Give your time and her home an upgrade.
Moms are sentimental by nature: who else would save clay imprints of your hands, your messy Valentine's Day card, or the woven potholders you made her in seventh grade? Whether or not they're still on display, you can bet that any project you did for her holds a special place in her heart. These gifts last because they come from a special place—the heart of her child.
So if you're looking to give your mom something memorable that she'll cherish, think about giving a gift of yourself. You can remind your mom of your childhood days by using your hands and imagination to do something both useful and meaningful. Unlike a new sweater or a handbag, yours will be a unique gift, one that can enhance her home and provide lasting memories.
Certainly there is something in your mother's house that needs repairing. Why not offer to spend the day doing household repairs she's been putting off? You can fix her screens or repair holes in her drywall. If mom has problems with leaky faucets, you can fix those, too. Spend one afternoon making a list and then, after you take some time to gather together whatever materials and tools you need, devote an entire day to repair work. This will be a great way to demonstrate your Jane skills, spend time with your mom and help get her house in working order!
Color me Mom!
Has your mother lived with the same wall color in her bedroom or kitchen since you were a little girl? Why not offer to paint one of her rooms? Nothing rejuvenates a room like a new color and painting is something most Janes really enjoy doing. You can make a gift basket that includes various paint samples and ideas pulled from magazine pages and then spend time with your mom helping her select a color and/or a faux finish. You might want to paint sample colors on mom's wall and let her live with them for a week or two before she makes her final color choice. If she wants to help out when the painting comes, so much the better!
SPOTLIGHT PROJECT: Get the look of leather!
If adding some warmth and texture to a room or two is for you, than a faux red leather wall may be just the project. A fabulous looking faux-leather paint job is surprisingly easy to create with the right tools and a little direction!
Is clutter an issue for your mother? If so, offer to go through her closet and help her reorganize her things. Everyone can use some help sorting through old clothes, shoes, hats, bags and all the other items that tend to accumulate in our closets. It can be really hard to get rid of old things, even if they are no longer worn or used. It always helps to have someone on the sidelines encouraging you to dump those relics.
First, remove everything from mom's closet and shelves until they are entirely empty. Then go through each and every item and sort into piles; one to keep and the other to give away. (The giveaway items can either be donated to Goodwill or sold at a garage sale.) Once you finish this quick sort, go through each item in the "keep" pile and talk about whether or not it really should be kept. (This may bring up lots of old memories to share with mom.) Stay focused during this task and help her get rid of as many items as possible, reminding her that her efforts warrant a new, updated wardrobe.
Review everything that remains and think about how to best organize it in the closet. At this point you may benefit by making a quick trip to your local container store. Look at boxes and dividers that might be helpful in getting your mom more organized. If she has a lot of shoes, you might want to invest in a hanging shoe rack. Too many sweaters? Clear plastic boxes are great for storing piles of clothes. Treat mom to a bunch of padded hangers perfect for storing delicate blouses or silk dresses. If she has a number of belts, then some decorative hooks may be useful to her.
If space is at a real premium, you might want to consult a closet designer or system installer to see if they can help design a closet that takes the best advantage of the space she does have. In the end, this process will make your mom feel great. She may discover clothes she didn't remember having, and her clean and organized closet will remind her of all your hard work and effort for a long time to come. (Fingers crossed that it stays organized!)
SPOTLIGHT PROJECT: Build A Message Center!
Wouldn't it be nice if you had a central location for family members to keep in touch? A place where you can stay updated on holidays, doctor's appointments, sporting events and school and social functions? With a little paint and a few simple tools, you can.
In the Garden
Does your mom have a garden that needs tending? If so, you can offer to spend the weekend working with her to prepare her garden for spring and summer. Offer to do all the labor intensive work: pull weeds, turn soil and plant seeds. Buy some containers and plant an herb garden, or set up a drip irrigation system in mom's garden that will take the trouble out of watering. Add a water feature to her backyard or front porch so that she can enjoy the sound of running water when she sits outdoors. There are endless tasks needed in the garden and the results of your efforts will continue to blossom all summer long.
These projects are just a few suggestions that can and should be adapted to the needs of your mother. Ask your mom what she would most want to see done in her home. You may be surprised at what she has to say. If she has always hated the tiles in her bathroom, why not offer to take on that project? Your mom will be thrilled to have a household problem solved and your gift will last much longer than anything you can buy. She will also enjoy the added benefit of spending time together. Show your mother how much you love her and how much she means to you with your consideration and skills; she will thank you for it!
Get a Garden for Your Senses
Faux Painting: Red Leather
Make Your Own Upholstered Headboard