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DIY Fathers's Day Gifts

Skip the ties and coffee mugs this year and celebrate all things fatherly with an awesome handmade gift dad's sure to love.

 

Batman Notebook

This decorative project is truly super — super-simple, super-quick and super-fun. Plus, every dad needs a place where they can plan out their ultimate man cave (and every mom needs a place where she can make sure dad knows what items are on his honey do list).

What you’ll need:

  • blank moleskin notebook (black)
  • brushes: a reusable paint brush with soft bristles and a disposable foam brush
  • stencil (optional, depending upon your drawing skills)
  • black acrylic paint 
  • gold leaf
  • gold leaf adhesive
  • gold leaf sealant 

Step 1: Decide where you want to place your Batman symbol and either secure your stencil or get to free-handing. Using the foam brush, begin filling the bat outline in with the gold leaf adhesive. Let the adhesive dry for about 10 minutes, or until it is tacky to the touch.

Step 2: Apply a piece of your gold leaf to the adhesive. Use your paint brush to separate the unstuck gold leaf (and save these extra bits for a future project). Continue until your Batman symbol is completely covered in the shiny stuff.

Step 3: Brush on a layer of gold leaf sealant when you're finished.

Step 4: Paint an oval outline around the symbol with the black acrylic paint. This will allow you to get a nice, sharp outline around your design.

"King of the Grill" Apron

An apron is a probably not a great Mother's Day gift. But most dads are wise enough to know that, when the urge to grill strikes, they'd be wise to tie one on.

What you’ll need:

  • light-colored apron
  • printable inkjet transfer paper for light fabric
  • printable design (make your own or download one here)
  • scissors
  • iron

Step 1. Iron your apron, eliminating any creases. The flatter the apron, the easier your iron-on will transfer.

Step 2. Print out your design on the inkjet transfer paper. Cut around the design, eliminating as much white space as possible. If you want to test our your design before fully committing to the apron, print out a second copy and try it out on an old t-shirt.

Step 3. Once you're satisfied with your design, turn it upside-down (with the design touch the fabric) and center it smack dab in the middle of the apron's prime real estate. Iron the design on, moving the iron every few seconds to avoid scorch marks. It will take a few passes of the iron for the design to completely transfer. Let the design cool for a minute or two before attempting to remove the transfer paper. But even if the entire design doesn't transfer evenly, you'll end up with a cool, distressed vintage look!

Now, fill the apron's pockets with a few barbecue essentials — sauces, rubs, new tongs, a smoker box and bags of wood chips, a new grill brush, etc. — and you’re ready to say "Happy Father's Day!"

A Laptop Stand

Dad likes to lounge. But that's doesn't mean he's not hard at work! This modified stool is ideal for the father whose idea of relaxing still involves screen time. Not to mention it makes watching movies in bed that much more comfy.

What you’ll need:

  • a small bent plywood footstool
  • two screw-in towel hooks
  • one extension cord
  • cable tacks
  • saw
  • screwdriver
  • hammer

Step 1. Decide on the height you'd like the laptop stand to be. The sweet spot seems to be between 4 and 6 inches. Mark your cut line with masking or painter's tape. This prevents splintering while sawing.

Step 2. Saw off the stool.

Step 3. Flip the stand over so that you are working on its underside. Screw the two towel hooks on either end of one side, with the curved bottoms facing each other.

Step 4. Attach the extension cord to the inside of the stand using the cable tacks.

Step 5. Wrap the cable around the towel hooks for storage. Now dad is ready to plug and play!

Homemade Whipped Shaving Cream

Maybe dad is looking a little scruffy and needs some encouragement to trim back the neck beard. Or, better yet, maybe dad would never admit it, but he likes a little bit of pampering too. Why not make the necessity of shaving less of a chore? Using just a few common ingredients and some standard kitchen appliances, you can give dad a daily reminder of what he means to you.

What you’ll need:

  • coconut oil
  • shea butter
  • olive oil
  • essential oil (whatever scent dad prefers; we recommend sandalwood, cedarwood or eucalyptus)
  • medium-sized pot
  • glass or ceramic mixing bowl
  • stand or hand-mixer
  • round jar with clamp lid (capacity: 2 cups)

Step 1. Add 1/2 cup or coconut oil and 1/2 cup of shea butter (broken up into bite-sized pieces) to the mixing bowl. Fill the medium-sized pot with 2 to 3 inches of water and place on your stovetop to boil. 

Step 2. Once the water has reached a boil, place the mixing bowl with the coconut oil and shea butter over the pot and stir until everything has melted. Once the mixture has melted, remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of oilve oil.

Step 3. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator and let cool, until the ingredients are about the consistency of softened butter. (If necessary, cover with cling wrap to keep the oils from picking up any refrigerator odors while they solidify.)

Step 4. Once the mixture has reached the proper consistency, whip for about three minutes using your hand or stand mixture. While whipping, add between 15 and 20 drops of your chosen essential oil. Do a skin test every now and again to make sure the scents are mixing properly.

Step 5. Once the mixture resembles a good whipped cream — look for stiff peaks — switch off your mixer and scoop the shaving cream into the round jar with clamp lid. Wrap or otherwise decorate the jar to give it some extra "Happy Father's Day!" flair.

That's it! You've shown your love and appreciation for dad, and not least by showing off that DIY initiative he taught you. 

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