Father’s Day DIY Photo Gift with Mess-Free Paint Option

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Fathers Day DIY Photo Gift

Father’s Day DIY Photo Gift with Mess-Free Paint Option

Father’s Day is right around the corner as this month flies by and I know many of you may be trying to think of some fun, DIY projects to do with your kids for Father’s Day for dad or grandpa or a father-figure in their life. I love to do sweet DIY projects, but I don’t think of myself as a “crafty” person  so I am always on the hunt for ways to make cute ideas but without a lot of complexity & finding shortcuts when we can.

As you know, popsicle stick frames are one of those classic kid crafts that most kids make at some point in preschool or at home. They’re just so easy & frugal, yet so cute to see their handiwork when they are older.  This is a bit of a different spin on the typical popsicle stick frame, though. We decided to make this into a special gift that dad or grandpa will always remember for Father’s Day.

There are a couple different spins you could do with this, too, to create a meaningful & special Father’s Day gift!

Here are the options you could try:

DIY Father's Day Photo Gift with Mess Free Paints

Spell out dad or papa (or grandpa) with pictures – you could do this in several different ways. We created 3 frames & then took 3 separate pictures, which I have the directions below. I printed off a large “D” and an “A” for the kids to hold -or the kids could draw it too if they want to be more creative. You could also do this as black & white, which looks really cool too!  Since I only have 2 kids and not 3, we just did our last letter as a joint picture. If you have more than 3 kids, then you could double up kids on the pictures to spell out the words. Or you could just type the word all on one sheet & have all the kids hold it.  If you are writing the word “grandpa” you might just want to do it all in one word & make just one frame.

Thanks to my friend Heidi who inspired this fun idea as she made a similar gift for her mom with all of her grandkids, spelling out “Nana” in their pictures – as you can see, it’s not only perfect for Father’s Day, but Mother’s Day, too!

Caption Bubble

Take a picture of your child with a caption bubble board – this is a fun idea where you could cut out a “caption bubble” out of card stock – just cut out a big bubble and then have your kids write their own message to dad (or grandpa) on the bubble. You could turn it over & use the other side for another child to make their own caption, so each child has their own unique caption for dad for Father’s Day.

Father's Day Picture dressed up like dad

Is this not the cutest? My husband has this hanging up in his classroom at work

Take a picture of your child dressed up like dad – this is something we did with a mom’s group when my older daughter was just 1 yrs old. We all brought props for our kids to wear & then took pictures of the babies & toddlers wearing them. It could either be a uniform or props that show what Dad’s job was (my husband used to be a state park ranger, so I dressed my daughter up in his uniform) or it could be items that show what dad loves to do (maybe a fishing hat & fishing pole & net if he loves to fish or have your child wear his hiking boots with binoculars if he loves to hike for example).

As you can see, we used the popsicle sticks in a different way to create the frame above (just added some cardstock to the back of the photo to give it more stability). I just used paint or markers to decorate it, but the Kwik Stix paint sticks would be perfect for creating this.

Materials Needed:

Large popsicle sticks or paint stirring sticks

Paint or Mess-Free Tempura Paint Sticks


Mini clothespins (I found these at the dollar store)

Pictures for your frame

Hot glue gun or wood glue

Directions for Making the Frame:

If you are using the paint stirring sticks, you will want to cut them in half using a saw or heavy-duty scissors. These are thicker, so using these, your frame will be more secure. But you do need to cut them in half. I am not as good with a saw, so I opted for the large popsicle sticks, which were also slightly bigger.

Decorating Fathers Day Frame with Kwik Stix paints

Paint your sticks using paint or a mess-free paint options. Kids can get creative with this either painting the sticks all one color or multiple colors.

Putting popsicle sticks together for Father Day Frame

Attach the sticks using a glue gun or wood glue into a frame shape. We found that the hot glue gun worked the best, but you can try both options.

Adding mini clothespins to Fathers Day Frame

Attach two mini clothespins at the top to hold your picture.

Attach twine on the back in a loop to be able to hang the frame.

Finish decorating the sticks in any way your child chooses as to what he thinks dad or grandpa would like. We kept ours a solid color for the set of 3 frames, but we will make another single frame & decorate that with a picture of dad & the girls to have at his office.

Mess-Free Paint Option:

Kids working on Fathers Day Frame using Kwik Stix paint sticks

Here are more options too, since they are so easy to use and the best part, mess-free! We just put down some brown paper and that was all we needed to keep the table from getting paint (now with little ones, you still might want to have them wear an art smock or something, as you know how kids can be with anything even when it’s contained like this). But for my elementary girls, they really didn’t even need the table cover, just a piece of paper underneath, as these are so easy to use and the paint is all contained, which I love.

Fathers Day Frame with Kwik Stix Paint Sticks

When we bring out the full paints, it seems like we have those around for days as it can be so messy (especially as someone always manages to knock over a cup of water with the brushes), plus it’s a pain to have to wash the brushes & dry them out after use. So, I find that since we started using the Kwik Stix last November (check out our fun Christmas project we made with Kwik Stix) we are creating more projects regularly just because it’s no work at all to pull them out & start a craft with the paint sticks.

Kwik Stix paints are AP certified, too, so they are non-toxic and perfectly safe for young kids.  Once kids pick them up, they will find they are so easy to use, as the color comes out so easily & smoothly. They are nice & thick too, which makes it nice to color things in at a much faster rate than markers. Markers will stain little fingers, too, but the Quik Stix can just be wiped off easily before it dries if you do get any on your fingers.

Painting with Kwik Stix Paints

Now that summertime is almost here, we’re going to bring our Kwik Stix on some of our summer adventures and bring them along as something to do when we’re camping this summer or when we hit a favorite park to relax. Now, they are still paint, so you still want to be careful if you’re staying in a hotel or in the car with the finished products, but the great part is that the paint dries in 90 seconds. And the paint washes off easily, so you can bring along some wipes if they get any on their hands.  They’re definitely an easy craft to bring on the go for a fun paint day at a friend’s house or to take your paints to the park & sketch out some pictures of the nature you see  – just fill a small bag with some of your favorite paint stick colors.

Special Freebie Offer for Thrifty NW Mom Readers:

Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint

We’d love to see pictures if you do make a Father’s Day frame for dad or grandpa! We’d love to see all the different ways you can do this & the creativity of your kids!

Personalized Fathers Day Photo Gift














    1. Even handprint crafts are fun with the babies too! My hubby has had the framed picture of my daughter in his uniform in his classroom for years. He loves it

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