THE LAST 12 months have been, among other things, the Year of the Hobby.
A lot of moms managed to adopt a new interest during the last year of social distancing whether it was making bread, attempting ceramics, germinating gem lettuce, cycling solo or dabbling in tie-dye. And they likely found time to pursue that passion project in between at-home working, schooling and caretaking. So it has never been more imperative to show our appreciation.
Make this year’s Mother’s Day gift a thoughtful one whether you’re celebrating your own mom, the mother of your child, a grandmother, or a de facto mom. Below, our picks to help her indulge her pandemic pastime.
Crochet Made Easy
Did that needlework kit from last Mother’s Day quietly vanish after a few weeks of use? This year, take the hint, and go for the ready-made version. This summer-y poplin puff-sleeve from Sea New York comes with a removable crocheted vest, so that she can mix it up between crafty and classic depending on her mood. Sea New York Dress, $545, nordstrom.com
If your family’s not sick of each other yet, this subscription kit that combines charming art projects with illuminating art-history lessons is something you can enjoy together. Each month brings two new projects inspired by a different artist—past examples include a Matisse-esque vessel composed of colorful paper cutouts to a make-your-own doll kit inspired by folk-art fanatic Alexander Girard (pictured above). Art kit, from $32 per month, rainershine.love
A Winsome Workout
A gifted gym membership comes off as vaguely insulting, but an elegant pilates set? Bring on the banded squats. This kit from New York-based fitness instructor Erika Bloom, which comes with ankle weights, resistance bands, a yoga block, a pilates ball and a massage ball, is compact enough to keep stored away at home or zipped into a gym bag. Movement Kit, $175, erikabloom.com
Ace Her Outfit
Whether your mom picked up her first racket this spring or 20 springs ago, there’s nothing like a new ensemble to put some pep in her backswing. This pleasantly pleated skirt and matching polo from Tory Burch’s performance activewear brand, Tory Sport, comes in a moisture-wicking fabric for ultimate comfort mid-set. Sky-blue striping and a tailored silhouette create a look that fits in anywhere, from the court to cocktail hour. Accompanying tennis lessons optional. Polo, $108, Skirt, $158, torysport.com
A Culinary Candle
Trying to outdo a sibling? Go for a two-in-one gift, like this multi-use candle from Esker. It starts as a woodsy soy-based candle but once its wax burns through, it deliciously morphs into a basil-growing kit comprising an empty terrazzo vessel, a pod of soil and basil seeds: all the materials needed to start an at-home herb garden. Plantable Candle, $85, eskerbeauty.com
Fruits of Labor
We’ve all come to appreciate the value of a good jigsaw puzzle over the last year, but there’s always something heart-breaking about taking them apart after hours of dedicated effort. With a design as lovely as this watermelon, banana and papaya-laced summer scene by Maggie Stephenson, she can frame and display it upon completion. The effort that 1,000 pieces demand merits a bit of boasting, after all. Puzzle, $48, ordinaryhabit.com
If spending the last year cooped up has left Mom in a creative rut, activate her imagination with Beth Pickens’s new guide to honing artistic potential. Ms. Pickens doles out advice on subjects like finding time in a busy life to accommodate creativity, asking for assistance, drumming up motivation and more. $19, chroniclebooks.com
These Portugal-made pruning shears may look delicate, but they can slice through stems over ¾ of an inch thick—and without leaving behind calluses, thanks to the gentle beech-wood handle. Oprah is a fan. Opinel Shears, $59, food52.com
An Austen-Inflected Art Book
“Jane Austen Embroidery” (Dover Publications) caters to a whole range of interests, from needlework to the Regency era (especially if Mom just mowed through the first season of “Bridgerton”). Jennie Batchelor and Alison Larkin’s deep dive into embroidery from the late-18th through mid-19th centuries comes with 15 different, modernized patterns, from floral napkins to a quilted phone pouch. Clear instructions and graphics offer a comfortable starting point for beginners, while increasingly complex patterns accommodate more experienced needlers. $22, bookshop.org
Sunbathe in Glory
Can’t choose just one hobby for Mom? Give her all of them. This ultra-luxe, super-soft cotton beach towel from French brand Hermés comes printed with a slew of summer-sports paraphernalia, like a sailboat and volleyball. Your mother can sunbathe resplendently and ponder her next avocation without lifting a finger. Towel, $580, Hermès, 212-751-3181
Fit with everything she’ll need to sew a pretty picture, this cross-stitch kit will pair nicely with her next podcast binge. Budgie Goods x Lisa Congdon Kit, $34, lisacongdon.com
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