From hugs to greeting cards, flower bouquets, and, of course, breakfast in bed, you’ve made every effort to show the moms in your life that you care. These Mother’s Day gifts are appreciated, of course, but they may also be starting to feel stale.

There are only so many Mother’s Day cards, flowers, or chocolates your mom can receive before her big day feels predictable. She loves all the Mother’s Day crafts — the heart-shaped cards, paper flowers, bookmarks, and so on — but what she really wants is a surprise that will force her to sit up and take notice.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Left to our own devices, most of us opt for the tried-and-tested hallmarks of Mother’s Day, sticking with easy crafts rather than putting in the work to plan original and memorable festivities. Another issue? A simple lack of artistic flair; less-than-crafty types are more inclined to grab a generic gift at the store than deal with the hassle of paper craft tutorials or other handmade Mother’s Day gifts.

We understand this struggle, so we’ve compiled Mother’s Day gift ideas that are extra meaningful — but also easy to create. These keepsakes incorporate cardboard cutouts to great effect. Your VIM (Very Important Mom) will be impressed by these DIY Mother’s Day gifts — and you’ll be glad to ditch the messiest craft ideas in favor of something truly original.

1. Stages of Motherhood

Motherhood is a journey like no other. Honor just how far the moms in your life have come with the perfect gift: a series of cardboard cutouts that acknowledge who they were and what they accomplished at different life stages. If, for example, you have teenage or adult children, this series of cutouts could feature their mother while she was pregnant, cuddling with newborns, and, of course, playing with young children. This may be the first time she has revisited these photos in years.

This concept could be even more meaningful for a beloved grandmother, who will enjoy reliving special memories from early on in her motherhood journey, not to mention during proud moments such as her kids’ graduation ceremonies or weddings. There’s no better way to say “I love you” while sharing your gratitude for years of love and hard work.

2. Celebrate From Afar

Many loving mothers are unable to celebrate their special day alongside their children or grandchildren. From kids in college to military service, a variety of circumstances can make Mother’s Day extra painful if loved ones are not physically present. You’ll need to make an effort to bring them — or at least their image — to your celebration.

Phone calls and video chats may help, but you can take this long-distance celebration up a notch with life-sized cutouts that resemble Mom’s favorite people. Add thought or speech bubbles to help these special individuals share meaningful messages.

While this will in no way make up for the actual presence of friends or family members, it should provide a powerful reminder of just how many people genuinely care about the mom of honor.

Mother and grandma celebrating Mother's Day with cardboard cutout of their family.

3. Create a Mother’s Day Backdrop

Moms often take on the unofficial role of photographer — but on Mother’s Day, they deserve a chance to leisurely pose for dozens of silly pictures rather than focus on capturing snapshots of everybody else. For a special Mother’s Day surprise, plan a memorable photoshoot, complete with a vibrant backdrop that feels meaningful to the mom of honor.

Add props to create a photo booth display where Mom and all her guests can pose to their heart’s delight. Face-in-hole cutouts can also be fun, particularly if they feature Mom’s favorite celebrities. Get her celebrity crush in on the action or a character from one of her favorite books or TV shows. Either way, the images from Mom’s big photoshoot can later be compiled to form a scrapbook that she will love gazing at far into the future.

4. Showcase Important Mom Photos

Because moms are always on the move (or, as we’ve mentioned, are always serving as the family photographer), they are sometimes disappointed to discover that the few images in which they’re featured are less than perfect. This shouldn’t stop you from turning special moments into tangible displays.

With a few simple edits, a special — but flawed — photo can become a picture-perfect cutout. This can be a huge confidence boost for any mom who will see herself through the eyes of her many admirers. Don’t be surprised if it becomes permanent home decor.

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5. Use Cutouts As Decoys or Gift Experiences

If you have a big gift planned but want a unique way to present it, skip the usual wrapping paper or gift box and incorporate cutouts instead. Some types of gifts can be directly attached to cutouts, while others can be placed right behind them or otherwise incorporated into a scene dominated by creative cutouts.

For example, a series of cutouts depicting family members could present various handmade gifts, with each present placed near (or directly on) the cutout representing the person who made it.

Better yet, use cutouts with speech bubbles to create a scavenger hunt, which will eventually lead Mom to a special gift or treat. Use clues that remind her of important moments from her motherhood journey. She will quickly discover that, as with motherhood itself, the journey is just as important as the destination — although, of course, you will want to provide an extra impressive gift at the end to reward Mom for all her hard work.

A grandma celebrating with her cardboard cutout grandchildren.

Say Happy Mother’s Day With Creative Cutouts

Step up your Mother’s Day celebration with cardboard cutouts that show you care. You will be thrilled to find a variety of compelling options from Cardboard Cutout Standees, including life-sized cutouts, BigHeads, face-in-hole displays, and more.

No matter which easy DIY ideas you favor, we can help you bring your vision to life. You will be amazed at just how easy Mother’s Day gifts can be to create — simply select a high-quality image and upload it. We will take care of the rest, ensuring that you receive vibrant and meaningful cutouts in time for Mother’s Day.

This could become a central part of your annual Mother’s Day tradition or may even enter the picture for Valentine’s Day or Father’s Day gifts. With so many creative ways to make and present cutouts, there’s no telling what you’ll come up with in the future.

Ready to get started? Stop by our upload page and follow our step-by-step instructions to create a cardboard cutout — or reach out to learn more about our top offerings.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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