15 Father's Day Crafts That the Kids Can Make for Dad
The days of pasta necklaces and grade-school drawings may seem trite, but these keepsakes are treasured, nonetheless. Any Dad will tell you this: The best Father's Day gifts are those that are handmade, especially when they're made by the special little people who made him a parent in the first place.
As for what makes for a one-of-a-kind gift on Father's Day? As long as it was crafted with love, any father would be thrilled to receive something his child made with their own two hands. You likely already have the household supplies to get them started like paper, ink, and pantry staples, but simple arts and crafts supplies—such as clay, beads, and fabric—can take their work to the next level. Use family mementos for your kids' inspiration: scrapbooks, family photographs, and shadow boxes are great places to start. Then add a personalized touch with their handprints, drawings, or handwriting. They double as a thoughtful keepsake: Think personalized tote bags, custom cards with quotes, fingerprint art, handmade necklaces (but with a special technique for finesse), and sweet-but-simple fingerprint cards or classic coupon books, that will surely put a smile on Dad's face. These projects are good for little crafters of all ages—toddlers, preschoolers, and older children alike.
Not only will Dad love these gifted crafts, but your kids can jumpstart their creativity while having a blast making them. Whether you gift-wrap and present your kids' crafts with his day of activities or celebrate him by making these crafts together as a family, this year will surely be a special occasion to remember.
Family Map Scrapbook
This can be a family project: Commemorate those summer vacations spent together by gathering maps, mementos, and more from your favorite getaways, then compiling everything into a bound book for Dad to browse through when he's feeling sentimental. To make this craft, start by cutting the map to fit, and glue it in place along edges. For the frame, cut a rectangle larger than the photo, and cut slits into the corners. Next, prep the envelope by unfolding an existing envelope; trace around it on a double-sided map. Continue by cutting out, and then fold and glue it to match the original. Lastly, cut a small rectangle (ours are one-by-two inches) for the photo corner. Fold the edges to the center to create a triangle and glue the seam side to the page.
Rock Paper Weights
Kids will have fun making this form of rock art: découpaged rocks to be used on Dad's desk as paper weights. The best part of this craft? They can help the whole family reminisce on cherished memories. Help the kids print family snapshots onto thin rice paper, then let them layer onto the stones of their choice. Printing the images onto thin rice paper lets the texture of the rock come through, so the image appears painted-on.
Keepsake Book Box
Dad will pore over this year's gift: a wooden "book" with a secret drawer for keepsakes or knickknacks. To begin, stain the entire surface of a modern book box (available at crafts stores and online) with diluted paint; let dry. Then use undiluted paint to add designs like stripes (use painters' tape for straight lines). Once the box is dry, don't forget to dress up the compartment where Dad will store special items like cuff links and lucky golf tees. Using craft glue, line the inside with velvet or decorative paper. Start Dad's collection by dropping in a few shared mementos.
Shop Now: ArtMinds Wooden Book Box, $6.49, michaels.com; Martha Stewart Crafts Basic Brush Set, $20, michaels.com; Martha Stewart Family Friendly Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, $2.49, michaels.com.
Shirt Cuff Cards
Fashion a card to look like a dapper shirt cuff, and then use it to present a gift of cuff links (make a set out of shank buttons, or buy new or vintage links). Cut a 3 1/4-by-9- inch rectangle from construction paper; round two corners, as shown. Rubber-stamp a greeting on one side. Gently bend paper in half and cut four slits for cuff links. To make cuff links, hook 24-gauge wire onto a button's shank, securing with needle-nose pliers. Cut wire to half an inch and loop through a second button's shank; repeat.
Father's Day Coupons
Dad loves a deal, especially the kind tailored with him in mind. Offer a free car wash, lawn mowing, breakfast, and much more using do-it-yourself designs. Kids' imaginations can run wild with this craft. Simply make this project with construction paper or other craft paper you have lying around your house. Deck out the coupons with designs using markers and an array of colors that will catch Dad's eye. Once kids make a cover, they can fasten, staple, or sew the booklet together.
With any of our shirt-and-tie templates, kids can give Dad a well-dressed bookmark. Secured with a couple of magnets, the fold-over page holder will remind Dad how sharp he really is. Print any of our bookmark templates. Cut out image, and make slits along solid black lines for collar. Fold along dotted lines. Unfold, and place wrong side up. Adhere a magnet to one end, then adhere a second to opposite end, so magnets will align when the bookmark is folded over.
Father's Day Cutout Frame
Kids can spell out how much they love Dad using photos of their faces, our easy frame template, and a little help from Mom. To make this prop-up paper craft, you will namely need construction paper and pictures showcasing some favorite memories with Dad.
Day with Dad
Kids love to be in charge, so let them take Dad on a Father's Day "date" of their choosing. Ask them to consider what Dad would like best: a movie, a museum, or a baseball game? This can be a perfect way to surprise their father and offer a chance to plan an activity the whole family can join in on. A handmade card tells him they're treating. Kids can buy or draw the "tickets;" Mom can cut a slit for them in the card.
Fin-Tastic Fishy Card
Kids love an afternoon of fishing with Dad—let it inspire this card with a pop-up paper fish and glitter pen to write a nice message. To make the card, cut a piece of paper that is 7-by-10 inches. Using the mini scoring board, score the piece of paper at five inches on the 10-inch end. Fold at crease and punch two hearts with the heart punch. Cut one heart down the center to make the two fins. Score the other heart down the center with the mini scoring board. Use the jumbo circle punch to punch one circle. Then take that circle and punch again to create an almond shape for the fish's body. Cut out the eye. Make a tiny triangle shaped cut with detail scissors to make the mouth. Use the paper trimmer to cut a piece of paper and cut half-circles along one five-inch edge to make wave shapes. Bend a small piece of wire like a jewelry wire or a paper clip to make the hook and attach some baker's twine for the line, and secure with glue.
Dress Shirt Gift Package
If you want to make something for Father's Day and make use of old, unused items in your home, this craft will be a win-win. It uses one of Dad's old dress shirts for a one-of-a-kind gift-wrapped package. The finishing touch is the paper-made necktie scribbled to say, "Love you, Dad."
To begin, cut off sleeves at the seam. Fasten the buttons, turn it inside out, and place your gift inside. Add the gift inside the shirt so you can pin where you need to sew. Remove the gift, sew the bottom and sides of the shirt, and trim any extra fabric. Slip in your gift, fasten the buttons, and fold the shirt's collar. Cut out a tie using cardstock paper, cut a slit and a circle at the top of the tie to fit around the top button of the gift-wrap, and secure it around the top button.
Of course your kids love him "thiiiiisss" much! But with this clip-art fill-in-the-blanks Father's Day card, they can get specific in pinpointing Dad's traits, like his favorite foods and what makes him laugh (beyond their artistic interpretation of him drawn in the frame on the card's front, that is). To make this fun craft, you will need to print the Dad Libs template. After this step, the options are endless to answer the Dad-related sentences. Kids can use colorful markers to write why they love Dad and more.
Shop Now: Crayola Washable Markers, $3.79, target.com.
Painted Leather Coasters
Projects for Dad can be practical masterpieces just as much as they are creative. To recreate the stripes and paint splatters on these leather coasters, block off a pattern using masking tape in various widths, then brush the exposed sections with craft paint. Allow to dry completely before removing the tape. Spray with clear sealant, let cure for 24 hours, before Father's Day.
Shop Now: Dharma Trading Co. Leather Blank Rounders, 3 3/4", $1.50 each, dharmatrading.com; Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, in Greek Tile and Indigo, $2.49, michaels.com. Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Pearl Acrylic Craft Paint, in Jet Stream, $3.19, michaels.com.
Denim Tech Case
If Dad is tech-savvy, he is sure to love do-it-yourself crafts that will keep his tech protected. DIY tech protectors to scratch-proof Dad's tablet or e-reader with a felt sleeve requires only basic sewing skills (the sleeves shown here are machine-sewn, but you can hand-stitch them instead). Choose a button-and-string or an elastic closure; add a small pocket for earphones. Fold felt and position a 14-inch length of elastic. Pin felt and elastic in place, then sew the side seams and elastic.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart All-Purpose Scissors, $21, michaels.com; Gigantic Fantastic Felt Sheets, $16.79, orientaltrading.com; Purl Soho Round Corozo Button, in Lilac Mist, 1/2 inch, $1.50 each, purlsoho.com.
Nuts and Bolts Snack Mix
If Dad is a fan of snacking, give him a mix of a salty and sweet treat he can enjoy all Father's Day long. This recipe is one that kids—and Mom—can create in a little over an hour. You will need the main ingredients of corn cereal—like Chex, bite-size pretzels, and dry-roasted peanuts to cook up the yummy creation.
Father's Day Notepad
Give Dad the perfect addition to his office space with a DIY notepad. To begin this craft for his special day, wrap a rubber band around a notepad cube and have kids write greetings and make drawings on two sides with a broad, pointy marker. (Fine tips will get caught between the pages.) Move band, and decorate the other two sides. Tie the notepad with a colorful ribbon. As an added gift, slide in a pen.