FAMILY MATTERS: It’s the perfect present to hand mum

Mothers Day Craft Session, at Heeley City Farm
Mothers Day Craft Session, at Heeley City Farm
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WHAT mum doesn’t love getting a handmade gift from a youngster for Mother’s Day?

WHAT mum doesn’t love getting a handmade gift from a youngster for Mother’s Day?

That endearing little keepsake, lovingly made, that shows a child’s own personality just as much as their love for their mum.

I vividly remember how proud I was of some tissue paper and cardboard daffodils in a painted yoghurt pot that I lovingly crafted for my mum at junior school – and the tears when I dropped the gift as I tried to hide it under my coat on the walk home and it lay in pieces on the floor.

I soon brightened up when she said, quick as a flash: “Don’t worry, I haven’t seen it complete yet, why don’t you mend it when you get home?” Clever mum!

She’s 78 now but I know that my mum still treasures some of those gifts and cards that my sister, brother and I made.

Heeley City Farm in Sheffield runs regular craft sessions for children and some of the youngsters helped to show me one simple and effective idea for a gift: a painted plant pot. You will need: a terracotta plant pot (about 75p from most garden centres), some acrylic paints and paintbrushes, a bright spring flowering plant and some extra potting compost (we used primulas from the city farm garden centre that cost 50p). Then just get on and have some fun thinking up a design that your mum will like! Lucy’s mum Kirsty is a keen gardener so, as well as some flowers, she decorated her pot with some wellies and ladybirds, which her mum loves, and the message Just Relax. She also painted a sky in blue and added some bold blobs of white to make fluffy little clouds.

Lucy changed her mind about part of her design and crafter Sarah Hardy managed to erase it by wiping off the offending bit with a damp cloth. Otherwise, leave it to dry and paint over the top.

Tom, who enjoys making monsters and robots out of cardboard boxes and other bits and pieces, started with a bold band of red around the top of the pot, later adding vertical black stripes. He dipped the tip of his thumb in the paint to make a flower centre and used fingerprints for the petals, then finished off with a paintbrush to add the stalks and leaves.

We decided you could do a butterfly the same way.

His mum loves elephants, so Jack added a bold blue one to his pot.

Tom’s sister Fern went for a big, dramatic snail design on a vivid green background. It had plenty of yellow flowers to eat. She decorated the top in plain yellow and it looked great planted with a yellow flower.

Jack and Beth decorated half a pot each for their mum, creating an array of colourful flowers and snails. Beth tried dipping the end of an old cotton reel in paint and using it to make a flower shape – she had to rock it a little to apply the paint to the curved pot surface.

The paints dry quite quickly so the children finished in less than an hour.

Leave the pot to dry completely, then plant it up (this may require help from an adult) and wrap it, using cellophane or tissue paper, securing it with some ribbon.

All the latest issues, advice and information from Julia Armstrong

Email: julia.armstrong@thestar.co.uk