Friday, June 14, 2013

He Knows Best

Even though he's not here right now, we're still going to celebrate Father's Day right!  Thankfully, he's pretty easy to please.  Macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, some Legos, and we're good.  It sounds like I married a 5 year old...  Swear I didn't.  Don't call the police.  I think in general, guys are fairly easy to shop for.  Pet parents can be a whole 'nother animal (sure.  pun intended if you want).  It can go from adorable affection to creeper level in one sweatshirt purchase at Walmarket.  Here's a dirty dozen list  (plus a DIY below, of course!!) of some things I think any dog pops would be happy to get, clear of dog strollers and fanny packs (shh.  I secretly love fanny packs).

1.  Beer me!  Bark4Beer Dog Collar
4.  Wilfred Season 2 (available for direct download now.  DVD released June 18th.)
5.  Devoted. Alpha. Dog T-Shirt 
8.  Won't Bark, Will Bite Wall Mounted Bottle Opener

Of course, you may just have to get the furkid some things to demonstrate their affection towards dad too.

One of the best gifts is spending time with your dog.  What better Father's Day present than to spend some quality time teaching your dog how to fetch you a beer?!

Coop is definitely too little to do this trick, and if I taught Griswold to open the fridge,  I would never be able to keep anything in there again.  Maybe one day we'll try out of the cooler.

Since Father's Day and Mother's Day are those types of holidays when you're supposed to make something handmade, I ventured to do something that wouldn't quite be as horrific as a macaroni necklace.  So I went with a dog tag.  Appropriately named, and something that is manly enough to wear or use as a keychain.  Here's what I did:


Small Pack of Oven Bake Clay (I used Sculpey.  Doesn't matter what color.  I used white)
Chrome Spray Paint
Clear Sealer
Black Acrylic Paint
PDF for Dog Tag
Sandpaper (or if you're like me, a nail file works fine)
Your Dog's Paws

*The rest of this is optional, but it will make your life easier*
Flexible Polyblade
Clay Conditioner
Clay Roller
Bamboo Skewer
Clay Pasta Machine (really not necessary, I'm just impatient)

Preheat your oven per the instructions on the clay you bought.  I pulled off two bars of the clay.  You won't even need this much, but you'll need some surface area to work with.  Work it, work it until the clay gets soft and much easier to mold.  After that, this is where I use the pasta machine to get a nice even flat piece (about 1/4").  I used setting 8 if that means anything to anyone.  You could go thinner if you wanted.  Once I had a pliable piece, I grabbed Griswold first.  Using his bottom paw, smoosh it into the clay.  You have to kinda roll the pad and be somewhat forceful (don't make them yelp or anything!) because you want an impression of all the little grooves in them (like a fingerprint).  Coop's was a little trickier because he doesn't like to be touched.  We survived.  Make sure you have treats on hand.  After I did that, I used one of my husband's dog tags as a template.  I placed it over where I got a good marking and pressed down slightly so I'd get the shape.  Use the flexible blade to cut around my shape.  I used a bamboo skewer to cut out a hole. 
Yuck.  That came out dark.
 I also added an initial by each of the dog's prints, but that's optional too (got the stamps in the dollar bin at Michael's).  Carefully remove the piece from the counter and put it on a piece of parchment paper on a pan.  Make sure it's flat!  Once it's cooked, there's no getting it pliable again.  Cook as directed. 

 If you're anything like me, clean up your mess.  Once my piece was cooked, I put some heavy books on top (courtesy of old textbooks I was too proud to sell back.  $7 when I paid $200 just 3 months ago?!)  and let it cool.  Doesn't take very long.  Sand down the edges.  Wipe off any shavings. Take your chrome spray paint and spray the piece lightly.  I had to actually wipe off some paint because I don't think I had it held high enough.  Let it dry per the time on the back of the can.  Coat the other side.  Make sure the sides are coated too.  
Pretty passable as metal
After your piece is able to be handled, apply a glob of black paint to the front of your dog tag and coat it.  

Take a dry paper towel and wipe off the excess, just paying attention to any area that isn't impressed.  This will allow the black paint to settle in the grooves.  If it gets anywhere that you don't want it, just wipe it off (make sure you don't remove any of the silver...  because I totally did).  Have a damp paper towel handy.  I had to use one because I got some paint on the back.  Let it dry. 

 Coat with your clear coat on the front.  Let it dry.  Then coat the back.  Coat a couple times just to be safe. You could put in a split ring or just put it on a chain.  Easy, and if I may be so bold, much more tolerable than a macaroni necklace :)  

Happy Father's Day to all the awesome dads, to furkids and otherwise!  Feel free to blame your farts on the dog just this one day :).

Miss you Daddy!  Happy Father's Day!


  1. nice job - loved the stache on the dog, I would so love to get that for Memphis, but she doesn't play with toys. Another great DIY idea. I got a little choked up with the photo though. My heart is with you both and your little gang of fur thugs

  2. What a great idea, Maeve. You are too clever. Ian will love it! Picture of him and the boys is beautiful, and touching. Hope all is well, love you!


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