20 geeky gifts for Mother's Day

Treat the moms in your life to custom chocolate photos, propeller earrings, binary pottery and other tech-inspired Mother's Day gifts.

Need some inspiration for Mother's Day shopping? Check out 20 science- and tech-inspired gift ideas, including iPhone jewelry, shoes decorated with the periodic table of elements, and a gardening book written especially for geeks.

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A literary charge

Disguise a phone charger in literary greatness. Rich Neeley Designs transforms new and used books into docking stations for iPhones, iPods and iPads. All the docks are hand-built to order. Pictured is a leatherbound copy of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" ($54), but that's just the beginning of the collection. Check out the entire library of literary docks at the design firm's Etsy site.

Elemental kicks

Science-loving moms will get a kick out of TOMS Periodic Table Classics ($54). They're made with vegan materials and pesticide-free cotton. As with all TOMS shoes, for every pair purchased the company gives another pair to someone in need.

Photographs + chocolate

For a gift a mom can really sink her teeth into, order a Cocoagraph, a handmade chocolate bar customized with your own photo (prices start at $14). Founder Rae Vittorelli came up with the idea to combine fashion, photography and vintage design in an edible form. You can choose milk, white, dark or organic dark chocolate, and you can add optional ingredients such as dried fruit, almonds, sea salt, and coffee bean crumble to create your own masterpiece for mom.

What makes your garden grow?

Organic garden designer Christy Wilhelmi dissects the mathematics, biology and ecology of gardening in her new book, "Gardening for Geeks" ($15.95). With the help of Wilhelmi, Mom could be running germination tests, starting a worm farm and gearing up for active batch thermal composting.

Punctuation bracelet

Is Mom a grammar geek? Try Michelle Mach's punctuation bracelet ($24) on for size. The designer hand-stamped punctuation marks on seven copper-plated round discs to create the charming bracelet.

Look, Ma, no cords

If Mom is obsessed with eliminating dangling charging cords and putting an end to iPhones lying on the floor, the MiniDock ($19.95) from BlueLounge is a simple, elegant solution. Your device sits upright in the MiniDock while it charges in the wall socket (using your existing Apple USB power adapter). No cluttered counters, no dangling cords.

Poetic pottery

Circuit boards, maps and flow charts show up in the work of Laura Hewitt of Funny River, Alaska. Her haunting ceramic pieces incorporate markings from manual typewriter keys, vintage machinist punches and other geeky sources. Shown are Hewitt's binary code soup mugs ($65 for the pair). See the full portfolio at her inaeent shop on Etsy.

A burst of color

Electronics cases are a quick and easy way to embrace bold colors and patterns. Petunia Pickle Bottom makes phone covers (pictured: Adorn in Gardens in Glasgow, $38) and tech cases (pictured: Stowaway Sleeve in Classically Crete, $45) that are sophisticated, vibrant and cheery.

Mental Reset

If Mom needs a mental refresh during the day, a coffee break is just the thing. With the Ctrl-Alt-Delete Cup Set ($9.99 via ThinkGeek), she can enjoy some java in plastic cups shaped like the infamous keyboard trio.

Quirky kitchenware

Add a dash of geekery to any kitchen with tech-inspired tea towels from Etsy artists. Cotton & Flax makes the linen/cotton blend DNA tea towel ($22), and Dozy Doats Totes is the design shop behind the quirky robot towels ($15).

Mini jack earrings

Etsy shop MageStudio transforms iPod mini headphone jacks into sleek earrings ($40) tuned for serious Apple fans. Each pair is made to order.

Tunes to go

For easy, on-the-go music, the iPAL ($219.99) from Tivoli Audio could be just what Mom needs. The portable radio has an AM/FM tuner, an auxiliary input to connect to an iPod or other audio device and rechargeable batteries. 

Retro notecards

When Mom's feeling nostalgic for the days of handwritten notes, she can take a break from texting and emailing with notecards featuring a vintage TV ($14 for a set of five cards with envelopes). Each card is screenprinted by hand by artist Amy Stone at Etsy shop pony & poppy.

Compass necklace

Honor Mom's spirit of adventure with a necklace that features a working compass encircled in sterling silver. The engraved piece is handmade in the U.S. by artists Kevin and Deborah Healy ($140 via UncommonGoods). 

Cells and pillows

Neuroscience, biology, physics, and space exploration are the inspiration for a brainy selection of pillows and prints, including this dynamic neuron cushion cover ($64). The artist is Marie Robinson of Etsy shop MyWifeYourWife. She embroidered the design based on a sketch of a neuron by Spanish scientist and Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

Ice cream accessory

Every mom needs a break from tech, and ice cream is a perfect indulgence. You can take the experience up a notch with a porcelain pint holder from San Francisco-based designer Nima Oberoi ($48 via Anthropologie). It hides the messy cardboard container.

Spinning propellers

They're not on stereotypical beanies, but the propellers on these brass earrings ($14) have just the right techie spin for a geek-loving mom. The inspiration is Amelia Earhart, according to Esty shop owner Michelle Mach.

Geek suds

Alien spaceships, Legos, Batman icons and "Star Wars" characters are just a few of the many geeky subjects rendered in soap by Etsy shop SkyRainSoap. Most are in the $5 range -- though the giant, three-pound loaf that recreates Han Solo in carbonite will cost you $60.

Mind games

For some unplugged playing time with Mom, try a game of Pentominoes from Square Root Games ($22 via Amazon.com). The gear is simple -- 12 polygons made from heavy oak -- but the pattern challenges in the puzzle book are designed to get your brain working hard.

Geek pillows

What's Mom's favorite social media distraction? Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, Etsy shop Craftsquatch has a pillow-soft version of these geeky icons and plenty more to enjoy (starting at $18).

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