Friday, June 19, 2009

Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Father's Day Gifts

Wow, this week has been full of lost of GREAT Father's Day gifts. One thing I keep coming back to is that I don't want to make something that my Husband and our Fathers already have. How many cans turned into pencil holders can you have? While wall hangings with hand prints are great, even if they have been given before, still some times it is nice to take a break. I wanted to find inspiration for something that is sentimental and useful all at the same time. This is no easy task when you want to think outside the box.

I found an idea about making shoe odor and moisture neutralizers using kitty litter inside a sewn pouch. Then I got the idea to add footprints to them. At first I thought about just adding my children's footprints to the fabric. But I knew they would be on the small side. So I thought I would use my own foot as a template to enlarge the foot. Now comes the sentimental side. It got me thinking about following in footsteps. It got me thinking about how as kids we walk in our Father's shoes for fun. I remember doing it myself a time or two and now my kids like to put on my husband's shoes. So I came up with my boy's foot prints on one side and my husband's foot prints on the other. Then these feet will go in my Father-in-Law's shoes. They are cute little pillows with his son's and grandson's footprints on them. They can be used in his shoes or any other place he wants to wick up moisture and/or odor.

I used:
-material scraps that were fairly plain and lighter in color so the prints would easily be seen.
-Fabric paint.
-For the filling I opted to use a product called "Yesterday's News" which is a kitty litter but it is recycled news paper made into pellets. I normally use it in the litter boxes in my guinea pig cages. Don't worry I used fresh litter. ;)
-I also have a couple of silica gel packets that I had saved (for who knows what reason). I will add one packet to each "foot" for added moisture control.
-I also have some essential oils on hand (you can get them at a health food type store). For this I decided on peppermint. Though lavender would also be nice.
I am trying very hard to make use of what I have on hand, instead of using it as an excuse to run out and buy something new for my crafting. ;)
I painted the bottoms of my Husband's and son's feet with fabric paint. Then I had them step onto the fabric to transfer their prints. While I held down the top and bottom of the fabric I had them step off the fabric.

This shows the fabric wrong sides together. I wanted to show you how I lined up the feet. Turn the right sides together ( for this you will want to use the right foot print for one and the left footprint for the other so they curve the same way). I tried to line up my son's footprint in the middle of his Dad's footprint. Be careful and not get to close to the instep.

Pin the fabric layers together on with the large footprint facing up. This way when you go to cut around it you can make sure not to cut too closely to the foot.

Leave yourself a generous boarder around the footprint. Try not to indent too much for the instep.

Sew all the way around the foot. Leaving an opening at one end so you can turn it right side out.
For the filling. I used an unscented kitty litter. I thought about using coarsely ground coffee but decided that I wouldn't want coffee in my shoe. I like coffee in my mouth and the smell in my nose but not mixed with feet. ;)

This is a recycled product (no I didn't use it in the litter box first!) It is news paper and is super absorbent and traps odor well (at least in the litter box it does). Still I wanted to add a scent. Peppermint is very invigorating. It is used in those hot/cold packs that are filled with herbs flax seeds and wheat berries. My boys said it smelled like candy canes in the craft room.

I mixed in a few drops into the kitty litter. With essential oils you don't need a lot.

I then put a silica gel packet in the toe area of the pouch and filled my foot with the scented kitty litter.

These don't need to be stuffed full. In fact 3/4 full is plenty. It will make it easier to get them into a shoe since you can shift around the filling.

I hand stitched the opening closed. I also wrote my son's name next to his print with his age and the year.

I also wrote my husbands name, his age and the year around the heal of his print.

This is the card I made up to tie onto the feet when I gift it to my Father-in-law. I came up with my own saying because I couldn't find one to convey the idea of a son and a grandson walking in his footsteps.

I know that sometimes our post get a little long. I hope that you will forgive me because I have a couple other Father's day gift ideas to share with you. Anjeanette and Rebecca did such a great job of making fabulous Father's day gifts. The items I want to share with you can easily be put together in a day or two.

These are Perler Beads. Michael's, a craft store, has mini sets for $1 right now. They come with 225 beads and a pegboard. On the front of the package is a pattern that you can use. I bought them for my boys to do a craft. The kits had more than enough left overs to make a coaster for their dad. If you aren't familiar with these they are beads that you fuse together by placing parchment paper (comes with the kit) over the beads then heat with a iron. Then you flip it over and remove the peg board and heat the other side. This fuses the beads together. For a coaster you simply back it with cork. The nice thing is that you don't have to write backwards because you fuse both sides. This picture is before I fused the beads.
A few years ago I did these paintings for my husband for Father's day. I wrote each boy's name on the back along with the date. On Father's day he got just the two canvas' with the hand prints.
A short time after that I finished the intended project. I purchased canvases in various sizes and depths. I wanted it all to be symmetrical. So the two smaller canvases over and under the hand prints are equal in size to the hand print canvases. I painted them all different colors and edged them in one of the other canvas colors. I wanted this to be very simple. Just the hands on the two canvases with the thought of perhaps adding hand prints over the years to the other canvases. A sort of progression.

I have gotten many complements on this over the years. It is a piece that I am probably most proud of. I certainly cherish it beyond measure. I think I have been trying to capture time with their hand prints. Just a moment of their childhood. Pictures can't really show how big or little they are at the time.

To my Father's, Grandfather's, my Husband and to all the wonderful Dads out there........

Happy Father's day!!!



Amy said...

Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas. Just wanted to let you know that I gave you a shout out on my blog today. I can't wait to accomplish a couple of these ideas with my girls for Father's Day.

Crystal said...

Wonderful Ideas. I love the handprint canvases. said...

These are fantastic! I'm loving your Father's Day ideas! I'll be linking.

Alena Jo said...

What great ideas! Y'all are so creative! I love the foot print deodorizing cushion. I'll have to wait until next year, now. Thanks!

Jeannette said...

I have been looking for something perfect for my husband's first Father's Day and my dad's first (Grand)Father's Day. My dad works in his shop all day and my hubby is a runner so this would be perfect! Plus, we have a cat so no need to go buy new stuff here either. Thanks for the awesome idea!

angee said...

LOVE these! I really like the display of the canvas paintings. I will be linking to these ideas tomorrow.

Thanx for the ideas!