Everyone loves Dad, but does he really need another tie, pen, pair of cuff links, or bottle of aftershave? This is one area where men really have women beat — if they got us the same gift for Mother's Day every year, we'd have mass uprisings in the streets. But year after year, dads feign surprise and excitement as they place yet another personalized necktie in a drawer, never to be worn.
This year, though, with minimal planning, you can help your kids create a gift for Dad that he'll actually enjoy — and you won't break the bank. Choose one of our ideas, and let Dad know just how much you love him.
Snag an unfinished wooden box from a hardware store or a craft shop. You can choose a toolbox-shaped box or an ordinary box. Let your kids decorate it with stickers, paints, markers or cut out pictures of tools and Dad's favorite TV characters. Label it "Dad's TV Toolbox." Fill the box with everything Dad needs to enjoy his television time: Comfy slippers, the TV guide, his favorite snack food and the remote.
With just a few simple items, you can make a cool iPod (or smartphone) case. You know all those neckties that are gathering dust in Dad's closet? Go grab one, along with a needle and thread, a tape measure and a small piece of Velcro. Spread out the tie, and fold the bottom point up just enough to make a straight line at the base of the tie. Measure 9 inches, mark, and cut the tie. Fold the cut edge about an inch and stitch it closed. Then fold the tie in half, right sides together, and stitch the sides closed. Flip it right-side-out, and attach a small piece of Velcro to hold it closed. You can also add a decorative button to the front of the case.
Gather up some favorite family photos and cut them down to a 4-inch square. Glue them to the top of a 4-inch ceramic tile. Spray the photo with waterproof acrylic sealer to protect it from moisture. Attach sticky-back felt to the back of the tile so that it doesn't scratch furniture.
Dad probably has a perfectly ordinary wallet that everyone loves to check for cash. Make him a new one to suit his unique personality. Dad loves his poker night? Try the Three Card Monte wallet. The Duct Tape wallet is perfect for Mr. Fix-it Dads, and there's even a Coffee Bag wallet for the Dad who takes his caffeine seriously. You can also find plenty of other DIY wallet ideas here.
Head to your nearest dollar store and grab a bag of the flat-backed glass "marbles." Back at home, go through your unsorted photographs and pick out one of each family member. Look for face shots that will fill the "frame" of the marble. Cut and paste the photos to the flat side of the marble using craft glue — remember, the glue goes on the picture itself. Once the glue has dried, you can attach the magnet to the flat back as well.
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