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Any guy can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad!

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15, 2008. Started by Sonora Dodd to honor her father who raised five children alone after the Civil War, President Coolidge supported the idea, Lyndon signed a proclamation, and in 1972 it was official.

The MAKE team has put together some fun gifts to make, buy, and give this Father’s Day – have a great story about making things and your Dad? Post it up in the comments, at the end of the day I’ll pick a few and send you the new coveted Makers Notebook! Click on through to read our massive guide!

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Wallets. Every Dad gets at least one wallet from Sears it seems, but this year make Dad a one of a kind wallet from scratch, here are some of our picks for the best DIY wallets money can’t buy… (my favorite is the computer keyboard wallet pictured here).

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Cufflinks. Does Dad need to get dressed up once and awhile? Cufflinks seem to be a common “Dad gift” but that doesn’t mean they need to be expensive or boring, here are our picks for some great cufflinks you can whip up in a jiffy or get inspired by to make Dad super-snazzy (pictured here, make Dad coin cufflinks!).

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Grills & cooking. A notebook portable grill. Dad likes meat, grilled meat. Stainless steel and cut out handles, this grill can go anywhere. 192-square-inch cooking surface, enough for Icanhazchessburger on the go. It’s hot, just like his Macbook pro when editing all those family videos.

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Don’t want to spend the cash on a grill for Dad? Forget spending green and go green by building Dad his own solar oven.

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If Dad is a gamer, he might like this PS3 Grill.

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A grill made from a newspaper box!


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Headphones. It’s a noisy world out there, why not make Dad a rockin’ set of headphones, don’t be a sucker paying $500 for noise canceling when you can make a DIY that’s cheaper and better! Jackhammer headphones.

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Jackhammer Headphones in MAKE 05… And a discourse on blind men, chipmunks, whales, and the future.


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DNA art. Dad contributed to half your DNA, what better way to remind him (and thank him if you’re pleased with that half) than artwork made from DNA! You’ll need to sneak away some of Dad’s saliva, just tell him it’s for science.


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Maker ties: For eons to come Dad will get ties, but don’t give Dad a boring tie– go handmade. Designed and made by Bethany Shorb, each of these ties is “handmade of the finest and most unusual materials in our top-floor studio in downtown Detroit. Formed in 2005, the Cyberoptix TieLab has fashioned a line of neckwear appropriate for both outed and closet rockstars.” @ Cyberoptix.

If you want to go DIY, here’s a screen printing tutorial so you can make your own – just pick up some ties from a thrift store and get screenin’ & check out this handmade tie roundup on Etsy.

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And if you want to make a tie, check out this pattern from Burda style (open source sewing!).


Gifts for Dad from MAKE!

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DIY for Dad: Get Dad a MAKE gift subscription! A gift subscription to MAKE starts with the latest issues AND Dad gets the Digital Edition for free! A gift of MAKE is one that gives all year long. In a previous volume of MAKE (Volume 10) has our editor-in-chief, Mark Frauenfelder, and his daughter Sarina are on the cover doing a fun project together! – (Use code CMAKE and get an additional $5 off, just for Dad!).

Oh! And when you order a gift subscription, we’ll send a notification to your recipient. But we want to give you the option of notifying them in style. Here’s a special PDF just for Dad that you can print out and give this weekend.


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Tools. It would be a gift guide without tools, give the gift that keeps Dad making – we have a few favorites here from the Maker Shed Store… And as Erica Sadun (MAKE tech advisory member says “Nothing says love like a Dremel”….


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Handy books! MAKE Pocket Reference: We kept asking ourselves, “If there was just one tool that no Maker (Dad) should be without, what would it be?” This may just be the tool we’d pick. This great little book is a concise all-purpose reference featuring hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants & conversions, and it still fits in your shirt pocket! Packed with mathematical formula, tables, standard conversion ratios, scientific facts, technical specifications, electric wire size vs. load, resistor color codes, Morse code, sun & planet data, earthquake scales, nail sizes, geometry formulas, currency exchange rates, carpentry, automotive, physical science, water friction losses, charts for battery charging, lumber sizes & grades, floor joint span limits, insulation R values, periodic table, and as they say, much, much more! It’s no wonder The Pocket Ref was featured in MythBusters.

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Dad a Handyman? That’s cool, we have a Handyman In-Your-Pocket Reference too!


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Kits. Out of all the kits we have at MAKE there are two that stand out as excellent picks for Dad, the first is the Vacuum Tube Radio Kit – this kit is not only fun to build but it looks cool enough to sit on the mantle, you’ll enjoy watching Dad brag to all his friends “hey, I made that”.

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Next up, a pocketable USB charger. If Dad has a cell phone, music player or just about anything else that charges via USB you can make him one of these inexpensive MintyBoost USB chargers, of if Dad is a Maker he can make one himself. It’s also good to stock one of these away in a glove compartment or in a suitcase to be prepared when your devices lose their juice, being prepared and able to save the day is a Dad thing.


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MAKE Gift Cards. Give Dad a gift card he will REALLY like… A gift card to MAKE! You enter the amount and delivery method after you add to cart. Unlike gift cards from the big box retailers, ours never expire! Gift PDF (just add the gift card part).

Remember, if you have a great story about making things and your Dad? Post it up in the comments, at the end of the day I’ll pick a few and send you the new coveted Makers Notebook!

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Andy Johnson says:

    My Dad was big on DIY. One time we made hammock posts in the backyard…they worked wonderfully, until 2 people tried to use them. The problem was that 2 hammocks had a common post. So when my brother got on, the whole post ripped out of its footings and came crashing down. It’s probably my brother’s fault… after all, he is the middle child AND Mom’s favorite!

    I can also remember doing our cub scout pinewood derbys. My Dad’s 6’4″ and totally left brained. He’d never let the other boys Dads’ beat him at anything. We would trick them out by relocating the back tires further back, sanding the tires flat and using fish sinkers in the exhaust ports on back…then we’d take a power drill to scouts and drill out excess fish sinker to make sure we were right on for the weight restrictions. In retrospect, it almost borders cheating. But, in the end it’s all about spending that time with Dad and doing MAKE-like things.

  2. robli67 says:

    I ma not sure if this counts as making something but, I remember my dad bring hime this beat up crush golf cart. He told me that I could have it if I could get it running and fix it up. And that he would help build a body for it.
    It took me about 30 minutes to get the ting running. It took 3 days to pull the broken body parts off with my dad. Then another 5 days to built a seat and platform to hull things with. We would go to the dump to pick up pallets for the wooden bed, boat seats for the seats, and some hand railings for some thing to build a frame above the platfrom. Kind of looked like a four wheel you can buy today. It couldn’t hull much but my brother and I had full running around the fields and going to the lake to fish.
    Lots of fun with dad building and playing with it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My dad was a 9th grade high school dropout. This was back in the depression and he dropped out to help his family financially. His parents were immigrants and wanted him to finish high school and go to college but he became a truck driver.
    He never lost his love of learning, however, and instilled in me that love. he would do the delivery rounds on his truck and bring me anything that he thought would re-enforce that love.
    He’d bring me Popular Mechanics, Popular Science even comic books to get me to read, and I read voraciously.
    The best present he ever gave me was a do-it-yourself electronics laboratory from Radio Shack (I think). We would spend hours and hours making buzzers and bells and telegraph keys, Blinking lights and more.
    We didn’t have much money, but we had each other and shared a lot of mutual interests.
    Most importantly, we had time together. When I had children(4 boys) I tried to instill that same love of learning that he gave me.

  4. Snuggie says:

    These are great ideas, and stuff my dad might actually want. He usually makes his own stuff so anything crafty he will love. However, he hates it when we spend money on him.
    Snuggie Blanket