Unique Gift Ideas for Dads

Father's Day

Father’s Day is coming fast, which means you need to find the perfect gift for dear ol’ Dad! Is it just me, or are dads, granddads, uncles, brothers – well, men in general – just hard to shop for?

Do I shop for what he needs? Or what he wants? Is handmade better than store-bought? What’s the perfect gift that makes ME the favorite child (at least for the day)? No stress, friends, we’ve gathered a list of stellar Father’s Day gift ideas for all kinds of dads!

For the grill master

Buy it: Heavy duty tongs, spatulas or cedar grilling planks are always a treasured gift for the grill. Did that last year? How about giving a personalized apron or a bottle of gourmet sauce and a membership to a meat of the month club?

Make it: Combine a handful (ha!) of items into a BBQ cooking mitt with a bottle of sauce, poultry rub, tongs, corn on the cob picks, a meat thermometer and an apron or dish towels and attach a note that says, “I’ll AD-MITT it: You’re the BEST DAD EVER!”

Unique gift for dad 1

Cooking Mitt from Mod Cloth

For the computer geek

Buy it: Find all sorts of quirky and clever ideas on Etsy for your nerdy smart Dad! How cool is this “I Love You” Binary Code Print?

Unique print for Dad

Print from Etsy

Make it: Create unique office accessories with computer parts! Glue cork or felt to the bottom side of a floppy disk to make quirky coasters. Pop keys off an old keyboard and glue magnets to the back sides for some cool and clever refrigerator magnets!

Geeky Fathers Day gifts

Geeky gifts from IBM & Apartment Therapy

For the sports enthusiast

Buy it: Score big with Dad and give him tickets to a game for the two of you! Not only will this be a great gift for Dad, but together you will create a memory to last a lifetime!

Make it: Can’t afford to get to a game? Recreate a game day experience in your living room! Present Dad with a Styrofoam cooler filled with popcorn, peanuts, drinks, the remote control from your TV and a home-made ticket to watch a special sports game at home (a favorite baseball team, hockey team or possibly a basketball playoff game).

Cooler gift

Cooler from Home Decorators

For the food lover

Buy it: If chowing down is your dad’s favorite pastime, get him a gift certificate to his favorite spot or introduce him to a new restaurant!

Make it: Grab a wooden toolbox (available at craft stores) and fill it with a gourmet verison of Dad’s favorite foods! For example, various flavors of thick cut bacon, deli meats and smoked salmon or jerky for the meat lover.

Food toolbox

Toolbox from Darling Doodles

So whatever your dad is into, you can find him a gift that’s perfectly suited to his style. Just think about what he likes best, combine it with a little creativity and you can create a gift that Dad will love.

And the best news is, he’s going to love whatever you get him, so don’t stress – just enjoy the day that celebrates dear ol’ Dad!

Unique gift ideas for Mom

Unique Mother's Day gifts

̶Unique Mother's Day gifts - photos by Corina Murray, Online Media Specialist for Expressionery.com

It’s hard to choose the perfect gift for the person to whom you owe your existence, much less try to find a gift that will make her appreciate the 12 hours of labor it took to get you here. It may surprise you, though, how easy it is to give Mom something she’ll cherish for years to come. She’s dropped subtle hints over the years – if you think back hard enough, you’re sure to come up with a great gift idea.

For example: at Christmas, two years ago, my friend’s Uncle Mark brought his record player. Her mom requested the same song three times and danced with Dad and the grandkids every time. I’m not sure if your mom is as old young at heart as my friend’s, but a great gift for her mom would be that old 45 mounted in a frame with a caption, “Dance like nobody’s watchin’.”

The result: Mom would:

  1. Love you for thinking of such a unique gift
  2. Be honored that you remembered her favorite song
  3. Be proud of herself for bringing such a thoughtful person into the world.

What about the time your mom got flowers from a dear friend? She said the roses were beautiful, but her favorite flower is a white gladiola. If you show up with those favorite flowers on Mother’s Day, prepare for tears and/or really long hugs – not just because you gave her flowers, but that you took the time to remember her favorite (and that you delivered them in person).

Have you ever asked your mom where she’s always wanted to travel? Think back. You know she mentioned it. Was it Egypt? Australia? London? Personally, I’d love to go back to Paris. Alas, my daughter’s college education has put a damper on such things, but (hint, hint!) I would love it if my daughter surprised me with lunch at a local French bistro.

Or if my hubby presented me with a très élégante dinner such as coq au vin, ratatouille, red wine and fromage. Oh, là là! Of course, the entrée may need to arrive via delivery boy – but it’s the thought that counts. You don’t want a frustrated, defeated cook sitting down to dine.

Personalized gifts for Mom from Expressionery.com

Personalized gifts for Mom from Expressionery.com

If your budget is strapped or you’re short on time, a handmade Mother’s Day card can never go wrong. When you were little, don’t you remember how your mom teared up when she saw the ragged but heartfelt card you made with your own two hands? Create that response again with something extraordinary!

With the same $5 you would have spent on an impersonal, mass-produced card, pick up some nice paper and pinking shears from the craft store, grab some glue and go to town. It doesn’t have to be a Jackson Pollock (after all, your mom isn’t Jackson Pollock’s mom, right?)… just something that says you spent a little time carefully crafting something special just for her.

Handmade Mother's Day card

Handmade Mother's Day card (photo: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clara%27s_Card.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>)

Take it from a mom – we’re not that complicated. My own mom’s taste in gifts is super simple. It just took me 42 years to figure it out. She is someone who cares deeply for her family, and she only wants love in return. If she sees that you spent time trying to think of something that would really make her happy, the gift of your time will make her happier than any expensive last-minute gift ever could.

Here are some other unique gift ideas for Mom:

  • If she loves to read, take her to a bookstore and let her pick out some books. (This is better than a gift card because she also gets the pleasure of your company.)
  • If she loves to travel, take her on a day-long road trip.
  • Make her a family scrapbook – almost any mom loves to reminisce.
  • If she’s religious, you could make her a prayer shawl.
  • If she loves giving gifts, buy her a set of personalized notecards.
Gifts Mom can take to work

Gifts Mom can take to work - or leave at the home office

Whatever gift you choose, show your mom that you love and appreciate her by letting her know you see her, hear her and “get” her. After all, she’s spent her whole life trying to “get” you.

Moms, what is the favorite gift your kids have given you over the years?