DIY Gifts for Dad Under $20

Father’s Day Gifts On a Dime

San Diego Living asked me to come up with handmade Father’s Day Gifts for an upcoming television segment. I took it as a real challenge to keep gifts under $20 and to include projects you can easily do with your children. Here you go.  Enjoy!

keep-calm-daddy-gets-it-done poster print

1. For the handy dad in your life, customize a carpenter’s apron from Ace Hardware with clip art you can find online. Just make sure it is for personal use only. Download and print out the image onto t-shirt transfer paper and make sure it is the mirror image of the original art work if you are dealing with text. Press with an iron to transfer image onto the apron.

DIY Personalized Silhouette Clock

2. Personalize a clock for dad with Victorian silhouettes of each member of the family, even your four-legged pals. Have the kids snap profile photos of each other and print out in black and white onto card stock. Cut out the silhouette shape and use it as a template and draw around it onto black construction paper. Glue your new silhouette onto the clock face with decoupage medium. Install a simple clock kit onto a birch wood base, all conveniently located on the same aisle at the local craft store.

Fun Gifts for Kids to Make


3. Confetti dot monogram mugs dad will use every day. They are all the rage on Pinterest and an easy craft for the younger kids to do.  Use Sharpie paint pens, large letter stickers and ceramic mugs from the dollar store. Place stickers on the mug and cover the outline of the letters with lots of ink dots. Remove stickers and place mugs in a cold oven and turn heat up to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn off heat but allow mugs to cool down inside the oven before removing.

Loupe Frames

4. Jewelry Loupe Picture Frames are a unique way of sharing a precious photo with dad.  Screw in a jewelry loupe, which magnifies an image, into the side or top of a wooden picture frame for an interactive viewing experience your father will cherish.

Photo Board

5. Give dad an original work of art. Transfer any photo onto a wood artist panel for that chic gallery look. Make a laser copy print of your favorite photo (an inkjet copy will bleed). Brush a layer of gesso or paint primer onto the wood and let dry. This step will prevent bubbles and wrinkles later in the process.  Next, apply a generous layer of acrylic gel medium onto the top of the wood panel. Do the same to the front of the photo print and then place photo print face down onto the panel. Gently rub out air bubbles, wrinkles and excess gel medium with the back of a spoon, an old credit card or a brayer.

Let dry for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. Spray entire surface with water and rub off the top layers of paper pulp with a damp sponge or cloth, which will start to reveal the transferred print underneath. This will take 4-5 passes with water to remove all of the paper pulp. Let dry for ten minutes in between and keep on rubbing. Finish and protect the photo transfer with acrylic sealer.

Happy Father’s Day!