DIY Father’s Day Gifts to Make for Your Dad

Updated: Jun. 16, 2024

No gift comes from the heart more than one you made yourself. Here are some great projects and gift ideas your dad will use and cherish for years to come. Get building!

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garden tool box

Handmade Garden Toolbox

Is your sweetheart lugging around garden tools in a five-gallon pail or worse? Make this handy toolbox instead. With a couple of branches and pieces of wood, it offers a rustic feel perfect for gardening around the yard. Get complete plans and instructions here.

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HH simple standing desk
Family Handyman

Simple Standing Desk

This project is simple enough for kids can pull it off while still making for a great, useful present for Dad. All you need are some lumber scraps for the desktop and a set of coffee table legs. Looking for a more complex, adjustable standing desk you can make yourself? Check out our design here.

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Family Handyman

Rolling Shop Cart

This is one of the handiest tools in the shop — a rolling shop cart. With some castors, screws and a single piece of plywood, you can build a super-sturdy, super-useful rolling cart for Dad that will help with every woodworking or DIY project. Learn how to build this rolling shop cart here.

Check out some more high-tech tools for your father’s workshop.

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Family Handyman

Fantastic Fire Table

What’s better than relaxing outside? Relaxing outside in front of a fire! This fun-to-build fire table makes a fantastic Father’s Day woodworking gift. Combine all of your dad’s favorite materials (wood, metal and concrete), add a little propane and fire, and you have a present he’s sure to love. You’ll spend all evening hearing all kinds of stories about the good old days, basking in the warm glow of good memories and a crackling fire.

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Family Handyman

Wooden Cutting Board

If your dad likes to cook, this great-looking cutting board and serving tray is sure to bring a sparkle to his eye. Handcrafted with love, by you, he’ll think of you every time he uses it.

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Family Handyman

Folding Workbench

Maybe your dad likes to build stuff and do projects, but doesn’t have a lot of space to spread out. That’s where this folding workbench will work wonders. With room for some tools and a compact footprint, it opens up to a whopping 4 ft. x 7 ft. — big enough to tackle almost any project.

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photo sculpture
Family Handyman

Photo Sculptures

Surprise your friends and family with easy-to-make photo sculptures. Your favorite folks will “pop” from your photos when you use this easy technique.

Here’s how: Apply photo mount adhesive to pieces of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood, firmly press on the photos to be sculpted, then cut out the figures with a scroll saw. Make some wood bases from scrap wood and glue on the sculptured photos with Special-T cyanoacrylate glue (about $11). This glue will tightly bond the sculpture’s bottom edge to the base so you won’t need to fiddle with notches or screws.

Hints for great-looking sculptures:

  • Use a sharp No. 2 or No. 4 “skip tooth” blade (about $24).
  • Change blades when the sawn “paper edge” appears slightly ragged.
  • Select a medium or high speed and feed the work at a slow rate, pressing the wood firmly on the table as you saw.
  • When choosing photos to sculpt, look for clearly outlined subjects so it’s easy to follow the cutting line. Hair or clothing that blends into the background is difficult to cut.

Hang the artwork properly and level when you’re done.

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step stool
Family Handyman

Simple Step Stool

Here’s a great gift idea that will draw raves. The joints are accurately made in seconds with a plate jointer, but don’t tell your admirers. You’ll also need a power saw to crosscut the boards and a jigsaw to cut the half-circles in the risers. The lumber you’ll need:

  • One 8-ft. 1×8 clear hardwood board (actual width is 7-1/4 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.). Oak is a good choice because it’s readily available at home centers.
  • One 4-ft. 1×3 hardwood board (actual width is 2-1/2 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.).

Cut the 8-ft. board into:

  • Two 22-in. riser boards
  • Two 11-in. riser boards
  • One 14-in. step board
  • One 14-in. seat board

You’ll use 94 in. of the 96-in. board, so make practice cuts on a scrap board first to check the angle and length of cut. Don’t cut the 3-ft. 1×3 board until you’ve dry-assembled the step, seat and risers and measured for a perfect fit.

To create two risers, join the 11-in. boards to the 22-in. boards with No. 20 biscuits and glue. Let dry 30 minutes, then lay the step and seat across and mark for two No. 20 biscuits at each joint. Dry-assemble the step, seat and risers with biscuits, then cut and snugly fit the crosspieces. Mark the riser-to-crosspiece joint and cut slots for No. 0 biscuits. Glue and firmly clamp the step, seat and crosspieces to the risers. Check for square and let dry 30 minutes, then cut out the 4-1/2 in. diameter arc on the bottom of the risers to create the legs. Finish-sand and apply your favorite finish. This project is designed for use on hard-surface flooring only, not carpeting. We’ve got plans for lots of different simple stools, like this one that you make using your jigsaw.

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Easy to make knife block

Easy Knife Block

If your spices are jammed into a drawer with only the tops visible, this nifty rack that slips neatly into the drawer will solve the problem. And it only takes an hour to build. Make it with scraps of 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. plywood. Or build a two-tier drawer spice rack.

To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match.

Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to six inches wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.

Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’ve got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don’t have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here’s how.

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Family Handyman

Upcycled Tool and Hardware Hooks

For the handyman on your list, this upcycled tool project makes great décor. Adapt common tools and DIY hardware items into clever hooks and racks for their walls. They’ll be amazed with your creativity. Here are 10 spur-of-the-moment inspirations.

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Band Saw Box Gift
Family Handyman

How to Build a Box With a Band Saw

You can make this simple jewelry or knick-knack box from a block of wood and your band saw. Or use it as a gift box to hold other homemade presents. Cut it out in minutes and finish in an hour. Get the plans here.

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How to Build a Deck Course

If your dad is a DIYer who wants to learn more about the world of building and crafting, there’s virtually no better place for him to build up his skills than DIY University. The online learning platform features premium workshops and quick classes for anyone who wants to learn more about the art of doing it yourself. And it’s on sale!

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