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The BEST gift ideas for mothers and mothers-in-law

Today I’m sharing The BEST gift ideas for your mother-in-law. Thinking up gift ideas for mothers and mothers-in-law can pose a few problems.  Anytime you have a person who:

1) can buy anything they want for themselves

2) already has a lot of stuff

gift giving gets a little more complicated. If you have a mother-in-law who you don’t know well (or don’t get along with) there are even more barriers to picking out the perfect gift.

I’ve compiled a gift guide for mothers and mothers-in-law that I hope can help circumvent all of these problems.

*This post contains affiliate links. This means when you click on a link and purchase an item, I receive a small marketing payment from AT NO COST TO YOU! 

What is the best gift for a mother-in-law?

Mother-in-laws come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of different likes and dislikes. If you are wondering “what gift should I give to my mother-in-law” I encourage you to think about the types of things she is interested in. Observe your mother-in-law, take notice of the things she keeps in her home, what she talks about, the things that she watches. If you are trying to figure out what types of gifts your mother-in-law might like be sure to enlist the help of your husband. Ask some questions about what his mom enjoys! 

Gifts for the mother-in-law who has everything and loves to read

Gift Ideas for mother-in-law 100 books to read in a lifetime gift idea

100 Books Everyone Should Read in a Lifetime

If you have a mom or mother-in-law who loves to read here is a fun idea! Goodreads made a list of “100 books Everyone Should Read In a Lifetime.” As a reader I immediately looked through the list and saw quite a few that I hadn’t read yet, but wanted to read. I also saw plenty I had read before but had kind of forgotten about. This gift starts them out on their own journey of reading those 100 books! You can download a free “checklist’ bookmark, print them off on cardstock and include all 10 books on the bookmark or just a few (depending on your budget). Another reason this gift is great is because it could stretch out for several gift giving situations! HAHA! Give her 10 books and a bookmark for Christmas, 10 more books and the next bookmark on Mother’s Day, etc etc. I’ve got you covered for the NEXT 10 Holidays! WOOT! Here is a post JUST about this gift with all 100 book links and 9 more bookmarks. I would absolutely LOVE this gift, and many of the books are classics so they cost a little less than new release books.

First 10 books for the 100 books gift:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Pride and Prejudice


Anne Frank

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

Lord of the Rings

Great Gatsby

Charlotte’s Web

Little Women

The Hobbit

If you have enough money in your budget or want to make this into a group gift, you could make this electronic. I highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite  or the Kindle Oasis . You could purchase an e-reader and then load some or all of the 100 Books onto it. (Then send the next books for other holidays). My Kindle is probably one of my favorite gifts EVER.

You can download the first (free!) printable bookmark that has these 10 books plus checkboxes for each book by signing up for access to my Gift Printables Library. You can get TONS Of other fun printables there to make your giving easier and more fun.

Book Club in a Box 

gifts for mother-in-law who has everything book club gift basket

This gift includes items that a mom or grandma would need to start their own fun book club and it could be customized in several different ways.

A long-distance book club and include instructions on how to Skype a meeting.

A family book club and give copies of the first month book to other family members as well as the giftee

In this Book Club in a Box I included:

Four book club books.

You can find a lot of great suggestions (and discussion guides) on this website I chose to put 4 different books in the Book Club in a box but you could put 10-12 copies of the same book (so the giftee can hand out books with invitations).

I also included a beautiful pitcher, and some cute paper cupsfloral paper platesnapkins and straws for the host to serve treats on during book club.

I added a clipboard with some free printables for planning book club. There are a lot of things that need to be decided to create a successful book club and this will make the process easy. I included spots for writing down club member information, which books are chosen for which months and who will be hosting. I also added a page with sample (general) discussion questions and a page with tips. All of these printables are in my gift resource library.

I put everything into a gorgeous metal basket from Joanns. Unfortunately, they don’t have the exact basket on their website but here is a similar one from the same manufacturer.

Last, but not least, I have created 3 different Book Club invitations you can print out and add to the Book Club in a box and a cute sign to put on top!

Invitations, check! Book, check! Tableware for party, check! Now just get your friends and some treats and you are ready to Book Club like a pro!

Access all of the free gift printables for the Book Club in a Box by signing up below for my weekly newsletter and access to the Gift Printables Library.


Family-centered gift ideas for mother-in-law

Gift ideas for mother-in-law who loves her family customized family tree gift

Custom family tree gift

Let your mother or mother-in-law proudly display their roots and branches with a customized family tree.  These are great gift ideas for mothers-in-law! You can have a chart made for 4-8 generations by the talented Etsy seller AIWSolutions.  She also has other designs available. I think this would make an amazing gift for the mother-in-law who has everything. 



Another family-centered gift your mom or mother-in-law would love is customized stamped jewelry.  This beautiful bracelet is made by SimpleOfferings on Etsy where she has almost 4000 5-star reviews. Let Grandma’s bangles show off her grandbabies. This would also make a great group gift…have everyone in the family purchase the bangles for their kids’ names and split the cost of the bracelet. 

Digital Photo Frame gift for mom and mother-in-law

There is nothing a grandma loves more than seeing the beautiful faces of her grandbabies.  A great group gift for a mother-in-law (who is a grandma too) is a digital picture frame.

Digital Photo Frames can vary widely in price depending on what you want them to do.

One of the less expensive options is this DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME . It requires you to fill up an SD card (up to 32 gigs) and plug it into the frame. I love that this frame has a motion sensor so itis only on if someone is in the room. You could have everyone in your family save the photos they want on the frame to one area and then load up the SD card.

This Aura digital picture frame (shown above) is a little pricier but amazing because you have the additional capability of being able to add photos remotely through their app! Your family can constantly be adding new pictures to the frame (even from far away!) so that the pictures are constantly changing and updating. How fun would it be for your mom-in-law to wake up to new sweet pics of her grandbabies?

Personal history writing gift for mother-in-law

I think all of us intrinsically like to share our stories. These gifts will let mothers and mothers-in-law write their own personal history down.

The Book of Me has questions that delve into personal history and space to write the answers. This could limit the answers so if you have a talkative mother you might want to check out the next option.

Tell me your stories Gift for Grandpa

Allison Kimball created the most beautiful printable questions for a project done by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a few years ago called #52 stories. It includes a question each week that will help people write out their personal history. You could either print these and put them into a decorative jar  or hook them together with a ring clip and attach a beautiful journal like this one.

If you don’t want to print the prompts this book has 365 prompts for personal history writing. 

If you want to add a DIY touch to any of these personal history gifts I love this DIY Journaling Bookmark/pencil holder by This might be something a kid could make to add to Grandma’s gift!


Decorative Gift Ideas for Mother-in-laws

Numbered Grandchild Photo Gallery Wall gift for mother-in-law

Numbered Grandkid Photo Wall gift 

One of my mom’s favorite gifts is a Numbered Grandkid Photo Gallery we made for her: beautiful pictures of grandkids with cute individualized numbers next to them.   You can read all about it on this post. This makes a great (and easy!) group gift!

Inspirational Quote Board Gift for mother-in-law

Inspirational Quote Board gift for mother-in-law

This gift is beautiful AND inspirational! Find out all of the details at this post and then check out my Pinterest Board FILLED with free printables for gifts. You can print a bunch of lovely quotes and include it with a magnet board.


DIY Gift Ideas for Mother or Mothers-in-law


free printable gift tag for mother-in-law gift

Hand stamped dish towels are simple and make amazing Christmas gifts for your mother or mother-in-law and also are a great activity for your kids on Christmas break.  My kids had so much fun stamping these year-round gift towels (we did different shapes to represent each month). The free downloadable gift tag says, “Thanks for loving us the way you do, each day, each month, the whole year through! I share the supplies you need a free gift tag and detailed instructions on how to make DIY hand stamped dish towels for your mother-in-law on this blog post


DIY Sign Post and Holiday Signs gift for mother-in-law

I love this signpost because it is so versatile.  You can make the post and include one more signs.  Home Depot made an easy to follow tutorial here. 

If you are looking for some beautiful signs I love these from SweetNCCollective on Etsy.


This Welcome Sign would be a fun one.

Be thankful sign gift for mother-in-law

merry christmas sign gift for mother-in-law


You could also add in a Thanksgiving sign 

and a Christmas one. 

Useful Gift Ideas for mother-in-law

If you are really struggling with deciding on something for your mother, a good fall back is something that you know she will use. 

Hostess Gift for mother-in-law

If your mom or mother-in-law hosts a lot of parties, you could purchase some fun and useful hostess items.

Serving Dishes

Tiered Serving Platters 

Drink Dispensers

Chalkboard food signs 

Reusable Grocery Bags

Several states no longer have bags available at the grocery store (unless you purchase them). Personalizing some reusable grocery bags would be a fun useful gift that kids could help with! You can purchase this bunch of 10 reusable bags and then use paint to personalize the bags (produce, dairy, canned, frozen etc).

Lotus Trolley bags are super innovative reusable bags. The bags HANG in the cart and are color-coded for different types of groceries. I would actually love these!

What is the best gift for a mother-in-law? What gift should I give to my mother-in-law? What are some gifts for a mother-in-law who has everything? I hope this post has an idea that answers all of these questions and inspired some gift ideas for your mother or mother-in-law. Maybe there’s something in here you’d love for a gift as well?

Happy Gifting!


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Sunday 24th of June 2018

These gift ideas are all really neat! As a working mom I would also say subscription boxes make great gifts as well. Currently I'm using Birch Box and this sock company I stumbled upon and I love it, we don't really think of going out and purchasing sox and it's the one thing we use the most!


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

The 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime is such an awesome gift idea! I like that it feels a bit personal too.


The Gifty Girl

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Thanks Lauren! I know I would love to get it! ;)

Wanda @ From House To Home

Monday 20th of November 2017

Hi Steph...I love the Book Club in a Box idea...My mother would LOVE that! Thanks for the great ideas!

The Gifty Girl

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Thank you Wanda! And thanks for stopping by!

[email protected] Crafty

Monday 20th of November 2017

I love these ideas- that 100 Books one is a GREAT idea!

The Gifty Girl

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Thanks so much Valerie! I hope you can use it for someone on your gift list. :)


Monday 20th of November 2017

Hi Steph,

These are all such fun ideas and gifts that I would love for myself. I really like that Family Tree art !

The Gifty Girl

Monday 20th of November 2017

Hi Patti! Thank you, I love that Family Tree art too (and I would totally take the 100 Books haha! :) ) Thanks for stopping by!

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