I read on the ghostnote forums that taping the inside of the shell where the hole is and applying some hot glue from a hot glue gun in the hole to plug it works well, and then you just re-drill the hot glue out afterwards. Haven't tried in theory.
What I'd do is buy a cheapy wood Snare off Ebay (make sure you ask the seller if the wrap on it is installed with tape instead of glue). Remove all hardware, strip it and stain it. even if it doesn't have a pretty grain. You'll know first hand how staining and finishing a round drum shell is a little trickier than a flat board like a cabinet door or something. Once you have that done with the stain and X number of clear poly, then I'd invest (or convince your mom to invest) in a pre-cut, pre-drilled Keller Shell. Use the different techniques talked about here in staining around holes.
Or if you want a less expensive alternative, get a good piece of craft Pine or Oak from Home Depot or Lowe's (under $10). drill a few 1/4" holes and practice staining those using the techniques mentioned here and in other threads. Read as much as you can, but know that nothing replaces first hand experience and practice. There's a way to do it without blowing the bank. I know you mentioned you don't have aspirations to be the next OCDP, but if you pull off a killer snare with a Keller Maplevshell, you may get the itch and/or realize that you have potential to make more.
Set 1: Self built custom drum set
Set 2: Ludwig Accent
Cymbals: Meinl Byzance Traditional, Meinl Byzance Jazz