Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts (featured column)
As we continue to add more of our favorite frugal gift ideas for our DADS we hope you will join us by sending us a gift that you have either made or received. If you have a great gift idea for Father's Day you'd like to share with us, please contact us, we'd love to hear from you!
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Readers' Favorite Frugal Father's Day Gifts:
"I asked our two teenagers to do some yard work that my husband had not had the time to do. They worked really hard at it most of the day. They accomplished a lot. That afternoon I gave them a hand made card and they wrote a note in it and shared about the work they had done for him. It was a great gift and cost no money." - Susie Z. of Alabama
Personalized Stepping Stones
"I have two kids ages 8 and 3. Last year we made 3 stepping stones for my husband. They each got to decorate one and I had enough left over for a thinner stone, so that one I wrote Happy Father's Day on with the date. I bought from the dollar store a few different size cake pans just for making stones. Also bought some gem stones to decorate with and other little things. I bought a bag of cement from the craft store and a few mosaic pieces. We plan to do that every year. My husband really enjoyed them. My kids were thrilled they were able to decorate them any way, especially my then 2 year old. You may need a week in advance to get them done." - Missy
Coupons for Dining Out
"We bought dad an Entertainment coupon book for Father's Day this year so we'll save money on dining out and sporting events for many months, he loved it!" - Cheryl
Free Car Wash
"Our 3 children worked together to wash my husband's car and presented him with coupons for more 'free' service. This gift was almost completely cost-free, except for a little soap and water." - Linda R.
Banks for Lose Change
"Hi! My husband leaves his change lying all over! So, I had the boys (ages 2 and 4) paint him 2 (easy to retrieve coins from the bottom) train coin banks! They loved painting them, my husband loved the personalized gifts, and I love the new decoration! Win, win, win!" - Tina of GA
"This year for Father's Day, I made my dad frozen pizzas. He loves pizza so I bought some pre-made crusts (not the Boboli but the cheaper ones from the bakery), a can of pizza sauce, some cheese and pepperoni. They only took a few minutes to assemble and then I froze them. I'm sure he will like them and they cost under $10 for 5 small pizzas." - Maria D.
"You can make a great dinner for your dad... for $15 or less, fresh vegetables, fish and salad with strawberries and whipped cream." - Karla G.
"For Father's Day this year, we purchased coffee mugs for 98 cents at the local craft store, they were the type that come with pictures that the kids can color, but we took the coloring pictures out and replaced them with photos of the children that I printed from our computer and the kids added little messages. So now while at work, every time my husband gets his coffee he will think of our children and have a picture close at hand too." - Tanya R.
Father's Day Book
"Each year the kids write their dad a letter about whatever they want (no help from mom). Then they decorate their page and we print a picture of all 5 kids together on our computer and that serves as the cover of their "Father's Day Book." We staple all the pages together. They love doing this and he loves reading his book. We have been doing this for about 6 years now and he still loves to go back and read his books from the kids and so do they!" - Lauren
"For Father's Day in 1984 I wrote my dad a letter about all the ways he had positively impacted my life. When he died six weeks later very unexpectedly, I discovered he had requested this letter be put in the coffin." - Roberta
Car Wash Kit
Here's a great gift I had my daycare children make for their fathers on Father's Day. They enjoyed personalizing the items and the dads enjoyed them, too. I started with a package of inexpensive chamois cloths (found at Wal-mart) and stamped an automotive design on them with textile paint. Be sure to use fabric paint that stays soft, so it won't be scratchy when it's dry. We created a stamp by carving a simple car shape into half a potato, but you can easily use premade rubber stamps. I also bought an inexpensive pail for each gift and let the kids decorate it with permanent markers or stamps. We made car air fresheners out of felt (cut any shape, let kids decorate with a photo, glitter glue, markers, etc—then spray with automotive freshening spray and hang on a ribbon). The dollar store usually has large, soft sponges for car washing—load your pail with the chamois, sponge, air freshener, and maybe some homemade coupons for helping with the car wash, wrap it in cellophane—and you have a cute, personal gift that the kids can really participate in." - Polly G.
"First you start off by tracing your hand and then write all the chores that you hate doing such as dusting, washing dishes, that kind of stuff. So you write five chores for five fingers and after Father's Day he can use those five things to make you do the chores for free." - Madison R. of CA, 11 years old
"If you love to take pictures like me then you could take a big picture of you and your family holding signs, but I took a sunset picture from my house and I printed it out on my computer. Then my father will hang it up any where he wants to and it will be there forever." - Madison R. CA 11years old
Coupons are More Fun
"Last Father's Day my siblings and I came up with a great gift. We made about a hundred coupons in a box for him. Each coupon had something written on it like "You get a free hug" or "You get a free car wash" and several more. He was limited to use 3 coupons a week. He was sooo happy and right after he opened the box he used the "You get a free hug" coupon on all of us. It was funner to wash the car or even study with those coupons, and my dad had enough to last next father's day." - Fico Cuervo
Make a Change Holder for Dad
Get a seashell (you can usually find these at craft stores) about the size of your hand with your fingers spread out. Pick the deepest one(s) out and have your children decorate with paint, stickers, glitter, etc. Write Happy Father's Day, the date, and your child's name on the back of it. Now Dad can put it on the dresser or nightstand and put his change in one spot at the end of the day. This is especially great for younger children because it's quick, easy, and doesn't require very much skill. - Leeann
One year my daughter and I made my husband a "football light." We took a beach bucket and sprayed it lightly with Pam and poured in plaster of Paris and placed tall willow reeds from the dollar store. When it set, which was quick, we cut the bucket out and my daughter sprayed the bottom of the plaster with Steeler gold. We decoupaged the Steeler emblem from the Internet and I placed an inexpensive round mini light in the center of the willows. It became Dad's Steelers Lamp which he turns on every Sunday during football season. The mini light cost just $5, the plaster $3, spray paint $1 and the willows were $2, to make a unique lamp which is a very decorative element, especially if painted in colors to suit the home's decor. - Esther Bulger
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