Make a lovely Fathers' Day Gift with Your Children

With Fathers’ Day coming up, we can start to feel the pressure mounting to buy expensive gifts for these important men in our own lives and the lives of our children. However, though it’s been said before and will no doubt be said again, often the best gifts we can give are those that have some thought behind them rather than those that have cost a lot of money.

Therefore, this year we decided to get crafty and show my husband (and my boys’ dad) just how much he is appreciated. It cost virtually nothing to do and it ended being a lovely afternoon activity that allowed the boys and I the chance to spend some really lovely time together.

With a little help from me (my younger son is two and my elder son had one arm in a plaster cast) the boys made two lovely photo frames and decorated them. We based our work on the helpful guide from this website - though we didn’t stick to it rigidly. I’d advise that you read through the article and this blog post before you get started so that you don’t have to refer to it as you go along because things can get pretty messy once the glue comes out!

Things You Will Need to Make a Fathers’ Day Photo Frame:

Hopefully you will already have most of these things - we only had to buy lolly sticks as we had everything else already.

  • A photo of your children and their dad that you’d like to use
  • 8 lolly sticks (these can be ordered very cheaply on the internet, on Amazon for example)
  • Some PVA glue that is safe to use with young children
  • A glue pot and some some glue spreaders
  • Felt-tip pens
  • A sheet of A4 card
  • Some little bits and bobs with which to decorate the photo frame
  • A plastic cloth or newspaper or something else to put down to protect the area where you will be working

How to Make Your Father’s Day Photo Frame:

Use the felt-tips to colour in the eight lolly sticks. Colouring them on only one side means that you will get marginally less ink on your hands later, but it’s not a huge deal. If you have more time in which to complete this task then you could paint your lolly sticks for a bolder effect and then leave them to dry.

My sons (aged two and nearly four) found it a little fiddly to hold the lolly stick and colour it in at the same time so your assistance might be required here depending on the age of your children.

Assisting my son

The next step is to glue your lolly sticks together in a square shape, with two of them along each side of the frame. We found that the easiest way to do this was to make an outer layer of four single sticks, then add the next four to make a double layer on each side.

Gluing frame

You then need to leave the frame to dry for about half an hour or so, otherwise it will wobble all over the place when you try to add things to it.

The following step is probably the most exciting part of the whole task. Your children get to stick on whatever little decorations they like to accessorise the edges of the photo frame. We also chose to put a layer of the PVA glue over the frame as well so that it would end up looking shiny - like colourful varnished wood - and also provide a bit of extra strength.

Decorating the frame

Ideally, you could now do with leaving the frame to dry for a bit again. During this time you can use the PVA glue to stick the photo you have chosen onto the card. The colour of the card does not really matter as it won’t be seen. It’s simply to provide some backing for the frame to help give everything a base, so you could even use part of an old cereal packet.

Attach the photo

Once the frame is a dryer and a little more sturdy, you then need to mount it on top of the photo and then cut around the card so it can’t be seen. Again, depending on the age of your children you might need to give them a hand with this part - I felt more comfortable using the sharp scissors myself and it meant I could work with a little more precision (though of course this task is about the children producing something heartfelt themselves, not just something that looks perfect).

Mount the frame

It’s worth giving the frames a chance to set properly now - overnight is wonderful, if possible - so that they become as sturdy as possible.

Et voila! Both my boys were very pleased with their results and they can’t wait to give hand them over in a week or so.

Ready card