On Mother’s Day for the past few years, I’ve always loved my kids’ homemade gifts and cards most of all. But, this year, I don’t want my family to worry about shopping for craft supplies to make, or to have to go anywhere to buy me something. It made me think that there are surely other moms in my shoes, who would be happy to get some kind of recycled Mother’s Day gift that they make from things we already have on hand.

So in the interest of keeping things simple this year — and avoiding any unnecessary shopping trips — I’ve tracked down 15 of my favorite easy, yet really lovely, recycled Mother’s Day gifts your kids can make out of egg cartons, cans, construction paper — you know, the things you might otherwise recycle or toss.

These gifts include crafts at every level, from toddlers to teens. Which means your only job as a mom is to make sure they somehow all see these ideas before Sunday.


Related: 10 adorable handmade Mother’s Day cards from the kids that will totally melt Mom’s heart


Recycled egg cartons become teacups on these Mother's Day card by In the Playroom

Egg carton tea cup Mother’s Day card (In the Playroom)

A leftover egg carton gets a bright makeover as a colorful tea cup with this recycled Mother’s Day gift idea  from In the Playroom. You can even turn yours into a gift card by pairing It with a note telling her you’ve ordered her some of our favorite artisanal teas to enjoy.


This Mother's Day, these recycled can planters from The Best Ideas for Kids make a great gift

Tin can planters (The Best Ideas for Kids)

Whether you’re eating a lot of canned black beans, or play to use some other canned item in your dinner rotation this week, be sure to save a few to make these bright DIY Mother’s Day planters. I’d love them filled with tiny succulents, or grab some herbs like basil or parsley at the local nursery. and start a windowsill herb garden she’ll adore.

Of course you could also use glass jars, as shown in the image up top. So sweet!


Recycled crayons can become candles in this Mother's Day craft by The Pinning Mama

Recycled Mother’s Day crayon candles (The Pinning Mama)

If you already have candle supplies — like we do from my teen’s short-lived interest back in 2018 — plus some clean jam jars, this recycled crayon candle Mother’s Day gift idea will be a snap to make and a great use for all those little crayon nibs. You can choose her favorite shades to create an ombre effect, match her #1 sports team colors, or just have fun an assortment of candles in springy colors.

Make colorful beads from leftover paper using this tutorial from Sophie Academy

DIY paper bead necklace (Sophie Academy)

Leftover scrap paper, wrapping paper, or even magazine pages can become pretty paper beads using this tutorial from Sophie Academy. It’s a perfect craft for older kids, or fun for little fingers to help make too with just a little help. When the beads are done, string them together to make a one-of-a-kind necklace for a one-of-a-kind mom.


Turn a grocery bag into a Mother's Day book using this idea from Twitchetts

Recycled Grocery Bag Book (Twitchetts)

A single brown paper bag becomes the sweetest Mother’s Day book from a preschooler or younger kid, thanks to this tutorial from Twitchetts. Each page also includes a pocket for little treasures, love notes, or even homemade gift cards promising help with chores and take baths without being nagged. What a sweet recycled Mother’s Day gift idea!

Related: 12 truly cool handmade Mother’s Day gifts from kids that become heart-melting keepsakes

Old t-shirts become coasters for Mother's Day with this tutorial from Nellie Bellie

Recycled T-shirt coasters (Nellie Bellie)

Get your kids to grab some old t-shirts they’ve outgrown and twist them into soft but entirely functional coasters for Mother’s Day. If your’e getting lots of patio use right now, these will be perfect for dinners as a family — or cocktails after the kids have gone to bed.


Turn old CD's into coasters for Mother's Day with this tutorial by Crafts by Amanda

Recycled CD coasters (Crafts by Amanda)

Another coaster idea?  Sure, why not! I love the idea to dust off some old CD’s and pull out some fabric scraps (or even leftover wallpaper or patterned card stock) to create quite lovely DIY coasters.Consider pairing this Mother’s Day gift with a bottle of something bubbly.


Recycled wine bottle vases from Tater Tots & Jello for Mother's Day

Wine bottle vases (Place of My Taste for Tater Tots & Jello)

If my kids grabbed an empty wine bottle from the ones currently in our recycling bin and turned it into this beautiful painted bud vase, I would be thrilled. It’s so easy to do, and the instructions on the site include this free printable bumblebee card.


A recycled milk jug becomes a pretty Mother's Day necklace with this idea from Pink Stripey Socks

DIY String art necklace (Pink Stripey Socks)

All you need is an empty milk jug and some colorful embroidery thread you probably have left over from the friendship bracelet craze — voila! A charming Mother’s Day necklace all from recycled materials. Such a fun project for crafty kids to make. And she’ll look amazing on her next Zoom call with work.

Related: 19 of the best subscription boxes for moms this Mother’s Day, perfect for last-minute gifting


Turn a plastic bottle into a bird feeder Mother's Day gift with tutorial from Hey Maaa

Recycled plastic bottle bird feeder (Hey Maaa)

Turn a two-liter bottle into five-star dining for Mom’s feathered friends following the smart instructions and tips from Hey Maaa. Older kids may enjoy getting fancy with their painting and decor, while younger kids will just have fun playing with paint.


A Mother's Day craft idea from Momtastic: make a colorful bird feeder from a can

Recycled coffee can bird feeder (Momtastic)

If you have more coffee cans than soda bottles in the recycling bin, this homemade bird feeder from Momtastic uses whatever color duct tape you have on hand to create this brightly-striped eatery that will look so pretty out her bedroom window.


Free printables from How About Orange make this magnet craft a great Mother's Day gift

DIY mid-century inspired clock magnets (How About Orange)

A collection of bottle caps can become these incredible mid-century clock magnets and it’s easier than you think! Thanks to the the free printable images from How About Orange, which help it all come together as well as hers did. We would have to track down the magnets for the backing, unless you have some lying around in a desk drawer somewhere, but I love it.

Related: 18 free Mother’s Day printables that are thoughtful, lovely, and creative. Just like Mom.


Easy Mother's Day flower pot idea from The Happy Scraps

Recycled Mother’s Day photo holder (The Happy Scraps)

An assortment of jars covered with some washi tape become little vases. But makes them extra special, is filling them with the smiling cases of kids, as shown here.  This would be an especially sweet gift to leave on Grandma’s doorstep, if that’s an option, or send to her so she has a gift waiting for her next week.


Make Mother's Day DIY bath bombs using recycled K-Cups with this recipe from The Good Stuff

DIY K-cup Bath Bombs (The Good Stuff by Coupons.com)

If you haven’t completely switched over to reusable K-Cups, the empties make great molds for DIY bath bombs. And is there a more perfect gift for Mother’s Day than the gift of quiet time to actually enjoy a bath?


Make a phone stand for Mothers Day with instructions from Easy Peasy Creative Ideas

DIY Washi tape phone stand (Easy Peasy Creative Ideas)

Toilet paper is already a hot commodity, and now, so are the rolls! Hang on to them (or cut paper towel rolls work too) and you can make a DIY phone stand for Mom. Read the comments beneath the post for tips on how to create a more sturdy stand so it really is functional. That way, your TP is valuable twice over.

Top image: Brian Ritchie via Unsplash