There is nothing more touching or thoughtful than father’s day gifts that come from the heart, whether that be a handmade card, a scrapbook collage or a token to win free hugs, courtesy of yours truly. But in light of the heartbreaking pandemic that we find ourselves in, for some of us finding the finances to treat our loved ones can be difficult, as many of us have had to face a cut in pay (like myself), have lost their jobs or have seen a dip in their finances. However don’t be discouraged, because even if you don’t have a lot of money or don’t have a penny to spend, there are lots of free father’s day gifts out there to make your dad smile. The key is to be creative, think outside of the box and above all do something for your dad or father figure, that you know they’ll love. I know that this is a tough time at the moment, permeated by loss, hardship and a struggle to get by, so find the light in the dark days by throwing yourself into creating thoughtful, altruistic gifts that show your loved one how much they mean to you.
As you may know, I am a foster child, who was raised in foster care from the age of 10, by my foster mum, so I don’t have regular contact with my father and mother, so for those of you who don’t have a relationship with your father, you can use this day to treat anyone who you consider to be special in your life to a thoughtful and caring gift. In my case, I would use this day to ‘celebrate my partner’ who is one of the most kindest, most generous and nicest men that you could ever meet, and I am grateful for him every single day. Or, if you have sadly lost your father or father figure, use this time to create memories and tributes to his time on earth, through poems, letters, collages and anything else that you would like to do to remember him by. No matter whether you use father’s day to celebrate your dad, father figure, partner, brother, friend or anyone else, regardless of gender, identity or relation to you, treat them to free father’s day gifts that show you have a loving heart.
A Handmade Card Using Canva and Monogram Maker
One of the sweetest free father’s day gifts you can give your loved one, is a handmade card, using websites like Monogram Maker to design a monogram, and Canva to design the aesthetics of your card. Not only can you personalize your card and monogram to your dad’s taste but you can also feel good knowing that you have created a gift that is truly special, without having to fork out a fortune. I don’t know about you, but I love thoughtful handmade gifts, because it shows that someone has put a lot of thought into their present for you, which is a truly lovely idea. In order to create a free handmade card, you might like to start by creating a monogram, a motif of two or more interwoven letters (usually a person’s initials), which can be used in the body of the card, can be given as a separate gift (i.e. on a personal possession) or done as a logo, and uploaded onto the Canva template to create a beautiful father’s day card.
As you can see below, I have done a relatively simple design of a heart, which has stenciled text that simply reads as ‘father’. You could place this in the body of the card, on the front cover or on the back, it is all down to personal preference. There are plenty of different designs that you can choose from, as well as font type, frame and even a background. You can also customize the size and scale of the text, change the colour and tailor your design to give your dad a monogram to remember.
To create the card itself, Canva has thousands of templates, to choose from, meaning that you can create free father’s day gifts, without spending a penny. You can choose to upload your own images if you choose to give it a more personalized feel, or if you want help in creating a professional looking card, they have hundreds of father’s day card templates to choose from, as shown below. Some of their templates have premium elements which you have to pay for, but a lot of them don’t like this one which is free.
Create Your Own Photo Collage Or Scrapbook
Our life is made up of memories, so what could be a better way to spoil your dad this fathers day than through giving them a handmade photo collage or scrapbook? From the moments that you shared together, to pictures of their favourite places, a photobook or a memory book, is a gift that they can treasure for many years to come. If you are especially crafty, you can create your own ‘book template’, by splitting your photo collage into sections, where there is a mixture of photos of you together, some words of love and adoration, and pictures of places that mean something to you. As an example, I created my own photo-book for my partner as part of his anniversary present, which I designed and personalized myself, which was then printed by Snapfish, a site I use to print photos. I used an Instagram style photo template, and each section pointed out a memory that we shared together, as you can see below. While this was a paid site, you can follow the same concept without paying a penny.
If you choose to do a ‘scrapbook’ you might choose to fill it with some of your dad’s favourite things. For example, you might spray the pages with his favourite perfume, you could include an excerpt from his favourite book and you can fill the sections with tickets, receipts or anything that is of interest to show what you have both done together. On some sites like SmileBox you can create a ‘slideshow’ by using templates that they have available and personalizing it to match your taste, giving you free father’s day gifts that are digital and can be shared on Twitter and Facebook.
Create Your Very Own Personalized SVG File
For those of you who don’t know a SVG file is a Scalable Vector Graphic, which can be animated, printed for handmade gifts or even added into personalized cards, letters or anything else that takes your fancy. Which is why a SVG file is the perfect inexpensive gift for your father on Father’s Day, because you can personalize it to their interests. For example let’s say that your dad loves pumpkins. You can use websites like Design Bundles, who have a range of SVG’s including funny quotes, seasonal holidays like Halloween, with their pumpkin svg, and even religious Svgs, like their mandala svg, which unlike the name suggests is not to do with Nelson Mandella, but symbolic diagrams associated with Buddhist Culture. You can then think about how you will use the SVG file. Will you be creating a dad-approved pillow to support their back, designing an animated card, or even jazzing up their favourite shirt with quotes from their favourite show?
For example let’s say that you are creating a ‘novelty t-shirt’ for your father. You can take a plain t-shirt, and search for an illustration that has a SVG file, which can easily be printed on to a T-shirt. You might want to include an image from their favourite cartoon, have an emoji theme, or even have funny quotes that allude to their sense of humour. Are they rude and crude? Make reference to it.
Write A Letter With A Twist
Naturally as a writer there is nothing more that I love than writing letters, and I miss being sent letters and cards like I would get when I was a child. While I love how much we can do online, sometimes nothing beats the old fashioned letter, and its a beautiful way to show your loved one just how much they mean to you. Whether you write them a poem, write a story, list out your memories or create a diary entry, think about how you can create a letter that thinks outside the box. For example, when I give my partner cards, I usually always write him long letters as well (because i’m extra like that), which, depending on the occasion, will list all the things I love about him, my favourite memories that we have shared together and of course what I am excited to be able to share with him in years to come. And the same can be said for a good letter too. The key is to write a letter with a twist, so that you give your loved one something that they don’t expect, without spending a single penny. For example within the letter you might set them a ‘treasure hunt’ where each spot has a different page of the letter, until at the final spot you are presented with coupons for ‘free hugs’, ‘an activity of their choice’ or a handmade gift.
If you want to make an extra special letter, alongside all the lovely memories you shared together, think about what you could do that would make them happy. Maybe you can create a coupon for them to have breakfast in bed served by yours truly, create a movie night at home or you can even do a chore takeover for a week and take over their least favourite chores. However you choose to write your letter, let your imagination run wild and free.
Cook Up His Favourite Meal Or Set Up A Backyard Bistro
For those of us who don’t naturally enjoy cooking, is there anything more pleasurable than being cooked our favourite meal without lifting a finger? I’m sure your pops will agree too, as they sink their teeth blissfully into homecooked deliciousness. Like all the other free father’s day gifts, a home cooked meal can be your chance to challenge yourself creatively and come up with out of the box ideas that cost nothing. For example, as I said in my guide to quirky date ideas for couples, you could create a ‘themed meal’ centered around his favourite TV show or film, around a particular cuisine or even replicate meals from his favourite restaurants. As an idea let’s say your theme is ‘Indian Food’. Your starter could be paneer tikka kebabs, your main could be an aloo chaana masala and your dessert could be rasmalai, washed down with boozy lassi a’la Dishoom style. If you are feeling extra creative you could also make homemade banners, watch some relevant films and play Indian music. But of course remember to be culturally sensitive whenever you decide on a theme that represents another person’s culture.
You could also (if the weather is nice) set up a backyard bistro for a meal that has the wow factor, by adding candlelight, music and an audience with the stars. Think of your favourite restaurants abroad and how they set up their tables, and do something similar. Or another cool idea would be to use a jar full of crumpled up pieces of paper with his favourite things on them r.e favourite book, and to use the piece of paper that you pick out of the jar as inspiration for the meal you create.
Set Up A Father’s Day Throne and Treat Him Like A King
The saying goes that there is a King in every castle, and who could be more kingly than your father figure? This is the man who has seen you grow up into the beautiful person that you are today, has cheered you on at your school musicals, have cherished each poem and each story that you wrote and has championed you for who you are every single day. So why not treat them like the royalty they are and set up a father’s day throne, complete with a makeshift crown, scepter and even royal cape? You can go as fancy or as simple as you like, but a good place to start is by designing your ‘father’s day throne’. You can use an ordinary dining room chair, and swathe it with plush blanketed material, in either ruby red, ‘Purple Rain’ or his favourite colour, before making him a homemade crown and putting your arts and crafts skills to the test. You could fashion the crown out of cardboard for a real homemade feel, and stick gemstones, sparkles and anything else that is befitting for royal headgear. If you want to win extra points you could put text on the crown which reads as ‘ The Number One Dad’ or ‘The World’s Best Dad’ to really make him smile.
If you want to move beyond the traditional version of ‘the throne’, you could use your garden (if you have one) to create a summer throne where he can rule over his domain for a day. For example you can set up a deckchair or lounger with some comfy cushions, have a parasol to protect him from the sun, as well as a table with snacks and drinks so that he does not get hungry or thirsty. You could also decorate the garden with some free father’s day gifts such as homemade banners, balloons and even create a royal carpet, so he can walk in regal style.
Create A Spotify Playlist With All His Favourite Songs
When I was younger, I remember a friend made me a personalized CD with some of our favourite music tracks, alongside a personalized message which was a sweet gesture and one that I treasured immeasurably. Of course times have changed and with the face of music now being streamlined to be digital, you can now use sites such as Spotifiy, Youtube or other streaming websites to create a playlist to make your dad smile. For example think about what his favourite artists are, what his favourite genre of music are, songs he listens to and songs that have special meaning behind them. You could include tracks that dedicated to father’s to ring in father’s day or if you sing, you could even give your dad a playlist made up of songs that you have dedicated to him, or if you are feeling really brave you could give him a ‘live concert in his own home’, which will guarantee to leave him smiling from ear to ear. If you use an app like Spotify (the free version) all you need to do is tap your library, under music tap playlists, tap create playlist and then finally give your playlist a name and tap create. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 and is a great father’s day gift that wont cost a penny.
If you do decide to create a CD instead, you can follow my friends lead and download songs onto the disc that mean something to him, alongside a recorded personal message listing all the reasons why you love him, and a secret note inside. This is meaningful, thoughtful and shows him how much effort and care you put into your relationship.
Give Your Dad Something To Smile About With ‘The World’s Best Dad Award’
Your dad, whether that be biological or not deserves the world and what better way to show him how important he is to you than through a ‘world’s best dad award’? Whether you create a crown like above, dig out a medal from the dressing up box or create a certificate, whatever you choose to do, give your dad something to smile about this father’s day. To create a certificate you can use websites like Canva or 1,2,3 Certificates to create free certificates to cement your dad’s status as the world’s best dad. You can use sites like Pinterest for inspiration and by simply typing father’s day certificates it will come up with pinterest graphics that show you how to create a top notch certificate, or even give you templates so that the hard work is done for you. Let’s take the example below which I have created on Canva. I have personalized it to include the ‘dad’s name’ (because obviously my Dad is good ol’ Phil Mitchell), alongside the award title, who has given him the reward, as well as the reason why he’s a number one date and the month and year. It has the appearance of a primary school certificate which is kind of the point and is why I went for a bold and funky primary colour scheme.
Whether you go for a bold, minimalist or graphic design, your certificate can be personalized to suit you and your dad’s taste. You can even create a ‘medal’ to go alongside your certificate, whether that be an Olympic style medal, an award ribbon or an arts and crafts style medal, it is entirely down to you. Another idea would be to create a ‘mock graduation style ceremony’ where you present your dad with his certificate and gifts, while reading out all his accolades, whether that is being the best cook, giving the best cuddles or something else.
A Family Style Board Games Night To Remember
Last but not least, what could be more fun than a family style board games night to remember? Whether that be playing Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit or making up your own game, your free fathers day gifts wishlist wouldn’t be complete without a good ol’ fashioned games battle. Depending on the age group of your family and his sense of humor, you could play card games such as Cards Against Humanity, Ring of Fire, Drawing Without Dignity and Poker, as well as Board Games like Game of Thrones Monopoly, Speak Out and The Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis. You could also do what I do with my partner, which is taking games such as Ring of Fire, and making our own rules. For example we play the game alongside other card games such as Snap, Go Fish, Exploding Kittens, Monopoly and Pokemon. Let’s say you land on an 8, which means you drink with a mate. If you want to make this more interesting you can say that this card represents a ‘Pokemon story’ where you have to explain why your particular Pokemon would beat the other person’s Pokemon in a fight. It can get long-winded so you can use the same principle with ‘snap cards’ where you both pick up a character and decide who would win in a fight without a story. For example a cat would beat a mouse, a Jack would beat an 8 and so forth.
Whether you choose free fathers day gifts such as a homemade card, think of something different like a spa day or do something that is personalized to him, you don’t need to spend money to show someone how much they mean to you. So go on, be a star, get out of your comfort zone and try your hand at arts and crafts, to try something new today.
Do You Have Any Fun and Quirky Free Father’s Day Gift Ideas?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.