Buying gifts for dads is always tricky, but what if you've got a creative dad? It's even harder. It seems like every gift guide on the interwebs has the same five suggestions for dad, which are barbecue implements, a utility knife thing, a toolbox and a drill. These stale ideas seems like the gifts an alien would pick if they'd only learned about dads from watching commercials. Actual human dads are not just barbecue chugging tool fetishists (though I'm sure those exist too.) But this guide is not for the dad of the hardware store commercials. This gift guide is for creative dads, dads who are maybe designers or artists in their professional lives, or maybe they just guys who love to DIY on the weekends. Hopefully, you can use this guide to get your dad a gift he'll actually like for Father's Day, his birthday, Christmas or any other gifty opportunity.
These Father's Day gifts are arranged in price order, from least to most expensive. The majority of these gifts are also made by American small businesses because as a small business owner myself, I want to support my fellow entrepreneurs.
Just click on the picture or the title to learn more about each of the products listed.
1. DIY Cocktail Bitters Kit $33
This makes a great gift for the kind of dad who appreciates fancy cocktails (if I was a dad, I would want this kit because mmmm cocktails..) Ahem, anyway bitters are basically condiments for cocktails - they make a good drink even better. This bitters kit is made by a Libation Labs in San Francisco.
2. Oaktown Spice Shop Gift Box $36
Dads who like to cook will appreciate this gifts set of spices from Oakland's own Oaktown Spice Shop. Oaktown is THE place to go in the Bay Area for all of your unusual spice needs and this is a set of their own favorite spices. These are the spices that will take a good recipe and make it great.
3. All Seeing Eye Silk Tie $45
Just because dads are, well, DADS, doesn't mean they don't like to look good. These ties are for the kind of dads who like to express themselves with fashion. Help dad look like money with a handmade, handprinted silk tie from Detroit's Cyberoptic. And if seeing eyes aren't his style, you can pick from literally dozens of colors and prints.
Does your dad like to draw and paint? Encourage his creative pursuits with a very nice set of gouache paints from Caran d'Ache. If he's already dabbled in watercolors, gouache is the next step on the slippery slope to art-making. Give him a push.
5. Book a Museum Hack Tour $49+
Go on a fun outing with dad with a tour through Museum Hacks. Museum Hacks leads small groups on tours full of comedy, fun facts and juicy gossip. Dad is NOT going to fall asleep this time.
6. Dripping Dapper Tie Bar $58
This tie bar that looks like dripping paint is the perfect accessory for Dapper Dads (not that I'm biased or anything.) Fashionable dads love these tie bars, which come in 4 colors for maximum matching. If dad has to wear a tie every day, he may as well have fun doing it.
7. Custom Sock Box $59
Okay, gift socks SOUND kind of boring, but these are COOL socks, I swear. You can build a custom set of socks from tons of pattern and color options. For extra credit, you can even get dad's initials embroidered on them (or yours, if want to make sure he remembers who his favorite kid is.) In any case, these socks are super comfortable, so dad is going to be singing your praises after spending a day in these babies.
8. Porcelain Can Pipe $60
Kids are exhausting and dads need to relax, so if your dad is, ahem, a smoker, then he'll love this (totally functional) reference to his younger, scrappier days. But now, he's old so instead of having to smoke out of a beer can (as if!), he smokes from porcelain. Because he's classy. (And you're definitely his favorite now.)
9. Molecular Gastronomy Kit $65
If Dad is already a wiz in the kitchen, this gastronomy kit and book will help his cooking reach Next Level greatness. He can science the hell out of his ingredients and will really impress and/or weird everyone out next Thanksgiving.
10. 3-D Printing Pen Set $79
Artsy dads will go crazy for this 3D Printing pen. He can "draw" his designs right into space! Actual 3D printers cost thousands of dollars, but these little pens will give dad the ability to draw physical objects without all the expense.
11. Letterpress Printing Workshop $85
Designer dads will love getting hands on in this workshop that teaches how to use those old school techniques. Dads love weird old machines! (I think it's a requirement for dads.) He can USE the weird old machine! He'll be so happy. You'll definitely be the favorite this time.
12. Infinite Galaxy Never-ending Puzzle $120
Most puzzles have one way to go together; this is not that kind of puzzle. This puzzle fits together many ways and can grow forever. It's the perfect way for dad to unwind. Maybe with his can pipe.
13. Vintage Style Pencil Sharpener $167
This pencil sharpener is basically design-y dad catnip. It's a machine, it is made of metal and it's pretty heavy. He can sharpen his pencils and then he can show everyone his sharpened pencils. And then he can draw or jot things with his pencils until it's time for more sharpening (yay!) And it will look really cool on his desk.
14. 3-Hour Industrial Arts Class $175
Give dad the gift of something he's never done but always thought looked fun and dangerous! Give him a chance to smash metal, blow glass or put on one of those goofy helmets and weld things! He will definitely feel very cool and manly and afterwards will tell you proper welding techniques whenever he gets the chance.
15. Handcrafted Luxury Leather Wallet $275
I am not a dad, but I have seen dad wallets and they are not pretty. Your dad's wallet definitely sucks. And it's probably lumpy and doesn't fit in his back pocket right and so he always is sitting kind of slanted at the restaurant table. You're the favorite, aren't you? Give him a thin profile leather wallet handcrafted in San Francisco. It will last forever and he'll always think of how great you are when he takes out his wallet (and when he sits down flat on his butt).