Ten Tie-Free Etsy Gifts for a San Diego Dad

One of the beefs I’ve always had about Father’s day is that it is always centered around gifts for the professional dad. Back in elementary school we decorated ties, all the advertising is about golf, fancy briefcases and so on…
What if your dad doesn’t even know how to tie a tie?
What if he thinks golf is for sissies?
What if he would use a fancy briefcase to store his sandy fishing supplies?

My dad is a mechanic, an ocean-lover and a native San Diegan.

And I’m sure there are plenty of people out there with a dad like mine, so I made my very own gift list with the things I would get MY dad.

Punny Fish Card


Fish + Puns? Gold! You don’t know how many Halibut jokes my dad has cracked over the years…
$3.75 from paperanniversary


Locally-Crafted Beer Candles

Bottlehood is a local company I see every Sunday at the farmer’s market. They re-purpose endless varieties of bottles into candles, drinking glasses, vases and even lamps! I love the candles because they look like they’re filled with beer.
$25 for two

A Play on “Padres” Tshirt
I have many a memory of my dad watching Padre’s games, usually while my sisters and I bothered him to change it to cartoons. Instead of buying Padre-logo sportswear, this shirt has more of a personal edge, it translates to “Father since…” and the year is customizable!
$30 from PamelaFugateDesigns

His Dream Car


…in miniature form, of course. One year, in about 7th grade, my dad bought an old Chevelle as a project car. Red, just like this 1/24 scale model from classicwrecks! This model is specifically painted to look like a rusted old wreck, which would be perfect because the only ride I ever took in that car ended in us pushing it to the gas station.
$37.50 from classicwrecks

The Catch of the Day
My dad is an avid sports fisher and would occasionally drag us girls to boat shows. Even though seeing fish with hooks in their lips was almost enough to turn me vegetarian, I still appreciated the dinners he made from them… How’s that for locally-sourced food?
$69.00 from SlippinSouthern

Beer Towels for Cleaning up… Beer Spills!
Towels are one of those things dad’s (or at least my dad) just doesn’t buy. He has had the same towels for YEARS. I should do him a favor and get him these beer-themed towels from NestaHome. $23.50 for a set of 4

Vintage Hubcap Clock

I imagine my dad’s dream garage filled with tools and muscle cars would have this clock in it. But I’m sure if it was his dream garage, there would be no need to keep track of time, he probably would be there ALL the time!
$ 42.00 from 8milecreekdesigns

Beer Soap

When my mom’s back was turned, Dad would say “Go get me a DaddyJuice!” and have us retrieve beers from the fridge for him. I think even my mom would approve of this beer though… it’s soap!
2 for $14.50 from EthicallyEngineered

Fish Art Blocks
When getting Dad anything in the art-realm, I try to look for something a little less hoity-toity then a hanging painting… These wooden art blocks are perfect! You can stack them and you get to mix and match between 14 different fish. Creator johnwgolden is even having a father’s day sale, 25% off all orders. $22 for a set of 7

And Finally… Another T-Shirt
Dad, I love you but… BUY MORE SHIRTS! He seriously can wear the same 5 shirts for years and years on end. So for my final gift option, this ship-in-a-bottle print from flytrap. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. And giving and giving and giving and giving, until I get him another t-shirt. That man DOES NOT clothing shop.

I hope this list gave some gift inspiration for all those beer-drinkin’, fish-lovin’, car-fixin’ dads out there! If you want to DIY a gift, check out my post from last Father’s day, when I made a fish-themed lazy suzan. It’s on his dining room table right now!

Happy Father’s day!

❤ Sam

DIY Lazy Susan with Woodburned Fish Design for Father’s Day

For Father’s Day, I made my daddy a custom “lazy suzan” turntable thingy!

I picked up a really old and faded Ikea-brand lazy susan at the thrift store, drew a fishy design on it (my daddy is quite the fisherman) and set to it with my trusty woodburning tool.

*segue* Have I told you about my trusty woodburning tool? It looks like this and not only does it let me burn designs into wood, but I can solder things and melt plastic and…. MWUAHAHAHAA. I love it and have to sit on my hands to avoid the urge to burn holes in things with it.

Anyway, after carving my fishy design into it:

*Cute dead fishies!*

I applied a stain and sealant.


Btw, ignore the strategically placed sea creatures, they are blocking out my addresses. 10 points if you already spotted them!

I don’t have a picture of it dry, but the wood is a much better color in person.

This is a super easy gift to make, just thrift some wooden stuff and decorate! You could do pepper grinders, picture frames (I have one I’m working on actually), or even go all out and do something huge like a whole bookcase!

And if you aren’t that craftily inclined, but like to draw or illustrate, this is a good way to start edging your way over to the dark side (with Craft Vader and yarn-ball-shaped Deathstars).

Now to find a lightsaber attachment for my woodburning tool…