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Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunTies, books, socks, and shirts have been the Father's Day gift staples for generations. With the holiday approaching nothing says, "I love you Daddy!" quite like a handmade gift from your child. This year, take a hint from the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" and combine it with a bit of recycling to help your child make a desktop picture frame project from a plastic CD case. It's a quick and easy project that enables your child to stretch his or her creative wings and results in a loving keepsake that will be treasured for years.

To begin this project, sit down with your child and go through his or her favorite pictures (either prints or digital images) to find one or two shots that capture a special time spent with Dad. If the pictures are in digital form, print copies of each shot on photo-quality paper. If the pictures are photographic prints and you want to retain a copy, have a duplicates made.

    You will need the following:
  • 1 or 2 clear plastic CD jewel cases
  • 1 or 2 photographs
  • Safety scissors
  • Colored tag board or heavy construction paper
  • Glue
  • Transparent tape
  • Colored magic markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Decorative accessories (i.e., glitter, confetti, stickers, rubber stamps, seashells, sand, pebbles, or anything that might fit the theme of the picture)
  • Hot glue gun (optional and for adult use)

Begin by preparing the CD cases for use. Remove the existing paper inserts. Then, carefully remove the plastic insert that holds the CD in place. You can do this my gently prying up on the edge of the plastic where it connects to the remainder of the case. This should leave you with a clear plastic case. If the plastic is dirty or covered with fingerprints, clean with a glass cleaner and allow it to dry.

Place the case onto a piece of heavy colored paper and trace its outline onto the paper. Use safety scissors to cut out the square. This will be the border that will frame the picture inside the CD case. Trim the photograph so that it will fit in the CD case. Decide how much of the picture you want to show through the frame and mark the desired shape on one side of the colored border paper. You will be cutting a "window" in the border paper that will enable you to see the picture. Your child can be creative with the shape of the opening. Make it a square, circle, oval, heart, or a free-form shape—there are no right or wrong choices!

Use a piece of transparent tape to secure the picture to the back of the border paper—making sure all of the photograph image shows through the opening of the "window". Now your child can decorate the front side of the border with colored markers, pencils, crayons, or any other flat materials (including a light layer of glitter or rubber stamps). Your child can write a message such as "I love my Daddy" or anything he or she chooses. Keep in mind that the border paper and photograph must remain thin enough to slip behind the plastic tabs on the inner edge of the CD case (this is what will hold the picture in place). Allow the decorated border to dry thoroughly.

FunCarefully slide the border and picture into the CD case, gently slipping the paper behind the plastic tabs on the top and bottom edge of the case. Your child can then decorate the outside of the case with dimensional items like seashells (for a beach scene) or small twigs or acorns (for a camping scene). Let your child use his or her imagination to make this a project from the heart. Keep objects small and light so they can be adhered to the outside of the case with a dot of glue. Once the outside of the case is decorated, allow the project to dry thoroughly before handling. The empty portion of the case can be adjusted to act as a stabilizing edge so the frame can be displayed on a desk or shelf.

Since this is a relatively easy project, your child may want to make additional frames to showcase other pictures. With some adult assistance, you may even want to connect two frames together by using a glue gun to attach the edges of two frames together so that they form an "M" when you look down on them from the top.

That's all there is to it! In no time at all, your child can make a personalized Father's Day gift that will mean far more than any tie bought at the department store. Top it all off with a big hug and make it a Father's Day he'll never forget!

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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