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BellaOnline's Living Simply Editor

Simple Crafts

I’m a big fan of Michael’s; it is my favorite source for semi-handmade gifts and simple crafts that are more about meaning than money.

I like to think of myself as creative. I’ve watched countless episodes of early Martha Stewart shows secretly fantasizing about the craft wonderland my home would become if I only put my mind to it – but the real deal is I can’t draw, knit, sew or design anything. I can barely measure or cut. My mind may be willing but, time and again, my hands refuse to cooperate.

That’s what I love Michael’s – it gives even the creatively challenged – like me – a creative outlet. I’ve made some great things…no extraordinary, or in my case even basic, skills required. My favorites are the ornaments I make for my son each year. I love the feeling I get pulling out the growing collection and I look forward to sharing those feelings with him as he gets older. If you painted in kindergarten…you can make simple crafts that look great and feel great to get.

Want a way to use your creativity to show mom how much you care? Why wait for Mother’s Day? Any day is a great day to say “I Love You, Mom,” with a simple craft.

Here are some ideas…

My mother is a huge tea fan. That might be an understatement; her love of tea is beyond huge, it’s colossal. No day passes without her enjoying a cup. One-hundred degrees? Nothing like a nice cup of hot tea. No tea in sight? Not to worry, she has a few bags in her purse. Her selection of teas rivals that of a niche boutique. What’s a daughter to do? Make a tea tray.

What you need:
An unfinished wooden tray

What you do:
Paint the tray and incorporate stencils to create a special message for mom. When I made my mom’s tray it was fall. I made the tray brown and stenciled on leaves; I included the words, “Mom’s tea tray” and other whimsical designs that were manageable, even for me.

Other ideas…
Michael’s sells unfinished heart shaped wood pieces. Paint the heart and imprint her little one’s hand or foot on the heart. Don’t forget to include a message and the child’s age and date on the back. I made one of these for myself when my son was one year old.

You can also make a jewelry box or photo frame using unfinished wood pieces, spray paint, stencils, glue, glitter, macaroni or whatever else you think mom will like. I have even used a fresh pencil eraser dipped in paint to create a polka-dot effect on a jewelry box. Not into painting? Consider using beads to make earrings or bracelets or something else. Unleash your creativity, release the need to “get it right” or be perfect. What matters most is the thought. You don’t have to be Michelangelo to make an “I Love You” masterpiece for mom.

More desire than talent? This book's for you!

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