can help. To make this gift extra-thoughtful, pair it with a few hours peace and a nice hot bath and, of course, the muddled drinkable version of the Mojito. Get everything the bath-salt how-to by checking in with Hello Natural. For even more DIY gifts you can make mom, click here

7. Flower Child

Giving mom the traditional flowers, living plant or seeds will have a more personal feel when you customize the pot with the cute prints of your littles. The challenge comes when attempting a perfect pair of wings but Mama Papa and Bubba, will show you the easiest way to get it done.

photo: giuliaduepuntozero via flickr 

8. Washi Tape Photo Frame

Transform your plain-Jane frame into something colorful or coordinating with the aid of the world’s finest craft item: Washi tape. Widely available at craft stores and even at big-box stores like Target, the array of colors and patterns is vast and the combos endless. The best part? It’s as easy to apply as it is to remove so if you get bumps or go crooked, you can repair it and re-do it like a pro. And when you’re done, try out some of these cute games and crafts with the leftover tape.

photo: Katy Did and Kid

9. Silhouette Art

An old-fashioned and super-charming way to capture the sweet face of your little one is by creating his silhouette. We love how Kathleen from Katy Did and Kid decided to mix old and new by using contemporary paper as a back drop.

photo: BibBornem via pixabay

10. An Amazing Picnic

Feeling like brunch is so last-year? Splurge on a picnic basket full of mom’s favorite goodies and head one of her favorite botanical gardens or local parks. Surprise her by packing her current novel or a couple of magazines and take the kiddos on a romp around the park while she lounges in the sun with a full belly and  glass of wine/cup of coffee from the thermos you so thoughtfully filled. If the weather is dreary don’t dismay! Just spread the blanket out in the middle of the living room and treat away: just make sure you do all the clean-up. You can even go big by organizing a Mom’s Picnic with a few other families and coordinating the picnic goodies on the sly. Don’t forget to pack a kid-occupying items like pens and paper; playing cards and bubbles to keep the kiddos busy enough that mom can relax.

What’s your last-minute idea for mom? Tell us your go-to gift ideas in the comments below. 

—Amber Guetebier