Dazzle your daddy with these Father's Day crafts

June 6, 2011 

Adhere photographs to plastic bricks for a building toy that lets your family mix and match heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Need something great for a Father's Day gift this year? Here arwe five crafts that will help you create the perfect gift and use all those digital photos hiding on your hard drive.

They're picture-perfect activities for you to do together with your mom, or siblings can collaborate.

Family Tree

Turn pictures of your loved ones into a graceful work wwf art made of wire and a wooden block.

Paint a 2-inch wooden cube (we used a different shade of blue for each face). Use a pushpin to create holes (we made 13) into an end-grain side. Cut 18-gauge wire in a range of lengths from 12 to 18 inches, one for each hole. Tightly coil one end of each wire length around a pen twice, making sure the two loops of wire are touching. Dip the opposite end of the wire in a small dish of tacky glue, then push it into a hole in the block. (If the wire doesn't fit, widen the holes by wiggling the pushpin a bit.)

Trim photos into small circles, then adhere them to circles of colored paper with tacky glue or a glue stick. Slide the photo circles onto the wire coils.

Collage Construction

Adhere photographs to plastic bricks for a building toy that lets your family mix and match heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

First, stage a family photo session: have each person stand in the same spot and at the same distance from the camera. Print out the best photo of each person.

Stack six or seven large plastic bricks and use the stack as a template to trim the photos. Cut them into one-block-tall horizontal strips. Mount the strips to the blocks with 3/4-inch-wide double-sided tape.

Shadow Boxes

Make your photos stand out from the crowd! Layers of black foam core and some clever cutting bring flat images into the third dimension.

Choose a photograph with a long depth of field -- one taken outside or with objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background works best. Print four copies. Measure the inside of a shallow cardboard box or a small shadow-box frame and trim the photos to fit.

Use a craft knife (adults and supervised kids only) to cut away everything from the first copy except objects in the foreground. Trim away everything from the second copy except the foreground and the middle ground, and so on. Use tacky glue to mount the trimmed photos to black foam core. Cut out the foam core-backed photos with a craft knife and glue them inside the box, layering one on top of the other.

Accordion Scrapbook

Tuck a collection of photographs neatly inside a pocket-size mint tin.

Use decoupage glue to decorate the front of an empty mint tin with such embellishments as patterned paper and cutout letters. We wrapped the sides of our tin's lid with string, adhering it with glue.

Cut a long strip of paper that's slightly less wide than the tin is tall. Accordion-fold the paper into sections that will fit inside the tin, and round the corners with scissors. Use tacky glue or a glue stick to attach patterned paper and photos to each panel, leaving the first page blank. Attach the blank page to the inside of the tin with tacky glue.

Collage Construction

Adhere photographs to plastic bricks for a building toy that lets your family mix and match heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

First, stage a family photo session: have each person stand in the same spot and at the same distance from the camera. Print out the best photo of each person.

Stack six or seven large plastic bricks and use the stack as a template to trim the photos. Cut them into one-block-tall horizontal strips. Mount the strips to the blocks with 3/4-inch-wide double-sided tape.

A Pushy Pair

These clever bookends capture kids in the act of helping keep their library tidy.

Start by enlisting a family member or two to take part in a photo shoot. Have them push or lean against a wall or tree, making sure you get their body inside the frame. Take photos of them facing both left and right. Print out the two best shots and place them into unfinished wood frames. (Ours are for 4- by 6-inch photos.)

To create the stand for each frame, cut two lengths from a one-by-four board using the measurements of the frame, as shown. Nail the two pieces into an L shape. Use wood glue to attach the frame to the front of the "L." Clamp the pieces together or place a weight on the frame until the glue dries. Cover the borders of the frame's glass with painter's tape, then paint the wood and frames. For added grip, place self-adhesive bumpers on the bottoms of the bookends.

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