Make something special for Dad

Barbeque Chef’s Apron

Canvas apron (washed ahead of time)
Fabric paints & brushes or dye crayons
Newspaper to protect your work surface

Cover your work surface and follow the instructions on your paints or crayons. As a rule, fabric paints need to dry for at least 24 hours; dye crayons can be sealed and set with a hot iron and do not require drying time.
Use sponges or stencils to crate your artwork – or work freehand. For really little ones, handprints are a great way to create a memorable masterpiece.

Hobby picture frame

Paper towel tubes
Construction paper
Card stock
Two-sided tape
Craft knife
Markers or paints
Craft foam, optional
Frame-worthy picture

Cover two cardboard paper towel tubes with construction paper, using the double-sided tape. Trace your picture on a piece of cardstock. Using a ruler or other straight-edge, trace a second line that is 1-inch larger around than the picture. Cut out the card stock along the second line and glue or tape the picture in the middle.

Using a craft knife (this is a job for mom), make two vertical slits in the paper towel tubes that are long enough for the card stock frame to slip into.

Using craft foam or construction paper, cut out shapes that represent Dad’s favorite hobby and glue them onto the paper. For ideas, check clip art galleries. You can even print out samples and use them as a cutting guide.

On the bottom of the frame, write in markers (another good job for mom, if little one’s handwriting isn’t very steady) “World’s Greatest Golfer/Fisherman/Gardener/etc.”

Treasure box

Foam board
Mat board
Wax paper
Masking tape
White glue
Fabric glue
Wallpaper paste
Acrylic paints
Rubber bands
Utility knife
Cotton swabs
Dowel rod scraps
Paste and paint pans

This box is made of foam board, a paper-covered foam material used in framing pictures. To start, divide a nine-inch square of the board into three-inch squares. It’s important to keep the corners at right angles so that the edges of the box will join properly. If you have one available, a T-square or triangle will be helpful.

Lay the square on a stack of newspapers or other protective material, and have an adult use a ruler and utility knife to remove the four corners. Next gently cut through just the top layer of paper and foam on the center square. Carefully bend the sides up on each side to make the box shape. Match the sides, and tape each side joint in several places.

To make the lid, turn the container top down onto another piece of foam board, trace around the form, and cut out the shape. Cut three pieces of mat board smaller than the inside dimensions of the box, and glue them together. Use rubber bands to hold the pieces in place till they dry. Remove the bands and glue the pieces to the inside center of the lid. This built-up area will help keep the lid in place.

Mix the wallpaper paste according to the manufacturer’s directions. Tear newspapers into squares or short strips, and working on wax paper, begin pasting the box starting at the seams. Cover all the corners and the seam around the bottom. Use the handle of an artist’s paint brush to help push the paper into the indented areas. Now cover the bottom and the sides, extending the layer about 1/2″ over the top and into the box.

After the box is completed, papier mache the lid, including the bottom. While it’s not necessary, you can make a knob by attaching a large bottle cap to the box top. Tape it to the lid, then cover and paste it to the form using small strips and the papier mache mixture. Apply an extra layer or so at the joint.

When the box is dry, you’re ready to paint the surface decoration. Apply one coat of gesso (primer) to the container. After this dries, paint the box a background color, and then apply dot designs with short dowel rods and cotton swabs. Another option is to use fabric paints in squeeze bottles to apply dots, squiggles, and other shapes.

In our example, we drew designs on the box and lid with white glue. After the glue dried, we applied gesso and then painted the box and lid black. Finally, we dry brushed a light coating of silver over the surface, and we painted short dowels and glued them in place to make the knob for the lid.

You’ll need two pieces of felt for the box lining, one for the bottom and another to go around the inside. Measure the bottom, the distance around, and the height of the inside to determine how much felt to cut. Subtract about 1/4″ from the height to allow the lid to fit properly. Use fabric glue to fasten the material into the box. When you’re finished, sign your name and the year on the back or the bottom.