Father’s Day is approaching fast and it may very well be that you find yourself in a quandary: what do you get the man who has everything? Well for starters, you can pretty much write off slapping your paint-covered hand onto a piece of construction paper and calling it a card. Sure, it worked when you were five and had cute pudgy fingers, but there’s only so much room on the fridge and you filled it 20+ years ago. It’s time to think outside the crayon box, and this year you’re in luck. As it so happens I have thought of the most unique, inspired, never-been-done-before Father’s Day gift of the century – Ties!
OK, perhaps not. We’ve got a lot more Father’s Day gift ideas though!
Restoring an Old Photo
This DIY Father’s Day gift takes a bit of domestic archaeology, but you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. To begin, you’re going to have to dig out some old photos. This may mean some attic spelunking but it will be worth it. As you go through the photos, set aside anything specifically involving Dad – wedding photos, family reunions, holding his kids (you!) for the first time, or just Dad being unmistakably Dad. Think about using photos from before he was a Dad. Father’s Day can also be a chance to learn something new about him. He had a whole life you may know nothing about before you came along. Choose something from his youth that he could reminisce over or muse upon. These photos can be a catalyst for some of the funniest and most unique stories from a parent’s life. So what does this have to do with photo restoration? Well the older a photo is (and I’m not saying he’s old) the more likely it is to be faded, sun-bleached, creased, cracked or damaged from dampness.
Unfortunately photographs just don’t hold up all that well unless they have been meticulously taken care of. You probably already know all about what computer software is capable of doing but you may not realize how easy it is, or how affordable. With nothing but a scanner and a copy of PaintShop Pro (grab a FREE trial!) you can bring that photo back to life. Take a look at our free video tutorial for restoring old photos, and while you’re at it check out this tutorial on colorizing black and white photos as well. These two videos (along with the rest of our photo restoration series) will have that photo looking as crisp and vivid as the day it was developed. If you’ve never had the opportunity to witness someone as they gaze back at their past and remember the long-lost, the bitter-sweet, or the fond beginning to a life well lived – Let’s just say it’s worth the effort. Don’t forget to include a card as well! In fact, here’s a tutorial on making a Father’s Day card just to make sure we’ve covered everything.
Make a Video Slideshow
At this point it’s not unlikely you’ve found yourself in the attic, covered in dust and set adrift among old photographs. We’ve got a plan for this too. When you look at enough photographs from someone’s life the various threads of the story start to emerge. Collect these, lay them out in front of you, and start to sort them into a story board. You should almost be able to see the photos come to life in your mind, panning and zooming to the perfect piece of music and setting the perfect tone. This is the kind of thing that makes videographers love the work they do – conceptualization to realization. Take a look at our free video tutorials on how to make a slideshow and you’ll see that it’s not overly difficult to create a one-of-a-kind gift like this. The hardest part about any video editing project is knowing when to cut something. Let’s be honest, you could easily make a 4 hour long video with just the photos you found from your father’s high school days. Set yourself a target, 2-3 minutes is generally optimal, and stick to it. Really make the photos you choose have an impact and don’t compromise on your vision. The look on his face will be worth every ounce of effort. Grab a free trial of VideoStudio. If you need it, we’ve got free introductory lessons for VideoStudio as well.
If you’re new to video editing and making slideshows, why not start with FastFlick instant slideshow maker? The transitions, effects and backgrounds are already built into templates for you, so all you have to do is drag and drop your photos in, and use the text placeholders to create a few captions? FastFlick comes with a few free templates, but you can also browse our collection to find one that is just right for Dad.
Make a Photo Transfer on Wood
If you’re looking for a unique way to showcase Dad’s favorite photo, here is a project for you! Create a gorgeous display with this photo transfer on wood project. The process is simple – print out your photo, use a gel medium to apply the photo to a piece of wood, then finish it with a clear spray or shellac. You can find all the supplies you need at your local craft store. Our video tutorial will walk you through the process in 5 easy steps.
Creative projects like slideshows or photo editing are great outlets for expression and it can be a lot of fun to make a do-it-yourself Father’s Day gift. Ultimately, you know your father best, which makes any gift from you meaningful. We love being able to teach people new ways to create, play and share – especially with family. What Father’s Day gift ideas have you come up with in the past? What do you plan on doing this year? Share with us and the rest of the Discovery Center community in the comments below!
Oh and one more thing. For all you do,
Happy Father’s Day.