Ottawa Citizen

Gifts for dad

Five neat recycling gifts to make him smile


If you’re still looking for a last-minute gift for your dad, take a look around the house and see what you can recycle. Below are a few ideas to get you started. Most of these are easy enough for the smallest member of the family. An adult or older sibling should always be present when kids are crafting.


This is probably the easiest gift to give and the most appreciate­d. Sit down and list 30 different tasks on pieces of paper that your dad normally does and that you could take on. Be sure these are tasks you can actually do, such as mowing the lawn, sorting the recycling bins, taking out the garbage or even washing down the dog.

Fold each paper in half, and put them in the job jar. Pick out one a day and watch your father smile with pleasure.


This is a really great way to recycle old CDs that are just collecting dust in dad’s home office. Make him a set of dumbbells from those unwanted CDs and a few items you can purchase at the hardware store. To make a fivepound dumbbell, you’ll need 50 CDs, a 12-inch threaded rod (about $2 at your local hardware store), four nuts and four spacers that will fit the rod. Thread 25 CDs on each side of the rod and keep them in place with the nuts and spacers. That’s it. Now your dad will have no excuses for not exercising.


If your dad still has a bunch of old floppy disks taking up space, you can turn these into a cool pen holder. You’ll need five floppy disks which you simply glue together to make a box. Use a glue intended for plastic.

If he already has a pen holder, you can use the floppy disks to make a neat photo cube. For this you will need six floppy disks that you can glue together to form a closed box. Then simply cut out some favourite photos and glue these to the box.


If your dad likes to barbecue, make him a couple of trivets made from wine bottle corks. All you need is a bunch of corks and a plumber’s clamp. You can get the clamp at your local hardware store. Before heading out to the hardware store, check the number of corks you have so you can buy the right-sized clamp. A 12-centimetre clamp will hold about 24 corks.


If your father likes to collect bottle caps of his favourite beverage, why not take them out of the drawer and stick them on the fridge? Simply glue small round magnets inside the cap. This is a great gift idea that the smallest kid in the family can make.

I recycled magnets from the bottom of an old shower curtain liner for my caps but you can buy small magnets at the hardware store. For full instructio­ns for all the above items, go to Stephanie Fraser’s blog at

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