It always seems dads get ripped off each Father’s Day. Mother’s Day always hits at the end of the school year when kids have school time to make a well thought out mom’s gift complete with a tear-jerking “ode to mom” and hand prints. Dads, on the other hand, have to share their month with “grads” and get whatever generic maroon-and-hunter-green man cave specials can be found in the entrance foyer of department stores.
Ah well, who am I to fight tradition? Here’s some incredibly easy mini geeky pub signs you could throw together before lunch…but Dad won’t know because they will also be so incredibly cool.
Now, just because this is easy, doesn’t mean it isn’t thoughtful. I personally have a geeky affinity for pub signs, from both real and fictional establishments, and have actually made a few of these for my own kitchen (aka the Southwest Pirate Pub). Naturally, when the teaser poster for Edgar Wright’s latest Pegg/Frost vehicle, “The World’s End” was released I thought “I must have me one of them nifty signs, there.” Now I do…and now Dad can have one (or one from any geeky establishment of his choice).
What you need:
• Small squares of balsa wood or corrugated cardboard (balsa preferred)
• Print-outs, catalog and magazine cut outs, stickers or photographs (you don’t mind cutting) depicting your favorite fictional watering hole
• Black or dark brown craft or antiquing paint
• Craft glue and/or decoupage glue
• Yarn, twine, hemp or other ribbon
Optional: a nice cup o’ hot tea for refreshment…or have a pint if you’re of age…we’re at the pub, after all.
Step One: Cut out the pub sign to eliminate any background you don’t want shown. You can be as simple or detailed as you like here. Make sure you pick a pub that has meaning to your intended dad or dad-like creature: Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars), The Prancing Pony and Green Dragon (Lord of the Rings/Hobbit), Moe’s (Simpsons), Hog’s Head or Leaky Cauldron (Harry Potter series), Merlotte’s Bar & Grill (True Blood, if your dad is into this), Tapper’s (from the Midway arcade game and now Wreck-It Ralph fame), One Eyed Jacks (Twin Peaks) and plenty more.
By the way, if you’ve seen the full World’s End trailer, you’ll notice a quick shot of all the pubs hit on the characters’ soon-to-be infamous pub crawl (hey, the “King’s Head” monarch looks awfully familiar). See below.
Step 2: Place the cut out on the wood or cardboard (don’t glue it yet) and use an X-acto or cutting blade to carefully score (cut part of the way through) the board so it complements the sign. Do I need to remind parents to not let younger kids do this part that involves pointy sharp things? Make sure you leave about a half-inch at the top; you’ll need that space in a minute. Remove the image finishing carefully cutting and shaping the sign how you want it. I really recommend using balsa because it is soft, light and easy to cut through.
Step 3: Paint or antique the sign and let it dry. Then use a thin layer of glue or decoupage to paste the pub image where you want it. When in place (make sure you have it where you want it before this next part), paint the entire sign with decoupage or 1:1 water/craft glue mix.
Step 4: Enjoy your libation while it dries. Still not dry? Have another.
Step 5: Use a small screwdriver or drill bit to gently poke holes in each of the top corners and attach the yarn or other twine. Ready to hang!
Here’s a tip, use the back of the sign to write a small personal note to Dad with pen or Sharpie so he will always have that reminder of how much you “appreciate him” and also so you don’t have buy a card. These are cooler, anyways.
Make one each year until he builds up a collection, leave them on random walls where he can find them throughout the year, or give him one of these with a coordinating pint glass or mug. My own Geek Test Dad, says these would make great coasters (with an extra layer or two of decoupage) or magnets, as well!
On second thought, Dad just may have it pretty good this year, after all.
Lisa Kay Tate