Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Life Lessons" Father's Day Photo Gift

This simple DIY Photo Gift is straight from the heart....and straight from the mouths of your kiddos! 
The perfect way to show Dad just how much he is loved.

Did you have a chance to check out yesterday's Father's Day Printable post?  I found a great quote about fathers that made me think a lot about my own dad, so I decided to share the story of his 60th birthday with you! My siblings and I compiled a list of "60 life lessons" we had learned from him, and we read it out-loud to him as part of his birthday celebration. It was such a special day....and recalling the "life lessons" was a great opportunity for me to take a look back at all the things, big and small, I had learned from my dad throughout my life. (You can find the full post here.)

As I thought back on that day with my family, I thought about how sweet it be to ask my kids what their daddy has taught them so far....and then write it down. Or better yet, have them write it down. And do the same thing next year and the year after and the year after....so that by the time he's 60 he will have an entire book full of the lessons they have learned from him....the lessons he has taught them, big and small, just by being their dad.

We started out with photos of each of the girls. I decided we would write the life lessons directly on the back of each photo, starting with a line at the top that said, "Daddy Teaches Me...."

Of course, when I first asked them what Daddy teaches them, they had no ideas at all. But as soon as Ellia started writing, the ideas came quickly....and she didn't stop until it was time to leave for school! Some were a surprise (how to build a fort!?) and some were super sweet (how to tuck myself in). Greta was realistic (how to calm down - she often needs help in that area!) and Nora hit the nail on the head (even though she's just 2, she thought for a minute and then shouted out, "Rockabye!" Sure enough, she has learned all the words to the Rockabye song Jorden sings to her each night before bed).

Once we were finished writing, Greta, Nora and I took a looooong trip to Target, where we found this great napkin holder - perfect for displaying and housing the collection of photos! The black face on the front and back works wonderfully as a chalkboard surface - an added bonus!

I used twine to attach a piece of chalk to the holder, and then had Greta write WE {HEART} YOU. I {heart} how it turned out.

The other key item we picked up at Target was a set of sheet protectors. I just happened to stumble upon the perfect ones - 4x6 Scotch Self-Seal Laminating Pouches. They were simple to use and look great....and do a great job protecting the photos from sticky little fingers!

I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out....and the great thing is it was easy enough that I will have no problem adding to it year after year. The plan is to update it every Father's Day, with new photos, new handwriting samples, new lessons (and maybe some of the same), and a new chance for the kids to think lovingly about their Dad. As if they need another reason to do that...(he is CLEARLY the favorite around here!)

*photos of your kiddos
*Scotch Self-Seal Laminating pouches
*Sharpie markers
*napkin holder

Happy Father's Day!

Thanks for taking a peek inside my Lemon Tree Dwelling!
I hope you feel right at home!


  1. hi cathy... i {heart} this idea! so very sweet... such a great way to document it all... the girls and how much they'll change from year to year... their handwriting and thoughts about their daddy... he's going to love this keepsake... thanks for sharing!

  2. What a cute idea. Love the use of the napkin holder and the pictures inside. I am sure he is going to love it.

  3. This is such a cute idea. Continuing to do it each year will make it a real treasure for Jorden. I like the pictures of the girls. Good idea to put the writing on the back of each photo. ☺

  4. So cute! I need to figure out a Father's Day gift!

  5. What a fun idea to use the napkin holder for photos! I love finding new uses for household items :)
    I'm visiting today from Shabby Creek Cottage. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday (open thru Sat) and I'd love for you to link up! I hope you get a chance to stop by, link up and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

  6. What a sweet Father's day gift! Would you mind to link this up to my blog hop? I think our readers would love this! Thank you!

  7. Love this idea... I am featuring it tomorrow.


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