Creative and Budget-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I had a pretty riveting conversation with my toddler the other day.

“Sweetie, can you say mama?”


“Say mama.”




Needless to say, I’m pretty sure I know who’s the favorite around here.

As this is our first Father’s Day where Ace is old enough to enjoy being with his dad, I wanted to do something special.  After all, last year, he wanted nothing to do with his dad because I guess he thought he’d go hungry!

Father’s Day kind of snuck up on me, though, so I’m now finding myself scrambling to find something cute.

Last year, I got him a wrench set, and I was hoping to continue the tradition of building up his set of good tools on Father’s Day, but it’s just not in the budget this year.

Here’s a list of the best ideas I found when I turned to Pinterest for ideas of gifts that would be special to him, and also ones that we are able to afford:

Handprint or Footprint Crafts

Via Lil Moo Creations.


Source unknown.
Source unknown.

I remember before I became a parent, I swore I’d never do the silly footprint/handprint crafts I saw on Pinterest.  Turns out, that’s just another thing that got added to my list of things I was wrong about before I had a baby (and trust me, that list is extensive.)

The first picture is actually what my son and I made for my husband for Christmas.  It turned out so cute!  I didn’t get quite as clear a footprint as they did because he was too wiggly, but it’s a favorite of my husband’s.  It still sits on his bedside table.

We used a 5″ x 5″ canvas for ours, painted the background light blue, and made the police car dark gray.  Then I wrote a short note on the back to remind him how old Ace was and that he’d gotten it for Christmas, since I’m sure down the line, as life gets crazier and more kids are added to them mix, we’re going to forget the exact details of crafts like those.

If you prefer the look of the salt dough ornament, here’s an easy recipe for salt dough.  If you’ve never worked with salt dough, I’d definitely give it a try.  You could also use Fimo or another oven-bake dough, especially for older kids who want to make something themselves.

Father's Day Photographs


Via Pretty Designs.
Via Pretty Designs.
Via Chellie Dee Photography.
Source unknown.

I love this idea because it's a great excuse to take pictures of kids.  They grow so fast! Sometimes it's hard to take the time to take pictures when you're so busy with the day-to-day.  I think the "I heart daddy" sign is my favorite.

What's great about these is that they're not really complicated pictures to take.  Even if you're not the best photographer or don't have high-end equipment, you can still manage to take pictures like these that will melt Daddy's heart.

The sign might take a little artistic ability, but even that is pretty simple.

What you do with these pictures is up to you.  You could get them printed and framed, get canvas prints, or have the pictures printed on a mug or the back of a deck of cards.  

This is a great idea because it's so versatile, so whatever your budget you can make this work!

Daddy Survival Kit

Via Gifts U Can Make.

This is a great gift idea for police officers in general, but this is a great idea for a cute, creative Father's Day gift.  It's easy to put together, relatively inexpensive, and would be really fun for kids to help you shop for.

You could use the one from the link above, or if you're really feeling crafty, you could use it as a jumping-off point for a personalized "survival kit".


Source unknown.
Via Nothing But Country.

I thought this was a really cute idea.  Obviously, whoever made the top one really went all-out on designing it.  You could do the same, or make it simpler by covering the six-pack holder in paper and buying a pack of on-theme stickers for kids to decorate it.


You could also easily do this with a six-pack of beer, if you prefer.


Now that I've collected all these ideas, I suppose it's time to get cracking and make one for my husband!

What are you doing for Father's Day this year?

Great list of easy, inexpensive Father's Day gift ideas! These are so great.

About The Author


I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.

  • Melinda Reay

    Well…… I don’t have any kids but I do have a dog. So last year I wrapped up a dog bone for Mark with a bow on it. Turned out just as funny as I thought it would be. I gave it to him, and Mark immediately started laughing. Then my dog came and took it out of his hands, wrapped and all. Hilarious. I think your idea for the footprints is my favorite too. I already plan on doing lots of photography stuff like above as I’ve always been into it and love our DSLR.
    I love traditions, and in my family we always had a Father’s Day tradition. When my dad was a kid, the bus dropped him off at the wrong spot and when he got off the bus it was in front of a Corvette dealership. Ever since he’s wanted one. But as a kid, we didn’t have nearly enough money to get one. So each year, my family would buy my dad a toy Corvette. One year we even rented a Corvette for a day so my mom and dad could go up into the mountains of Idaho. He cried that year. Luckily when we were far more well off, about 8 years later my mom got my dad that Corvette. Never saw my dad cry that much. Although he was mad at first when he opened his presents and there was no toy and he thought we’d forgotten about him.
    I would be so interested for a list of “things I got wrong before I had a child.” I love reading lists about pregnancy and kids because I want them so badly.

    • That’s so funny!
      How great that he finally got the corvette he wanted 🙂
      Oh man, it would be a long list. I’d say in the first 24 hours at least half of my preconceived notions went out the window.

  • My husband has been coaching our kids in soccer for a few years now, and we have a Team Dad photographer that takes photos of the kids every game. The kids and I gathered some of those actions and team shots together and made a poster for my husband. We hope he loves it!

    • Oh that’s so awesome! How fun and thoughtful 🙂 I’m sure he’ll love it!

  • Kim

    OH my goodness some of those gifts are CUTE! Great list and I plan to use at least one of these!

    • Thanks so much! I’m so glad I could help 🙂

  • Dad is first super hero for his son and first love for her daughter. Thanks Leah for giving such creative and budget friendly fathers day gift ideas for loving dad.

    • So sweet! Thank you for reading 🙂

  • This is so stinking cute!

    • Aww, thank you!

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