Not all of us still have our fathers with us in this life, but if you do, here are 4 Father’s Day ideas for the minimalist dad or from the minimalist son or daughter. Two ideas are DIY’s; two ideas are purchased. All are frugal.
First up is a blackout poetry Father’s Day card. I saw blackout poetry on Claire Obias’s inspiring, craftsy blog (http://blah-to-tada.blogspot.com). I thought this type of poem would be fun to try and a clever way to create a greeting card. I had a forty-year-old paperback headed for the recycle bin. (It was falling apart and way past fit to donate.)
The character in the middle chapters talks about his father a lot, so I knew this was a suitable book for a Father’s Day card. I picked out words that might make a decent poem, in this case words describing awesome dads.
I tore the page in half because my mounting paper just wasn’t big enough for a whole book page, and I blacked out the leftover words with a broad marker. My mounting paper was simply packaging from a box of chocolates I got for Mother’s Day from the kids. (Are they still “kids” if they’re all grown up?)
A folded piece of brownish paper, a little glue stick, and the card is done!
The second Father’s Day idea is a set of DIY produce bags from upcycled tees. You have no doubt seen tutorials on the Internet for making such bags, but here’s the twist: These are in masculine colors (no pale lavender material or pink lace drawstrings), basic shapes (no hobo-style bags for your dad to throw over his shoulder like a purse), small sizes (because empty nest dads, single or not, don’t often buy 12 ripe fruit in one shopping trip), and finally, small holes (so grapes and lemons won’t fall out).
The third Father’s Day idea is a purchasable gift, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, a science fiction novel. What guy doesn’t like grand explosions, buxom green women, and space travel? There is also a bit of thought provoking material, too, about the philosophies of old age and the politics of war. But don’t take my word for it. The book won several awards and is even in development for a TV show on the Syfy channel. Make it a minimalist gift by giving Dad the e-reader version or by seeking out a used paperback in good condition.
The fourth Father’s Day idea is good for dads who live far away or who are not physically able to participate in your outings. Go somewhere fabulous, like a hike to a waterfall, a trip to an observatory with a camera mount, or a botanical garden, and take your best, most artistic photograph. Then get the photograph printed out, and mail it to Dad with a note about wanting to share the experience with him.
Make this day even better. Consider:
• Minimalize your snail mail. Go through your mail every day for two weeks and contact those companies that send you junk mail. Ask to be removed from their mailing list. (Bea Johnson, the Zero Waste guru, says that won’t work for letters simply addressed to “occupant.”) This is day 5 for me. I’ve made 10 requests and have gotten 9 positive responses. I believe the 10th company resides somewhere out near that Bubble Nebula because I couldn’t find their phone number, and my email to them apparently dissipated into stardust.