Monday, June 9, 2014

Thrifty Gifts: Father's Day

I don't know about you, but whenever I see Father's Day gift guides, they tend to bring on more eye rolls than lightbulbs. They seem to break down into the crazy expensive, one-use gadgets no one actually wants, the weirdly cutesy, and items that will be enjoyed way more by the giver than by any dad I know. So here, without further ado, are some homemade gifts that will actually see the light of day once in a while.

Monogrammed hankies
Fonts (L to R): Oil Can, Eccentric, Euphorigenic
We've blogged some details on this one over the years (here, here, and here). This one is a fantastic last-minute gift; I finished the three hankies above in an afternoon. Just find some fonts you like, print and trace (if you work carefully with a light hand, you can even do this with a regular pencil), and embroider. DMC cotton floss holds up well in the wash, and is usually 30-50 cents a skein. If you are new to embroidering, Needle'n'Thread has great tutorial videos. Backstitch and stem stitch are good for monograms, with satin stitch to fill in thicker areas (as on the hankie on the left).

Matching outfits

Okay, maybe not for everyone, but it can be fun, especially for a new dad. The picture above is Simplicity 3852, which conveniently contains outfits from a baby romper all the way up to adult size in one envelope. If the men and boys in your life would appreciate something a little more subtle, matching neckties (men's, boys', and little boys') would make a great riff on a Father's Day classic. Ties are cut on the bias, so keep that in mind when picking out a print. This also means you'll have extra fabric left over, so think about including a pocket square. If that's still too much, how about some pajamas?

Reuseable Brown Bag
Do you walk to work, or bring your lunch? (Sorry, but what's a post about dads without a Dad Joke?)There are a ton of tutorials for this easy sewing project online (Here's a big roundup.) Just pick a manly fabric and you're good to go. You could even use an old pair of chinos for the fabric, making this project essentially free.

A Manlier Diaper Bag
Vogue 8990
This will be the one I'm attempting this year. While I don't think he actually minds, every so often I get a comment about having to carry around the very girly bags our hospital gives out. I'm keeping the pockets versatile, so hopefully he'll have a use for it even when we don't have one in diapers. If putting together an entire bag isn't for you, an all-in-one changing kit that he can have on hand might be just the ticket.