father’s day gift ideas

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there.

You know. The one with the impossible hubby in the category that is gifts. Whether its Christmas, his birthday, or the ever-dreaded father’s day…it feels a bit like attempting to conquer mount Everest.

In flip flops.

I’m the incurable optimist in search of grandeur who can add a classic failure {or two} to her list. From choosing a gift he would actually want and find useful, to smuggling it in under the radar to the big reveal, {Hello. We share all our money and he watches where every penny goes. I even had a plan to borrow moolah from my rents this last christmas so I could get him the shoes he wanted. Which flopped anyway, because I couldn’t find the shoes within a USA kind of radius two weeks before Christmas…another fail.}

I can honestly say there haven’t been many moments of sheer surprise and victory in our relationship. It’s not like he walks around talking about what he wants when the day is nearing. {Like I may or may not do.} It’s not like he curates endless wish lists within easy grasp. {Like I may, or may not do.} And honestly, its not like the man cares. If he wants it, he’ll buy it. End of story. His emotions range in the land of even kill, so even if he’s stoked about said selected and pined for gift, I usually get a reading of “Thanks.” and then he moves on. And I’m all wondering if he really liked it, or if he’ll come up with an excuse to return the koa wood planner with light up sound locator and built in koozie to the bookstore the next day. My world in the mental game of gift giving is exhausting.

Let’s not even cover the subject matter of my own father. I always have to ask my mom, and it ends up being something ridiculously practical like a package of razors and white socks, sending me back to kindergarten circa 1985. Yep. It never fails.

But I do.

I’m basically a loser gift-buyer. I’m here today, to proclaim that. So in honor of any of the rest of you who may just suffer from the same conundrum, I made a little list of a few things I personally think would make some great father’s day gifts.

1. tie 2. belt 3. USB sticks 4. pillow 5. knife 6. case 7. ice cream maker 8. Toms 9. grill 10. glasses 11. book

I may scoop up a few things on the list. I also may have to hurry. It’s this sunday!

In handmade options, here’s a gift I made for Jamin circa father’s day 2009. I was Two Ton Sally waiting for Malone to make his grand entrance {July 13th } and I surprised him with this fun plaque for the wall in his office. At the time, said aforementioned third child’s handprint was not readily available. So we had to wait. But it still meant a lot, and I was quite proud of myself for actually going back and dipping my new born’s hand in toxic paint. GO ME! {MOTY.}

I basically had a piece of pre-cut MDF {again, you can always do this at your local hardware store-they can cut for you} some beveled wood squares from the woodworking section of Hobby Lobby, paint, mod podge, scrapbook paper + stain. {glue + paintbrushes}

1. I painted the trim on all the beveled edges of the wooden squares, and while those dried, I painted the MDF {and chose a contrasting trim}

2. I went back and added paper squares, cut to size, on the blocks, via mod podge. When those were dry, I added some flare with painty pens, and adhered them to the MDF while they finished drying. {glue gun is always my weapon of choice, unless you plan on subjecting your gift to extreme temps.}

3. When they were done, each child dipped their hand in paint, and left a signature handprint for Daddy. I touched it up with a rag {smudges are inevitable} And hand lettered the quote above.

4. When that was dry, I used a slight stain on the edges, and touched it up for an older feel, to taste.

TADA! A handmade father’s day gift.

What are you guys getting your dads/husbands/brothers/stepdads/etc. this year?

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Responses to father’s day gift ideas

  1. Jennifer says:

    OH MY WORD your husband is exactly like mine. I HATE buying gifts for him; same reaction…”thanks”…maybe. And it’s because he is *very* even keel. Of course there are things that he likes-usually techy things that are way out of our price range. So I usually diy something that ends up collecting dust in the closet. LOL. Or just give him cash and let him do whatever with it. SIGH. I’m not holding out any grand hopes this year, but I did purchase this for him this time around…we’ll see what happens!


    Good luck this year! 😉

  2. This year I took BW pics of the kids in his favorite team’s hat. Go UK WILDCATS! SO that he could hang them in a black frame in his office. SUPER CUTE!

  3. Saby says:

    Oh I just LOVE the sign from the past father’s day! So personal and fun to display (I know that would totally make me smile every time I looked at it!). Thank you so much for the ideas….oh and all the other design ideas – I love your style :)!

  4. Kylee Shaw says:

    I want to do this SO badly!! I think I’m out of time though, since Father’s day is tomorrow! Such a cute idea though, I’m filing it away for next year!

  5. Andrea says:

    So I loved yours so much that I made a similar one for my hubby for Father’s Day – doesn’t look quite as good as yours but it is cute. The lettering got me though – I clearly don’t have a steady hand and my lettering isn’t as good as yours. If I can only get a Silhouette….then lettering might not be an issue for me! LOL

      • jessy says:

        i’ve got the very best dad in the world and i love him to bits he is my good luck charm , and my strenth each day of every day of every year !!!!!! and im proud to be able to say that

      • Janie Bettenhausen says:

        Hi, My name is Janie Bettenhausen. I love your Father’s Day plaque that you made. It is so sweet and special. I would love to have something like that for my kids to give my husband this year. However, I was not blessed with the “crafty” gene whatsoever. I was wondering if you would be willing to make one, minus the handprints, and I would pay you for it. Of course, I would send you the money before you send me the gift. Just tell me how much. Again, I’m just asking. I’m a busy mom of 3 so I know it’s hard to find free time. Just let me know. I appreciate your time. Thanks, Janie

  6. ayesha says:

    It isn’t strictly homemade. But it does have the personal touch for the artistically challenged.

    This is the idea if you have a sec, and I’ll include a link that has pictures.

    “Just Like My Daddy” Childrens’ Storybook Instructions

    You need a collection of good quality photographs of your child (children) doing a variety of different things.

    You also need to track down a company that will print photo albums using your digital photographs. The best kind are ones that will let you personalise the cover. It is also essential that you be able to add text. If you are in New Zealand good examples are Harvey Norman and Kmart and online companies like Snapfish and Frogprints.

    The coverpage should have the title “Just Like My Daddy” and a picture of your child (or children) perhaps with their dad.

    For every picture you want to include the idea is to write a caption that links what your child is doing to something their dad might do. For example, the classic picture of a child learning to eat and covered in food as a result could be accompanied with the words “I like good food just like my daddy”. A picture of a child fast asleep could be “I work hard just like my daddy”. Kicking a ball might be “I like sports just like my daddy”. The possibilities are endless and can be as personal as you like. The last pages bring it all together and also end with the words “just like my daddy”. I used “My mum says if I’m not careful I’ll end up just like my daddy” but you can be far nicer and write something like “When I grow up I want to be just like my daddy”.

    To see pictures and to help with the explanation go to this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150349585735141.387159.733805140&l=bce88d9b3c&type=1

    Obviously you don’t have to restrict yourself to making this book for a daddy. It makes a great gift for mums, grandparents. Anyone really.

    Give it a go. I promise it will impress.

  7. kya says:

    What is MDF might i ask and i love this! <3 Also how much was it total? I am planning on having my little cousin do this for her Daddy and i know he would just love it!

  8. Leslie says:

    I love this idea & I want to do this for my husband. However my daughter is 11 & my son is almost 2 Do you think it would look ok with a BIG hand & a small hand?

  9. Ann says:

    How big was the board? I am thinking to do this for my three!!! Cuz I love it!!!!!!!

  10. I LOVE the board idea and I see a trip to the hardware store in my very near future. Thank you very much for sharing this precious gift idea!

  11. Hope says:

    This is so cute!! I am not crafty but I am going to try and make it. Got a few questions. When I ask for the board at the hardware store what do I ask for? I called it mdf and they didn’t know what that was. Also what did u use to write the saying? Painty pens do u mean paint pens?

  12. margaret wright says:

    Can this be done without getting a piece of MDF? I have some un-used art canvas that I thought might work since I am only doing one small hand print. What do you think about using a crackle medium on it as well?

    • Hey! It can totally be used with a canvas. I personally am not a crackle fan at all. But go for it, if that’s what you want! ;}

      • margaret wright says:

        I decided to use the crackle to give it a weathered look. I am making two of them. One without and one with the crackle medium. The canvas was just sitting in my craft room so I thought I could use it.

  13. Angie says:

    Quivk question about the mod podge…did you use it to glue the paper down or did you use it over the paper? This is my first time using mod podge so I wasn’t sure…also did you do the mod podge over the paper then do the hand print or did you do it after the handprint?

    • Hey Angie! I put the Mod Podge on the bottom, and as I carefully pressed it down, {careful for air bubbles-practice with another piece, first} I coated it well with the MP on the other side, pressing it as I went. After it was down, I did the hand prints. If you want, you can seal it with a spray sealer. I skipped that, though, as poly’s tend to yellow, and it will be fine if it’s hanging somewhere. We haven’t had any trouble with ours.

  14. Nothing. I apparently can’t get any good gifts, since they all end up on my night table, in a box, or thrown out. So this year the kids are just going to give him hugs, and I’m going to give him time alone to do what he wants.

  15. Heather Meek says:

    I just made this …just a little different look. Check it out on pinterest. Thanks for the idea…it turned out great!

    • Jenni says:

      Where are you at on Pinterest? I am not very crafty, I would really like if someone could make this for me and I would add handprints when it was received.

  16. Kristen says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I made the plaque above. I loved yours so much. I made a few changes but not that many. Yours was so good! Anyway, I blogged about it and gave you credit. I just wanted to let you know!

  17. Andrea says:

    When my daughter was 2 she thought her daddy was a prince, her prince, and she was the princess, his princess. That year he had requested a pocket knife, without him suspecting we bought him a pocket knife and I took it to Things Remembered and had the side of the blade engraved, “To My Prince, Love Your Princess”. He melted and cried… He still tells people the story, and his princess is 5 y.o. Now

  18. I love this project. I made one for my nefew and one for my brother. I just had to change daddy to poppie for my brother. the only trouble I had was I didn’t have sizes for the wood. I ended up making a bigger one that shown. Thanks a million…….
    Brenda Lee Gaskill

  19. Lisa Smith says:

    This is one of the cutest ideas for hand prints I’ve ever seen. As a preschool teacher, I think I may just have each of my students do a square each year and hang them up all around the tops of the walls! LOVE IT!!!

  20. Yvonne says:

    What dimensions was te mdf cut for this piece? And what size were the beveled wooden plaques?
    I soo wanna do this with my kids for my husband:) what an awesome idea!!

    • Hi Yvonne! This was just a scrap piece of MDF that I had, so any version of a rectangle would work! Just make sure you have enough space at the top and bottom for your type, or whatever version you want to make! I hope that helps ;}

  21. Jenni Feuerbach says:

    Hi there, I was wondering what the measurements of the piece of wood is?


    • Hey Jenni! If I had to guess, as this post is old and it’s in Jamin’s office and not near me, maybe 2.5 x 1 feet? Any basic rectangle will do if you’re including space for three children. I hope that helps! ;}

  22. Mama Bean says:

    OK ladies it sounds as if we ALL have the same issue. Are our men Siblings? LOL I am having this issue right now with my man. We have children from separate marriages So getting 3 (2boys n 1 girl) together is hard especially when im trying to do it as a gift for him. I love this idea though, I’m going to try this one. And it is in my frugal price range!

  23. Kerry Gawler says:

    This is such a fantastic idea! My husband is also incredibly difficult to buy for.

    I used a bit of creative licence, and made casts of my daughter’s foot and hand using salt dough. Worked wonderfully, and looks great mounted on the board.

  24. Aisha says:

    I loved this so much that I had to scraplift it. I didn’t use MDF or wood, I used a stretch canvas board I had on hand from Joann’s. I also used some 4×4 coasters, adhesive pop dots, scrapbook paper, ink and mod podge. I will be posting pictures of it after Father’s Day on my blog. I don’t want to spoil the gift for my husband. Thank you so much for such and awesome idea, I will be linking to your site when I post it.

    http://[email protected]

  25. Kristal scoggins says:

    What Is MDF??

  26. Corina says:

    How big was the MDF? How big are the beveled wood squares? What kind of paint did you use for each painted part? I absolutely LOVE this and want to make this with a few different ideas for the beveled squares. I have one son, so I am going to use a picture, a hand print, and a poem on the beveled squares.

    Thank you so much for the additional information!

  27. Hey Jessie- sorry if I left that out this was a post from before we really did “tutorials” :) I just used wood glue! I how that helps! :) & good luck!