Fun Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Even if Dad needs a new tie, socks or sweatshirt, elevate your Father's Day celebration above the ordinary with gifts that combine creativity and family participation. He'd rather enjoy a clever expression of your love and appreciation rather than pretend to like a necktie, even a nice one. The time you invest in researching and crafting a customized tribute to his tastes and personality pays off in his excitement, making a memory you can all share.

Idea #1: Life-Sized Dad

Turn a head-to-toe portrait of Dad into a life-sized card. Look through your digital photo library for the perfect shot of Dad. Email the photo to a sign company or quick printer and have the company turn it into a life-sized poster (or as close to life-sized as your image resolution allows). Mount the poster on cardboard, and trim away the outer edges, leaving a free-standing figure. Add a triangular cardboard support to the back to hold the figure upright. Dad will surely be touched (and probably pretty amused) by the effort.

Idea #2: Birth-Year Fun

Turn Internet research on your computer, smartphone or tablet device into a quest for distinctive items that debuted in Dad's birth year. Whether you look for original items, replicas, reprints of news stories, souvenirs of sports victories or toy forms of sports cars, assemble a group of gifts that draws on a combination of your online searching and some crafty fun creating tribute cards based on the information you find. Combine national, international and local items for a grand-scale set of original gifts.

Idea #3: Dad's Special Treats

Repackage Dad's favorite candy bar, snacks and dips with custom-made labels celebrating him in style. Carefully remove the wrappings from a giant candy bar, measure its dimensions and create a duplicate-sized wrapper on your home computer. Adorn it with a celebratory message, Dad's photo, a custom-designed superhero logo or graphic and a color scheme that carries throughout the wrapping replacements. For dads on special diets or with other food restrictions, turn adhesive-backed computer-printable labels into decorations to apply to paper lunch bags filled with healthy treats.

Idea #4: Room Service Day

In the week leading up to Father's Day, present Dad with three checklists from which he can select room service items for special food presentations on the day itself. A breakfast-in-bed list can range from homemade bread prepared in the family's convection oven to pancakes made on the range top. Choose equivalent selections for lunch and dinner, offering multiple-choice lists or fill-in-the-blank options. If Father's Day falls on a weekday, create a special rain-check celebration on a Saturday instead. Snap Dad's photo with each of his meal trays or capture his enjoyment with your digital camcorder and include a shot of each of the menu cards.

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