We homeschooled four kids in a mobile home living on one income. I’m all about hands-on, child-centered, homemade and thrifty. Here are frugal Father’s Day gifts the whole family can make. Budget child-made presents for dad are made from recycled stuff to live green and save green.
No-sew cook’s apron. Purchase a plastic, flannel-backed tablecloth or recycle an old tablecloth. Cut a basic bib apron shape. Taper from neckline to flare around the waist. Or cut a pinafore-style apron with two attached squares, smaller on top to cover chest and larger on the bottom. Fold all edges over a half-inch toward the back, to hem. Tape with duct tape (cut in half width-wise to use less). Make ties with rope, shoe laces or braided yarn. Cut small holes on top and sides. Knot ties to both sides. Have kids decorate and personalize apron with permanent markers.
Pocket apron. Use plastic tablecloth as above to make a waist-tied apron. Cut pocket squares. Duct tape or sew on. Make pouches large enough for tools, gadgets, car stuff, gardening implements, art supplies, fishing and hunting accessories–whatever dad’s hobby is. Label pockets.
Hand print camp chair: Buy a plain, light-colored folding camp chair. Or spend a little more and get one with side pockets, beverage holder, foot rest or fold-out table. Pour fabric paint in recycled pie tins. Have kids coat palms with paint and gently press on chair back or seat. Or print on chair cover. Use paint sponges, brushes or cotton swabs to accent. Children should write names and ages near their hand print.
Fishing stool bucket. Recycle a 5-gallon laundry soap bucket with lid. Or get a round pickle tub from any restaurant. Make a seat cushion for the lid, from an old throw pillow. Make eight ties from old shoelaces, rope, twine or braided yarn. Cut small holes in pillow corners and weave one tie through each. Drill four equidistant holes in bucket lid to form a square that matches pillow size. Tie cushion to lid. Make fishing supplies pouch to fit around bucket. Cut square from old plastic tablecloth, twice as long as bucket and equal to circumference. Fold bottom up and tape sides to make “envelope.” Cut four equidistant holes in pouch (through both sides) and matching ones a few inches from top of bucket. Knot ties through both sides of pouch and bucket. Drill several more vent holes on top. Dad can put fish in bucket as he catches them. Fill with lures, tackles and bait (for less messy bait holders, place worms in disposable zippered plastic bag with several holes punched in side).
Have the youngest do the decorating and taping. Older kids can measure, cut and assemble. Makes great math practice! Use these gift ideas for dad’s birthday, Christmas or just-because-we-love-you! For more educational, recycled, homemade, frugalista fun visit my blogs at
Free Printable Lesson Plans