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7 iPad Apps for Picking the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift on a Budget

Jennifer Tuohy

We all want to make Mom feel like a million bucks this Mother’s Day, but we can’t all afford to break the bank to do so. Plus, chances are that Mom doesn’t want a big, expensive present. She probably wants something thoughtful and personal. Traditionally, thoughtful and personal was also difficult and time-consuming. But with the help of your iPad, you can now easily and quickly create a low-cost, heartfelt gift, or seek out a special treat for a special discount. Here are some apps to help you pick a Mother’s Day gift.

1. Ink Cards 

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If you do nothing else, get Mom a card. It really is the most thoughtful gesture you can make, especially in this digital age. (No e-cards here, please). But that doesn’t mean you actually need to step foot in a post office. Ink is my go-to card-sending app. With a few clicks you can have a unique, personalized missive, and even include your own photo with a single tap. Ink is currently showcasing a nice selection of Mother’s Day templates or you can opt for clean and simple and just send a photo card. Once you’ve designed your card, Ink will print and mail it for you. Ink also offer the option to pre-schedule shipment of your card, and guarantees two to five business day delivery to anywhere in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Canada.

Cost: Free app, $1.99 to send a card, including postage

2. iPhoto

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that moms love photos. So, make her smile on Mother’s Day by creating a personalized slideshow of your best moments together in iPhoto. Go through some old photo albums and take pictures of the best ones with your iPad. Then, put them straight into the slideshow with a few taps — no scanning required.

Creating the slideshow in iPhoto on your iPad is super simple. You can add pictures from your camera roll or iCloud account, choose from different themes and even add music from your iTunes account. Once you’re done, you can Airdrop the slideshow directly to her IOS device (if she’s in the same location), or publish it to your iCloud account and email her the link. Simple, sweet and totally free.

Cost: Free app – iPhoto is pre-installed free on new iPads, $4.99 for older models

3. Etsy

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An online marketplace that connects crafters to consumers, Etsy is the perfect place to find a unique gift for a great price. Many Etsy stores offer personalization, helping make your offering extra special. Etsy’s iPad app is very well designed, allowing you to swipe through a category (such as Mother’s Day Gifts) and see full screen, high-resolution images of each handcrafted item — almost as good as seeing them in person.

The Mother’s Day category is helpfully divided into jewelry, cards, home décor, kitchen and gourmet, personalization, flowers and vases, and much more. From hand painted portraits of Mom’s house to a gorgeous family tree necklace, you’re sure to find something that will make her day.

4. Groupon

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The original deals site still has plenty to offer, and its iPad app makes browsing the offerings a breeze. Search for nearby deals or use the Mother’s Day section to pick a spa day for Mom or a bottle of nice smelly stuff, for 50 to 70 percent off retail price. A new feature on the app is a card scanner, allowing you to just hold your credit card up to the camera, rather than typing in all those pesky numbers.

5. SnapGuide

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When the gift-giving budget doesn’t stretch to actual dollars, homemade crafts make a very viable gift, one that may even bring a tear to Mom’s eye. (“You mean you actually made this for me? You haven’t made anything for me since 3rd grade!”) While Pinterest is still my go-to app for craft ideas, SnapGuide is a new service that provides a lot more detailed direction — important for a non-crafty person such as myself. Users create and share step-by-step guides to a multitude of projects, from how to change the oil in your car to how to make a jewelry hanger out of a chessboard. Type in Mother’s Day and up pop some great guides for handmade Mother’s Day gifts, including how to make a bouquet of tea-dyed paper flowers using a cup of tea and some coffee filters.

6. Airbnb

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What all moms really want is a night of peace and quiet. Book her an amazing place to find some through Airbnb. A community marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world, Airbnb lets you gift your mom a weekend on her own private island or a night in John Steinbeck’s writer’s studio, for a lot less than you might expect. With the app, you can really see inside these amazing locations to make sure you select the best one. The categories in the app are great fun to browse through also. What would your mom prefer? A tree house, art gallery or castle?

7. iTunes

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If Mom loves her iPad, why not gift her an awesome app? Each year, the iTunes store has a Mother’s Day Gift Guide highlighting apps that Mom might like. It features everything from cookbook apps to the Star Walk astronomy guide, and sometimes proves to be an eclectic bunch, but then, so are moms!

Of course, if Mom doesn’t have an iPad, then you’ve got the perfect gift idea right there.

Jennifer Tuohy writes for eBay, where you can buy just about any Mother’s Day gift imaginable, or find an old iPad to do your shopping on. Follow Jennifer on eBay and on Google+.

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