I enjoy making things at home using earth-friendly ingredients and materials for my family and pets.
DIY Gift Ideas for Father's Day and Other Holidays
If you are considering giving your father a homemade gift, here are several ideas that take less than 30 minutes to make. These projects also cost less and are more meaningful than a store-bought gift.
- Handmade T-Shirt
- Acrostic Poem
- Homemade Video
- Father's Day Song
- Homecooked Meal on a Custom Place Mat
- Coupon Book
1. Handmade T-Shirt
Create a t-shirt that preserves your child's handprint or footprint with a special message for Dad.
- Plain white t-shirt
- Acrylic paint
- Fabric paint
- Lay a piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt so the paint does not seep through to the back of the shirt.
- Cover your child's foot or hand in acrylic paint and have them press it firmly onto the shirt.
- Use the fabric paint to write "#1 Dad" or "My Kids Walk All Over Me" or "Hands Down Best Dad" or something else of your choice.
- Use a hairdryer to set the paint and allow it to dry quickly.
- The first time you wash the shirt, be sure to turn it inside out and hang it to dry.
We made our homemade "#1 Dad" t-shirt nine years ago, and although my husband just keeps it shoved in the back of his drawer as a keepsake, it is still in one piece. Now that my children are 11 and 9 years old, it might be time to do this project again!
2. Acrostic Poem
Acrostic poems are based on the letters in a chosen word, and they're really easy to write!
- 12 x 12 heavy paper
- 12 x 12 frame
- Large stickers or cut-out letters that spell "father"
- Spell out F-A-T-H-E-R going vertically down the page.
- Write a word or a few words for each letter in "father" to make a poem.
- Put the poem into the frame.
- (Optional) Buy stickers and embellishments to decorate the poem and frame based on your father's interests.
He who I call my dad
Everyday I am
Reminded how special he is!
3. Homemade Video
When my kids were very young, we made a video for their dad for Father's Day, and we still love getting it out and watching it. We made up a song to the tune of "Three Blind Mice" (see our lyrics below), but you could also use your dad's favorite song and make up your own words.
If you don't have a way to film a home movie, you can use pictures and some video-making software to create a video collage. This is also a great gift idea for Christmas.
- Sign (poster board and markers)
- Video camera
- Make a sign that says "Happy Father's Day" or some other special message.
- Dress up and create a background for your video.
- Practice the song or actions a few times before videotaping.
- Videotape the message and keep it short and simple!
4. Father's Day Song
Here are the lyrics we used when we sang to the tune of "Three Blind Mice."
I love my daddy, I love my daddy
He is so wonderful, he is so wonderful
He always plays with me and gives me hugs
He always plays with me and gives me hugs
Cuz he's my daddy, cuz he's my daddy!
5. Homecooked Meal on a Custom Place Mat
Most dads love food, so another great homemade gift idea is to make him a great meal. Make the meal extra special by creating a homemade place mat to serve it on. If you want to be able to use the place mat over and over again, consider getting it laminated or use clear contact paper to give it a laminate-like cover.
Depending on what you choose to cook, you may not get this homemade gift done in less than 30 minutes, but you can definitely make the place mat in less than 30 minutes.
- Ingredients for a meal that Dad will like
- Homemade place mat (paper, markers, stickers)
- Clear contact paper or access to a laminating machine
- Create the place mat. Laminate it or cover it with the clear contact paper.
- Prepare the meal and set it up nicely on a plate.
- Place the prepared plate on the place mat and fold the napkin nicely.
6. Coupon Book
This gift idea is the fastest and easiest way to make Dad smile on Father's Day, his birthday, or Christmas morning. With a few simple materials, you can make a gift that keeps on giving for weeks.
- Five sheets of white cardstock or heavy paper
- Cut the five sheets of paper into three equal parts to make a total of 15 strips.
- Put all the strips in a neat pile and staple one edge.
- Decorate the first page as a cover for the coupon book.
- On each strip, write "Coupon good for ______", decorate it, and write an expiration date on it.
- Once you have decorated and created all the coupons, you are ready to give the book to your dad!
Coupon Book Ideas
Here are some ideas for coupons. I suggest having some have an expiration date and others having no expiration.
- One car wash
- One week of poop scooping or litter box clean-out
- Homemade lunch/bagged lunch for work
- Breakfast in bed
- Creating a mix CD or playlist (since many parents don't know how to do this)
- Shoveling the steps every time it snows (no expiration on this one would be awesome)
- No arguing for the entire day
- A hug before bed (this is a perfect idea for teens who are too cool to hug anymore)
- An hour of time together with no cellphones or other electronic devices
- One week of unloading the dishwasher
Celebrate Dad on Father's Day and Every Day!
Since Father's Day occurs around the time most kids start summer vacation and people start heading to the beach, Dad often gets forgotten. Give him the acknowledgment he deserves this year with a handmade memento! All these gifts will be around for years to come to remind every father just how special he is.
Reen Gordon on June 15, 2014:
I love the T-Shirt...that is very cool and very different.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's or Daddy's out there!
chrissieklinger (author) from Pennsylvania on June 06, 2012:
Thanks GoodLady and Sharyn....the shirt looked much cuter 9 yrs. ago but I just can't bear to toss that cute little foot and hand print! I think I am going to try to preserve it in a frame of some sort....one day.
Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on June 06, 2012:
Great ideas Chrissie with lots of detail so that children will understand even if a parent is not reading it with them! I love that you still have the t-shirt and included it here.
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on June 05, 2012:
SO so cute. Love it!