Handmade Gift Ideas

My father is retiring in August, I want to give him a special gift just from me. It has to be sentimental to him, and personal and handmade. He is interested in wild birds, fishing and nature. He is a strong Christian man. Any ideas?

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Kelli from North GA

July 6, 20080 found this helpful

You're a great daughter! Your dad sounds like my husband so I'll go from there. My man would love a gift basket filled with "stuff" to persue his interests: binoculars, Roger Tory Peterson's bird book (there are many), maybe new walking shoes (if the budget allows), sunscreen, bug repellant, fishing "stuff" (if you know about that!), a new hat, a "retirement looking" shirt (tropical print, etc.), and to top it off a book of daily inspirational quotes or poems or prayers. The possibilities are endless. Oh yeah, if he doesn't have a terrific camera already you could go with a photo basket: camera, bag, extra batteries, large memory card, small photo album. Wow! I envy you. My dad passed away when he was 44 and I'd give anything to be able to plan for his retirement.

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July 6, 20080 found this helpful

How about a nice letter written from the heart? Or a father/daughter hike with a picnic lunch you prepared? Or maybe if he has his own yard you could create a small "bird" garden with plants/flowers birds are attracted to, complete with a bird feeder and bird bath. Seeds are fairly inexpensive and can be started indoors if you want to see actual plants in the garden right away. I have seen cute birdbaths made from terracotta planters and saucers made on HGTV or the DIY network (check there websites) and bird houses can be made fairly simply (google it). Good luck!

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July 6, 20080 found this helpful

Do you do photography? How about a hardcover book of pictures you have taken of his favorite things, or favorite people? There are a lot of places on the web where you can upload your pictures and have them make it into a book. A gal I work with did this for her dad and it was awesome.

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July 6, 20080 found this helpful

Great ideas! I just don't know what will affect him the way I want him to. To feel the love just between him and I because I as such a dady's girl, I even went hunting with him for rabbits. LOL Anywyas, he is in the woods a lot so how about a pocket watch/compass. It is in a leather case, no chains, I have a friends who engraves. I could have a very special inscription on the back of the watch. I want something to make him tear up a little, He is the best dad, husband to Mom and grandfather, What kind of an inscription could I have engraved on the back of it?

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July 7, 20080 found this helpful

My husband likes to retire in his reclining chair and cover himself with a lap blanket. You could make him a covering using print fabric of his favorite things and colors. There's a multiple variety of such fabric available and crochet/knit him a pair of slippers and get him a magazine/book that he enjoys along with favorite snacks that you make/bake for him.

Some men don't know what retirement is like as they still work on the homefront enjoying being busy and useful. For such a man, it would be nice to put a package of items together that can be used for such a man on the run such as work gloves, gatorade, water bottle, hand tools, and live plants or shrubs.

A reservation if needed to camp out at a state park and near water and dad can enjoy sighting in birds with binoculars, fish, hike in the wilderness and read favorite magazines/book while taking in the tranquil setting and relaxing. Prepare him a sack of things he would need for such a setting.

Have fun with your dad at this special time in his life. Life after retirement is not all downhill.

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July 7, 20080 found this helpful

Kelli, the compass/watch is a great idea! An inscription will give it that personal touch you are looking for. You mentioned that he is a Christian. How about engraving some scripture about fathers, husbands, or men in general?

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July 7, 20080 found this helpful

How about a scrapbook of his life. Or letters from all those he loves (and love him) telling him how they have affected their lives-- bound into a book (easy to do with a notebook or construction paper. A photo collage.

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July 7, 20080 found this helpful

My dad and my son are very close. My son has asked him a lot of questions about the war he served in, which meant more to dad than his job he was retiring from. Dad had given my son his old uniform and some other trinkets and pictures from the war. So my son made a shadow box and placed the uniform and all the items in the box and sealed it up. It was brought in and placed away from the presents and when dad had opened all the presents and I led him to the shadow box, which was 3 feet tall, sitting on the ground, leaning back on a fence post, dad saw it, and went down on one knee and started crying, remembering those that had served beside him. He called my son to his side and put his arm around him and tears streamed from both of them as dad told yet another story of those days in the service.

There was a crowd there of over 80 people and you could only hear the birds singing. Once dad got to his feet again, he told my son, in his typical self, "if I had known you were going to make me cry I wouldn't have given it to you!" That of course brought the party back to life.

You could do the same for your dad. There are things other than his current hobbies that will touch his heart. But a shadow box of antique bird watching items, fishing lures, or things he's stopped using because he's replaced them would be great and things he's discovered or wants to discover. It shouldn't cost much, just the cost of the wood, screws, glue and glass. I think you can get Lowe's or the lumber yard to cut the wood to the size you want it and you can get the glass cut to fit.

And a new journal, all nature lovers need a journal. With this first page written by his loving daughter.

I hope this helps in some way. Writing it brought tears back to my eyes remembering my dad and son's connection.

Tina

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July 8, 20080 found this helpful

The shadow box idea is so touching. What a wonderful gift.

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July 8, 20080 found this helpful

This past Christmas I did a very special thing for both of my parents. It took some thinking back. I made a years worth of memories from when I was little. Each week they pick out a card and have a memory that was precious to me. My dad has never had the best memory so I wanted to get this in while I could still can trigger the memory. They love it!

Karen, Port Clinton OH

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July 8, 20080 found this helpful

An original poem you wrote, to the tune of some song, that commemorates his life. I made my Mom leak tears with that one, she was so grateful.

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July 8, 20080 found this helpful

We make handmade gifts every year for Xmas, Bdays, and any event that comes up. My kids and I love to make them together for everyone we know and love. We start working on personal, homemade gifts in January, then all year long. I have about a thousand ideas. You could give him an ornament that is filled with a lock of your hair, and a poem written about how special he is for you. Or I love the memory box idea. You could engrave the back of the compass watch with one of the many lessons that stick out which he taught you. That way he will know that his wisdom made a difference to you, and will last throughout time.

Since this is your father, I would go one step further. I would maybe have a memory quilt made up. You can have pictures transfered onto fabric, then sew them together into a quilt that he can enjoy forever. Plus, you will be creating a family heirloom that can be passed on forever. It would go one better if you used fabric scraps that either were from or reminded you of each picture event. Like part of a picnic blanket for a picture taken from a family picnic, or white satin bordering a wedding picture. For my dad, because he loved his ties, we would have used a bunch of his ties to make something for him. Before he retired, he almost never was seen without a tie on. After he retired, you almost never saw him with one. I would find something personal to him to really make it special, then back it with a soft layer so he can snuggle up under his memory blanket and remember you each and every time.

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July 9, 20080 found this helpful

You guys are great, giving me all these great ideas. I like so many of them. I like the idea of an inscription of a lesson he taught me growing up. His advice to me......."Don't ever hate anyone.....you can hate what they did, but don't hate them as a person." I never forgot that. Keep the ideas coming, maybe I will make him more than one gift!

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July 9, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Kelli, I made a Fathers Day book on "Shutterfly.com for my husband this year. I downloaded special pictures and could add my own captions for a simple scrapbook that was a hardback book for around $20.00! It is the most special and thoughtful gift that has ever taken his breath away! You could download photo's that are special to him if you have access - or make your own photo album/scrapbook. Tina

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July 14, 20080 found this helpful

I think a memory jar would be a wonderful idea. I did this for people

at Christmas time. Decorate a jar and fill it with cards. On each card write a memory or something he taught you. Ask friends and relatives for older memories.

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