Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Car Lovers + a DIY Photo Keychain

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This photo keychain tutorial has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheGiftOfClean #CollectiveBias

Father’s Day is just around the corner. I show the dads in my life unconditional love year-round, however I still like to give them something personal on Father’s Day. Something with a special meaning behind it. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with the right gift, but when it comes to my dad, anything car related is a win.

Father's Day Gift Ideas for Car Enthusiasts #TheGiftofClean

I have an amazing relationship with my dad. I always have. We’ve only had 1 major argument, which was when I was a teenager whom thought she knew everything. Glad that blew over quickly.

A photo posted by Samantha King (@niftymom) on

He’s always been my rock, my strength, my shoulder to cry on, my voice of reason, and my support system. Even in my thirties, it is safe to say I am still ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’.

We have so many incredible memories together. A good number of them revolve around cars. I will never forget when my dad bought an old ’67 Mustang for next to nothing.

67 Ford Mustang before RestorationIt had been sitting around in a barn for years. It’s beauty was ignored. Rust and dirt started taking it over. That was until my dad got his hands on it. I was almost sixteen years old at the time. That age that driving was always on my mind. I told my dad that once he got it fixed up, I wanted to drive it. He basically told me I know nothing about it and until I did, I wasn’t touching it.

When he wasn’t around, I would secretly read the huge restoration handbook he purchased. I was studying like there was going to be a huge test. Within weeks I was naming all the parts under the hood, pointing them out, and giving specs of the engine. My dad was impressed. He began letting me help on different car projects.

67 Ford Mustang After Full Restoration and Customization

I never thought I would enjoy putting on a new radiator hose. The first thing I did on my own (with him watching my every move over my shoulder) was change the alternator. I have memories of my brother and I trying to help Dad drop the engine in (more than once). Through all my teenage years and up until I moved out, I was often in the garage when he was working on it. I will never forget the times I got to drive it to school, cruised through the rod runs, and the times I took it for spin with friends.

67 Ford Mustang Chromed Out Engine Compartment

67 Ford Mustang Customized Interior

15+ years after getting it, his projects are still going on. I think it is safe to say this car will be in the family forever. Each year he wants to change things, add more gadgets, make it better, or just do something different. I lost count at how many times the engine has been rebuilt and how many times the interior has been updated.

Some years he does more than others. The last year or two, he took it slow and didn’t do as much. However, I can tell from the last two months, this year is going to be more.

67 Ford Mustang Gauge Panel + DIY 'Still Plays with Cars' Keychain Tutorial

Most recently, he has been replacing the instrument panel, steering column and adding more chrome (I am not sure how that is even possible at this point). I thought it would only be fitting to give him something personalized to go with his baby. When I thought about making a couple of keychains (more on that shortly), I knew I wanted to get something to go along with them.

Car care is important for him. He only trusts certain products on his car and always keeps essentials in his trunk. When I came across the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack 10-Piece Bucket at Walmart, I knew it would be a fitting gift for Father’s Day.  There are so many different car care products to use. I never know which ones he needs or could use, but I know Armor All is a brand he trusts and a brand I often see in his car and garage. Armor All products help preserve and protect the value and appearance of cars so a gift bucket was a good way to go.

Armor All Car Care Essentials Gift Bucket

Since we were meeting at the park with the kids over the weekend, I couldn’t help but to sneak his gift into the trunk of his Mustang. The bucket includes products for both interior and exterior and when he noticed it, he started going through the products. The next thing I know he is making sure his tires are still shining and cleaning off his windshield.

67 Ford Mustang & Armor All Tire Shine

67 Ford Mustang & Armor All Glass Wipes

A gift that will get lots of use is a successful gift any day. He always keeps up on the appearance of the car for the car shows.

Car Trophies

This is just a small portion of the car show awards he has. What was once a weekend hobby has become a rewarding passion.

DIY Photo Keychains from Craft Sticks

To go with the Armor All gift bucket, I made a couple photo keychains. He has at least 3 sets of keys, so I may need to make more. These are double sided and I made one that was car focused and one that was more Father’s Day focused.

To get started, I picked out a few pictures and scaled them down to the size of the wood pieces I used. I used Photoshop to do this, but you can also use any photo editing software or program. I added text on two of them in the editing software.

DIY Photo Keychain Supplies


  • Small pictures printed on basic copy paper that fit the size of wood pieces
  • Wood pieces (I used 1″ x 2.6″craft sticks from Michael’s)
  • Drill
  • Decoupage Medium
  • Paint Brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Scissors
  • Magic Dimension/Craft Resin
  • Keychain hooks, split rings, jump rings
  • Needle-nose pliers

How to Make a Photo Keychain from Craft Sticks

  1. Drill a hole through the wood piece. Lightly sand, if needed.
  2. Paint a thin layer of decoupage medium on one side of the wood piece.
  3. Line picture up and smooth over wood. Cut any excess off around the edges.
  4. Paint a thin layer of decoupage medium over the top of the picture.
  5. Using a toothpick, poke out the hole. Doing this while it is still wet works best. Let dry.
  6. Using a resin (Magic Dimension), cover the picture. I put a thin layer on it and used a toothpick to spread to the edges and around the hole. Let dry as direct on resin packaging. Mine dried within minutes in direct sunlight.

Repeat steps 2-6 on the other side, if desired.

DIY Photo Keychain for Father's Day

To finish it off, add on jump rings and keychain hooks. The needle-nose pliers are great to open jump rings and easily put them together.

One keychain has a picture of my dad’s Mustang on one side and says “Still Plays with Cars” on the other side. The second keychain has a picture of all his grand-kids on one side and the other side reads “The best Dads get promoted to Grandpa”.

Father's Day Gift for Car Lovers - Armor All Gift Bucket & DIY Photo Keychains

Clipped onto the side of the Armor All Car Care Gift Pack 10-Piece Bucket, the keychains give a personal one-of-a-kind touch to this Father’s Day gift for any car lover.

Armor All Car Care Essentials Gift Bucket at Walmart

The Armor All Car Care Gift Pack 10-Piece Bucket can be found at Walmart for just under $20. The products and bucket in total are valued at more than $30, plus there are coupons inside. For additional savings, you can print this $2.00 off coupon (available while supplies last).

Who is the car enthusiast in your life?

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One comment on Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Car Lovers + a DIY Photo Keychain

  • David @ Spiced

    What an awesome post, Samantha! I love that you snuck around in high school learning how to restore old cars. But it looks like your (and your Dad’s) hard work has paid off because that Mustang looks awesome! My Dad and I would wash the family car every Sunday afternoon, and he would only use Armor All products. Thanks for sharing! #client

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