Tell dad 'I love you' in the most adorable way possible with this photo DIY

Aug 18, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. ET

Grab your camera! It's time to help your baby create a fun Father's Day gift for the man who's seen the ugly side of many a nappy and many a tantrum.

Supplies:

  • Durable piece of cardboard (roughly 36 centimetres by 36 centimetres)
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Camera
  • Photo editing software

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare the cardboard

Pick a thick, durable cardboard that your child is unlikely to easily destroy (old carton boxes are good for this) and cut it into identical squares. Mine were 12 centimetres high by 12 centimetres wide. You will need one square for every letter: "I," "U," "D" and "A", as well as one for a heart.

Step 2: Draw your letters

If you have a relatively steady hand, you can just freestyle these (that’s what I did). However, if calligraphy is not your strong suit, you may wish to find a font you like in a Word program, type out what you need, print it and trace the letters onto the cardboard.

Step 3: Cut out your letters

Using a craft knife, carefully cut out the letters that you drew or traced onto the cardboard. Note: You will only need one "D" (you’ll just have to ensure you get two good pictures of your child holding it), although it doesn’t hurt to have backups.

Step 4: Set up the shot

Prepare your photo location and dress your kid/s. Make sure that wherever and whatever you pick doesn’t distract too much from the letters and — most importantly — that it is safe. Get the lighting as good as possible — early morning or late afternoon light generally works best as it tends to be softer.

Tip: If you know someone who is happy to help, two hands are always better than one — especially when babies are involved.

Step 5: Take the photos!

One by one, offer each letter to your child and take as many photos as you can. If you're working with a baby, you’ll have to be pretty snappy and get the right shot before drool, teeth or a mood swing get in the way.

Be creative in the way you use the letters — older kids can peer through them while younger babies look pretty cute while nibbling on them. Experiment with angles and zooming in and out — the more variety you have to choose from, the easier the editing stage will be.

Tip: If your baby is too small to hold the letters or simply won't cooperate, you can achieve a similar effect by drawing the letters onto plain-coloured onesies or singlets.

Step 6: Upload and pick your pics

Once you’ve taken photos with all of the letters and the heart and are happy with the result, upload them onto your computer and immediately create a shortlist of your favourites.

Use a photo program or even Word to place them next to each other to see whether they work as an ensemble and make your final selections.

Step 7: Edit and create

With your favourites selected, use photo editing software (such as iPhoto, Photoshop or Pixlr) to tweak your photos. Then use your favourite printing service to create a collage for a poster, card, mouse pad, mug or anything else that dad might like for Father’s Day.

More Father's Day ideas

Father's Day gift guide
iDad Father's Day card tutorial
Father's Day gift idea: Sugar cookie necktie tutorial

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