Momma Told Me: Making A Timeless Mother's Day Gift (Under $10)

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Making A Timeless Mother's Day Gift (Under $10)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DoingThe99 #99YourMothersDay #CollectiveBias
This elegant vanity tray was made with materials from the 99 Cents Only Stores for just $6, and everything on it was only another $6! #99YourMothersDay #DoingThe99 #AD
My mother and I don't really do gifts.

There was a time when I would actually get scolded for spending money on her- and not in a cute "oh you shouldn't have" manner, in a very real "I gave birth to you and you'll do as your told, you've offended me greatly" manner.

Through the years she's mellowed a bit. (Don't tell her I said that though, she has a staunch reputation to maintain.) We still do bare minimal for most holidays, and Mother's Day is no exception- but I've found that handmade gifts are accepted much more graciously. After all, she might smack me upside the head for buying her a new blu-ray player but there's not much she can do when I present her with something I crafted from my own two hands.....accept tell me to spend less time and money on it next time.

We have a special relationship.
That being said, whether you are a mother yourself, are the grown child of a mother, or have a friend who is a mother, Mother's Day is rapidly approaching and it's always nice to have a gift in mind that looks like a million bucks but cost you more like a 100 Grand (the candy bar). Regardless of who you're shopping for this Sunday May 14th, you likely need a little inspiration. After all, a macaroni pencil holder or salt dough portrait doesn't quite fly when you're 30.

Luckily, being the savvy 99er that I am, I'm always looking for inspiration for a fun and unique project that would make a great gift. We try to stop by our local 99 Cents Only Stores at least twice a week, since new and exciting things are always hitting the shelves, and the aisles are always packed with amazing essentials as well as seasonal decor and necessities. One of these days I'll make a fresh fruit bouquet from all of the amazing fruit in the produce department! You really can't go wrong whether you're looking to fill in holes on your grocery list or build a gift basket last minute- there are plenty of name brands at amazing prices.
So a few weeks back on Pinterest I saw some 'suggested for you' PINs pop into my feed and one was of a handmade vanity tray. The tray looked amazing, but when I clicked through to check out the materials things began adding up very quickly. The blogger had essentially used a bought tray ($20) and painted/refinished it to fit her decor. It was cute, but I knew I could do better for much cheaper.

The toughest part of my mission, or so I thought, would be finding a sturdy and sizeable surface to be functional at a vanity, or by the tub, while still holding a decent amount of weight without falling apart. Our local 99 Cents Only Store always has a section of aisle (usually across from the kitchen-wares) with home decor such as frames, mirrors, plaques, canvas art and more. Surprisingly I found 3 different options for my tray base that suited my needs.
I ended up deciding on a framed personal wall mirror for $1.99- it had a nice stylish pink border which would have worked great in my home, but not so much my mother's. I knew I wanted to give the tray handles of some kind, to make it easily transportable, but they had to adhere on their own since the tray's surface was essentially a mirror. In the electronics and accessories aisle I found some adorable smartphone 'rings' intended to support up 4lbs weight (each), which self adhered thanks to a sticky back. Then all I needed to do was decide on a color to paint my frame, and pick up a few accents to adorn my finished product.
To begin this very simple, anybody can do it, project I first taped along the inner edges of the mirror to protect from any paint residue during the process of painting the frame. I also wanted to dress up the mirror surface a little so I used my tape to make an inner 'frame' which I could paint over to reveal a designed pattern.
I'd picked up some decorative baubles at my local 99 and wanted to tie in my copper color to them as well- giving the edges, or entire objects, a quick coat of paint really helped tie my finished product together and elevate it to a whole new classy level. How adorable is that ceramic pineapple and sea turtle?
Once my paint had dried I carefully peeled off the tape- it's okay if you weren't perfect on your lines, the mirror surface will often be covered and imperfections give it a handmade feel. You may want to give your mirror a clear coat finish if you are worried about scuffs or scratches in use.

Next I pulled out my smartphone 'rings' and applied them in the center of each of the mirror's shortest ends. Voila! Instant tray! I was surprised how strong the grip of these rings were, and they easily carried a full load of items.
This elegant vanity tray was made with materials from the 99 Cents Only Stores for just $6, and everything on it was only another $6! #99YourMothersDay #DoingThe99 #AD
I have to say pictures don't do this beautiful tray justice. The metallic paint really pops and you can't tell I only spent $6 on it- I definitely want to make one for my own home now, too! It is incredibly sturdy and functional, and if it ever gets damaged no tears will be shed. I don't know about you- but those are some magical features to a mother!
This elegant vanity tray was made with materials from the 99 Cents Only Stores for just $6, and everything on it was only another $6! #99YourMothersDay #DoingThe99 #ADThis elegant vanity tray was made with materials from the 99 Cents Only Stores for just $6, and everything on it was only another $6! #99YourMothersDay #DoingThe99 #AD
I'll admit, I really 'broke the bank' spending an extra couple of bucks at the 99 Cents Only Stores on my accents. What can I say- everything on the tray itself was a whopping $7. I included a few moisturizers and a bamboo bath scrubber to add some functionality to my gift, as well as Godiva chocolates to sweeten the sentiment. This is definitely a gift I'd love to receive; and I know my mother will be proud of (when she hears how little I spent.)
This elegant vanity tray was made with materials from the 99 Cents Only Stores for just $6, and everything on it was only another $6! #99YourMothersDay #DoingThe99 #AD
Some of life's luxuries can still look expensive without really breaking the bank- that's something my frugal mother taught me. Mother's Day  is definitely a day to pamper the mothers in our lives and this $6 Custom Vanity Tray does just that! Of course if I haven't inspired you to creative-ness, you can also visit your local 99 and make an amazing gift basket your mother will love. Now, tell me, what are your plans for this Mother's Day?


  1. Wow I had no idea they had such a variety. I love the end result!

  2. Usually we head into our local $.99 store for cards, but I surely appreciate all their other variety as well. You found some items I have never seen. I would buy those pineapples and paint them a variety of colors. How pretty would that be?

  3. Wait. A macaroni pencil holder won't cut it this year? Uh oh. This is such a fun idea for a Mother's Day gift...and I totally agree that the copper paint adds a fun twist to this one! Thanks for sharing! #client

  4. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!.. mother days gifts

  5. This post has encouraged me to write some posts that I am going to write soon.
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  6. "Mother's Day is the perfect occasion to express our love and appreciation for the incredible women who have shaped our lives. Choosing a meaningful gift is just one way to show our gratitude for all that they do. From the heartwarming sentiments behind a carefully selected gift to the joy it brings to our mothers, this is a day to celebrate the love and bond we share. Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms out there! 💐💖 #MothersDayGifts #MomIsAmazing"

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