Make a Totem Collage

Gather random magazine pictures of items that kids think dad appreciates – sailboats, jogging sneakers, record covers, raptors – and then cut them into neat rorschach shapes (older kids can do this on their own while the younger set will need parental assistance). Make a totem of the items by gluing them one below the other onto a large piece of watercolor paper (be sure to leave a wide perimeter around the work). Once done, sign and frame the piece and deliver to dad on his special day.

(IMAGES from Let It Be)

Distress Dad’s Necktie

Find the tie dad likes least (it’s most likely the one at the back of the tie-rack) or purchase a used necktie at your local second-hand store. Using freezer paper, cut shapes or a stenciled message that will span the length of the tie (I suggest “Work Less” in bold letters). Lay the paper stencil wax side down over the tie, a t-shirt, or other fabric and apply heat using an iron. That way the stencil will stay put. Then using a spray bottle filled with vegetable-based dye or an eco-friendly bleaching agent, mist the open area. The result? A statement that bold dads can wear whenever work gets them weary.

(INSTRUCTIONS modified from eHow)

Build Him a 1 Hour Terrarium

Homemade terrariums green up living/working spaces without worry to manly plant-lovers who suffer from horticultiphobia. Simply find a wide-mouthed glass bottle (or cut the top of a large plastic bottle), add the appropriate potting soil (sandy for succulents, a seed-starting mix for leafy plants), insert seeds or seedlings, water moderately and plug the open hole. For an even more unique terrarium kids can add miniature plastic fauna. Dad will enjoy watching his garden grow with almost no attention needed.

(INSTRUCTIONS modified from Terrarium Man)

Fashion a Junk Mail Journal

Use those junk-mail envelopes you’ve gotten this month to craft a nifty notebook for dad. Simply trim the mailed and returned envelopes into like-sized sheets of paper then stitch (or glue) the pages together. Kids can decorate the cover and leave a special message on the first page. And you can make the whole thing water-proof by fashioning a case from a sturdy Tyveck envelope. 10 envelopes can be turned into a 40-page notebook. Don’t have enough envelopes? The project can be completed with any blank sheets of recycled paper you have lying around.

(INSTRUCTIONS modified from Cottonbud Design)

Create Found Photo Playing Cards

Encourage a bit of app-free family fun with dad by creating a deck of unique playing cards. A trip to the second-hand store is all it takes to acquire most of the resources needed. Simply peruse the found photo bin, choose 52 photos that relate to dad, and at home have the kids help decorate the cards with the appropriate suits (rubber stamping the suits may prove more expeditious). Trim the photos to an appropriate playing card size (2.5″ x3.5″). Dad wont be able to use this deck at poker night with the boys, but the cards will be great for a game of family friendly Blind Man’s Bluff.

(IMAGES from Jockey Journal)