Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to come up with a creative gift that will show your love and appreciation for the man of the house. This year’s crafts go beyond noodle necklaces and heart-shaped cards to include eco-friendly upcycled ideas for any age.

Gifts from Little Hands (or Paws)

With a little help from Mom, grandma or any adult, we’ve got several cute ideas even the youngest gift givers can create. For our first idea, fill a bowl with kid-friendly washable paint and set out recycled cardstock or light colored paper. Dip your little ones’ hands and/or feet into paint, then press hand and footprint onto paper. Rinse off small hands and feet. Then write a personalized message, such as “Hands down, you’re the best Dad,” or “Love you from the bottom of my sole.” Add a photo of your child (or pet), and have them sign their name and add their own touch with crayons. Framing this gift will preserve it for years to come, and you can use a glue gun or superglue to attach personalized trinkets or magnetic letters to the frame to make it even more decorative.

Walkable Crafts

Stepping stones for the garden or walkway are another popular gift that is easy to make and personalize. Pour Quickcrete into foil pans or other round shaped container. Press hand or footprint into center, and use a skewer or other sharp object to write your message to Dad, along with the child’s name and the date. Have them decorate with small colored stones, marbles, glitter and colored paints. This may take a few days to harden, see package instructions.

Tie-Shaped Cards

If paint and concrete are too messy for your taste, cut out a tie-shaped card from vertically folded construction paper. Have your child write or dictate his own message, and add her photo and the date. You can also buy a few note cube stacks in white, hand out magic markers, and have the kids decorate the sides of the note cubes with messages to Dad. Wrap with ribbon, add tie-card, and voila, he can bring their love to the office.

Photo Crafts

Framed photos of the little ones are always a hit. Take cut out letters from paper or cardstock that spell out Dad or Happy Father’s Day. Depending on the number of kids or poses you want to shoot, have them hold one or two of the letters and take pictures in different poses. These are best taken outdoors, and you can try black and white or sepia tones for a really cool look. Once photos are developed, look for a photo frame with the right number of slots for your photo sequence.

Gift Ideas for Elementary and Middle School Kids

As the kids get older, they want to do everything for the gift from start to finish. Have your preteen choose one of these great gift ideas, lay out the supplies, then step back and watch it happen.
Use mini clothespins, glue and modeling clay to create little figurines Dad can display on his car. Or, have your kids search for smooth rocks, shellac or glue a photo on top, pad the bottom with felt, and add a personalized message with a sharpie (“Dad Rocks” comes to mind). For Dads who have occasional stress and a sense of humor, fill a latex glove with sand and knot tightly at the top. Decorate and add a message with sharpies, rings and any other elaborations (“#1 Dad, Hands Down” would work). Looks like a unique paperweight, acts as a stress reducer and conversation piece.

High School and Adult Craft Gifts for Dad

All Dads like to drink, whether it’s Coke, beer, Dr. Pepper or Perrier. Collect 12 bottle tops and a round board, either recycled wood or cloth-covered particle board. Glue tops where the numbers on a clock would appear. In craft stores oronline you can purchase clock movement kits for just a few dollars that let you build your own clock. Screw on clock hardware, insert batteries, and add a personalized message.

What To Do With Old Ties

When Dad has lots of old and outdated ties, you can use those relics from the past to create an upcycled rug, funky chair or coffee cup sleeve. If you’re not sure Dad’s ready to have his ties cut up, check out local thrift shops for a treasure trove of colorful options in varying fabrics. The rug can be tricky if you’ve never woven before, so consider having a professional weaver assemble this one for you.

For the necktie chair, gather about 40 neckties and drape them over backs and arms of a wooden chair or rocker in a pleasing pattern, placing every other tie upside down to avoid gaps. Tie the bottoms to a horizontal bar at the bottom of the chair. For the seat, knot neckties at back and front of the seat frame, leaving space in between each tie. Then begin knotting ties across, weaving them under and over the first set of ties. You can also reupholster a chair cushion using ties to create a patchwork pattern for a really upscale look.

A coffee sleeve is by far the easiest tie project. Cut the tie in half, wrap the bottom portion with pointed edge around a coffee mug and attach Velcro to both edges on the inside. Set aside other half for next year’s project.

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