There’s nothing quite as meaningful to parents and grandparents as receiving a homemade gift. While shopping for Dad or Grandpa can be a bit tricky, getting something a child made is a thrill for any father. After all, there’s nothing quite like the effort and thoughtfulness that goes into planning and making something just for them.
And while dads and grandpas welcome a do-it-yourself Father’s Day gift, these craft projects also directly involve kids in the gift-giving action. Kids get the chance to show their appreciation and feel pride when someone unwraps and uses their gift. Plus, practicing giving — and not just receiving — helps kids reap the greatest psychological rewards. Giving is an act of kindness that builds empathy, shows you care, and increases happiness and well being, as discovered by a 2018 study published in the journal Psychological Science.
So whether you’re looking to keep things inexpensive or give him something especially thoughtful, a handmade gift helps you show how much you care. From charming artwork and games to grill supplies and practical tools for the office, kids of all ages can make Dad or Grandpa something they can use or display with pride.
A homemade card, hand-painted picture, or memory book is a doable project no matter your age. While an infant as young as 6 months can make abstract art with a grown-up’s help, an older or adult child can write and illustrate a picture book, fold a pop-up card, or assemble a collage.
1. A Homemade Card
As long as you have some construction paper, scissors, crayons, and glue, you have everything you need to make a homemade card. Infants and toddlers can finger-paint, and preschoolers can draw a picture with crayons. Older kids can have fun folding origami or pop-up cards. A few ideas include:
- Finger-Painted Message. As long as they can sit up and smear paint with their fingers, kids as young as 6 months can do this project. Use letter and shape stickers to spell out a message like “I [Heart] Dad” on card stock. Then strap your little one in the high chair and let them finger paint over the stickers. Let the card dry, and carefully peel off the stickers. This method leaves behind a perfectly formed message for Dad. Be sure to use washable kid-safe finger paint, especially if your little one isn’t past the mouthing stage. Or make your own from taste-safe sugar, cornstarch, and food coloring like they did on Highlights.
- Handprint Dinosaur. Fold a piece of construction paper in half. Then trace the child’s hand onto the paper with the wrist end at the fold. Cut out the hand, leaving the folded end intact. On the inside write, “Dad, you’re dino-mite!” Then cut the shape of a dinosaur’s head and neck and glue it underneath the top flap of the card. Decorate it with pom-poms to give the dinosaur spots, glue on two googly eyes, and draw a mouth with a black marker. Get the full instructions on The Joy of Sharing.
- Monster Hug. Draw a monster shape on card stock. Cut it out and decorate it with googly eyes and markers. On lighter-weight paper, such as construction paper, trace the child’s hand and as much arm as you can get on the paper. Cut two. Then attach the arms to the back of the monster with glue. Decorate the arms using markers. On the monster, write a personal message like, “A monster hug for Father’s Day!” Get the full instructions on Kids Craft Room.
- Superdad Pop-Up. For the man in your life who’s always swooping in to save the day, give him a superhero pop-up card. Use the free printable templates at Red Ted Art to print the outer card and inner pop-up. Then color in the designs. Fold the inner and outer cards down the middle. Cut the inner card around the pop-up, leaving a small section attached at opposite ends. Then fold the center crease of the pop-up in the opposite direction of the card, so it can pop out when opened. Get the full instructions on Red Ted Art.
- Origami Shirt. Gather folded construction paper, glue, a wallet-size photo, and pom-poms or buttons. Then follow the folding instructions on Hello, Wonderful to make a shirt-shaped card. Glue the photo inside the card and decorate the outside with a construction paper tie or buttons. Get the full instructions on Hello, Wonderful.
2. Wall Art
Although kids draw pictures all the time, a special one made just for Dad lets them express their creativity and exercise empathy as they imagine what their father likes. Plus, with a little ingenuity, even toddlers can make frameable art. A few ideas include:
- Finger-Painted Silhouette. Have little kids finger-paint with Daddy’s favorite colors. Then, take a photo of your child’s profile, print it, and cut it out. Trace their profile onto a piece of blank white card stock or watercolor paper and cut out inside the line you just drew, so they’ll be a silhouette-shaped hole in the paper. Then glue it down over the finger painting so the colors show through in the shape of the child’s profile and frame it.
- Pop Art. Trace Dad’s favorite tools — such as a wrench, hammer, scissors, or spatula — onto plain white heavy-weight paper, like card stock. Use two contrasting colors of acrylic paint — for example, blue and orange — and paint the tool one color and the background another. Let the paint dry, then outline the tool and give it a few details to make it pop. For an extra-special touch, add some hand lettering in the background with words that let Dad know how much you care. Get the full instructions on Paper and Stitch.
- Nuts and Bolts Heart Collage. Gather up some nuts, bolts, washers, screws, and nails. Trace a heart onto a blank canvas. Use tacky glue to fill in the shape with the nuts, bolts, nails, and screws. If desired, once dry, glue some small, wood letters over the top to spell out a word like “Dad.” Once everything is thoroughly dry, liberally spray the whole thing with a single shade of spray paint to give it a uniform color. Get the full instructions on Mosswood Connections.
3. A Story or Memory Book
If Dad loves snuggling up with the little ones to read bedtime stories, have kids treat him to a story of their own creation. Kids can draw pictures and, depending on their ages, they or an adult can add some words to go with the pictures.
Alternatively, have kids make Dad a heartwarming memory book. Create an “All About Dad” book using a free template like the ones at Eighteen25, Hello, Wonderful, or Lia Griffith. Each has a slightly different design, but all include pages for kids to make drawings of Dad and prompts to fill in information about their favorite memories and what they love most about him.
Older kids get to exercise their computer skills when they put together a professionally bound book from Love Book. It lets them fill in everything they love about Dad and use custom clipart for illustration. Plus, Love Book prints it into an actual hardcover book.
Few dads wouldn’t love a homemade treat, whether a batch of cookies or a snack mix to munch on while watching TV. And dads who like to cook or mix cocktails always welcome foodie gifts like seasoning mixes and simple syrups.
4. A Backyard Cookout or Picnic
Backyard cookouts are a Father’s Day staple. If kids are old enough, let Dad sit back and relax while they fire up the grill and cook all his favorites — whether that’s burgers, steaks, or marinated chicken kabobs. Plus, older kids who love to cook enjoy planning out a menu to surprise Dad. For some recipe inspiration, visit Cool Mom Eats.
While little kids don’t belong anywhere near a grill, they can still treat Dad to a fun outdoor dining experience with basic picnic fare like sandwiches, chips, and cookies. Have kids assemble sandwiches, pack a picnic kit with all the essentials — blankets, utensils, napkins, cups, plates, and a Frisbee — and head to Dad’s favorite park (or the backyard) for a casual, low-stress afternoon.
5. A Sweet or Spicy Snack Mix
If Dad’s favorite way to spend Father’s Day is with Netflix, set him up with a sweet or savory snack mix. A few ideas include:
- Monster Trail Mix. Even little ones can assemble a trail mix with Dad’s favorite nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips or M&Ms. Package it together in a jar with a cute label that reads “Dad’s Monster Trail Mix From His Little Monsters.” Get the full instructions on Lil’ Luna.
- Homemade Caramel Corn. If Dad enjoys Cracker Jacks, make him a tasty homemade version perfect for family movie night. Just pop some popcorn, cook butter and sugar over the stove until it forms a caramel sauce, mix in the popcorn and some peanuts, and bake. Get the full recipe on Feels Like Home.
- Sweet and Spicy Snack Mix. This recipe is perfect for Dads who enjoy a mix of sweet and savory flavors. It involves mixing nuts, cereal, and pretzels in a sweet and spicy coating including brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Get the full recipe on Sarah Hearts.
- Spicy Snack Mix. Or, if Dad likes his snacks all savory with no sweet, try a snack mix with only spicy flavors, including cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, and ranch mix combined with mini pretzels and cereal. Get the full recipe on Just a Pinch.
Bake Dad a batch of his favorite cookies, like the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe on AllRecipes. Then present them in a cute, on-theme package, like the Dad’s Secret Stache bag from Marvelous Mommy, which involves gluing paper cutouts of a mustache and bowtie onto a brown paper lunch bag.
7. A Candy Bouquet
Flowers are the traditional gift of Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean Dad wouldn’t love a bouquet too. If he’s not into flowers, make him a bouquet of his favorite candy. Pick out a variety of candy bars and movie theater-style boxed candies plus some dowel rods from the craft store. Then tape each of the candies to a dowel. Present them in a vase or similar container. Get the full instructions plus a free card printable on The Dating Divas.
8. A Seasoning Mix or Rub
If Dad loves to grill, mix him up a custom seasoning mix. Invent one yourself or try one of the recipes at Mom Advice. They include an all-purpose seasoning mix and a burger seasoning blend. Mom Advice also has free printable labels for packaging your spice blends.
Or opt for a barbecue rub to give a spicy-sweet kick to Dad’s chosen grill meats. Find a recipe, complete with a free printable label, at Beyond Good Intentions.
9. Bitters or Simple Syrups
Dads who enjoy mixing up cocktails can get ample use out of homemade bitters or flavored simple syrups. Homemade orange bitters are ideal for dads who love a good Old Fashioned. To make them, steep dried orange peel, cloves, allspice, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods in Everclear. Note that it can take up to a month to reach the desired flavor, so start this gift well ahead. Get the full instructions on Momtastic.
If you’re looking for a gift you can whip up last minute, go with a flavored simple syrup. Basic simple syrup is a combination of one part sugar to one part water boiled together until the sugar completely dissolves. You can use simple syrups to sweeten a variety of cocktails, and adding a flavor like mint or basil helps give Dad’s drinks a unique spin. Plus, if you’d rather give a more child-friendly gift, you can use simple syrups to make all kinds of homemade sodas, as shown in the book “Make Your Own Soda” by Anton Nocito. For a list of flavored simple syrups and recipes, visit Imbibe Magazine.
Home & Kitchen Gifts
Many dads also appreciate practical gifts that help them cook, grill, or consume their favorite meals and treats. And while any Dad or Grandpa is thrilled to wear a handprint apron designed by their little ones, older kids can make more complex gifts involving woodworking or decoupage.
10. Drink Coasters
Coasters are a homemade gift easily customizable to ability level. Younger kids can make geometric designs by blocking off sections of cork rounds with painters tape. Then simply choose a few different colors of craft paint to fill in the bare sections. After painting, remove the tape, and you’re left with some fun, modern-looking designs. Get the full instructions on Left Brain Craft Brain.
Older kids can customize coasters to Dad’s specific tastes using decoupage techniques. For example, cut out pictures of his favorite comic book characters. Then coat ceramic tiles with some Mod Podge, and lay the pictures over the top. Carefully smooth out any air bubbles and coat it with more Mod Podge. Be sure to use dishwasher-safe Mod Podge so the coasters can stand up to the condensation from drinks. Get the full instructions on The Farmer’s Daughter.
If he’s not into superheroes, customize the coasters with anything that suits Dad’s tastes — from maps of special places you’ve visited together to ticket stubs, album artwork, or even cherished photos of the two of you.
11. An Apron
For the Dad who loves to cook, what better way to show appreciation than a custom-designed apron? Kids of any age can hand-decorate a blank canvas apron using fabric paint or pens. Or try one of these Dad-centric ideas:
- “The Best Dad, Hands Down.” Use fabric paint or pens to write “The Best Dad, Hands Down” on a solid-color apron. Then have kids coat their hands with fabric paint and stamp their hands all around the words.
- “King of the Grill.” Use a Silhouette or Cricut cutting machine to cut heat transfer vinyl or use iron-on transfer paper to make an image of a barbecue grill to press onto a solid-color apron. Then have kids coat their hands in fabric craft paint in shades of red, orange and yellow. Stamp them in an overlapping pattern at the top of the grill image to look like flames. You can add the title “The Grill Master” or “King of the Grill” using a cutting machine to cut more heat-transfer vinyl or use iron-on transfer letters. Get the full instructions on That’s What Che Said.
- Grill Master. Use a stencil to paint the word “Dad” and grill symbols on a basic apron. Note that the instructions in the tutorial are for cutting a stencil using a Silhouette machine. But if you don’t have one, print the stencil on card stock and cut out the details with an X-Acto knife. Get the full instructions on Handmade in the Heartland.
12. A Mug
“World’s Best Dad” mugs are an age-old Father’s Day tradition for a reason. They remind Dad of his special people while he drinks his morning cup of Joe. A hand-decorated version makes it all the more special. To make one, start with an inexpensive white ceramic mug purchased from the dollar store or Amazon, gather some oil-based Sharpies or another brand of ceramic paint pens, and then opt for one of these decorating techniques:
- Tape Resist. Apply some shape stickers or painter’s tape to block off words or designs on the mug. Then have little kids scribble solid blocks of color all over the mug with paint markers. This method is a fun way to customize a colorful mug for Dad that’s very doable for little kids. Get the full instructions on I Heart Arts n Crafts.
- Pop Art. Trace a favorite photo of Dad, including just an outline and a few details. Make multiple copies of the tracing or trace different photos, and then color them in using watercolors, markers, or crayons. Upload the finished pictures to a free design platform like Canva to make a repeating pattern. Then use a print-on-demand service like Shutterfly to have your creation printed on a custom mug. Get the full instructions at Red Ted Art.
- Finger Print. Use the child’s thumb and pointer finger to make two side-by-side prints on the mug in two different colors. Then draw legs and hair on each print and write the words “Daddy & Me.” Get the full instructions on Crafts by Amanda.
Whether Dad loves to cook — or just eat — he’ll get a kick out of custom plates decorated with his favorite things. Purchase some clear round or square glass plates from Amazon or the dollar store, and print pictures from Dad’s favorite fandom, whether that’s a map of Middle Earth, his favorite sports team’s logo, or artwork from his favorite albums.
Then use dishwasher-safe Mod Podge to glue them to the plate. Size the images for your plates by using the free picture software that came with your computer. Or find images exactly the size you need using Google’s advanced search functions. Type relevant keywords like “Millenium Falcon” into the Google search bar. Select “Images” from the menu bar on the resulting search page. Then select “Advanced Search” from the drop-down “Settings” menu. From there, you can customize the search to find the exact size you need for your chosen plates.
Get the full instructions on Our Nerd Home.
14. Kitchen Utensils
If Dad is an amateur chef, make him a set of his own kitchen tools to suit his personal style. Younger kids can use paint, and older kids can experiment with wood etching techniques. Start with a few wooden kitchen tools like spoons, spatulas, or even a small cutting board, and then customize with one of these techniques:
- Geo Patterned. Use nontoxic black craft paint to create geometric designs with lines and triangles. Let the paint dry, then coat the tool with a food-grade sealant to help it last, and let it dry for at least 72 hours before using. Get the full instructions on Bldg 25.
- Colorblocked. Use painter’s tape to block off a section of the handles on your chosen tools. Then, paint the area below the tape in one of Dad’s favorite colors. Let it dry and repeat with another color above that. When you’re finished, seal it with a food-grade sealant. Get the full instructions on Craftiness Is Not Optional.
- Jute Wrapped. This easy DIY creates a rustic look for Dad’s kitchen tools. Use hot glue to adhere one end of a length of jute twine to the handle of your chosen tool. Then simply wrap the twine tightly around the handle until you get to the handle’s end. Cut the twine and use another drop of glue to permanently attach it to the handle. Get the full instructions on Uncommon Designs.
- Wood-Burned. Get an etched effect by using a wood-burning tool to make designs in the handles and scoops of wood kitchen tools. Note that the wood-burning tool gets very hot. So this project is doable for teens, but should not be attempted by young children. If you’d like to try this one with younger kids, have them make designs on the wood using a very fine-point marker. An adult can then go over the designs with the wood burner. Get the full instructions on Design Mom.
15. Grill Tools Storage
If Dad’s domain is more the backyard grill, make him a tote to keep his barbecue gear within reach. A metal bucket helps him carry all his necessities to and from the grill, including his grill tools, apron, seasoning mixes, and condiments. Decoupage a steel utility pail with fabric and a printable label that reads “Dad’s BBQ Bucket.”Then hot glue jute rope around the circumference to give it a finished look. Get the full instructions on Everyday Dishes.
Alternatively, if your kids are old enough to master a few basic woodworking tools, make him a wooden sign to hang by the grill to keep his tools handy right where he needs them. Use planks of wood fencing to make a plaque, then attach them together at the back with more wood strips. Stencil and paint the sign with a cute label, like “Grillin’ & Chillin’.” Then screw in several drawer knobs so Dad can hang his tools. Get the full instructions on Lil’ Luna.
A sport-themed keepsake or a handmade gift to use while playing sports keeps thoughts of his kids close while Dad is engaging in one of his favorite activities.
16. A Handprint Baseball
Handprint crafts are a Father’s Day staple for a reason — they’re a tangible way to hang onto those all-too-fleeting little years. And for a dad into baseball, what better way to combine two of his favorite things than with a keepsake mitt and baseball with his child’s handprint? This is an especially touching gift for dads who enjoy playing catch with their little ones. Simply use a black inkpad to coat the child’s hand in ink and then press it onto the baseball. Rest the baseball in a mitt to make an attractive display for Dad to put on a shelf. Get the full instructions at Sunny Day Family, including a sweet poem to go with the gift.
17. Decorated Golf or Soft Balls
If Dad plays golf or softball, have kids decorate custom balls for his favorite game. Little kids can easily decorate golf balls with Sharpies. And Dad will have a touching reminder of his little ones while he plays. Plus, he’ll appreciate all the extra balls. Just hand them a couple of markers and let them scribble away — supervised, of course. Get the full instructions on Productive Pete.
Alternatively, have kids decorate a softball or two for Dad. As with the golf balls, all you need are some balls and permanent markers. And since Dad might not want to actually take a bat to these, consider picking up a display stand to go with the gift. Get the full instructions on Kiwi Crate.
18. A Water Bottle
Dads who enjoy hiking or running need a customized water bottle to keep them hydrated. Or set Dad up with several so he can keep them filled in the fridge and always have a bottle ready to grab.
Start with a clear glass or reusable plastic bottle. Print or cut some images or shapes from magazines, wrapping paper, or plain colored paper. Then use Mod Podge to affix the images to the bottle. Coat with more Mod Podge. Be sure to use dishwasher safe Mod Podge to make the bottle washable. Get the full instructions on the Hallmark Channel.
A DIY game is fun for Dad and the whole family. Not only does Dad get an entertaining gift, but he and the kids can bond while playing it.
19. A Giant-Size Backyard Game
A giant-size version of a favorite game designed for playing in the yard is always fun. Projects that involve cutting wood are best for teenagers, who can handle a saw. But younger kids can help with staining or adding dots to dice and dominoes. And even little ones can make a backyard game of tic-tac-toe with some adult help. Plus, for basic cuts, many hardware stores can cut the wood for you. A few giant-size games to try include:
- Kubb. Otherwise known as “Viking chess,” this game involves moving pieces called skulls and femurs across a rectangular playing field. To make the pieces, cut 10 four-by-fours to create the skulls and one slightly longer one to act as the king piece. Six dowel rods act as the femurs. To play, line up five skulls (also called “kubbs”) on opposite ends of the playing field and put the king piece in the middle. The first team attempts to knock down all the opposing team’s skulls using the femurs without knocking over the king. Any that are knocked down get moved into the field, and on the other team’s turn, they must now knock down both the “field” and baseline skulls. Toss aside any knocked-down field skulls. They’re now out of play. Each side takes turns throwing all the femurs until all the opposing side’s skulls are out of play. To win the game, you must first knock out all the skulls and then the king. For complete instructions on making the pieces and playing the game, visit Our Handcrafted Life.
- Yardzee (aka Yard Yahtzee). Cut a four-by-four into sections to make five perfect cubes. Sand the corners so there aren’t any rough edges. Then use a black Sharpie to make large dots on each side to mimic dice. The object is for each player to obtain the best dice rolls they can over a series of rounds. Keep track of scores using a scorecard. You can make one or buy a reusable one complete with gameplay rules on Amazon. Get full instructions for making the giant-size yard dice on A Turtle’s Life for Me.
- Dominoes. Cut one-by-fours to make a set of 28 dominoes. Stain the boards as desired. Then use a large hole punch to make dots from adhesive-backed white sticker paper. Attach the dots to mimic the patterns on dominoes and coat the dominoes with a clear acrylic sealer. To play classic dominoes, each player takes a turn matching tiles in their hand with the pieces in play. The first person to use up all their tiles wins. Get complete gameplay rules at wikiHow. And get full instructions for making giant dominoes on One Dog Woof.
- Tic-Tac-Toe. Cut a long nylon rope into four equal sections. A supervising adult can burn the ends with a lighter to keep the rope from fraying. Tie each of the rope ends in a knot around a metal stake. These become your playing board. Pick up some oversize chipboard letters in X’s and O’s, five of each, from your local craft store. Kids can decorate these however they like — with paint, markers, or glitter. They can even decoupage them. Get the full instructions on Momtastic.
20. A Minigolf Course
Have kids raid the recycle bin and gather up any combination of cardboard boxes, milk jugs, egg cartons, and aluminum cans. Grab some colored card stock, scissors, and glue from your craft stash. And pick up wooden dowel rods, golf clubs, and balls. Then let the kids use their imagination and engineering skills to make castles from boxes, obstacles from pool noodles, and ball holes from cans. Make flags from card stock and dowel rods to mark the holes. Get the full instructions for outdoor minigolf on the Kix Cereal website.
If the weather’s not going to be nice for Father’s Day, you can set up a do-it-yourself minigolf inside. Visit My Kids’ Adventures for ideas on setting up an indoor minigolf course.
21. An Indoor Game
Another fun way to craft a gift for Dad as well as foster some family bonding time is with a homemade indoor game. A few to try include:
- Foosball. Make this classic game from a shoebox and a couple of cardboard tubes that come on some wire hangers. Punch holes in the sides of the box to thread a tube through either end. Make sure it’s high enough from the bottom of the box that a ping pong ball can fit underneath. Cut out and color two soccer players small enough to rotate under the tubes. Glue these to thin cardboard like the kind a cereal box is made of, so they’re sturdy enough to move the ball. Glue the finished players to the tubes. Then grab a ping pong ball and challenge Dad to a game. Get the full instructions on Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
- Marble Maze. Glue some cut pieces of plastic straws to the inside of a box lid in a maze pattern. Cut slightly larger than marble-size holes in opposite ends of the box lid — an entry and an exit. Then grab a marble and challenge Dad to see if he can guide it from one end to the other. Get the full instructions on Meaningful Mama.
- Beanbag Toss. This game is made of wood, so it’s a project meant for older kids but makes for a more lasting gift. Start by making a wooden frame. Use a hole saw drill attachment to drill holes into a wooden board that becomes the front of the game. These are for tossing beanbags through. Sand any rough edges. Decorate the front with paint to mark the scores for each hole, then add a reusable scoreboard at the top using chalkboard paint. With the addition of a cleat system on the back, Dad can proudly hang it in his game room. Get the full instructions on Ana White.
22. A Buildable Memories Jar
For dads who enjoy playing Legos with their little ones, a Lego memory jar is the perfect gift. Simply gather up a set of colorful building blocks, and then quiz the child about their favorite memories with Dad. Write one memory on each Lego. Then present them to Dad in a labeled jar. Dad and Kiddo can actually use the Legos to build creations with their “memories,” or the jar can sit on Dad’s desk as a memento of all the fun times they’ve had. You can even add to it each year as the family builds new memories together. Get the full instructions on The Seasoned Mom.
Bath & Body Gifts
Every parent can use a little rest and relaxation sometimes. And if he’s not used to thinking about self-care, a homemade bath and body gift is a good reminder to take a little time for himself. Most of these projects include melting butters on the stovetop, so they’re best suited to tweens and teens.
23. A Facial Care Kit
Treat Dad to an in-home facial with a kit that includes everything he needs to take care of his skin. Some items to include are:
- Lemongrass Foaming Facial Cleanser. This cleanser uses sugar and castile soap mixed with herbal powders to even skin tone, brighten, and combat blemishes. Plus, you can customize it to his unique skin concerns. Get the full recipe on Soap Deli News.
- Vetiver and Tea Tree Moisturizing Balm. This facial moisturizer uses tea tree oil, which helps fight acne. Soothing shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil help calm the skin after scrubbing and shaving. And the vetiver adds an earthy, woody scent. Get the full recipe on The Crunchy Urbanite.
- Coffee-Infused Under-Eye Cream. Dads get dark circles too. The caffeine in this eye cream helps lighten them, calm puffiness, and even smooth fine lines. It involves mixing a coffee-infused oil with shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. Get the full recipe on Soap Deli News.
- Cleansing Face Mask. For Dads in need of a DIY spa day, a cleansing face mask is just the things to leave him feeling relaxed and refreshed. Mix coffee grounds, an egg white, lemon juice, and coconut oil to make a mask that leaves his skin feeling completely renewed. Get the full recipe for this and other face masks for men at AskMen.
24. A Shave Kit
Help Dad get a soothing old-fashioned shave with a set of products including shaving cream and aftershave lotion or spray. A few recipes to try include:
- Rosemary-Mint Shaving Cream. This simple recipe requires only a few ingredients to leave Dad’s skin feeling moisturized and protected. These include shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, and rosemary and peppermint essential oils. Get the full recipe on Food for My Family.
- Chamomile Aftershave Lotion. The chamomile in this lotion helps soothe away the redness caused by shaving. And the combination of avocado oil, almond oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter moisturize Dad’s skin without leaving it feeling greasy. Get the full recipe on A Fresh Legacy.
- Aftershave Spray. If Dad prefers a spray to soothe away razor bumps, try a mixture of witch hazel and aloe vera gel combined with calming essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Plus, this recipe requires no cooking, so it’s easy for little ones to mix up. Get the full recipe on Jenni Raincloud.
25. A Hand Care Kit
A moisturizing hand cream and cuticle balm are just the thing for soothing Dad’s hardworking hands. For a restorative hand cream, mix shea butter, aloe vera gel, grapeseed oil, vitamin E oil, arrowroot powder, and essential oils. Get the full recipe on Mama Instincts.
And if Dad’s cuticles could use some TLC, treat him to a cuticle balm. To make it, mix coconut oil, almond oil, hemp oil, mango butter, and beeswax with some essential oils. Get the full recipe on Garden Therapy.
Gifts for the Office
If Dad works in an office where he has a desk or other space he can personalize, help him make it feel like his home away from home with some practical or decorative homemade accessories.
26. A Picture Frame
An adorable homemade picture frame lets Dad display his favorite photo on his desk. Some materials to add a personal touch to a frame include:
- Screw Nuts. This easy DIY involves gluing some screw nuts onto a painted frame. Then use vinyl decals or alphabet stickers to attach the pun-filled message, “We’re nuts about you, Dad!” Get the full instructions on Happiness Is Homemade.
- Painted Mosaic. Using acrylic craft paint, paint Styrofoam plates in various colors. Let it dry, then coat it with a layer of Mod Podge. Once that’s dry, cut them into small squares. Meanwhile, cut a rectangle from cardboard slightly larger than your chosen photo. Inside that rectangle, cut out an inner rectangle slightly smaller than the photo. Paint the cardboard, let dry, and coat it with Mod Podge. Glue the Styrofoam tiles around the frame to make a mosaic design. Then tape the picture onto the frame. Back it with another rectangle of cardboard the same size as the first (but with no hole), and make a simple stand for the frame with a folded piece of cardboard glued to the back. Get the full instructions on Pink Stripey Socks.
- Scrabble Tiles. This craft takes less than 10 minutes but creates a sweet and sentimental gift for Dad. Simply hot-glue Scrabble tiles onto an inexpensive picture frame to spell out a message. Get the full instructions on Practically Functional.
- Decoupage. Use decoupage techniques to make a collage on a blank painter’s canvas by gluing images to the canvas with Mod Podge. Note the tutorial uses tissue paper, but you can use the technique with any type of paper, including images cut from magazines or printed with a printer. Once you’ve assembled your collage, affix a special photo for Dad. Get the full instructions on Mod Podge Rocks.
27. A Message Photograph
Alternatively, make Dad a photograph that spells out a touching message like, “We love Dad,” to display in his office. Have children hold signs with words that make a message, take each of their photos, and mount in a collage frame like the ones on Handmade in the Heartland.
Make shadow art by cutting poster board into a “stencil” that spells out a message for Dad, have kids hold them up on a sunny day, and take a photo of the shadow the signs and their bodies make as they did on The Little Backyard Farm.
Or take a photo of kids’ bare feet with a message written on them with a marker, as shown on Baby Center.
28. A Pencil Cup
A pencil cup lets Dad keep his writing tools handy. It’s a practical reminder of his little ones. Plus, kids can style it to suit Dad’s unique tastes. Some ideas for materials to make pencil cups include:
- Tin Can. Paint a tin can with acrylic craft paint. Use a color that complements your chosen photo. Print the photo of the child or children on regular printer paper. Tear around the photo to give it a worn look. Then use Mod Podge to glue it onto the can. Coat it with another layer of Mod Podge and let it dry. Then use a sponge to dab on paint in another complementary color for a mottled effect. Once the paint is dry, coat the whole can in another layer of Mod Podge. Get the full instructions on Buggy and Buddy.
- Concrete and Copper. These materials result in a stylish desk accessory. Take a large-diameter copper pipe coupling, which you can get at your local hardware store. Set it upright on plastic sheeting to protect surfaces from concrete. Mix some artisan concrete according to the package directions. Pour it into the copper coupling, leaving one inch of space at the top. Then take three small-diameter couplings, wrap some plastic sheeting around the ends so concrete doesn’t get inside, and push them into the wet concrete. Let it dry for 24 hours. Get the full instructions on Better Homes & Gardens.
- Legos. If Dad’s office has a more playful vibe, go with a pencil holder made of Legos — especially if Dad loves building with his kids. This one is very doable by kids of all ages. Little ones can construct a pencil cup-size rectangle using random bricks. And older kids can assemble Legos into specific patterns — excellent practice for their math and spatial skills. Get the full instructions on Kids Activities.
29. A Desk Organizer
If Dad’s desk could use a few more options for organizing his supplies, take the pencil cup idea up a notch. For a relatively simple yet useful organizer, take three tin cans and paint them with no-prep metal paint. Decorate with multicolored rubber bands. Add tags that spell out “dad” (one letter at a time) to each can, and join them together with binder or paper clips. Get the full instructions on Parents.
To make Dad an organizer that also doubles as a charging station, find a sturdy cardboard box, like a heavy-duty shoebox. Then cut appropriate-size slots for Dad’s phone and tablet and one or two circles to insert cups to hold his pens and pencils. Also be sure to cut holes at the back of the box to thread charging cables through. Decorate with any combination of paint, markers, and stickers. Get the full instructions on Red Ted Art.
30. A Paperweight
A painted rock is a special keepsake that’s both practical and decorative. Plus, there’s virtually no limit to the ways to paint a rock. From intricate dotted mandalas to woodland animals, kids can find a project to suit their skill level. A few Father’s Day-specific ideas include:
- My Dad Rocks. This is an easy craft kids as young as toddlerhood can do. Have them paint a large, flat rock any way they choose. Once it’s dry, use a paint pen or permanent marker to write “My Dad Rocks” on top, and finish with a clear sealant. Get the full instructions on Our Family World.
- Poured Paint. This one is also easy for little kids and produces a very colorful gift for Dad. Set a cooling rack on top of a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet. Then put the rock on top of the rack. That allows the paint to run off the rock as you pour it over. Next, choose a craft paint in a squeeze bottle and squeeze a generous amount of paint over the rock. Once you have a good size puddle of paint, squeeze another color over that, and then another, and another. The paint spreads out in swirls of psychedelic color. Keep pouring on paint until the rock is covered. Then let it dry and seal it with clear varnish. Get the full instructions on Happy Hooligans.
- Photograph. Print a photo on white tissue paper by first taping the tissue paper to a piece of regular printer paper so it can feed through the printer. After printing the photo, cut it out of the tissue paper and use Mod Podge to carefully glue the tissue onto the rock. Then, gently coat it with more Mod Podge. The tissue is so thin that once the Mod Podge dries, the photo appears painted on. Get the full instructions on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry.
31. A Planter
Turn an old plastic dinosaur toy into a whimsical desk accessory for Dad. Use a small hole saw to drill a hole into the center of the figure. Then spray-paint it in a metallic color. Allow it to dry, and then insert some soil and a tiny succulent. Or skip the soil and go with an air plant. Get the full instructions on HGTV.
32. A Tie Tack
Instead of going with the traditional tie this Father’s Day, make him a personalized tie accessory. A Shrinky Dink tie pin can quickly jazz up a plain tie. Print a photo directly onto shrink film at 200% larger than you want the pin to be. Cut out the image and bake in a 325 degree F oven for three to five minutes. Once it’s cool, use super glue to attach a pin backing. Get the full instructions on Oh Happy Day.
33. A Tie Rack
If Dad has a collection of ties he wears to work, help him keep them organized with a homemade tie rack. You can purchase a precut signboard or pick up a wooden plank from your local hardware store. Stain or paint your wood. Then drill holes to attach knobs for the ties to hang from. Alternatively, keep it super-simple and opt for Command hooks. Buy the blogger’s premade vinyl decal to attach the message “Daddy’s Love Ties Us Together” over the hooks or use paint and letter stencils to make the message yourself. Get the full instructions on Poppies at Play.
Everyday Practical Gifts
No matter where Dad works or what his favorite hobbies are, all dads can use a few basic and practical everyday necessities. From keychains to tech holders to T-shirts, they’re a daily reminder of his kids’ love.
34. A Keychain
Dad’s keys go everywhere he does. So what better place for a keepsake? A few ideas include:
- Handprint. Use any color gloss acrylic craft paint to coat the child’s hand. Then stamp the hand on clear shrink film. Let the paint dry completely, then flip it over and write the child’s name and the date on the back with a Sharpie. Cut out the handprint and punch a hole with a standard-size hole punch between the ring and middle fingers. Bake it in the oven at 325 degrees F on a parchment-lined baking sheet for two to three minutes. Once cool, coat with a layer of Mod Podge to keep the paint from coming off, let that dry, and then use a jump ring to attach it to a key ring. Get the full instructions on Grey House Harbour.
- Children’s Artwork. You can also use shrink film to make a keepsake keychain from children’s artwork. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to outline a shape that will become the keychain. Have the child draw inside the shape with Sharpies. Cut out around the picture, punch a hole for the jump ring, and then bake it in a 325 degree F oven for two to three minutes. Get the full instructions on My Frugal Adventures.
- Thumbprint. Roll out some polymer clay to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Use a shot glass or small round cookie cutter to make a circle. Press the child’s fingerprint into the clay. Do a single print or two prints in a V to form a heart. Use a toothpick to make a hole for the jump ring at the top of the circle. Bake it according to the package instructions. At this point, you can leave the clay as is or paint it. And you can choose to attach it directly to the keyring using only a jump ring or hang it on a beaded leather cord. Get the full instructions on A Hundred Affections.
- Beaded. Loop some leather jewelry cord around a key ring. Then use alphabet beads to string a message like, “I Love Dad” or “Best Dad.” After you’ve strung your beads, tie a knot at the end of the cord, and snip off any extra. Get the full instructions on Hellobee.
35. A Catch-All
Make a sweet clay dish for Dad to keep on his nightstand. Using air-dry clay makes this craft doable for kids of all ages. Form a ball of clay about the size of a fist. Then push your fingers down in the center and keep working and pinching the sides until it forms a shallow bowl. Wet your fingers to smooth out the clay. Then use a toothpick to spell a message in the well of the bowl. Let it dry overnight, then paint it. Get the full instructions on the Michaels store website.
36. An Engraved Hammer
For dads constantly up to DIY projects, an engraved hammer can remind him how special he is to you every time he does a home improvement project. Purchase a hammer with a wooden handle and have the child use a fine-point Sharpie to write a message for Dad on the handle. An adult can then use a wood-burning tool to go over the marker and permanently etch the message into the wood using the child’s own handwriting. Get the full instructions on I Can Teach My Child.
37. A TV Remote Holder
Upcycle an old baby wipes container into a TV remote holder so Dad always knows where to find it. Simply remove the product labels and decorate the box in a theme that speaks to Dad’s interests — whether that’s movies, sports, or travel. Glue on paper cutouts, decoupage images, or use stickers to decorate. Get the full instructions on Play & Learn Every Day.
38. A Cord Holder
Just about everyone has cords they keep with them — whether headphones or cords for chargers. A way to organize them is a useful gift that keeps them handy and tangle-free.
To make Dad a classy-looking leather keychain cord holder, cut two identical rectangular pieces, rounded on one end and straight on the other, from a strip of leather, following the picture on Monsters Circus. Loop a length of leather cord in the same color around one end of a key ring. Tie a second key ring to the other end. Lay the cord between the two pieces of leather, and use super glue to glue the edges of the leather together, leaving the bottom straight edge open. Also leave open a small section at the round end, enough so the leather cord can slide up and down, but not so large the opposite key ring can come out. Let it dry. To use, slide the charging cord or headphones into the ring at the open end and pull the cord so they slide into the leather case. Get the full instructions on Monsters Circus.
39. A Bookmark
If Dad’s an avid reader, he can make ample use of a custom bookmark. Plus, they’re a simple craft kids of all ages can handle. A few bookmark ideas include:
- Personalized Photos. Use a free photo-editing platform like Canva to add photos and text to a bookmark template. Or use the templates at Simple as That. Then just print them on card stock. Alternatively, cut strips of card stock in the size of bookmarks — typically 2.5-by-8.5 inches — glue a printed photo on it, and have kids color their own designs around it, as shown on I Heart Crafty Things.
- Superheroes. If Dad’s into superheroes, paint craft sticks with minimalistic designs to mimic his favorite characters. Get the full instructions and design templates on Crafts by Amanda.
- Coloring Pages. Start with a blank bookmark and tassel kit and have little kids color or paint them however they like. Or print the free bookmark-size coloring pages from Red Ted Art. After kids color them, laminate the bookmarks. If you don’t have a laminator, self-laminating sheets get the same job done.
40. A T-shirt
Kids love turning just about anything into a canvas for their artwork, and clothing is no exception. So what better way for them to show their love and appreciation for Dad than a T-shirt he can wear on his special day? Depending on kids’ abilities, ideas for T-shirt projects abound. Little kids can draw with fabric markers, and older kids can experiment with iron-on decals. Tie-dye is another age-old favorite for all grade levels. A few additional ideas to try include:
- Print a Drawing on a T-shirt. Have the child make a drawing just for Dad. Then scan it in or take a photo of it and print it onto T-shirt transfer paper. Iron the printed drawing onto the T-shirt according to the package directions.
- Use Iron-On Letters to Spell Out a Message. If you have a Silhouette or Cricut machine, use it to cut heat transfer vinyl letters to spell out a message like, “My Dad Is Super-Rad” like they did on Small + Friendly. If you don’t have a vinyl cutting machine, purchase iron-on letters from the craft store or use transfer paper.
- Make a Road Pattern for a Free Back Massage. Use fabric pens to draw car tracks on the back of a T-shirt and embellish it with houses, trees, and other roadside objects. When Dad is lying down, his little ones can use the car tracks to play, and Dad will get a free massage. Get the full instructions on The Blue Basket.
While it’s not uncommon for spouses and older children to get dads and grandpas store-bought gifts for Father’s Day, homemade gifts from kids are the stuff of the holiday. Just as kids love to make gifts for their moms and grandmas, anything handmade by one of their little ones is equally beloved by the guys.
Fortunately, that means the best Father’s Day gifts don’t need to break the bank. And of course, the best gifts are the ones of time — anything that gives Dad and his kids an opportunity to make memories together.
What are your kids planning to make Dad this Father’s Day?