Homemade Gift for Dad

With a little creativity and some upcycled materials, you can make a homemade gift for dad that he’ll treasure forever. Whether you’re giving it to your own father or helping your kids create a special surprise for their dad, this unique envelope is sure to make this Father’s Day one to remember.

Envelope Tradition

For many years now, my husband’s brother Scott has been designing greeting card envelopes with a unique twist: instead of simply writing out the recipient’s name, he makes it the star of the show.

One example he created was for Dean who is an avid golfer. While I may not be a golfer, the idea of putting a unique spin on a simple envelope has stuck with me. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in showing someone how much you care.

handmade gift for Dad: golf balls on envelope carved to spell Dean

So in memory of our own fathers, and in keeping with Scott’s wonderful tradition, I’m excited to share with you a special homemade gift for Dad that will let him know he’s “top drawer” in everyone’s eyes.

Think outside the box – or rather the envelope!!!

Creative Craft Hop

Welcome to another Creative Craft blog hop! If you’ve come from Carol at Blue Sky at Home, we’re glad to have you here! Wasn’t her patriotic pillow idea cute? At the end of this post, we’ll guide you to the next stop on this journey. Make sure to explore all the other stops for a wealth of creative inspiration. Don’t forget to revisit us throughout the week to visit them all!

Creative craft hop graphic

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A Unique Envelope for Dad

If you’re lucky enough to still have dad in your life, take this opportunity to make him feel extra special with a personalized touch. Or, if you have young children, make this for your husband and let the kids make the card to go inside this envelope.

Whether dad is an avid furniture upcycler or simply appreciates unique and innovative design elements, the idea of a ‘top drawer’ envelope – with a keyhole and drawer pulls – is bound to captivate his imagination. And maybe even spark some future DIY endeavours!

handmade gift for Dad: stained plywood, keyhole and 3 wooden pulls spelling Dad

Supplies for Homemade Gift of Dad

[If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below means we may receive a commission. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]

To create your own Top Drawer envelope, you’ll need the following materials.

items you'll need for homemade gift for dad: a piece of 1/8" plywood, 3 wood pulls and a keyhole escutcheon

Start with a piece of 1/8″ plywood cut to the size that fits your envelope best. Mine is 4 1/2″ x 7″ but you can go more oblong too as shown below. You’ll also need three wooden drawer pulls to spell out “DAD,” as well as a simple font to inscribe those letters onto the wooden pulls.

Check out your local thrift stores, such as Value Village or the ReStore, to find some of these things secondhand, like we did. Like our motto says, good planets are hard to find – so reuse and upcycle whenever you can!


Trace the keyhole shape onto the wood using the inside dimension, not the perimeter.

Hand tracing the keyhole escutcheon onto 1/8" plywood with a pencil; 3 wooden pulls in background

Secure the wood to a table with clamps. Then drill the top and bottom of the keyhole shape to create a hole using different sizes of drill bits.

To ensure the proper fit, sanding may be necessary. A Dremel with a sanding bit can be helpful for this task. The keyhole escutcheon should fit tightly, eliminating the need for glue to hold it in place.

Stain Homemade Gift for Dad

Apply stain to both the three wooden pulls and the piece of plywood. In case you don’t have a stain you prefer, refer to our post on how to change stain color.

Engraving the Wooden Pulls

Now you can start engraving the letters onto the wooden pulls. Have some fun picking a font or search for the one used here (Morice Straight Bold).

First, transfer the letters onto each pull using Saral white transfer paper. Saral has a multitude of uses, like how to hand paint furniture designs.

Morice Straight Bold font spelling DAD

Clamp each pull onto a table and engrave the letters using a Dremel tool with a round bit. You can either use a pouncing motion around the shape of the letter or engrave smooth lines instead.

I love to do small projects like this outside in the garden (see our small backyard landscape ideas to create your own backyard oasis). Here I’m actually wood burning with a Versa Tool, but you get the idea.

Woman sitting at a table wood burning outside in the garden

Finishing Top Drawer Envelope

As you can see, staining first creates a contrast between the wood’s original colour and the engraved letters.

Protect your work by applying a coat of clear water-based varnish and let dry. No need to seal the back as that’s where it will be attached to the envelope.

Next, adhere the drawer pulls to the ‘drawer front’ using glue. Alternatively, if you prefer not to wait for glue to dry, double-sided tape can be used.

Finally, attach the completed drawer front to the envelope using double-sided tape to prevent wrinkling the paper.

Envelope decorated with stained plywood, keyhole and 3 wooden pulls spelling Dad

DIY father’s day gift ideas

Frame Homemade Gift for Dad

Transform your gift into lasting decor by placing the envelope in a shadow box and wrapping it up. You may need to create a custom shadow box if it’s challenging to find one deep enough. Alternatively, a regular frame can be used instead by removing the glass and mounting to a backing.

Homemade gift for dad in a shadow box; envelope with stained plywood drawer face, keyhole escutcheon and three knobs engraved with DAD

A lasting keepsake: homemade gift for Dad

Homemade Gift for Dad Ideas

In our family, instead of getting tossed, these envelopes are cherished forever. And the possibilities for personalization are endless! Here are a few more personalized homemade gift for dad ideas made by Scott to celebrate Father’s Day or Dad’s birthday:

Is dad a carpenter? If so, you’ll ‘nail’ it with this one!

‘Cap-tivate’ dad with these ‘punchy’ juice can lids. Emboss the letters from the back to spell dad. 

Dad will enjoy sponging up all the attention on his special day; this design uses dollar store scrubby sponges (hello captain obvious).

Is dad a film or photography buff? In the pre-digital era, you had to develop film to process photos. Now that smart phones and digital cameras are the norm, chances are good that someone has expired film collecting dust. Go dig out that old can of film!

By the way, no Father’s Day craft is complete with at least one corny dad joke. So here goes: what did the camera film say to the digital memory card? ‘You may store more, but I’ve got a reel personality!’

Lastly, here’s an idea for a dad that’s a computer geek or works in IT. Upcycle an old computer circuit board!

Aren’t these ideas cool? Many are pretty easy and don’t require any special crafting skills. Do you think this is something you’d turn into a family tradition too? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think; we’d be happy to share more ideas with you in future posts if there’s any interest!

In Memory of  Our Dads

On Father’s Day, as we celebrate the dads who are present in our lives, let’s also take a moment to remember and honor those dads who are not here with us. They may be fathers who have passed away, serving in the military, working abroad, or simply unable to be present due to various circumstances.

My Dad holding homemade gift for dad; envelope decorated with a picture of stained plywood, keyhole and 3 wooden pulls spelling Dad

Unique homemade gift for my Dad

Despite their physical absence, their love, guidance, and influence continues to resonate in our hearts. Father’s Day serves as a poignant reminder to cherish the memories, lessons, and values they have imparted upon us. May we find solace in knowing that their spirit lives on, and may their absence inspire us to honor their legacy by being the best versions of ourselves!

Dad holding up an evelope spelling dad with Autumn leaves

Hubs’ Dad and Mom

Pin Homemade Gift for Dad

A homemade gift for dad is a fun and meaningful way to show your appreciation on Father’s Day. Pin this for later:

Pinnable image for homemade gift for Dad

Creative Craft Hop

Now it’s time to check out Easy Painted Rocks from Ann at the Apple Street Cottage. When you’re done, please remember to visit these other amazing talents below:

  1. DIY Patriotic Star Door Hanger
  2. Seaside Serenity: Crafting Your Own Coastal Farmhouse Lantern!
  3. Dollar Tree Stencil Craft on Canvas
  4. Pedestal Serving Tray
  5. DIY Coiled Rope Shoulder Bag
  6. Blah to Blue-tiful Birdie Upcycle for the Garden
  7. How to Make a DIY Patriotic Pillow
  8. Homemade Gift for Dad (that’s us)!
  9. Easy Painted Rocks
  10. Re-cycled Patriotic Sign

Homemade Gift for Dad FAQs

What is a good Father’s Day gift DIY?

Dad probably doesn’t need another tie, so think outside the box this father’s day. Make him a special card with an even more special envelope, but making d-a-d the star of the show!

How do you make an envelope look fancy?

Create the recipients’ name with upcyled materials. Be creative; use anything and everything you can get your hands on. From nails bent in the shape of the recipients name to something as simple as cutting up dollar store sponges, think outside the box – or rather the envelope.

How to decorate envelope ideas?

There are ton’s of ways to decorate envelopes. Just look above for some samples of how to embellish the outside of an envelope: old film, dollar store sponges, preserved leaves, juice lids, computer circuit board, nails, wooden drawer pulls to name a few!

What can I make out of an envelope?

You can actually turn the envelope into the star of the show by using upcycled materials to re-create the recipients’ name on the outside when gifting a card.

How to make custom envelopes?

Instead of simply writing out the recipient’s name, turn it into a show stopper. Personalize the envelope by embellishing the envelope with any found object. See all the examples above for inspiration!

20 thoughts on “Homemade Gift for Dad

  1. Such clever ideas, Sara. I love them all and I just know my Dad would have loved the one with nails!

    • Thanks Ann; it really is fun to personalize and people get such a kick out them.

  2. This is such a cute idea Sara, and something Dad will actually love! I love all the different clever ideas you included to personalize Dad’s envelope, each one is so much fun! I like your Top Drawer idea the best~ Father’s Day will be here before we know it! Thank you for hosting our always fun and inspirational monthly hop!

    • I guess I’m partial to the top drawer one too; it’s an expression I can remember my dad using lol! I always look forward to our monthly hop; enjoy your projects so much!

    • So funny Terrie – my husband is always loosing his keys too! Great idea to use it for that 🙂

  3. Sara, I love your creative Father’s Day gift ideas–any dad would be glad to receive them. 🙂 Thanks again for hosting! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    • I find that dad’s especially appreciate them :). Always a pleasure to host you ladies!

  4. Oh my, Sara! All of your Father’s Day gift ideas are so unique! I love them all! Thanks for your tribute to all the Dads out there and especially to your father! You are truly a very special daughter!

  5. How cool is this? I love everything about it. Great job and thank you for sharing such a fun craft!

  6. What a unique idea! I absolutely love it! It’s a great way to create memories to save year after year. Pinned!
    Niki | Life as a LEO Wife

    • Thank so much Niki! It definitely is a great way to create memories 🙂

    • Thank you Carol! It’s always a pleasure to see what you ladies are up to each month; I love hosting our hop 🙂

  7. I am loving these ideas! I tend to jazz envelopes up with a doodle drawing or two but that golf ball envelope is in a totally different league – love it! Sim x Hopping over from #CreativeCraftsLinkParty

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