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May 072013
 May 7, 2013  Posted by  Crafts, Family
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Some dads are notoriously difficult to buy for, which can make the upcoming Father’s Day holiday June 16 stressful for their children. We just want to make sure our gifts let Dad know how special he is in our lives. When budgets are limited, that can be a real trick, especially when dads are of an age where they really don’t need anything. I certainly can’t afford to buy my dad the new Dodge Challenger he was eyeing at the auto show, or send him on the Florida Keys fishing trip I know he would enjoy.

The most popular Father’s Day gift — surprise! — is the mall-bought necktie. If you want to get Dad a more thoughtful present, you’ll need to use a little creativity.

Here are some ideas for home-made — by you or someone else — gifts that are sure to please, no matter what your skill level. All cost $20 or less.

No special skills required

Sweet photos of little ones are always treasured, and pictures with creative poses are especially fun. Check out the options at It’s Overflowing for some inspirational ideas. My favorite is this shot from Crafty Texas Girls of two little girls lying on a driveway next to a Happy Father’s Day message written in sidewalk chalk. All you need is a camera — and your cellphone will probably do. Print the pictures at your local drugstore photo kiosk, then use this 40% off coupon that comes in the Sunday paper for Michaels to get an inexpensive frame to finish the job.

Another idea — one that the kids can help with — is this free Daddyland coupon book that you download, print out and staple together. Coupons are good for help with yard work, quiet time, control of the remote and more. The kids can help cut out the coupons, color them in and also come up with ideas for new ones to add.  You can also find Father’s Day coupon books that are free to download at American Greetings and BlogHer.

For experienced hands only

You can always go the traditional route and get your dad a tie — with a twist, of course. A handmade tie is both unique and meaningful. Knitpicks, a high-quality, low-priced retailer of knitting supplies, offers free patterns for this silk tie as well as this bow tie. Both patterns are fairly easy if you have basic knitting skills. Yarn costs can be as little or as much as you want to spend, depending on the quality of fiber you select. For the striped silk tie, choose a self-striping yarn with narrow stripes rather than three different colors to achieve the same effect with less time and money.

You can also put a new spin on the traditional tie gift with this Better Homes & Gardens pattern for a unique throw pillow. Choose six of Dad’s old (or less-than-flattering) ties and stitch them onto canvas for a truly one-of-a-kind gift. (You can also get ties from your local thrift store for a few dollars if you think your dad would prefer you not cut up his own.) Another tie option: Recycle an old tie into a handy glasses case using this pattern from Olive and Love.

For craft lovers who aren’t crafty

So you love the idea of a handmade, personal gift, but when it comes to being creative … let’s just say the cat has more talent than you do. Thankfully, the advent of Etsy has solved that problem for those of us who are all thumbs. You can purchase the fruits of other people’s creative labor, and have Etsy artists personalize your gift for you. A variety of gifts can be found on the site at almost any price range. If your dad wears a shirt and tie to work, these personalized collar stays  ($20) that say “We Love You, Daddy” with the kiddos’ names are an adorable gift that a dad can wear without showing off. This personalized key ring bearing kids’ names ($10) is also cute.

Don’t forget the card!

For do-it-yourself advice on handmade cards, see this story we ran for Mother’s Day. For inspiration on what to write, try this list from Making Greeting Cards or these ideas from Hallmark.

Photo by nuttakit,

Sara Frederick Burgos

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