Hands-On Crafts: Make a Desk Accessory for Dadís Day

Neck ties, power tools, golf balls and picture frames – while many dads look forward to receiving these traditional Father’s Day gifts, a handmade gift carries special meaning far above anything that is bought from a store. Little ones eager to honor dad on his special day this month will have a great time working on this simple project.

An empty cassette-tape holder is simply turned into a special desk accessory for dad to display his business cards at home or the office. The lucky dad who opens this present on Father’s Day will be thrilled with a gift that is at the same time practical and a special keepsake to cherish for many years to come.

Ages: 3 to 12

Time: One hour

Skills Required: Cutting, gluing, painting

Materials: One plastic cassette-tape holder, acrylic paint, permanent-ink markers, white craft glue, tissue paper, scissors, paintbrush


Create a Card Holder

Find an empty plastic cassette-tape holder. Remove the paper insert. Open the tape holder and push the piece that has a lip to hold the cassette back onto the other piece. The business cards will rest in this top piece that is tilted back.

Since this holder is so simple to create, the real effort can be spent on decorating it. There are lots of possibilities of materials to use to decorate your dad’s card holder. Moms will want to consider the age and skills of their child when choosing materials and a technique to use.

Younger Children

The youngest children will have the easiest time painting the card holder with acrylic paints and a paintbrush. Keep in mind that these paints are permanent (we recommend using them because they adhere nicely to the plastic), so protect the work area with newspaper and be sure to wear paintable clothes.

If your young child has doodled on construction paper, an older sibling or adult can cut pieces to fit over the card holder and then glue them on using craft glue.

Be sure to include the child’s name and age somewhere on the project so dad will remember this special time in his child’s development.

Older Children

Older children can be more creative (and messy) in decorating the card holder. One idea is to use colorful tissue paper.

1. First cut small (about half-inch square) pieces of different colors of tissue paper.

2. Mix a small amount of white craft glue with a few drops of water to create a solution that is about the consistency of milk.

3. Using a paintbrush, spread the glue mixture on a portion of the card holder.

4. Place the tissue paper pieces on the glue area randomly or in a pattern. The pieces can overlap making new shades, shapes and colors. Continue applying glue and tissue paper until the entire outer surface is covered.

5. After drying several hours or overnight, spray the holder with a clear acrylic spray sealant.

Final Touches

Kids can also use markers, stickers, construction paper, wrapping paper, felt, fabric, beads or even photos to personalize their gift. They may also want to write a message proclaiming their dad as the "World’s Best" on the front edge.

While you are making this gift for dad, consider making a few more to present to special grandparents, teachers, coaches or other important people in your child’s life.