The 15 Most Popular Toys From the ’90s

Top 15 Most Popular 90s Toys
(Getty / Education Images / Chesnot / John T. Barr)

When someone references something from the ’90s, my brain still categorizes it as something taking place roughly 7 to 10 years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s a defense mechanism preventing me from focusing too hard on my body’s gradual decay and slow march towards death. But let’s not focus on that right now.

Instead, let’s dwell on the special and bizarre decade that was the ’90s itself. The books were weird. The food was awesome. Companies were going nuts with crazy, neon-colored ideas that, as kids, we couldn’t stop pining over. The toys, specifically, held a very special place in our hearts, even if they seem a little absurd in retrospect. The internet was in its infancy so we didn’t have detailed reviews or YouTube unboxing videos. We just had TV commercials that made us salivate at the prospect of getting our grimy hands on the newest popular gadget. It was a sickness and we loved it so damn much.

So here’s a list of some of the most popular toys from the 90s that we ached to have and still can’t seem to forget. And the cool part is a lot of them are still for sale!

Tamagotchi Digital Pet

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Tamagotchi
(Getty / Xavier ROSSI)

Just because we didn’t have smartphones or tablets like kids nowadays doesn’t mean we weren’t completely addicted to other tiny screens. Tamagotchis—every kid’s favorite black & white virtual creature—required constant care from birth to their inevitable death when you forgot to feed it or clean up its pixelated poop. Hmmm, this all seems mighty familiar now that we’re parents.

Fun Fact: Tamagotchis could start their own families. You and a friend could breed a male and female Tamagotchi, after which the female would produce two eggs—one for each parent to care for respectively. No custody battles here!

Buy for $20 on Amazon

Stretch Armstrong Action Figure

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Stretch Armstrong
(Getty / Leon Neal)

Everyone’s favorite gel-filled action figure has actually been around since 1976 but he remained popular and in production until 1997. Stretch could be pulled, twisted, and tied into a near-infinite number of positions up to 5 feet in length. By popular demand, he even made a resurgence in 2016 and can be purchased today!

Fun Fact: As of 2017, Stretch Armstrong stars in his own TV show on Netflix called Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters. Whether it’s actually good is for you to decide.

Buy for $35 on Amazon

Pokemon Cards

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Pokemon Cards
(Getty / picture alliance)

While technically a card game and not a toy in the traditional sense, we can’t talk about ‘90s crazes without talking about Pokemon Cards. This paper-based phenomenon was an instant success when it dropped thanks to the already surging popularity of the Pokemon video games. Just about everyone spent their time playing with or trading their card collection during recess… except for that kid, Kyle, who had a holographic Charizard and made sure EVERYBODY knew.

Fun Fact: Kyle is in prison now (probably).

Buy for $6 on Amazon

Skip-It

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Skip-It
(YouTube / wiifermadness)

The Skip-It was released in the ‘80s but didn’t really hit its stride until the ‘90s. Not exactly an innovative piece of tech, it was literally a rolling ball attached to a string tied to your leg that required you to jump over it as you spin it faster and faster. Of course, the ball only really rolled on hard surfaces, nearly guaranteeing bodily injury when you eventually tripped and fell on the concrete. Oh well, pain builds character.

Fun Fact: The addition of the skip counter in the ‘90s led to sales doubling compared to the late ‘80s. The then-CEO gleefully referred to it as a “Skip-It Renaissance.”

Buy for $16 on Amazon

Furby Robotic Toy

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Furby
(Getty / Matthew Fearn - PA Images)

Odds are pretty good that you were one of the many kids who felt snubbed on December 25, 1998 when your Christmas presents were markedly Furby-less. These little beaked, furballs were a massive commercial success with their moving eyes and unnerving ability to gradually learn English. Of course, the real joy was teaching them swear words and laughing as their batteries died, causing their voices to deepen and slow until they sounded like tiny, possessed demon animals. God, what a treat.

Fun Fact: An English-to-Furbish (the Furby language) dictionary was published in 2005 and included 121 words, including terms like “dog” (“bar-bar”), “joke” (“loo-loo”), and “whassup?” (“doo-oo-tye?”).

Buy for $65 on Amazon

Polly Pocket Dolls and Accessories

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Polly Pocket
(Pinterest / Good Housekeeping)

A doll that could fit in your pocket doesn’t exactly sound revolutionary but ‘90s girls went completely ape shit over Polly Pocket and her teeny accessories. Polly’s pocket-sized dollhouses came in a variety of pretty magical designs, including a wooden ship drifting in the ocean or a bright pink palace with gold accents. Of course, Polly was also the perfect size to be a choking hazard or get sucked up in the vacuum: two slightly less luxurious homes.

Fun Fact: When I turned 6, my older sister borrowed $5 of my birthday money to buy a Polly Pocket and has still never paid me back. Yes, it’s been 25 years. Yes, I still remember, Leslie.

Buy for $11 on Amazon

Nintendo 64 Video Game Console

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Nintendo 64
(Getty / Future Publishing)

Objectively one of the greatest video game systems of all time, the Nintendo 64 sent shockwaves through the gaming community when it dropped in 1996. If you were one of the lucky few to get one early after its release, you instantly gained celeb status in your friend group. Even if you didn’t have one, you begged your parents to take you to Blockbuster so you could get a few precious minutes with that legendary three-pronged controller yourself. The N64 boasted some of the top games of any console.

Fun Fact: The console’s most popular release title, Super Mario 64, is in fact the bestselling game of all time on the Nintendo 64… by a lot. It sold around 12 million copies while the next highest seller, Mario Kart 64, sold a paltry 9.8 million.

Buy for $165 on Amazon

Hit Clips Digital Audio Player

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Hit Clips
(eBay / allynelson123)

Who wanted dumb old CDs with full-length albums when you could have a tiny plastic cartridge that played 1-minute clips of a song? Yes, Hit Clips might have been one of the stupidest concepts when it comes to music consumption but thanks to heavy promotion from McDonald’s, Radio Disney, and Lunchables, late-‘90s kids couldn’t seem to get enough of them. Now, shut up – I’m listening to the chorus and half a verse of “When It’s Over” by Sugar Ray.

Fun Fact: A 1-minute clip of music might not be great but the ultra-lo-fi mono music that Hit Clips provided… ALSO sounded awful. It was like listening to someone play music through a speakerphone that had horrible reception and was also on fire.

Buy for $16 on Amazon

Pogs Cap Game

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Pogs
(Getty / Xavier ROSSI / Gamma-Rapho)

Even though they’d been around for decades, Pogs soared in popularity during the ‘90s. You probably had hundreds, won fair and square during lunch or recess, all thanks to your trusty go-to slammer(s). What was on yours? The Superman logo? Bart Simpson? A holographic skull? It didn’t matter – they were all cool as hell… unless you used one of those metal ones. You, sir or ma’am, are a cheat and have no honor.

Fun Fact: POG stands for passionfruit, orange, and mango. The cardboard discs were actually bottle caps for POG juice bottles made by Haleakala Dairy in Hawaii.

Buy for $15 on Amazon

Beanie Babies Stuffed Animals

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Beanie Babies
(Getty / JOYCE NALTCHAYAN)

No ‘90s toys list would be complete without the worldwide phenomenon that was Beanie Babies. Each creature was filled with plastic beads that made them heavier than your everyday teddy bear and included a TY tag, which revealed the animal’s name and a cutesy poem about them. God forbid you remove that tag, though. These bad boys were collector’s items. Folks dreamt of paying off their mortgage or sending kids to college with the money from their Beanie Baby collections, and while some are definitely worth a pretty penny nowadays, others are basically just adorable stuffed animals that your parents won in a fistfight inside your local McDonald’s.

Fun Fact: The most expensive single Beanie Baby is the purple Princess Bear, made in honor of the late Princess Diana. Its extreme rarity has earned an asking price of around $500,000. Time to go digging in your parents’ attic!

Buy for $7 on Amazon

Super Soakers Water Guns

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Super Soakers
(Getty / Fabian Posselt / ullstein bild)

Water guns were generally pretty lame until Hasbro started pumping out Super Soakers in 1990. These pressurized water weapons put measly squirt pistols to shame as you were finally able to launch powerful streams of water at your friends from an impressive distance. Sure, Super Soakers caught some heat in the media for looking like actual guns, but that just made us want them more. The company has since grown into a billion-dollar brand, and “Super Soaker” has even begun being used generically to refer to any pressurized water gun.

Fun Fact: The Super Soaker CPS 2000 Mark 1 released in 1996 was considered by many to be the most powerful water gun made by a toy company. It could fire an entire liter of water in about one second and provided the shooter with some noticeable recoil. Some of those unlucky enough to be on the receiving end complained about minor injuries; however, a legend arose that some kid’s eye was shot out after catching a blast in the face at close range. The story has never been confirmed but the CPS 2000 Mark 1 was discontinued soon after these rumors spread.

Buy for $24 on Amazon

Talkboy from Home Alone

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Talkboy
(YouTube / Laura Legends)

When a toy is used by a child to thwart violent home invaders, it should be no surprise when it becomes an item wanted by kids everywhere. The Talkboy was released on November 20, 1992, the same day Home Alone 2 debuted and it was an instant hit. Granted, the cassette and recording quality probably weren’t good enough to actually trick anybody, but why waste an opportunity to call someone a filthy animal?

Fun Fact: A pink version was released a little later, dubbed the “Talkgirl,” because gender roles, I guess.

Buy for $229 on Amazon

Bop It Audio Game

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Bop It
(YouTube / classic90sfan)

Just because a game is easy to understand doesn’t mean it can’t be difficult. The original “Bop It” rhythmically spat out instructions to either bop it, twist it, or pull it – commands that required you to engage one of the three parts of the toy. Mess up a command or take to long and you’re out. Oh, and the game gradually increases speed as you play. It’s a fun game to play alone or with friends as long as mild anxiety attacks are your kind of fun.

Fun Fact: The original Bop It model had a limit of 100 points while the second edition released in 2000 allowed a score of up to 200. Reaching the highest score ends the game with a victory song and, hopefully, an intervention from your friends to find a new hobby.

Buy for $15 on Amazon

Easy-Bake Oven

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Easy-Bake Oven
(YouTube / Lane and Lexi’s Funhouse)

For most, the appeal of the Easy-Bake Oven was less about actual baking and more about being able to cook your own junk food whenever you wanted and without parental supervision. Sure, it felt like it took hours for the 40W incandescent bulb to heat a single serving but it was all worth it to be able to cook brownies and riddle your body with sugar all by yourself. Ok, this actually sounds a lot like my diet in adulthood.

Fun Fact: In 2003, an updated version of the Easy-Bake was released, called the Real Meal Oven. The newer model could cook two dishes at once and at higher temperatures because who doesn’t love a good fire hazard?

Buy for $30 on Amazon

Tickle Me Elmo Plush Toy

Most Popular Toys of the 90s: Tickle Me Elmo
(Getty / Ken Lubas / Los Angeles Times)

I never knew anyone who actually wanted a Tickle Me Elmo but seeing people lined up outside various K-Marts in the December cold, fist-fighting to get their hands on one of the red, giggly muppets was Christmas PR at its finest. Everyone wanted one just to say they had one. Of course, once kids realized that it was just a doll that vibrated and laughed when you poked it, they ditched the thing (likely for another toy on this list). Your dad likely drank a little extra egg nog that day while staring into the fire as a result.

Fun Fact: In 2001, a “Surprise Edition” of Tickle Me Elmo was released. Five of these Elmos were programmed to stop laughing on Jan 9, 2002, indicating that the purchaser had won a prize – the grand prize being $200,000! It was like Willy Wonka but without all the gruesome child deaths.

Buy for $32 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

How to DIY Clean Your Dishwasher (Even Though Its Only Job Is to Clean Things #MindBlown)

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

Sometimes, my kids come up with logic that I have a hard time refuting, which simultaneously pisses me off and impresses me.

For example, the kid asks, “Why do you have to take away my favorite bath towel and put it in the washing machine? It’s only used for drying after we’re already clean, so isn’t it also clean?” After I sit there for a minute dumbfounded, I call them a smart ass under my breath and threaten to send them to bed early … which they know is an empty threat. Hell, it’s tough enough to get kids to go to bed on time, let alone early.

Or when the kids ask if apples would be a healthy, low-sugar snack before bed, and I say yes. Then they come back with a bowl of Apple Jacks and give their sister a slice of apple pie with ice cream. I just shake my head and wish I’d have thought it through.

So when my wife says it’s time to clean the dishwasher, which sounds like a simple DIY task, it tempts me to break out some kid logic. The dishwasher’s job is to clean dishes, keeping them sanitary enough to use for eating and drinking. (I mean, that’s way beyond the job of a bath towel.) So why would we ever need to know how to clean a dishwasher? I mean, I know why I need to (partially) clean the grill to make great BBQ, but the dishwasher? It should be cleaner inside thereafter it does its job, right?

Truth is, as crazy as it sounds, it does need cleaning. Using the best dishwasher cleaner means it will smell better and clean more efficiently. Additionally, the dishwasher contains a filter that catches certain solids, and you need to remove these to keep it running without backing up and flooding. If there is gunk or pet fur on the seal or on the edges of the door, the dishwasher might leak as it runs.

So, yes, we do need to know how to clean a dishwasher, no matter how silly that sounds. (Now if we could only come up with a cool hack like the dad who cleans baby bottles with a power drill, then we’d love cleaning the dishwasher.)

How to Clean a Dishwasher

The best plan to clean the dishwasher is to clean the individual parts separately.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

1-How to Clean the Removable Parts

Items like the dishwasher rack and silverware rack will come out of the dishwasher. You then can clean these in the sink, if desired.

Clean the dishwasher racks with vinegar. Fill half the sink with warm water, add a cup or two of white vinegar, and let them soak 15 to 30 minutes. Then wipe them clean and return them to the dishwasher.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

2-How to Clean the Interior

To clean the dishwasher interior with vinegar or another product, you can do it with the racks removed from the dishwasher or with the racks left inside, including:

  • By hand: When wondering how to clean a dishwasher by hand, you can use a regular household cleaner without bleach and scrub it with a sponge or rag. Remove all the racks to simplify the job. Wear rubber gloves.
  • With a product: A few different drop-in products will work as the best dishwasher cleaner. These will run during the regular dishwashing cycle or with the appliance empty. These cleaners remove odor, grime, and grease.
  • With vinegar: To clean a dishwasher with vinegar, add a cup of vinegar to a bowl and set it upright on the upper rack. Run the regular cycle and allow the dishwasher to air dry.
  • With baking soda: To clean a dishwasher with baking soda, sprinkle a cup in the bottom of the machine, and run a regular cycle. Allow the dishwasher to air dry.
  • With bleach: Do not use bleach on the interior of a dishwasher if it consists of stainless steel. Otherwise, for cleaning a dishwasher with bleach, place a cup of bleach in a safe bowl on the top rack and run the regular cycle. Let the appliance air dry.

One last piece of advice: Do not use more than one of these substances at the same time. You’ve seen the videos of people creating baking soda/vinegar volcanoes? You don’t want this to happen inside your dishwasher.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

3-How to Clean a Filter

Did you know your dishwasher has a filter? No? Uh-oh. (To be fair, some newer dishwashers don’t have filters that need manual cleaning, so you might be off the hook.)

If it’s a manual filter, it’ll be in the base of the dishwasher. When the filter is installed in the dishwasher, you’ll be able to see the top section of the filter (pictured on the left). Some dishwashers have an upper filter too, near the upper rack.

Turn the top of the filter a quarter or half a turn and lift it straight out. Once the round filter is out, you may see a C-shaped, flat filter that also will pop out (pictured on the right) that protects the drain area. Remove the flat filter and clean the interior of this drain area too.

Remove any food particles you see. If needed, you can soak the filters in warm water in the sink for 10-15 minutes.

4-How to Clean a Rubber Gasket

Check the rubber gasket and edges around the door of the dishwasher. Contaminants on the rubber will prevent a perfect seal and cause a leak. Use warm water and an old toothbrush to clean the gasket.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

5-How to Clean Spray Arms

Sometimes, the jets on the spray arms will become plugged over time. You can remove any blockages using toothpicks in the holes for the jets.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

6-How to Clean a Heating Element

The heating element is the curved piece of metal that surrounds the drain and filter.

This element may end up with scaling on it. You can use an old toothbrush and lemon juice or CLR to clean the element. There may be multiple layers of hard scale attached to the heating element, so this cleaning could take a while.

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher
Home Depot

7-How to Clean an Exterior

Use warm water and a little bit of dish soap on a sponge or dishcloth to clean spots off the outside of the dishwasher.

If you have a stainless steel dishwasher, you can choose to use a stainless steel cleaner instead. These come in sprays or wipes and are the only way to get fingerprints off of the stainless exterior.

8-How Often to Clean a Dishwasher

You don’t need to clean the dishwasher daily, but one to two times per month should be adequate. Those who run cycles in the dishwasher daily will want to clean it a little more frequently than suggested here. Those who only run a load a couple of times a week can probably clean the dishwasher a little less frequently.

  • Every 10-14 Days: Clean the interior of the unit a couple of times a month with a cleanser like Finish. At the same time, remove the filters and looking for bits of food, which can cause odors over time.
  • Every 45-60 Days: Clean the dishwasher with vinegar or bleach every couple of months. Check the spray arms and the gasket around the edge of the door at this time, too. If you want to clean the racks separately, every couple of months should be adequate.
  • As Needed: Clean the front of the dishwasher with the best dishwasher cleaner that matches the material used on the front door.

Best Products For How To Clean a Dishwasher

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Finish Cleaner

Finish In-Wash Best Dishwasher Cleaner

When you are wondering how to clean a dishwasher interior in the easiest method possible, Finish drop-ins greatly simplify the process. Just drop one in the bottom of the dishwasher occasionally when running a load of dishes, and it’ll clean all of the interior parts efficiently and easily. #LazyCleaningIsTheBestCleaning

Buy for $20 on Amazon

Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner (Safe for Septic Systems)

Clean the interior of the dishwasher with this drop-in tablet that’s safe enough even to use with septic systems. Powers away lime and mineral build-up. It’s odor-free as well, so you’ll remove the funky smell from inside the dishwasher and not replace it with an even funkier smell. Isn’t it a great time to be alive? Recommended for use once a month, buy a few packs, and be pro-active on the cleaning front.

Buy for $6 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Mamison Gloves

Mamison Reusable Rubber Gloves

We agree that it seems a little silly to use manual dishwashing rubber gloves to clean the automatic dishwasher, which is an appliance that makes it so you don’t have to manually wash the dishes and wear rubber gloves. But you’re still going to want to wear them if working with cleansers inside the dishwasher.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher CLR

CLR Calcium Lime Rust Remover

CLR works well for removing limescale and rust from inside the dishwasher and from the heating element. It also works to clean rust stains and scale on items inside the bathroom and kitchen, including glass, porcelain, and chrome.

Use this regularly throughout your home and your wife will dub you the king of cleaning. (On second thought, maybe not a title you want to hold.)

Buy for $5 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Vinegar Concentrate

Calyptus 45% Concentrated Pure Vinegar

Remember how important Windex was in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? That’s vinegar to all of us, it is a cure-all, clean-all. Having this concentrated natural product on hand in gallon size will ensure you always have plenty available to do whatever job you have in mind— starting with cleaning the dishwasher with vinegar.

Just be sure to hide it from the kids. Who knows what destruction they could cause using this huge bottle of vinegar in a giant baking soda volcano?

Buy for $23 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Liquid Bleach

Pure Bright Liquid Bleach

You can use bleach in so many different ways around the house that it’s always good to have some on hand, including for cleaning a dishwasher with bleach … as long as it’s not a stainless steel interior dishwasher. Just keep it somewhere safe, it doesn’t mess around.

Buy for $25 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Stainless Steel Cleaner

Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish

Stainless steel appliances look amazing … until the kids touch them with whatever disgusting goo they have on their hands 24/7. Unless you’ve banned your kids from the kitchen, we’re guessing you may go through this entire bottle of stainless steel cleaner in a few days, because their grubby little hands just can’t resist the shiny stainless steel surface.

Buy for $17 on Amazon

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Maytag Dishwasher

Maytag Front Control Built-in Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher

We’ve assumed throughout this discussion of the best dishwasher cleaner techniques that you have an automatic dishwasher. If, instead, you are the dishwasher in your house — the manual dishwasher — maybe it’s time to purchase an automatic dishwasher.

This Maytag model runs quietly, has an effective drying system, and features a stainless steel front.

And once you have it installed, we’re sure you’ll love cleaning it instead of cleaning the dishes daily.

Buy for $673 on Home Depot

DIY How To Clean A Dishwasher Whirlpool

Whirlpool Heavy Duty Portable Dishwasher

If you don’t have room in the kitchen for a built-in dishwasher, this Whirlpool portable model is a nice choice. Roll it to the sink when it’s time to wash dishes, and roll it out of the way when the cycle is finished.

Just be ready for the top of it to collect all of the kids’ crap when they get home from school. Any open counter space or tabletop space is irresistible to any kid who’s carrying something, which really sucks. After all, when the kids cover every open space with backpacks, lunch boxes, and jackets, where the hell are you supposed to throw your keys and the mail?

Buy for $718 on Home Depot

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

How to DIY Remove Wallpaper … and Successfully Complete #76 on the Honey-Do List

DIY How To Remove Wallpaper
Home Depot

There’s something about wallpaper that brings out the remodeling instinct in a lot of wives. If you buy a house with wallpaper in it, it has to come down almost immediately. If you hung wallpaper a few years ago in your own house, chances are your wife will be tired of it by this point. So removing wallpaper DIY style goes near the top of the honey-do list.

Hanging wallpaper may very well be one of the worst jobs on the planet. Until you try to figure out the best way to remove wallpaper. Then there’s no question that it takes over as the worst job on the planet.

Staining concrete flooring is a messy job. Returning things to normal after the kids “wash” the car with motor oil is a disaster we hope you’ll never have to experience. But learning how to remove wallpaper is the equivalent of a 2-year-old’s birthday dinner combination of spaghetti and Blue’s Clues cake with bright blue frosting. (Yes, I have been stupid enough as a dad to allow that to happen.)

The good news is learning how to remove old wallpaper is not as dangerous as some other DIY dad projects, meaning you don’t run the risk of a hospital visit — probably. (Full disclosure: I have had to get multiple stitches while hanging wallpaper in the past. Don’t ask. But never while removing wallpaper, at least so far. Fingers crossed.)

Read through our steps to help you figure out the best way to remove wallpaper successfully. And if there is a God, hopefully, you won’t be hanging new wallpaper immediately afterward … that you’ll almost certainly be removing again in a few years. #CircleOfHell

DIY How To Remove Wallpaper
Home Depot

How to Remove Wallpaper

1-Don’t Just Say, I’ll Hang New Wallpaper Over the Old Wallpaper

Yes, it’s tempting to skip the removal process and just paste the new layer of wallpaper over the old layer, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to remove wallpaper from drywall without tearing the paper layer on the drywall.

However, the glue for the new wallpaper may not stick to the old wallpaper, especially if it’s vinyl, foil, or textured. If the old paper has any wrinkles or loose seams, the new paper soon will pull away from the wall.

Occasionally, you can hang new wallpaper over old paper successfully, but it ends up in disaster a few years down the road more often than not.

2-Figure Out What’s Behind the Old Wallpaper

The type of permanent wall behind the old wallpaper plays a role in the best way to remove wallpaper.

  • Drywall: Drywall is common in any home built or remodeled in the last few decades. It has a paper/cardboard layer over a substance that resembles chalk.
  • Plaster: Plaster is a liquid wall covering that hardens over a wood lathe. It is common in homes at least four decades old, but not in newer homes. Plaster usually is not as smooth as drywall, which can make wallpaper removal tricky.

If you have drywall, damaging the paper/cardboard layer during wallpaper removal can cause significant problems, so use care. If the paper/cardboard starts to peel with the wallpaper, try using a razor blade to slowly work the wallpaper away from the drywall paper layer as carefully as possible. Once finished, use a spackling compound to repair the tears in the drywall paper/cardboard.

With plaster, avoid using too much water and stripping liquid. This may soak into the plaster and could cause it to crumble after drying. Chances are you’ll need someone who specializes in plaster to come and fix the wall.

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper
Home Depot

3-Prepare the Room

Because learning how to remove wallpaper is a messy job, you’ll want to cover furniture, carpeting, wood floors, and baseboards. Use plastic sheets, drop cloths, and painter’s tape to secure the protective layer. If you have an outlet along the wall where you’ll be working, cover the entire faceplate in painter’s tape to protect it from liquid.

You’ll be using water as the primary tool in the best way to remove wallpaper, and the parts you peel from the wall will want to stick to everything. Without a drop cloth or other protection for the items in the room, the mess you’ll make will leave you in big trouble. Trust us. We speak from a horrible, horrible experience.

4-Pray That You Have Strippable Wallpaper

We mentioned earlier that wallpaper was the worst thing on the planet. We’d like to amend that statement to admit there are exceptions. For example, if you’re fortunate enough to have used strippable wallpaper in the previous project, wallpaper’s reputation as a giant pain in the ass is exaggerated.

Strippable wallpaper also called temporary wallpaper or peel wallpaper, is a newer type of paper that pulls away from the wall easily versus other types of wallpaper. Using strippable wallpaper makes learning how to remove wallpaper from drywall an almost enjoyable process.

Just use a paint scraper or putty knife to catch the edge of a sheet of the strippable wallpaper. Once you found an edge that you can grab, start pulling. If the wallpaper pulls away in large chunks without leaving residue behind, you have strippable wallpaper. Thank whatever higher being you believe in — because you just saved yourself hours of work — and start removing it.

Occasionally, even strippable wallpaper will catch on the wall a little bit. Use a putty knife or a razor blade to gently loosen the parts that are sticking.

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper
Home Depot

5-Move to Water and a Stripper, and Prepare for a Long Process

If the paper does not come off easily, you don’t have strippable paper. You can let out a heavy sigh because your short project just became an all-day job, complete with scraping. (Hurray for hand blisters.)

Start with hot water alone. If it doesn’t work, add a wallpaper stripper product to the water. If you choose a liquid stripper, mix it with hot water in the concentration specified on the product. There are also gel strippers, which are pricey, but which work nicely on drywall if the cardboard/paper layer is peeling along with the wallpaper.

Use a paintbrush or a spray bottle to apply the stripper/water mix to the wallpaper. Don’t apply it to an extremely large area at once, or it will dry before you can begin scraping. We’d recommend no more than about 4 square feet at a time.

Let the product sit for a few minutes before trying to scrape it off with the scraper.

Always start at the top of the wall and work your way downward. Additionally, wear gloves and goggles if using chemical strippers.

6-It Won’t Come Off

Some wallpapers do not soak up the wallpaper stripper and water mixture well. They may have a plastic film over the top (which is used in wallpaper that’s washable). They may be older types of wallpaper. They may have two layers, one of which is a vinyl outer layer that peels easily and an inner layer that refuses to pop loose.

If so, try applying a heavier coat of the liquid mixture or a gel stripper. Let it sit longer, maybe up to 10 minutes, and try scraping again.

If it still doesn’t work, lightly sand the wallpaper to create scuffs, which may allow the liquid mixture to penetrate the wallpaper easier. You also could use a wallpaper scorer tool to puncture the paper over a large area in a short amount of time.

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper
Home Depot

7-It Still Won’t F***ing Come Off

If the wallpaper still is not pulling away from the wall properly, go ahead and let loose with a string of profanity. Be creative. Try putting together some new combinations. Use nouns as adjectives. Curse the inventor of wallpaper glue. (It’s Ferdinand Sichel, in case you’re curious. We’re sure you can come up with multiple rhyming profanities for Sichel.)

Hopefully, it’ll make you feel better.

It’s probably time to employ a wallpaper steamer. This method works on even the most stubborn wallpaper, but it’s a giant hassle, creating an unprecedented mess. You have to move slow, giving the steamer time to penetrate the paper. You may have to score the wallpaper to accommodate the steam. And using the steamer is hot and uncomfortable.

Other than that, it’s a joy.

Always wear goggles and non-slip gloves when using a wallpaper steamer. Hold the steamer pad against the section of wallpaper you want to remove for at least 30 seconds. Then scrape the loosened paper.

Using the steamer sucks, but it’s better than tearing down the entire wall and rebuilding it from scratch, so there’s that.

8-Clean Any Excess Adhesive

If any wallpaper glue remains on the wall, you can purchase TSP Heavy Duty Cleaner, mix it with water, and clean the glue using a sponge.

Should you have gouged the wall anywhere during removal, use spackle to fix the gouges and smooth the wall. Do a good job here. Yes, you will see it all afterward. New wallpaper or paint does NOT fix walls.

Now you’re ready to add new wallpaper … or, better yet, a coat of paint. (But we’ll suggest waiting for another day to start that project.)

Best Products for How to Remove Wallpaper

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Gorilla Non Slip Gloves

Gorilla Grip Slip Resistant Gloves

These gloves have a polymer palm that resists liquid absorption, meaning you can maintain a good grip on your tools while working around water and mess, which is a given when you’re trying to figure out how to remove old wallpaper. There are five pairs in this pack, which is handy because they’re useful for almost any kind of DIY dad job.

Buy for $18 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Water Spray Bottles

Pinnacle Mercantile Plastic Spray Bottles

Do you actually need four empty spray bottles? Do you have kids who find a way to create unspeakable messes involving unrecognizable goo in every room in the house … sometimes multiple times per day? Then, yes, you need four — one for the best way to remove wallpaper and three for other daily emergencies. They come in handy, even just for spraying plants, or each other.

Buy for $24 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper WP Chomp Scraping Tool

WP Chomp Wallpaper Scraping Tool

When scraping wallpaper, the quality of your tool plays a big role in whether you can finish the job after several hours without hand cramps and blisters, or whether you give up halfway through the job and put your house up for sale instead of trying to finish removing the wallpaper.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Red Devil Scraper

Red Devil 4045 Utility Patcher and Scraper

If you’re trying to figure out how to remove wallpaper from drywall, you’ll need a tool that simplifies patching the tears and gouges you put in the drywall. This multi-purpose tool works for spackling, and it works for scraping stubborn wallpaper.

Buy for $6 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Roman Removal Kit

Roman Professional Wallpaper Removal Kit

If you prefer a kit that has all of the basic tools you need to begin removing wallpaper, this one includes a scraper, a wallpaper scoring tool, and a liquid stripper. This is easier than buying them separately. Plus it’s just cool to own a kit of anything.

Buy for $20 on Home Depot

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper WP Chomp Wallpaper Stripper

WP Chomp Wallpaper Stripper

This gallon of wallpaper stripper is recommended to remove up to 400 square feet of wallpaper. (Let’s hope you don’t have that much wallpaper removal on your honey-do list.)

Buy for $20 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Zinsser Stripper Gel

Zinsser Wallpaper Stripper Gel

For looking at how to remove wallpaper from drywall, a gel-based stripper may give you better results than a liquid stripper, causing less potential damage to the cardboard/paper layer on the drywall. You will need a paintbrush or roller to apply it, rather than a spray bottle.

Buy for $29 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Wagner Power Steamer

Wagner Spraytech Wallpaper Steamer

If you have to make use of a steamer to remove the wallpaper for your project, you might as well go big. This steamer can carry 1 gallon of water, so it’s the equivalent of the biggest power tool on the block. At least you’ll feel manly while scraping soggy wallpaper off the wall. Yuck.

Buy for $211 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Wagner Power Steamer

Wagner 915e On-Demand Power Steamer

When portability is key, the 915e steamer is small enough to carry easily. It has the capacity for enough water to allow you to work for 45-ish minutes before it needs a refill. For most people that’s more than long enough. After all, if you can stand to work that long continuously doing a horrible job like scraping wallpaper, you deserve some sort of medal.

Buy for $129 on Home Depot

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper TSP Glue Removal

TSP Surface Cleaner and Wallpaper Glue Removal

If you have luck similar to mine, there will be quite a bit of wallpaper glue left on the wall after you remove the wallpaper. Use TSP mixed with water to finish the job– properly.

Buy for $16 on Amazon

DIY Best Way To Remove Wallpaper Red Devil Spackle

Red Devil Lightweight Spackling

Spackling can be almost as big of a mess as wallpaper removal, which is what makes this Red Devil spackle such a handy product. It is premixed and goes on pink, so you can clearly see where you’ve added it. As it dries, it’ll turn white.

Buy for $8 on Home Depot

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site. 

The 10 Best Sega Genesis Video Games of All Time

The 10 Best Sega Genesis Games
(Sega)

The Sega Genesis was one of the definitive video game consoles of the ’90s and primary competition to the powerhouse that was Nintendo. At the time of its American release in 1989, it boasted incredible performance over the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and wowed gamers with eye-popping colors and giant detailed sprites. Even after Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1991, Sega went on an absolute advertising offensive, bragging that “Sega does what Nintendon’t.”

With hundreds of games in its library, there were plenty of amazing titles to choose from – some standalone stars and others that built game franchises still popular today. So we’re diving into our nostalgia-ridden minds to reminisce about the best games Sega had to offer in this 16-bit era and highlight the absolute cream of the crop. Even when considering only Genesis exclusives (sorry, Mortal Kombat 2, and NBA Jam), it’s painful to narrow the list down to a mere 10, but dammit, we’re going to do it.

First things first though, you’ll probably need a console. You can grab one on eBay, they’ve got a great selection here.

So here it is. The Dad’s Top 10 Games on the Sega Genesis (in no particular order):

Earthworm Jim

Throwing an earthworm into a super-suit to create a superhero might sound ludicrous when compared to modern-day every-actor-has-a-six-pack Marvel movies, but this is 1994 we’re talking about – weird stuff just worked. Earthworm Jim is one of many 2D platformers from the Genesis era, but it had a number of characteristics that really set it apart as something special. Sure, Jim was armed with a gun like other action heroes, but it wasn’t until players watched him grab his own head out of his suit to attack enemies like a whip or navigate around and hang from hooks that we realized this was something different.

The art direction in this game is truly stunning with animations and cartoony graphics offering incredible detail and fluidity that few others can match. The only area where Jim really struggles is in the actual gameplay department. The animations, while beautiful, make Jim’s movement and combat feel imprecise at times. Enemy hitboxes and platform edges can be frustratingly hard to pinpoint, which distracts the game’s amazing humor and art style at times, but that still didn’t stop this one from becoming one of the most iconic and easily recognizable games from the Genesis era.

Buy it here.

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

You don’t really need a lot of context for a good ninja game. Just give me some cool moves, sharp weapons, and a bunch of “evil” ninjas to fight and I’m a happy camper. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master does all three of these things just about perfectly on top of silky-smooth gameplay overall. The move set and weapon arsenal for this game are pretty standard when it comes to stereotypical ninja-ing (e.g., shurikens, a sword, flips, and kicks) but it’s when you see them chained together that you really feel like a high-flying ninja badass. Taking things a little outside the realm of reality, players also have a handful of fancy ninjitsu techniques that do serious damage to anyone on the receiving end – the most powerful arguably being a self-sacrificing explosion move that literally involves detonating your entire frickin’ body at the cost of one of your reserve lives. Hell yes, please.

On top of the great combat, Shinobi III breaks the monotony of its standard side-scrolling levels with alternate playstyle sequences like surfing and fighting on horseback, which actually work surprisingly well instead of feeling gimmicky or tacked on. Plus, the game features one of the best soundtracks on the Genesis, if not in all of gaming. It’s a masterful title that provides that full ninja experience without being too punishing (looking at you, Ninja Gaiden).

Buy it here.

Comix Zone

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

A 2D side-scroller developed by Sega in 1995, Comix Zone puts players in the shoes of a starving artist (appropriately named Sketch Turner) who gets thrown into the pages of his own comic book by one of his own villainous creations. Armed with his fists, glorious ponytail, and extremely ’90s wardrobe, Sketch battles his way through an army of illustrated baddies while flipping through the panels and pages of an actual comic book. Yup, if you ever got in trouble for doodling in school, this is the game for you.

Even though the idea of seeing your drawings come to life is inherently fun as hell, Comix Zone can be brutally difficult at times. Barring a few rare occasions, there are no extra lives or 1-ups in this game. If you mistime a jump and fall into a pit or your health bar drains to zero, it’s game over. Title screen. Oh, and on top of it all, your health constantly depletes as you progress through the game. Yup, since Sketch is comprised of paper, doing damage to enemies and the environment (who also live on said paper) results in taking damage yourself. Not the most enjoyable game mechanic, but it doesn’t stop Comix Zone from being one of the most unique and visually appealing titles on the platform.

Buy it here.

Vectorman

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

Released in October 1995, Vectorman was an attempt to extend the lifespan and relevance of the Genesis, and thanks to its stunning visuals and non-stop explosive action, it worked. Like Donkey Kong Country a year prior on the SNES, Vectorman featured revolutionary graphics for its time. The titular hero alone is comprised of 23 individual sprites moving in tandem, which are also individually affected by nearby light sources – really cool, even by today’s standards. The stunning visuals are achieved largely in part to some clever design fakery rather than some previously hidden horsepower under the Genesis hood, but the results are still undeniable.

As for gameplay, it’s a novel game but there are probably better run-and-gun titles. The enemies are a bit generic and not the most exciting to fight and bosses tend to be big, boring bullet sponges. Also, while Vectorman is fun to look at, his movement feels a little slippery and may take some getting used to. Once you get over the initial hump, though, you’ll be running, gunning, and rocket boost jumping all over the place. Vectorman is not an easy title, though. Sure, you can tone down the difficulty settings or use cheat codes to give yourself a handicap, but the game makes sure you don’t forget it by either restricting the true ending of the game or, even worse, calling you “lame.” Harsh.

Buy it here.

Strider

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

One of the earliest hits for Genesis, Strider was released in the pre-Sonic days when a huge selling point of the console was its ability to house perfect ports of arcade games. It was the title that made your NES-owning friends green with envy, and for good reason. With its explosive colors and character animations, the game looks fantastic even when compared to games that came out years later. Sure, the NES had its own version of Strider, but it was a completely different title – only loosely based on the coin-operated version in the arcade and nothing close to this beauty on Genesis.

The game follows the exploits of Strider Hiryu as he flips and slashes his way through a futuristic version of Soviet Russia (not quite as topical nowadays, but this is 1989 we’re talking about). Hiryu is armed only with a sword that can be upgraded via power-up and, occasionally, a tiny drone that takes potshots at enemies from a distance. What really sets Hiryu apart, though, are his acrobatics. He can perform mid-air flips, cling to the sides of walls, and slash at enemies in any direction. While other games from this era might give you a single attack button, Strider offers a bevy of different ways to dispatch baddies, like hanging from a ledge until an enemy turns around and then hopping up to give him a quick slash in the back. It’s all very exciting and satisfying – I just wish there was more of it. With only five levels, players can easily beat the game in less than an hour, while vets have been known to breeze through it in under 15 minutes.

Buy it here.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

A good sequel keeps the aspects that worked for its predecessor and then builds on top of it to offer up a fresh new experience that still remains somewhat familiar. Sonic 2 is a near-perfect example of such a formula. It takes the characters, gameplay, and overall aesthetic of the original 1991 hit and then ramps them up into something truly special. I mean, the special stages that throw Sonic into a 3D half-pipe to find chaos emeralds were enough to completely blow my childhood mind at the time.

The game remains a fast-paced side-scroller with rolling hills and colorful surroundings, but instead of a solo mission, Sonic is now accompanied by his twin-tailed fox sidekick: Miles “Tails” Prower (a total dad-level pun based on “miles per hour,” if you didn’t catch it). Sonic 2 also introduces the Blue Blur’s iconic “spin dash” for the first time, allowing players to charge up speed in place rather than needing a long runway to accelerate. These additions—along with split-screen multiplayer—made this sequel an instant hit and even more proper than its predecessor.

Buy it here.

Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

The SNES might have been a powerhouse when it came to RPGs with stellar titles like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasy IV and VI, but they were missing a huge game in the all-star RPG lineup: Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium, only available on the Genesis. The universe created in the Phantasy Star series—an area of space dubbed the “Algo star system”—is rife with humans, aliens, and cyborgs, each with their own unique cultures that have been carefully developed over the course of four games and come to a satisfying climax in this fourth installment.

In true JRPG fashion, the game introduces players to new characters, teachers the general mechanics of the game, and then casually tosses in a mega-powerful villain bent on eradicating all life… pretty standard fare. The combat, while not revolutionary, includes intuitive and streamlined mechanics, like the inclusion of macros. This means you can set up systems for your entire party to execute each turn. Simply want everyone to attack? There’s a macro for that. Want one character to boost your team’s stats, three characters to attack, and then the last character to heal? That’s another macro. Where Phantasy Star IV truly shines, though, is its narrative. The game doesn’t talk down to players—characters in your party can definitely be killed permanently—and it neatly ties up loose ends from the previous games, crafting a sci-fi JRPG experience that’s truly special.

Buy it here.

Streets of Rage 2

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

What do you do when your pal gets kidnapped by a criminal mastermind? You go on a vigilante justice spree; punching, kicking and pipe-swinging your way through droves of henchmen to get him back, that’s what. Beat ’em up style games were a dime-a-dozen in the days of the Genesis, but Streets of Rage 2 stood out as one of the absolute best. On top of improved gameplay from the original SoR, the sequel also looked fantastic with colorful sprites the popped off the screen when contrasted against the grimy urban environment.

After choosing from a cast of four different characters, each with their own set of moves and combat styles, players bludgeoned their way through their crime-infested city to rescue their captured pal. And when things get tough, the adrenaline-pumping soundtrack full of killer house music will fuel you to keep fighting, just like the occasional rotisserie chicken dropped by defeated baddies. SoR2 remains not only one of the best beat ’em up titles on the Genesis, but of all time.

Buy it here.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

If you don’t know any better, you might think that Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a typo, but the awkward title is actually a result of being one of the most unique games in the world. You see, Sega was so eager to get Sonic 3 on store shelves that they shipped it out only half-finished. Thankfully, they didn’t just call it a day, but rather finished the rest of the intended game, polished it up, and released it as an add-on cartridge: Sonic & Knuckles. The new “lock-on” cartridge included the standalone Sonic & Knuckles game, but if you inserted Sonic 3 into the top of Sonic & Knuckles cart, gamers had access to Sonic 3 & Knuckles – separate storylines, game options, and access to Knuckles as a playable character in all the levels from Sonic 3. Basically, a physical version of DLC.

As for gameplay, the addition of Knuckles gives the game even more depth than its predecessors. Opposed to the Blue Blur, the red Echidna can soar through the sky with his glide technique and scale walls with this signature claws. Sure, he’s fast and can keep up with Sonic as they speed through stages, but the differences are significant enough that it feels like a relatively fresh experience. This is a game where story and gameplay are both handled superbly and it’s all wrapped up in one wonderfully polished package… well, as long as you have all of the necessary cartridges.

Buy it here.

Gunstar Heroes

10 Best Sega Genesis Games

By 1993, many Genesis owners had thought they’d seen everything there was to see regarding the run-and-gun genre made popular by games like Contra and Mercs, but Gunstar Heroes unapologetically shook things up with its high octane action and stunning visual style. The cartoonish art direction is similar to that of Metal Slug and both games share a love for intense, over-the-top boss battles that conclude each level. Oh, and speaking of the Gunstar Heroes’ levels, they vary constantly, keeping players guessing and preventing the game from ever really feeling stale (something that can’t be said for many other games in this genre).

The weapon load-outs are diverse and fun to use, including a rapid-fire machine gun, a flamethrower, and a homing shot. Plus, these weapons can be mixed-and-matched to create powerful weapon combos that would usually feel overpowered if it wasn’t for the hoards of enemies constantly filling your screen. Plus, when you get tired of fighting evil robots and beefy henchmen by yourself, you can boot up co-op mode with a friend. Gunstar Heroes truly pulls out all the stops and remains one of the most creative run-and-guns you’ll ever find.

Buy it here.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

The Top 10 Nintendo 64 Video Games of All Time

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Ok, look. I hate to be the one that has to tell you this… but the Nintendo 64 came out 24 years ago. I know. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be alright.

Yes, this ancient piece of gaming technology might be considered an antique by some, but just like the Sega Genesis – the N64 was host to a slew of incredible games that are still worth revisiting today. (Please make this pocket-sized version a reality asap!) Even if you only consider system exclusives—sorry, Tony Hawk Pro Skater—we’re left with a bevy of top-tier titles that are difficult to contain in a Top 10 – but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try.

First things first though, you’ll probably need a console. You can grab one on eBay, they’ve got a great selection here.

Here’s our list of the Top N64 games of all time (in no particular order because, damn, they’re all just so damn good).

Star Fox 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Star Fox on the SNES might have made a name for itself as a decent third-person rail shooter but Star Fox 64 truly perfected the formula and made the franchise a household name. The game felt epic, allowing players to navigate their Arwing throughout the Lylat solar system to battle it out on fully realized planets and in massive space encounters. Each level consisted of dizzying corridors or arenas full of enemy ships only for players to be tossed into an intense climactic battle against a colorful new boss character.

Despite numerous titles in the franchise that have since been released, Star Fox 64 remains the crowning jewel to which all subsequent games are seemingly compared. Sure, it’s a little short and not the most difficult gaming experience, but the incredible charm and arcade-style scoring system have kept us coming back to battle Andross’s forces (and perform “barrel rolls”) again and again.

Buy it here.

Paper Mario

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

The N64 definitely wasn’t known for its RPGs but when they touted a spiritual successor to the ever-popular Super Mario RPG, it was big news. Paper Mario ditched the top-down, 3D aesthetic of its predecessor for an adorable 2D cutout version of the Mushroom Kingdom and the results are stunning. Plus, our favorite Italian plumber utilizes new paper-related abilities that remain unique to this series alone.

In true RPG fashion, Paper Mario focused just as much on its characters and environment as its combat. It brings the Mushroom Kingdom to life as a vibrant community rather than just a side-scrolling world full of Bowser’s minions and features tons of witty dialogue and a brilliant soundtrack by Yuka Tsujiyoko (of Fire Emblem fame). While not your typical Mario game, it was the perfect swansong for the N64 in 2001.

Buy it here.

Banjo-Kazooie

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Describing Banjo-Kazooie to someone who’s never heard of it will make you sound like you need to be institutionalized. Yes, you’re an anthropomorphic bear. Yes, you’re also a giant bird that resides in the aforementioned bear’s backpack. Yes, you’re on a mission to take down an evil witch that literally just wants to be as hot as the bear’s sister.

Of course, as anyone who’s played it can attest, Rare’s N64 action platformer has the perfect amount of charm, humor, and floating objects to collect to make it an unforgettable treat. With a bevy of moves to learn from a large cast of memorable characters and a wide variety of expansive levels, Banjo-Kazooie not only earned a sequel that was equally as impressive but it rooted a special place in our childlike hearts forever.

Buy it here.

1080 Snowboarding

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Combine a solid racing formula with the late-90s obsession with extreme sports and you get 1080 Snowboarding. It’s arguably the best sports title on the N64 (though, NFL Blitz 2000 definitely gave it a run for its money) and paved the way for every snowboarding video game you’ve ever played since.

It featured incredible graphics and physics for its time and blended racing and tricks in a natural way, not unlike the SSX series, which released a year later. Sadly, the 1080 games came to an end after a rather mediocre Gamecube sequel, but the entry title—with its bumping soundtrack and genre-defining gameplay—was anything but forgettable.

Buy it here.

Super Smash Bros

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. truly came out of nowhere with Nintendo announcing the game only three months before its Japanese release, but looking back, it’s crazy that nothing like it had happened before. The game adopted a zoomed-out third-person perspective more in-line with platforming titles than traditional fighting games and forced 12 of Nintendo’s most iconic mascots to launch each other off of a stage rather than tick away at a health bar.

Critics complained that the game lacked depth and balance, disqualifying it from being considered a true fighting title, but any SSB fan knows its chaotic nature is what truly sets it apart as something special. Now, the franchise has grown into a pillar of the competitive gaming community, but there’s no way the series would be where it is today without this quirky and ridiculously fun initial title.

Buy it here.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

PC gamers had been familiar with high-intensity, laser-filled dog fights for a while thanks to the X-Wing and TIE Fighter flight sim series, but Rogue Squadron finally introduced console players to Star Wars aerial combat in all its glory. Sure, you could make the argument that Shadows of the Empire introduced the Star Wars piloting experience two years prior with its opening mission on Hoth, but Rogue Squadron provided the polish and depth that we craved after being teased with that initial (somewhat janky) snow level.

With 15 regular missions, each taking place on a new planet, Rogue Squadron truly gave players the experience of battling the might of the Empire from the cockpit of just about every Rebel Alliance starfighter. Add a medal system for each mission and opportunities to replay levels with different spacecraft and you’ve got one hell of a flight combat simulator. The only thing we’re really bummed about is the lack of a multiplayer mode, which would have fit into this one perfectly.

Buy it here.

Mario Kart 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

It might not have been the first Mario Kart game but Mario Kart 64 was the first to incorporate 4-player split-screen for ultimate multiplayer mayhem. The single-player experience was admittedly a little shallow but it only took one Grand Prix run or high-intensity round of battle mode with four of your buddies to make you realize that this game was truly one for the ages.

The mix polygons and sprites give the game a genuinely cartoony feel that seemed perfect for the series and the addition of the blue shell, while controversial, is noteworthy if only for the number of friendships it has ruined. It probably isn’t the best Mario Kart entry in the franchise but there’s a good chance it’s the one that holds the fondest memories.

Buy it here.

GoldenEye 007

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Arguably THE multiplayer experience, GoldenEye 007 was the game responsible for the severing of friendships, broken controllers, and completely dominating our lives… and we loved it. Sure, it’s technically based on a James Bond film of the same name, but the vast majority of players remember it predominantly for its frantic and addictive split-screen multiplayer.

While PC players had been playing first-person shooters for years, GoldenEye became the definitive FPS for console gamers, and it has held a sort of legendary status ever since. The single-joystick control scheme might feel a bit wonky and dated compared to the dual-sticks of modern console shooters, but games like Halo and Call of Duty definitely wouldn’t be where they are today if GoldenEye 007 hadn’t paved the way. You could also make the argument that Rare’s Perfect Dark improved upon the mechanics and gameplay of GoldenEye, but which game gave you more memories with proximity mines? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Buy it here.

Super Mario 64

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Few games, if any, made a splash in the video game community like Super Mario 64. It was the first game to feature Nintendo’s jumping mustachioed plumber in a fully 3D environment, but you’d never know it given the smooth-as-hell platforming gameplay, wide array of new jumping abilities, and diverse level designs. It was truly the perfect translation from two dimensions to three, and Shigeru Miyamoto and his team did it in one try!

There was so much to do in this game—not only in the levels themselves but in the castle overworld, too—that it’s easy to lose sight of the overarching goal (sorry, Princess). Sure, the camera can be a little finicky and graphical glitches are an occasional annoyance, but this N64 launch title is a brilliant entry in Mario’s fabled franchise and still a must-play to this day.

Buy it here.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Games
(Nintendo)

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time wasn’t even close to the first game in the fabled franchise but it was the first time Nintendo allowed us to take control of Link in a fully 3D rendered world, and, boy, oh boy, did they nail it. Boasting an astounding (at the time) 40 hours of gameplay across vast fields, mountains, and lakes, Ocarina of Time felt enormous and truly epic as you watched Link grow from child to adulthood, battle incredible bosses, learn magical new abilities, and time travel to finally defeat Ganon.

From the music and sound design to gameplay and cutscenes, everything in this game was top-notch and completely immersed players in its version of Hyrule. Plus, the monumental conclusion is canonically responsible for splintering the franchise into its multiple timelines, so not only is Ocarina of Time a crucial installment in the world of video games but possibly the most important entry in the entire Zelda franchise.

Buy it here.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

DIY Bunk Beds Project – Conserve Space in the Kids’ Bedroom and Give Them More Room for Clutter

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed

As a dad, sometimes we just have the urge as DIY masters (or not) to build something on our own. Woodworking is in our DNA, after all. (Not necessarily professional level woodworking, but at least the basics.) Woodworking is better than time spent playing on your computer, after all.

For your next project, maybe you’re looking to create something truly useful. You tried the traditional spice rack, but since everyone in your house is always to too tired to cook after work, the spices just sit and collect dust. (The only time the spice rack gets used is when you season the steaks and show off your mad grilling skills.)

Then there was the treehouse that the kids were so excited about using … until they got bored with it. (At least the squirrels found a good home.)

But now you’re looking for a truly practical project; something that will receive daily use. Consider DIY bunk beds. Not only will kids love bunk beds when sharing a room, but it gives them far more free space on the floor of the bedroom to spread clothes and toys. There’s nothing a kid loves more than making a mess. And there’s nothing you love more than navigating the minefield of crap on the bedroom floor in the middle of the night when the kid is crying for a glass of water. (F***ing LEGOs on bare feet are the work of the devil.)

Building homemade bunk beds will give you some serious dad cred, allowing you to slack off a bit and not have to try so hard in a few other areas. For example, successfully complete DIY bunk beds, and you can dial down the intensity of the bedtime stories. (Trust us, no one wants to see your full musical production of Hop on Pop at bedtime or hear you rap The Gruffalo, unless you can at least match the skills of MC Grammar.)

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas

How to Build a DIY Bunk Bed

1-Do the Planning

Our instructions for DIY bunk beds will be pretty simple in nature. However, you can create all kinds of accents and far more detailed designs if desired. You can find many different instruction sets regarding bunk bed plans for sale online to spark your creativity.

Measure the height of the ceiling in the kids’ bedroom. You have to give the kid in the top bunk plenty of room to sit up when the alarm goes off without causing a concussion every morning. Don’t forget to add in the thickness of the mattress to your calculations. (And if the kids are still afraid of heights, maybe go down another foot.)

If you’d rather watch someone build homemade bunk beds versus simply reading about it, Jay’s Custom Creations has a very helpful DIY bunk beds video, as well as matching detailed plans for DIY bunk beds that you can buy.

2-Collect the Materials

For homemade bunk beds, you can save some money by using standard pinewood 2-by-2s, 2-by-4s and 2-by-6s. You will want a drill with a screwdriver bit, wood glue, sander, and a circular hand saw or a table saw.

And for the love of God, measure the doorway. If you want to build the DIY bunk beds outdoors, make sure they’ll fit through the front door and the bedroom doorway. Otherwise, if they’re going to be too large, build them inside the room. (Cut the pieces outside, though, unless you want sawdust to embed itself in the carpeting and still be there well after the kids grow up and go to college and you convert the space into the exercise room that you’ve always wanted but never plan to actually use.)

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas

3-Build the Box

For the box that will hold the mattress, you will want to use 2-by-6s or 2-by-4s, depending on the thickness of the mattress. (The mattress thickness should extend at least a few inches over the top of the box.)

Figure out what sizes of mattresses you want to use on the bunk beds and cut the boards to fit.

  • Twin: 39×75 inches
  • Twin XL: 39×80 inches
  • Full: 54×75 inches
  • Full XL: 54×80 inches

Build the interior of the box so that you have 1 to 2 inches of free space all around the mattress. This allows for space for blankets to hang over the edge of the mattress when the kids will make the bunk beds. (Stop snickering.)

Remember that each piece of lumber has 1.5 inches of width (not 2 inches). For a twin mattress, make the long sides 77 to 79 inches in length and the short sides 38 to 40 inches in width, so the short side attaches to the inside of the long sides.

Sand the pieces to remove rough spots, printing, marks, and sharp edges. Screw and glue or nail and glue them together. (Always use glue with the screws or brad nails. Kids are notoriously rough on bunk beds.)

4-Build the Base and Legs

For the base of the box, you can attach plywood to the bottom of each box, or you can use 2-by-2s, 2-by-4s, or 1-by-3s to create slats.

To make simple legs, you can attach 2-by-4s and 2-by-6s together in an L shape. These legs should extend roughly 12 to 18 inches over the top of where the upper box will sit.

Stand the legs in the room where you want them. Use 2-by-4s to connect them to each other (on the short side of the bed), creating ladder rungs on both sides.

Here’s where you need to do some math. If the bottom of the lower box will be 6 inches off the floor and the bottom of the upper box will be 54 inches off the floor, you’ll want the bottom of the rungs for the ladder at 22 and 38 inches. Add one more rung at the top of the legs for stability.

Then attach the boxes to the legs at the desired height. Use spare pieces of wood as braces on the inside of the legs cut to the proper length to help support the weight of the upper box as you’re attaching it. (If the upper box is 54 inches off the floor, use 54-inch braces inside the legs.) Follow the same procedure for the lower box. Having a second person for this part is helpful.

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas

5-Finishing Touches

Some people like to build guard rails on the upper bunk. This can be accomplished at the same height as the upper ladder rung for a consistent look. If the beds will be against the wall, just one side needs a rail.

Adding storage bins, drawers, or a rollaway bed underneath the lower bunk is another option. If you plan to do this, calculate the size of the storage you want before you start putting the beds together, and hang the lower box at the proper height to accommodate the storage, adjusting the height of the upper box and the ladder rungs accordingly.

We’d recommend painting the wood, although some people will choose to stain it if they’re using high-quality wood.

Kids will love picking fun colors for the DIY bunk beds, and they can even help with the painting outside. But if you’re going to let them help you paint the bunk beds when they’re already inside the room … don’t. Just don’t.

Best Products for Homemade Bunk Beds

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas Home Depot Lumber

2×4 x 8 Foot Lumber

No woodworking project can be successful without the right lumber. You may want to go with more expensive wood when you’re planning for how to build a bunk bed, especially if you want to stain it. Then again, there’s a 50/50 chance the kids will destroy it at some point, so maybe cheaper is better.

Buy for $4 Per Piece on Home Depot

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas Screws From Amazon

Flat Head Phillips Wood Screws

You can never have enough wood screws on hand for your woodworking projects.

But don’t settle for cheap screws for this project, or you’re going to strip the heads, leaving them stuck forever, not quite in as far as they should be, pissing you off to no end and leading to an impressive string of cuss words. (We understand that all dad projects should involve some form of swearing at some point during the process, but the project shouldn’t be 100% profanity, so buy decent screws.)

Buy for $14 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Wood Glue

If you’re assembling your DIY bunk beds inside the kids’ room, always remember what my dad taught me about wood glue when I was a kid: A little goes a long way. (Of course, he told me this after I used half a bottle on one joint, leading to a huge mess on the floor that I had to clean up, but I did remember the advice, even if it was a little late. Dad was a big believer in learning by doing … and he always said learning was much easier after screwing something the f*** up the first time.)

Buy for $6 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas DeWalt Cordless Drill

DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Drill Kit

If you don’t have a cordless drill, this homemade bunk beds project is the perfect excuse to buy one. (We would suggest that you ask for a high-quality drill for the best Father’s Day gift, but we all know how that usually goes. Sure, we appreciate receiving another #1 Dad coffee mug — it never hurts to advertise — but this drill would be better.)

With two rechargeable batteries included, you’ll always have a fresh battery available for your projects. The downside? No more excuses that you don’t have the right tools when you’re trying to spend Saturday afternoon napping instead of fixing things. Make sure you have both batteries fully charged at all times, just having them sitting on a shelf does nobody any good.

Buy for $99 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas DeWalt Nail Gun

DeWalt 20V MAX Brad Nailer

For this type of project, a brad nailer probably will be easier to handle than the drill and screws. However, if you expect the kids to use the bunk beds as some sort of launching point for practicing all-star wrestling moves, the screws should hold together better than these brad nails and glue, especially on the ladder rungs.

Hell, get both DeWalt power tools. They share the same battery system, and the kids are going to break many, many things over the next several years, so you can never have enough power tools on hand for repairs.

Buy for $233 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas DeWalt Table Saw

DeWalt Compact Jobsite Table Saw

We love this table saw, as it’s small enough to take with you wherever you need to work, but it’s also big and powerful enough to do almost any woodworking job you have in the plans.

It’s tough enough to stand up to regular use, should you decide to take on some tougher projects after finishing your current bunk bed plans. Take safety measures with this table saw, such as always using the safety guard. Power saws don’t give your fingers a second chance if you make a mistake.

Buy for $279 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas DeWalt Sander

DeWalt Orbit Sander

Sanding is key for how to build a bunk bed that’s safe to use. (Attaching all the pieces securely is key too, but you already knew that.)

Without sanding, you just know your accident-prone kid is going to find a way to end up with a splinter 24 seconds after climbing into the bed, which will lead to an hour of wailing about something so small you can’t even see it. And you’ll receive that look your wife saves for the times when she says things like, “Are you sure this wood is safe to use and it won’t give the kids splinters?” before you started the project. Sigh.

Buy for $59 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas Home Depot Bunkbed Kit

South Shore Ulysses Navy Blue Twin Bunk Bed

Maybe you have studied our plans for DIY bunk beds, and you have decided it’s too big of a project for you. No worries.

With this homemade bunk beds kit, you’ll receive everything you need to create bunk beds that look great without having to do all of the math, sawing, and sanding.

You still will have to do the assembly yourself. And sometimes, these assemble-yourself furniture projects can be almost as confusing as building the entire project. So you’ll have almost the same fun/frustration with the kit as when building it from scratch. (Kit or no kit, swearing is never optional.)

Buy for $440 on Home Depot

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas Amazon Bunkbed Kit

Dorel Living Airlie Wood Bunk Beds

Here’s another kit for DIY bunk beds that’s a little cheaper if you need to save some cash. This one has a twin bed on top and a full bed on the bottom, which means the kids will be sure to fight over who gets the bigger bed. Fun times.

Buy for $350 on Amazon

DIY How To Build A Bunkbed Best Bunkbed Ideas The Gruffalo Bedtime Book

The Gruffalo

Once the bunk bed plans are finished, you need a good bedtime story. This one is a lot of fun. (No rapping, please … although the pattern of the writing makes it awfully damn tempting.)

Buy for $11 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site. There are safety regulations when it comes to bunk beds, please use caution and follow any government recommended height/safety rules.

(All finished bunk bed photos from Home Depot)

Best Electric Cars for Kids— Way Less Stressful Than Handing Over Your Keys

best electric cars for kids

As a dad, there are a few childhood milestones with which you’re expected to help. Teaching kids how to ride a bike, how to tie a tie (thank God for YouTube), how to build stuff around the house, and how to mow the lawn for the first time (so you don’t have to do it anymore).

But teaching the kid how to drive a car may be the biggest — and most dangerous — one. Few things are as exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. (When driving lessons start, you’ll find out why your old man started turning seriously gray about the same time you got your learner’s permit.)

If you’re someone who parks at least 5 spaces away from the nearest car at the grocery store to avoid the slightest possibility of a door ding, who washes the car religiously, and who is a stickler for banning all kids snacks from the car, perhaps the most terrifying aspect of teaching a kid to drive is that he or she might bump into something while learning to parallel park and leave a dent (we know, it will get much worse than that).

It may be in your best interest to start trying to teach the kid to drive while they are young. Forget about handing the kid the Mario Kart video game and letting technology do the teaching. The best electric cars for kids can do the trick instead. These kids motorized cars have seat belts and max out at between 2 and 5 mph, so they’re way safer than they may seem at first glance.

As an added bonus, since kids mimic almost everything their parents do, you’ll be able to see just how they think you look behind the wheel. Don’t be surprised if they give the mailbox the bird, sing-along (loudly and badly) with every song on the toddler electric car’s radio, and yell at the dolls in the back seat to stop bothering each other or they’ll be, “turning this car around right now.” (Funny stuff. The little smart asses may have a future as impressionist comedians.)

Best Electric Cars for Toddlers and Bigger Kids

Costzon Licensed Mercedes Benz 300SL Kids Car

We know, we know. Why should the kid drive a nicer car than you? But it happens sometimes. (Besides, the majority of kids have no idea what a Benz is.)

This kids motorized car has working headlights, an MP3 music player, and a working horn. (We’re 100% certain this last feature will drive you and the neighbors crazy, but we’re also certain you can figure out how to disconnect the horn with Mr. Screwdriver and/or Mr. Hammer.)

This car is made for younger children, as it contains a parental remote control mode, just in case the kid isn’t ready to start driving yet. And it only has a 6-volt battery, so it won’t go as fast as some of the other electronic cars (max speed is only 1.86 mph).

We’re pretty sure no one has ever described a Benz as a starter car before, but this is definitely a starter toddler electric car.

Buy for $150 on Amazon

Rollplay Mini Cooper Kids Ride-on Car

This Mini Cooper may be the most appropriate model to include one on our list of the best electric cars for kids. After all, this one is almost equal to the full-size version. (We kid, we kid.)

Yes, the actual Mini is much smaller than standard full-size cars, but this Mini Cooper electric car for kids is roughly the same size as other power wheels for 5-year-olds, so any kid can drive it.

It has a smaller 6-volt battery than some other kids electric cars, so it’s limited to a 2.5 mph top speed, which is nice for younger kids.

As an added feature, this Mini Cooper comes in three colors, has a windshield, and even has a cup holder. We’re not sure you want to start teaching kids to drink coffee while behind the wheel just yet, but we’re not going to say you can’t.

Buy for $177 on Amazon

Best Choice Products Kids Ride-on Lamborghini

When it comes to the coolest electric cars for kids, it’s tough to beat this Lamborghini. The aggressive styling, the swing upward doors, and the awesome logo on the front of the car is as cool as it gets.

This kids-level Lamborghini contains fun LED lights, a working horn, an AUX jack to plug in a music source, and a 12-volt battery that delivers a 3.7 mph maximum speed. There are two-speed settings and a parental remote control if you’d prefer to dial back the speed.

Who knows? If you buy the kid a ride-on Lamborghini, maybe your wife will agree that you need a matching full-size model. (It could happen. You also could suddenly become a star NFL quarterback. Never give up on your dreams.)

Buy for $260 on Amazon

Power Wheels Disney Pixar Toy Story Jeep Wrangler Kids Ride-on Car

You can’t create a list of “the best kids” anything without adding some sort of Disney product. (Of course, since Disney owns approximately 47% of the world, finding such products isn’t exactly a difficult endeavor.)

This Toy Story jeep has plenty of decals that will excite fans of the franchise. It has a bit more power than the other kids motorized cars on our list with a maximum speed of 5 mph from the 12-volt battery. There is a low-speed setting at 2.5 mph as well. There is a Jurassic Park version and also a Disney Princess option (duh).

We don’t believe that this Toy Story Jeep will come to life and have crazy adventures when people aren’t around, but we can’t fully deny that it won’t.

Buy for $249 on Amazon

Best Choice Products Electric Kids Car

If you don’t want to spoil the kids with a luxury brand name in your gift of an electric ride-on car, this one doesn’t have a hugely famous logo. (I mean, why get the kids hopes up now when they probably will be stuck with a used Kia hatchback as a first car that’s as old as they are when they turn 16?)

If the kids are too young to understand car brand names, all they’ll know is the sporty look of this kids motorized car is fun. It has LED headlights and accent lights.

Although it has a 12-volt battery and can reach faster top speed than the 6-volt electric cars for kids on our list, it does have two-speed settings, so you can set it to the low setting for younger kids.

Buy for $160 on Amazon

Best Choice Products Kids Ride-on Truck

If the thought of your uncoordinated preschooler behind the wheel of a toddler electric car terrifies you, we understand. After all, this is the kid who pours a bowl of Fruit Loops at the kitchen counter, adds milk, and spills enough of it on the way to the dining table to keep both of the family dogs busy cleaning up the trail of spills for 20 minutes.

With this electric truck for kids, you’ll have the option of parental remote control. It ships with a remote control unit that allows you to drive and steer the truck while the kid is just along for the ride. (It’s your first chance to be a helicopter-parent; don’t screw it up.)

When the kid is ready to drive, this 12-volt toddler electric car has a maximum speed of 2.8 mph.

Buy for $180 on Amazon

Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force Kids Ride-on Tractor

Yes, we know that this is not a car technically. But it’s still a lot of fun to drive. Kids (and many adults) love John Deere branded toys, and this tractor is a popular pick among toddler electric car enthusiasts. The tires will provide traction on all kinds of surfaces, including grass and pavement.

It has a 12-volt battery with two speeds available and a maximum speed of 4.5 mph. Its seat has flip-up armrests and a working FM radio for a little extra fun. It even goes in reverse (whoa).

Best of all, it ships with a trailer, so the kid can haul all kinds of stuff that you need moved for outdoor projects. Sure, the trailer can hold stuff for the kid to play with too, but it’s mostly for your needs. It’s a tractor after all, so it needs to be put to work, or how are you going to write it off as a working vehicle on your taxes (joking!)?

Buy for $280 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Best Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad aka “Honey, Kids, This Is What I Want”

Father's Day Gift Guide For Every Type of Dad

We all know Father’s Day is the most important holiday of the year. Father’s Day is in the big leagues, right next to Christmas. Sure, there are other holidays like Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day, but those are career minor leaguers that barely hit above the Mendoza Line. (Don’t tell my wife I said that. Actually, go ahead. She doesn’t know what the Mendoza Line is.)

Unfortunately, there’s a chance that your family will let you down. For some reason, the kids and your wife may not consider Father’s Day to be the greatest of all holidays like they should. If this is your first Father’s Day, sorry, you’ll be learning the hard way– so new and naive (and excited). Yeah, we all remember that, too.

Sure, the family may start you off with breakfast in bed. After that, though? They’ll barely remember the special day. It’s probably back to being like any other Sunday with a honey-do DIY list, kids whining about anything and everything, and you being asked to pick up whatever the cat vomited today because you’re the only one who can do it apparently.

You at least deserve a kick-ass gift out of the deal. But chances are your wife has no idea what to get you (or she’ll be looking for payback after your sh*tty Mother’s Day gift that was totally the fault of the kids).

And the kids are worthless with gifts. They’ll ask for $50 and give you a homemade card and a $10 Starbucks gift card. Where the hell did the rest of it go? (And why are the kids so wired on caffeine?) Sigh. It almost makes you wish kids still gave their dads ties for Father’s Day.

You don’t have to take it anymore. Instead, we’ve put together a list of the best father’s day gifts for dads, depending on your areas of interest. So take our list, forward it to your wife and the kids (we promise to clean up the f***ing swears the rest of the way), and say, “This is what I want for Father’s Day.”

We’re not taking bets on whether you’ll actually receive it, but you at least gave it the old college try.

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Needs a Cover-Up Scent

Dad’s Bathroom Candle

It doesn’t get more dad-essential than the morning constitutional. Unfortunately, your family almost certainly doesn’t agree, especially when they have to use the same bathroom a few minutes later to prepare for the day.

If your wife and kids have threatened to banish you from the house, suggesting you start taking your reading material to the gas station on the corner every morning, we have a better solution.

Burn one of our The Dad candles during and after you take care of your business, and the family will be able to enjoy the odor of classic dad scents rather than the other kind of dad scent that no one wants to smell.

These candles feature scents like cut grass, pancakes, and a cookout. It’s way better than the lavender-mango-strawberry-spruce-vanilla-rose candle combination your wife always wants to light. Blech.

Buy for $35 on The Dad Shop

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who’s Ready to Start Working Out (Again)

New Balance Men’s 680 V6 Running Shoe

We all have periods in our life where we look at ourselves in the mirror and we decide we’re ready to start working out. I personally have done this far too many times to count.

What I’ve found is that when I’m a little too heavy, a little too out of shape, and a little older than the last time I tried this, having the right pair of shoes is the key to working out successfully.

I’ve tried almost every brand (as I said, I’ve done this far too many times), and New Balance provides the most cushion and support, which is important when people start telling you, you’re way too heavy … even the ones who normally are too nice to say anything.

The 680 model is available in multiple colors and styles, and it’ll help with whatever kind of new workout you have planned. (The rest of your body will be in agony, but your feet won’t hurt at least.)

Buy for $60 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the First Time Dad

The Dad Law Book

I have them, my dad had them, his dad had them … hell, cavemen dads had them: The Unwritten Rules of Being a Dad. These are things that all dads naturally must do, carrying over from generation to generation.

These laws govern things dads must say, how they must act, and which dad jokes must be told at which times.

It’s a lot to remember, especially if you’re a new dad. So if you’re ever a little unsure about what a certain situation calls for, our The Dad Law Book has you covered. Who are we to argue with thousands of years of dad evolution? (Now go see if someone has increased the setting on the thermostat.)

Buy for $22 on The Dad Shop

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who’s a Self-Proclaimed Geek

Superhero Vintage Tin Sign Bundle

There was a time where being a geek/nerd was frowned upon. The Alpha Betas were sure to torture all geeks, tricking them into humiliating themselves in front of the Pi Delta Pis. It was tough to be a geek.

These days, though, dads and kids can wear their geekdom as a badge of honor. Hell, Hollywood literally depends on geeks to fill their movie theaters now with Superhero movie after Superhero movie. (Take that, cool kids who made fun of our Superman jammies at the sleepover in 3rd grade.)

If your geeky side includes a love of comic books and superheroes, this set of six vintage tin 8-by-12-inch signs is the perfect Father’s Day gift. You’ll probably have to hang them on the wall of your man cave or the garage, rather than anywhere your wife’s friends can see them … unless your wife is a self-proclaimed geek, too. Then they may become your family’s preferred wall art.

Buy for $40 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Needs a Daily Pick-Me-Up

Dad-ISMS 2020-2021 Father’s Day to Father’s Day Calendar

Sure, it’d be great if we could start each day with a pick-me-up like a Bloody Mary or two to get us going. But the boss frowns on having cocktails on our desk … not to mention the wife frowning on having cocktails on the breakfast table next to the Fruit Loops.

So we’ll have to settle for a mental pick-me-up. Fortunately, this hilarious day-by-day calendar has something on each page that’ll make the start of each day a little more fun. As fun as a Bloody Mary? Maybe not. But our calendar is guaranteed hangover-free.

Buy for $20 on The Dad Shop

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Outdoors-y Dad

Grundéns 30 Liter Rum Runner Backpack

One great way for dads to spend quality time with the family is out in nature. Whether that involves hiking, a trip to the lake, or a day at the park, it’s a smart way to have fun and spend time in the great outdoors.

For most of us, these trips involve dad carrying the majority of the kids’ gear in a backpack. (Which is probably only fair, since your wife’s purse fulfills that task the majority of the rest of the time.)

What ends up happening is dad hurriedly grabs whichever of the kids’ backpacks happens to not be lost at the time the family is rushing out the door to leave for the park. If so, it’s time to give dad his own backpack. (That means we no longer have to carry a Hello Kitty backpack on the hiking trail. There is a god after all.)

This Grundéns backpack is waterproof with RF welded seams, so it can stand up to the roughest conditions while keeping your gear safe and dry. It’s suitable for almost any outdoor activity with a great camouflage pattern. (Let’s see Hello Kitty pull that look off.)

Buy for $105 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Forgets Anniversaries, Birthdays, and the Rest

The Perfect Pack Greeting Cards

Raise your hand if you have forgotten an important date for a family member or friend, like birthday, anniversary, etc? Now how many of you have done this in the past three days? (Putting my hands down now, as it’s impossible to type with two hands in the air.)

Our pack of 12 greeting cards has you covered. Each one has multiple options on it, so you can match it to the proper occasion. Just check the appropriate box for birthday, anniversary, etc, and you’re covered.

For those who know you and your forgetfulness, the checked boxes on the cards will be hilarious. And you can pretend you did it on purpose as a joke, rather than forgetting again and using our cards as a last-minute solution. Win-win.

Buy for $24 on The Dad Shop

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Adventurous Foodie Dad (or One Who Thinks He Is)

Kumana Avocado Hot Sauce

Some dads say they love trying new foods, and the crazier, the better. (Sure, he eats the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday, and he orders the same thing every time he goes to a restaurant, but it’s fun to let him think he’s a foodie.)

One way to spice up those regular meals is with this three-pack of Kumana hot sauces. These plant-based hot sauces primarily consist of avacado, which, when paired with jalapenos, give them a kick well beyond the regular salsa.

Ultimately, you can put this on almost anything, and it’ll taste great. And since it’s green and spicy, we’re guessing the kids will be too scared to try it. Dad will feel pretty special when he has his own personal hot sauce/salsa. All dads should have at least one thing they don’t have to share with the kids.

Buy for $28 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Loves His Old Music

Audio Technica Stereo Turntable System

Some dads have fully embraced the digital music scene, complete with subscriptions to Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music. (Does he need all of them? Probably not. But you try explaining that to him.)

Other dads scoff at binary music. The digital versions of their favorite songs simply can’t compare to original vinyl, they’ll say. (Music snobs, all the way.)

If your dad has a collection of vinyl records that have been gathering dust for a while, give him a place to play them with this Audio Technica starter turntable. It has a lightweight tonearm that will prevent damage to the vinyl.

Now, this isn’t made for the dad who has a vintage stereo system already set up and in use, but it’s made for those looking to get started (or re-started) listening to vinyl at a reasonable price.

Who knows? Dad may start hitting up every garage sale in town this summer, seeking out vintage copies of his favorite vinyl records from years ago. Fair warning: You may unleash a monster with this gift.

Either way, it’ll give dad the opportunity to say, “Music was better in my day,” and then allow him to play a record to show you what he’s talking about. (Yay. No one can get enough of dad’s dinosaur music.)

Buy for $99 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Techie Dad

Wyze WiFi Smart Plug Outlet

If your dad has embraced the world of the smart home, you may already have a smart personal assistant that you can ask crazy questions where you don’t expect an honest answer. (Hey, Alexa, are you planning to take over the world and enslave humanity by secretly listening to all of our conversations?)

You may even have a few other smart appliances, like a video doorbell to capture videos of idiots doing something stupid. (Unless they’re related to you; then they’re doing hilarious things.)

If dad doesn’t yet have any smart plugs, though, he’s missing one of the most useful smart appliances. Attach the smart plug to any standard outlet, and whatever you plug into it will then become controllable through your WiFi network.

Dad can turn on a lamp from anywhere with a smart plug. Or he can piss off the dog by turning the TV on and off repeatedly with the app. The sky’s the limit for practicality and practical jokes with a smart plug.

Buy for $38 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Sports Car Lover (Who Will Never Be Able to Afford One)

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 Building Set

Whether it’s for a mid-life crisis or not, some dads have a goal of owning an ungodly expensive sports car. Not a bad goal. Sports cars are fast. They look amazing. They’re fast. You get the idea.

Chances are dad is not actively saving for this sports car, though. It’s one of those pipe dream goals that keeps getting pushed to the back burner after spending money on the college fund for the kids, a pure bred dog for the kids, braces for the kids’ teeth, and braces for the dog’s teeth. (Veterinarians and orthodontists have quite the racket.)

So unless dad is going to hit the lottery — and we feel pretty confident in saying he won’t — the closest he’s ever going to get to that sports car is this highly complex LEGO set. This set is incredible, containing almost 1,600 pieces, including a realistically detailed engine. It’s not the same as actually owning and driving a Porsche, but it’ll probably be as close as he’ll get. (You don’t have to tell him that and crush his dreams … until the next time he really pisses you off.)

Buy for $160 on Amazon

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Likes to Laugh at Himself

The Dad Book: Truths, Hacks, And Dad-ISMS

Don’t let non-dads know, but sometimes we dads take ourselves a little too seriously. I know, hard to believe. (My wife actually made fun of me with my tape measure in the yard the other day, ensuring the mower deck was precisely cutting the grass at 2-1/2 inches. True story.)

As I later was making micro-adjustments to the mower deck, though, I thought she may have had a point. (I didn’t tell her of course; she doesn’t need the encouragement.)

So for me, and all dads who occasionally take themselves a little too seriously, our The Dad Book is a good reminder to poke fun at ourselves with jokes, dad-isms, and some parenting hacks.

Buy for $15 on The Dad Shop

Best Father’s Day Gift for the Dad Who Loves/Hates Dad Jokes

Dad Joke and Pun T-Shirt

Dad Joke and Pun T-Shirts

Dad jokes can be a source of incredible confusion.

Some dads say they love dad jokes, yet they primarily use them when they have a chance to embarrass their kids. Some dads say they hate dad jokes, yet they’ll tell one when they’re especially looking to torture their kids. And some dads say they’re indifferent to dad jokes, yet they’re always willing to toss one out to embarrass and torture their kids.

You can see why this creates such a conundrum.

If your dad has any interest in dad jokes, these t-shirts are sure to be right up his alley. And if he wears it any time he’s out with the kids, it’s sure to generate multiple eye rolls, facepalms, and heavy sighs from them. #missionaccomplished

Buy for $24 on The Dad Shop

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

How to Build a DIY Fire Pit for Grilling, Socializing, Destroying Evidence, Etc.

When you seem to have a bit of free time on your hands — which, unfortunately, is more the norm these days — we’re guessing your significant other has a list of things for you to do. (You must spend your free time productively, after all.) Some people call it the honey-do list. We call it something else that starts with an F followed by numerous asterisks.

The worst part is, once you think you’ve finished the list, you are told you’re only through Volume 1. You’re never told just how many volumes there are, but, then again, you probably don’t want to know. It’s too depressing.

But with our years of wisdom in these matters, we have come up with an idea. When she starts to pull out the list, act as if you’ve suddenly had a brilliant idea. Tell her you noticed on one of her HGTV shows how great a house looks when it has a backyard DIY fire pit. (Don’t try to give too many specifics about the show, or you’ll be busted for sure.)

Then announce that you’ll be taking on some DIY projects by building a family fire pit in the yard— then head out the back door. The f***ing honey-do list goes back in its secret hiding place, and you’ll be working on a cool project. #win-win

If she starts to object, remind her how many fun times you can have with a fire pit, such as a backyard family camping trip … making s’mores with the kids … romantically cuddling on a cool autumn night while “enjoying” a wine tasting … destroying evidence before that IRS audit starts (did we say that?). So many possibilities.

When building a fire pit, it can be done within several hours, once you have the materials. But if you want to make sure it drags out for several days or weeks, we won’t judge.

How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit

1-Check Your Regulations

Before starting, it’s possible that your local regulations or homeowner’s association have some rules about constructing fire pits. You will want to check these rules before starting, or you may have to tear down the fire pit later.

For a those who prefer to watch someone build the fire pit, instead of just reading about it, Home Depot’s fire pit building video is a good place to start.

2-Find a Spot

The ideal DIY fire pit will measure three to four feet in diameter (from outer edge to outer edge). You don’t want it to be too close to any dead leaves, trees with low hanging branches, or other combustible materials. And, no matter how ugly your neighbor’s new wood fence is, don’t place your fire pit too close to it with the hope that a stray ember happens to land on it. We hope it goes without saying that it can’t be too close to your fence either— or to your house, shed, garage, or other structure.

Pick a relatively flat piece of ground. You don’t need to go so far as to test the spot with a level, but the flatter the area, the better.

Some people choose to build it over an existing brick patio, which greatly simplifies the construction process (and eliminates a couple of the following steps, of course).

3-Decide on Shape and Color

When building a fire pit, the two easiest shapes will be a circle or a square. Rectangular blocks work to make the square shape, while trapezoidal blocks work for a circular pit.

Then purchase the blocks you need for the pit. Don’t worry too much about exact measurements, as you can use spacer blocks to make up the difference if the measurement of the primary blocks come up a bit short. (You may have to cut some of the spacer blocks.)

This is also a good time to discuss color. There are a lot of choices. Find a picture of a fire pit that’s wife-approved and go with that color. There are grays, tans, reds and a whole bunch of other ones.

4-Prepare the Ground

The total diameter should be 45 inches. Use spray paint to mark it so there are no giant mistakes later.

Now you need an actual pit. Dig the pit shape about 6 inches deep. You should dig the hole several inches wider than you are planning for the measurement of the pit.

Pack the hole with gravel. Pick a fine type of gravel that will pack tightly into the hole. Use a hand tamper to pack it. Dampen the gravel a few times as you’re in the process of tamping it down to ensure you will compact it as tightly as possible.

(This is a step you should skip if putting the fire pit on an existing patio. We can’t emphasize this enough: Do not take a jackhammer to your patio.)

5-Lay Out the Blocks

Place the first layer of blocks on the ground. If you’re making a square pit, start at the corners with large blocks. As you move along the edges, you may need to add spacer blocks occasionally. (If you want to be fancy, add the spacers in a regular manner, so it looks symmetrical.)

For a circular DIY fire pit, the math gets a little tricky. (In other words, we don’t want to do it here and show off what we’ve forgotten from sixth grade.) As you lay out the trapezoidal blocks, you’ll need spacers (smaller blocks) to achieve the overall curve.

You will want to use a level here. Make sure the first layer is level. Add leveling sand underneath the blocks in the first layer as needed to straighten things out.

6-Create the Wall

Once the first layer is level, you can start adding the second layer. If you used spacer blocks, stagger their location in the second layer, so the spacers are not sitting on top of each other. Additionally, don’t allow the seams between layers of blocks to line up.

It’s recommended to use a construction adhesive to adhere the layers together. This is the safest idea, reducing the chance of the layers collapsing if your kid crashes his or her bike into the DIY fire pit. Before you stack the second layer, use a good bead of adhesive atop the first layer, and then add the next layer of stones. Just as importantly, make sure the layers are level.

If you’re building the fire pit over an existing patio, you should adhere the first layer to the patio.

Ultimately, you’ll end up with a wall that’s three to five layers high (or 16 to 32 inches).

For easier cleaning, you may want to place a fire pit bowl inside the walls that hold the fire (especially if you’re on top of a patio surface). But you also can start the fires directly on top of the gravel inside the walls if it’s directly on the dirt.

Best Products for a DIY Fire Pit

Trapezoidal Concrete Retaining Wall Block

These trapezoidal blocks work nicely when you want a circular fire pit. Each measures 4 inches high and 11.75 inches on the long side. And, yes, each one is heavier than sh*t.

Buy 10 for $14 on Home Depot

Rectangular Concrete Block

If you want an easier math problem in calculating the size when figuring out how to build a fire pit, stick with rectangular blocks and a square fire pit. Each of these rectangular blocks measures 3.5 inches in height and 10.5 inches in length.

Buy 10 for $39 on Home Depot

Loctite PL 500 Landscape Block Adhesive

This adhesive is perfect for building a fire pit, as it’s made for use on masonry, metal, wood, and other materials. It’s also messy, so keep the kids the hell away. (A kid loves nothing more than a fully loaded caulking gun.)

Buy for $6 on Amazon

Crushed Granite Rock Fines

Because crushed rock like this is expensive, you can use this material in the upper one-third of the DIY fire pit and pea gravel in the lower two-thirds to save a bit of money.

Buy for $30 on Home Depot

Pea Gravel

If you will be using a fire pit bowl in your construction, you could save some money by using this pea gravel in the entirety of the base of the fire pit.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

Sakrete Leveling Sand

Sure, you could borrow some sand from the kids’ sandbox to level out the first layer of your DIY fire pit. But, first, it’s not official leveling sand, so it won’t work as well. And, second, do you really want the petrified cat sh*t that always seems to be in the sandbox underneath your fire pit?

Buy for $5 on Home Depot

Razor-Back Steel Tamper

Repeat after us: The tamper is only made for use on compacted dirt or gravel. It is not made to squish the dog sh*t in the yard instead of picking it up with a scooper. Trust us: Squishing the sh*t into the ground does not make it disappear.

Buy for $30 on Amazon

Irwin 48-Inch Level

When you’re wondering why you need a level when building a fire pit, you can use it to keep the layers of the fire pit properly aligned. Plus, using a level — a big one — makes it look like you know what the hell you’re doing on any construction project.

Buy for $31 on Amazon

Sunnydaze Metal Fire Pit Insert

If you are going to want to use an insert in your DIY fire pit, you have to make sure the dimensions of the inner edge of the pit blocks match the size of the insert you want to use, so the lip of the insert rests on the blocks.

Buy for $135 on Amazon

X-Marks Steel Fire Pit Cooking Grill

To do some actual grilling after building a fire pit, rather than jamming your food on a stick, you’ll need a steel grate.

Buy for $93 on Amazon

RumbleStone Square Concrete Fire Pit Kit

Maybe you originally wanted to know how to build a fire pit from scratch. Now, though, you’re not so sure. Can you calculate exactly what you will even need to build one?

This kit looks great, measuring 38.5 inches on all four sides with 21 inches of height. You will pay a little extra for this unit versus a DIY fire pit where you assemble the parts yourself, but having all of the parts ready-made for you in a kit may be worth it.

Buy for $620 on Home Depot

RumbleStone Round Concrete Fire Pit Kit

For building a fire pit that’s round, having a kit may be the way to go. Calculating the exact amount of items you need on your own can be a challenge.

You will pay more for this kit than for the individual pieces. However, you may save almost as much on gas for the car from not having to make extra trips to the hardware store to pick up items you forgot.

This DIY fire pit measures 46 inches in diameter and 14 inches in height.

Buy for $549 on Home Depot

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

(All fire pit photos from Home Depot)

How to Stain Concrete Floors to Get an Awesome Finished Basement on the Cheap

AFTER: how to stain concrete floors - DIY home project for less

Finishing a basement is the ultimate (and often most expensive) dad home upgrade. It often involves 3 of my least favorite things: carpet, drop ceilings, and drywall. Literally truckloads of drywall. How can you call it a man cave if the “cave” walls are drywall?! It was time for a basement DIY. This one involving staining the concrete floors.

  1. Clean concrete with a degreaser. Mop with clean water. Dry.
  2. Apply Valspar tintable semi-transparent concrete stain (color: Onyx) using a sponge. 1-3 coats depending on how dark you want it.
  3. Apply Valspar Wet Look Sealer (high gloss finish).
  4. Enjoy!

Don’t you hate it when recipe posts don’t get right to the recipe? Me too. There, that’s the TL;DR concrete staining recipe. If you want the nitty-gritty, read on! (Seriously, read on, we know DIY dads need more detail than that!)

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

DIY Project— Stain Concrete Floors:

“That’s not really the kind of thing that I do,” was the response I got after asking 3 different professional painters if they could stain my concrete basement floors.

I normally hate paying people to do things at my house if I can avoid it. It’s not that I’m cheap; I just don’t like giving up control. I’m very dad-like in that way.

But when it came to staining my concrete basements floors? I had no idea how to do it. And I didn’t want to mess it up. So I consulted the experts. Maybe it was the people I asked, but the collective response was “Good luck buddy.”

This surprised me. Because every modern office building, or heck, even the floors of Lowes and Home Depot, are stained and textured concrete floors. It strikes me as a very practical, minimalist, and sleek-looking flooring solution.

But first, why stain your basement floors?

Over the years, I’ve had several small leaks in my unfinished basement. Small cracks around the window well, caulking issues around my front door, even a foundation issue that I paid decent money to fix. In all cases, if my basement had been traditionally “finished,” I’d have been screwed. Hidden moisture, mold, undetected foundation issues. No thank you. I’d rather have full visibility to these things.

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Also, I just like the look of concrete.

So I laid out my minimalist basement renovation plan. I’d leave the walls and floor bare concrete. I’d put up a single dividing drywall between the main space and the storage/furnace/water heater area. I’d put in basic recessed can lighting. And I’d paint the ceiling rafters black.

To make it pop, the floors needed some depth, texture, and finish. So it was STAINING TIME.

What the Experts Said:

The experts said it would be easiest to paint the floors. The risk would be chipping of paint over time. NIGHTMARE. They also suggested using an epoxy-based paint. It wouldn’t wear as much, but would be shiny and would turn the basement floor into a skating rink, especially with the slightest amount of moisture. When I asked about a stain, they seemed nervous. In hindsight, I think because it is a bit of an art, and it’s more of a skill-based practice. Not quite as easy as painting.

So with the experts decidedly NOT on my side, and my propensity to take on projects myself, my mission was clear. Stain my concrete basement floors or die tryin’.

Choosing Color and Technique:

  1. Trial run(s) to find your color. This is super important. Ideally, you have an inconspicuous place to test. Luckily I had a workshop with concrete floors that I could use for experiments. I bought some expensive Sherwin Williams stains. They did not have samples, and they only had a limited number of colors. My first passes looked very amateurish. I found that Lowe’s sold Valspar semi-transparent concrete stain. Not only was it significantly cheaper, but it was also tintable in many colors. I went with essentially black. I did a coat and was thrilled. I found the look I was after!
  2. Trial run(s) to perfect your technique. The thing about stain is that if you mess up, you can’t just go back over it as you can with paint. Each time you go back over it, it gets DARKER. So if you have a dark spot, and you want to “even it out,” you have to very carefully go over the spots AROUND it without going over the dark spot again. And dark spots are bound to happen, due to portions of the concrete absorbing the stain differently. So experiment with application techniques. My favorite was using a sponge. Get some stain on the sponge, and apply the stain by spreading it across the concrete. Then, to make it more consistent, use the sponge to dab over all of the spots where you applied. This avoids streaks and makes it look more natural. You could also use a cloth to apply, or a paint roller attached to a long stick. This helps preserve your creaky dadbod joints since sponging requires being on your hands and knees.

(Did not like these colors.)

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Valspar color options:

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Oh snap, I found the look I was after (Valspar ONYX)!

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Successful experiment (before and after):

how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap
how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

It’s Go Time— Here are the Steps for How to Stain Concrete Floors:

  1. Prep the concrete. Get yourself a good degreaser. Apply with a mop. Do this at least 2 times. Then get a clean bucket of water and mop the floor 2-3 times to remove any excess degreaser. I actually used a wet shop vac to suck up excess moisture between mop rounds.
  2. Apply concrete stain. This is your trial work’s time to shine. Again, with stain, there are no do-overs. Each time you apply, it gets darker. So best to apply as light of coats as possible. I did my first coat with a paint roller. I rolled it on, and then literally smeared it around with the roller, making it an extremely thin coat. I did my 2nd coat with a sponge as described above. Then, I went back over with a sponge for a touch up third coat to even out any inconsistencies.
  3. Finish ‘er up. Stay with step 2 until you’re completely satisfied with the look. Like it? Love it? Ready to lock it in? Apply a concrete finish. I used Valspar Protective Sealer. Made it a little glossy, but not excessively so. This helps protect the floor and gives it a finish look. Will also make the concrete significantly less porous (less accepting of stain) so don’t do it until you’re happy.

Before:

Before: how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

After 1st Coat:

After 1st Coat: how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

After 2nd Coat:

After second coat: how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Finished Product:

After Finished Result: how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

Once Complete:

After : how to stain concrete floors - diy basement upgrade for cheap

So the main thing is using the right semi-transparent concrete stain and experimenting to find the right application method that gets the look you want. I have a basement workshop so I was able to use that for practice to get the look right. Really important because you can’t go back once you start staining! It’ll just get darker.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have got some kids to crush in Mario Kart.

(If you’d rather watch someone else show you how to do the work, this Creto Seal video hits all of the basics.)

Best Products For How To DIY Stain Concrete

best products for staining concrete floors: H&C ConcreteReady Cleaner/Degreaser

H&C ConcreteReady Cleaner/Degreaser

Yes, we agree, cleaning is not fun under any circumstances. But don’t skip this important step for a staining concrete project, or your results will not be as good as they could be, and your wife will get to say, “I told you so.” Ugh.

Buy for $26 on Amazon

Best products for DIY staining concrete floors: Valspar Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain

Valspar Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain

Now for the fun part: Picking out the stain to use. This Valspar stain will work either indoors or outdoors, so after you finish staining the basement concrete, you can move on to outdoor projects, like your garage, patio, sidewalk, and driveway. (Hell, go nuts and stain the neighbor’s patio too. We’re guessing you’ll become so good at this, you won’t be able to stop.)

Buy for $29 on Ace Hardware

Best products for DYI staining concrete floors: Valspar Clear Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Valspar Clear Acrylic Concrete Sealer

Picking the right sealer gives your concrete staining project the perfect finishing touch, while also making it stronger and resistant to whatever your kids will spill on it. (Come to think of it, you may want two coats. The kids are experts at destroying things.)

Buy for $33 on Ace Hardware

best products for DIY staining concrete floors: Tidy Tools Industrial Grade Mop

Tidy Tools Industrial Grade Mop

Sure, you could use a cheap-ass mop to do this work. But it won’t give you the same results as an industrial grade mop.

And we all know that having a high quality mop on hand is something every dad should have. Not only is it tough enough to clean up after the kids and the dog, but it’ll last several years … which will provide plenty of time for the kids to become old enough that they can use the same mop to do the chores that you are sick of doing. (Almost brings a tear to your eye.)

Buy for $29 on Amazon

best products to DYI staining concrete floors: QEP X-Large Sponges

QEP X-Large Sponges

Sponges work well for doing the finishing touches on your concrete basement staining project, allowing for precise application of the stain.

Because this is a six-pack, you can throw away the staining sponge after you use it. Do not under any circumstances place that used sponge in the your wife’s favorite white porcelain sink, figuring you can use it for other things later … at least not unless you want to spend the night sleeping on your newly stained concrete floor rather than in your bed.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

bets products for DYI staining concrete floors: Bates Choice Paint Roller

Bates Choice Paint Roller

Paint rollers work well for applying the stain quickly and efficiently. This set ships with two rollers, so you’ll have a backup for applying a second color or if you royally screw up the first one.

We might also recommend adding a long wooden handle with a threaded metal tip that you can screw onto the paint roller. You won’t have to crawl on the floor or stoop over to apply the stain when you add the handle.

And honestly, after this job is finished, who couldn’t find a million uses for a long wooden handle? For example, no birthday party is complete without a wooden stick, a hanging pinata, dad’s private parts within striking distance, and someone who’s filming it all.

Buy for $15 on Amazon

best products for DIY staining concrete floors: Vannect Power Paint Sprayer

Vannect Power Paint Sprayer

It’s hard to believe we’ve gone this far without listing a power tool in our products required for staining concrete in a basement. Our bad.

Some people prefer to apply the stain with a paint sprayer. These things can get pretty messy, especially with stain instead of the thicker consistency of paint, so you may want to put plastic on the walls and other areas that need protection. But if you hate the idea of applying the stain by hand — or if you just have to use a power tool on any DIY project you tackle — this sprayer will do the trick.

Buy for $55 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

How to Install Laminate Flooring…and Look Like a DIY Genius While You Do It

how to lay laminate flooring main image

When it’s time to install flooring at your home, we’re guessing your wife may have an idea or two (or 20). She will want something that looks great, has plenty of durability, is water-resistant, and is easy to clean.

As a dad who will be doing this as a DIY project, you also will want a type of flooring that fills all those needs … while being easy to install. When the floor looks great and is easy to install, you’re going to be one of those dads who looks like a genius with a minimal amount of work. (This is information you should keep to yourself; geniuses never show how the sauce is made, even if they mix metaphors occasionally.)

Laminate floats above the subfloor, as it does not need glue or mortar-like other types of flooring. Laminate is available in planks and tiles that snap together. It’s not as easy as helping your 2-year-old assemble a 12-piece jigsaw puzzle, but it’s close. A laminate floor typically looks like hardwood (or occasionally stone), so it will create a stylish finish.

As an added bonus, laminate is not expensive, at least compared to hardwood or slate flooring.

When you’re wondering how to install laminate flooring, it will depend on the style of laminate you select. Laminate floors typically are pretty easy to install, but some models are even easier than others. (Again, keep this information to yourself.)

Installing laminate floor isn’t as cool of a DIY project as making a smoke breathing Godzilla Christmas tree or making a virtual Splash Mountain ride, but we’re sure your kids will forgive you this time … especially after your wife tells them to because she really wants her damn new floors.

How to Install Laminate Flooring

1-Pick the Flooring You Want

Beyond picking the faux wood or faux stone style that you want in your laminate, you will need to select the format you want to use.

Snap-together planks are common. They have dimensions like real wood planks, so they’re easy to handle.

Even easier are laminate tiles. These are square-shaped, connecting through a hidden tab and loop system on the bottom. Because of the shape, they don’t look quite as realistic as planks, but they’re so f***ing easy to install, you may not care.

If you’d like to see how easy the laminate planks are to install, check out this how to install laminate flooring video from Home Depot. Or if you’re more interested in the square tile style, check out a how to install laminate floor video from Greatmats.

2-Measure the Area

Now for the sh*tty step. There will be math. Apologies.

Measure the space that you need to cover, length, and width. Multiply the two, and you’ll have the square footage. Any laminate plank or tile product you’re considering should tell you how many square feet it will cover per case.

Always purchase 10% to 15% more square footage than you have measured. We’re not saying you’re going to mis-cut a piece or six, but it never hurts to have a little extra on hand, just in case.

3-Prepare the Area

When wondering how to lay laminate flooring correctly, you should remove all the baseboards and quarter round molding (trim) in the room. Do this carefully, as you will likely reuse most of the pieces.

To work around door jambs and molding at the doorways, you may want to cut the door molding with a jamb saw at the same height as the laminate. Then the laminate can slide underneath, rather than trying to cut the laminate to fit around the door molding’s odd shape.

If there is carpet in the room, it will have to come up, along with any glue or tack boards or staples. (Just a heads up: This often is a giant pain in the ass. Why the person who installed your carpeting decided to use 17 gallons of glue to hold it down will always be a mystery, but you get to suffer because of it.)

Once you’re down to the cement or hardwood floor, look for holes or other damage. You may need a patching compound. The subfloor doesn’t have to be perfectly level, but you don’t want major flaws in it. Sweep the subfloor to remove as many stray particles as possible.

Then place the cases of laminate in the room for at least 24 hours. This allows them to adjust to the humidity and temperature of the room. (And if it’s that room in your house that your wife is always complaining is too cold, you may want to wait 48 hours.)

4-Install Underlayment

Some laminate has an underlayment attached to the backside, which serves as a vapor barrier. Tiles may have a plastic base that lifts the laminate off the subfloor, allowing airflow underneath in an environment with quite a bit of moisture.

Otherwise, you can purchase your own roll of underlayment to place down before installing the laminate floor on top.

Don’t glue down the underlayment. It can just lay on the subfloor or you can use a little bit of vinyl tape. (The next person who tears up this floor will give you silent thanks that you did not use glue.)

5-Cut the First and Last Rows

OK, more math. Sorry.

You don’t want a full-width plank or tile along the first wall, only to end up needing a plank an inch wide on the final wall. So figure out how many rows of planks you’ll need by dividing the total width of the room by the width of the planks or tiles. (Just a heads up, the manufacturers of these planks nearly always give them non-standard widths that are tough to calculate, like 7-2/3 inches or 8-1/16 inches. Sigh.)

Figure out how to split the difference between the first and last rows, so the planks look normal. For example, let’s say the room is 98 inches wide, and the planks are 8 inches wide. You can make 11 full-width rows in the middle of the room for 88 inches. That leaves 10 inches remaining for the first and last rows. Split the difference, and cut the planks for the first and last rows at 5 inches wide. (Dear laminate flooring manufacturers: See how much easier the math is without fractions?)

Use a circular hand saw or a table saw to cut the planks. You can cut some tiles with a sharp utility knife.

6-Install the Floor

Finally, it’s time to install the floor. Place the first row along the wall, popping the tiles or planks together as per the instructions for your particular model.

Leave a gap of 1/4 to 3/8 inches between the edge of the floor and the wall, so the laminate has space to expand with changes in heat and humidity. (You can purchase spacers to help with this process.) Now, if you live in an older home, chances are roughly 0% that the wall will be straight. So do your best to leave some sort of tiny gap between the floor and wall for expansion.

When you reach the end of the room, you’ll almost certainly have to cut one of the planks or tiles length-wise. Take the piece that you cut off from the first row and use it to start the second row. (Always start each row along the same wall.)

Continue working across the room, popping the tiles in place. Take care that the seams on the vertical ends of the planks (the short end) do not line up closely from row to row. The vertical seams should be staggered so they’re at least 6 inches apart. You may have to cut the first plank in the row a second time to stagger the seams.

Replace the baseboard and the quarter round molding you removed earlier. (If you broke it earlier, it was probably time to buy some new pieces anyway.)

Best Products for How to Lay Laminate Flooring

TrafficMASTER Laminate Flooring

This style of laminate plank costs about 89 cents per square foot of coverage, so it’s extremely affordable. It also has multiple faux wood stain colors available. (And hand-scraped means looks worn in, vintage, in a good way. We know you’re asking that right now, but trust us, she likes this.)

It’s easy to install and looks great, but it does not give you an attached underlayment.

Buy for $22 per case on Home Depot

Greatmats Max Tile Laminate Flooring

You’ll be able to pick from a few different stain colors with Max Tile, and it delivers a highly durable surface that will stand up to kids and pets.

These laminate tiles are ideal in a basement that often has moisture seepage, as the tiles raise slightly away from the floor, allowing air to flow underneath them. You won’t need an underlayment.

Buy for $187 per case on Amazon

Floorlot 3 mm Laminate Flooring Underlayment

This roll of laminate flooring underlayment gives you a good value, as it also serves as a vapor barrier. This roll is 200 sq ft, so you’ll likely need multiple rolls.

Fair warning: If you have little kids in the house, they may want you to stop after putting down the underlayment, saying they love the pretty blue floor.

Buy for $40 on Amazon

Rust-Oleum Concrete Repair Products

Don’t let a severe crack or hole in the floor ruin your laminate flooring installation. Patch any holes, give this about 8 hours to dry, and you’ll be ready to begin laying out the floor.

Hopefully, you won’t fix the subfloor so perfectly that you no longer want to install the laminate.

Buy for $23 on Amazon

DeWalt 10-Inch Table Saw

It may be overkill to purchase a table saw just to trim enough laminate for one room, but if you have a few other home improvement jobs that can make use of this table saw, it’ll give you a good level of performance. Plus, having a table saw in your collection of power tools is just damn cool.

Buy for $277 on Amazon

DeWalt 6.5-Inch Cordless Circular Saw

It’s not a table saw, but it still works well for cutting your laminate flooring planks. It’s smaller and easier to maneuver (and store) if this is the only DIY you’re going to get to this year. Wear safety goggles, as it will kick up a lot of dust and shards.

Buy for $68 on Amazon

WORX Pegasus Multi-Function Portable Work Table

Every dad can use a sturdy work table when laying laminate flooring or for other projects. This WORX table makes it easy to clamp the pieces securely as you’re cutting them. And it folds down to a small size for storage, which your wife will love … until the next honey-do list project is ready to start.

Buy for $132 on Amazon

Workpro Folding Utility Knife

With extremely thin laminate planks or tiles, you can use the utility knife and a straight edge to create a precise cut. And because it’s a folding knife, it’s a lot safer to have around the house. You just know the kids are going to try to grab it.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

Komelon 25-Foot Power Tape

To figure out how to install laminate flooring correctly, you will need to do math, and you will need to take measurements. Ugh. Maybe your 8-year-old could help you with some new math.

Buy for $10 on Amazon

Unilin Laminate Flooring Installation Kit

Sure, you could just eyeball the expansion gap you should have with your install laminate floor project. Or you could purchase this installation kit with its wall spacers and tapping tool and do it correctly. Your choice, but it does make the project a little bit easier.

Buy for $22 on Home Depot

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

(All finished flooring photos from Home Depot)

Mother’s Day Gifts Your Partner Will Actually Like (and Some For Your Mom too)

Mother's Day Gift Ideas
(Scary Mommy/Winc)

Mother’s Day is here again (May 10 for those of you that need to set a cal-reminder). Sure, it’s only a warm-up to the glory of Father’s Day— almost a dry run for the kids, if you will, so they can perfect their Father’s Day plans— but we should still try to do something nice for mom.

We’ll pause a minute while reality smacks us upside the head like a 2-by-4.

If you screw up Mother’s Day gift-giving, you’re potentially in the doghouse until Christmas, unless you’re lucky enough to have an anniversary sometime in the next few months to redeem yourself. (And if you’re now wondering when your anniversary is, just skip forward to our Mother’s Day gift guide. You’re a dead man walking without our help.)

If your wife vacillates between wanting to have the kids with her on Mother’s Day and wanting to be given time to herself on Mother’s Day, you’re probably in one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.

To avoid this, we’d suggest going with a great Mother’s Day gift instead of trying to plan the perfect day. And, no, we’re not talking about a terrible Mother’s Day gift like a gift card. (You really like living in the doghouse, don’t you?)

Whether you need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift idea or you’re planning way ahead, we have you covered. These are Mother’s Day gift ideas that she’ll actually love receiving … meaning, for a change, she won’t just say that she loves it, while secretly wondering what the hell is wrong with you.

Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Put Your Swears in Here Notebook

Sometimes, mama needs to release her frustration in written form, complete with F-bombs, S-bombs, Z-bombs, and all the rest. (Hey, don’t ask us how to spell them all. When moms get on a roll, they can string together some amazing profanity that would make your eternally pissed off high school football coach blush.)

This 128-page journal lets her write down her thoughts for the day with no judgment on how blue the language gets. Venting has never been healthier … for her as well as for the potential venting targets, like you, the kids, you, the dog, and you.

But there are also special pages for uplifting messages, fun milestones for the kids that she wants to remember, and maybe a note about something nice you did for her. Fingers crossed.

Buy for $18 on Amazon

Mom Themed Thank You Cards

If your wife or mom loves to send thank you cards to her friends and family, she may ask you to pick up some cards while you’re running other errands. And when you bring back the generic white cards with “THANK YOU” printed on the front in black, you get that look that she usually reserves for the dog when it sh*ts on the carpet. (Hell, even the dog is disappointed in you right now.)

Sigh. It’s not really our fault. For most guys, all thank you cards look the same.

But when you give her these thank you cards, you’ll have one of the best Mother’s Day gifts, and you’ll barely even know what you did. She’ll love these, as they have sweet, funny, and sentimental messages on them that her friends and family will appreciate (and actually read).

Should you actually do something that warrants a thank you card, tell her it’s OK to give you one of the generic ones and save these fun message cards for others. This thoughtful suggestion should earn you that proud look that she gives the dog when it does its business in the yard. #progress

Buy for $24 on Amazon

Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

When moms need some time to themselves, many of them retreat to the bathtub with a glass of wine. (Or the whole bottle, depending on the results of the day.)

This makes sense. The bath is relaxing. The bathroom is relatively quiet. And the bathroom door has a lock on it to keep the kids the hell out.

If she would like to read while she’s relaxing in the tub, this is one of the best Mother’s Day gift ideas, last minute or not, that you can find. The Kindle lets her download any e-book she wants to read or any audiobook she wants to hear.

This is the latest version of the Kindle— it’s waterproof and has tons of storage. It’s a pretty damn cool tech gift for mothers.

So let the kids give her the lame bath bombs and body wash that smell like fruit. You get the credit for the gift of a Kindle all for yourself.

Buy for $180 on Amazon

Mom is out of service candle

Out of Service When Lit Candle

In an effort to show mom that we hear her (we do try sometimes!), let’s give her a good laugh with these witty candles, made by— who else? The expert moms at Scary Mommy. There are three to choose from including Out of Service When Lit,  Super Chill and Zen, and My Last F*ck (hey we didn’t write them). You can go a step further (it only takes a minute) and choose from some smart-ass sub-headers that describe the heavenly scent, such as Waves On A Kid-Free Beach Far, Far Away From Here. She and her mom tribe will appreciate the brutal honesty or at least like a nice, scented candle.

Buy for $35 on Scary Mommy

Winc Membership

If your wife already has a Kindle or if it’s out of your budget for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, we have the next best thing to pair with the kids’ bath bombs and body wash: A relaxing glass of wine from a bottle that reappears on the reg.

The Winc subscription service will deliver four different types of wine to your home every month. There are multiple options, even including organic or low sugar wines. No longer will she have to make a special trip to the store between running 15 other errands with the kids to keep the wine flowing. You can cancel at any time, or you can even skip a month (we don’t suggest it).

Will four bottles of wine last the entire month? (Snicker.) Probably not, but it’s the thought that counts.

Buy for $39 on Winc

Herbivore Botanicals Beauty Gift Set

We’re going to take a wild guess here: You know little to nothing about how your wife keeps her skin toned and hydrated. (We know. We’re not exactly going out on a limb.)

But maybe you want to buy something that will make her amazed at how observant you are about these things. (It always helps to keep your significant other on her toes about what you do and don’t know; it keeps the relationship fresh.)

So we did the research for you. We spoke to friends in the industry. We did Internet searches that are going to have the ads we see based on our cookies screwed up royally for the next several weeks.

You’re welcome.

This Coco Rose gift set is safe to use on all types of skin, made with organic ingredients. And it’s from Credo, a really good beauty store that only sells good products. She’ll be impressed when she realizes these products didn’t break the bank and excited when she realizes they came with free samples.

Buy for $39 on Credo

Joanna Gaines for Anthropologie Throw Pillow

Even if you haven’t heard of Joanna Gaines, trust us, your wife or mother has. And if she has ever suggested that maybe a future vacation should be in the direction of Waco, Texas, we’re guaranteeing that she’s a huge fan of Joanna Gaines. After all, there’s no other reason to go Waco that we can think of. (Just a little joke, Baylor grads. Sic ’em Bears.)

Here’s all you need to know about Joanna Gaines. She and her family have a TV show that gives regular people beautiful new homes. She also has a highly popular store based in Waco. She has a brand and style that’s highlighted on TV, in magazines, and in probably a dozen other places we don’t understand. Her brand is all about simple home living through impressive decor. (Or so we’ve been told.)

And throw pillows. Lots and lots of throw pillows. You may not understand throw pillows and you may not understand Joanna Gaines— or the store Anthropologie for that matter — but your wife sure does.

Buy for $78 on Anthropologie

Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame

When you want the best Mother’s Day gift for grandma or your wife, a digital photo frame is a great idea, especially when it’s as easy to use as this Nixplay frame.

When you want to add a new shot to the rotation of photos displayed on the frame’s screen, you can send the photo to the frame straight from your phone. (You may have to help grandma connect the frame to her home WiFi network, but after that, it’s a pretty simple process.) Send multiple photos each day, and grandma will feel like she’s there with you.

Or if your wife’s desk at work is overwhelmed with photos of the kids, give her this photo frame, and she can have dozens of rotating photos all in one place, giving her a feeling of clutter-free organization. (She at least deserves to have one space that’s organized.)

Buy for $180 on Amazon

Custom Family Portrait Illustration

Nearly every mom we know loves family portraits.

Wait. Let’s clarify. Nearly every mom we know loves the idea of family portraits. However, when push comes to shove, trying to gather the entire family for a portrait is a nightmare.

The young kids are screaming or finding the only mud puddle in a 10-mile radius. The older kids are sulking about … well, everything. And we as dads are not helping. We can’t even dress ourselves; how are we supposed to keep the kids in line long enough for the photographer to snap a photo that makes everything look normal?

With this custom illustration, you just send the company photos of the family— as a group or, better yet, individually—  when everyone looks his or her best. Add some personal descriptions of each person, and the illustrator will create the perfect family portrait that a photographer has no shot of duplicating. You can even add family pets if you want.

Sorry, but we have to stop here. This Mother’s Day gift idea is bringing a tear to our eye. We’re not sure if we’re feeling sentimental, or if we’re just so f***ing happy to never have to go through the hell that is family portrait day ever again.

Buy for $76 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

10 Funny Grilling Aprons to Whet Their Appetite for Your Dad Jokes

funny grilling aprons main image

In certain households — mine included — grilling time is sacred time. I’m in charge around the grill, and everyone admires and respects my incredulous ability to sear meat in just the proper manner with mouth-watering results.

Of course, the reality is that the kids are running around screaming that they’re starving, someone always has an opinion on what you should be doing with the food, and everyone seems to go deaf the second you ask to have a beer brought to you. Typical dad BBQ moments.

RELATED: The Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill Is So Good, You’ll Use It All Year Long – Fatherly

You may as well ditch the illusion of those perfect BBQ dreams and have some fun with it. Get (and give) a good laugh by poking fun at yourself in one of these really funny aprons for men. Some of these inappropriate aprons are NSFW (not safe for work you, you know..)—or for kids for that matter, but they’re still pretty damn funny for the right crowd.

You may be grilling at home these days with only yours truly (we don’t know who you’ve been stuck with for #quarantine2020), but eventually, the neighbors will start reappearing with booze in hand. When that does happen, we will all be needing a very good laugh.

Now, is it right that your family and friends have said laugh at your expense? You, the aforementioned grill-master? Especially when those same people are about to eat the food you’re cooking? I’ll leave that up to your discretion. Just remember: Revenge can come in many forms, including in burgers “seasoned” with ghost pepper. (Seasoned meaning doused in this case.)

Best Cooking Aprons for Men

funny grilling aprons for men: trophy husband

ApronMen Trophy Husband Grilling Apron

We all know the true reason our wives want us to grill … because we look sexy as hell. We can’t wash laundry, do the dishes, or dress ourselves in the morning correctly, but we know how to look good doing this. We might as well be honest about why she keeps us around with a funny apron for men that designates us as her trophy husband.

Buy for $23 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons: this shit is going to be delicious

Miracu This S*** Is Going to Be Delicious Grilling Apron

There’s a saying in the business world that you should under-promise and over deliver when making a presentation or proposal to a client. In other words, don’t make unrealistic promises about how well you can do a job, leaving your client underwhelmed when the process is over.

F*** that.

When it’s grilling time, you’re in your element. You’re in charge. With this inappropriate apron, you are promising a delicious BBQ meal, and you can be confident you will deliver.

If you want to try wearing this apron the next time you have to give a presentation to a client, we won’t stop you. Just understand it may not work as well in a boardroom as it does around the grill.

Buy for $20 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men: grill sergeant

ApronMen Grill Sergeant Grilling Apron

You know we had to throw a dad joke into any list of cooking aprons for men. (Personally, I feel like an angel kicks a puppy every time I hear a bad pun/dad joke. But I get it. Some people like them.)

This funny grilling apron takes the dad joke to the extreme, even using sergeant stripes and camouflage.

Honestly, every dad has a little bit of a drill sergeant in him, having to order children around the house. So this apron is extremely appropriate. (But never use it to order the wife around. We like to avoid sleeping on the couch.)

Buy for $23 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men: I'll feed all you fuckers

Famgem I’ll Feed All You F****** Grilling Apron

We all love grilling, but it’s also hard work. Standing over a hot grill, having to down multiple cold beers to offset the heat, just to keep our body temperature relatively normal.

No one wants to hear about our woes, though. They just want the food now, bitching and moaning the entire time.

Since we dads are known for holding in our tempers and remaining calm in all situations, we just have to smile and be polite while grilling, not being able to tell them what we really think.

That’s where this cooking apron for men enters the picture. Rather than continually having to answer the question — “When is it going to be ready?” — just keep your mouth shut and point to the front of this inappropriate apron. (Less talking leaves more time for cooling your body temperature with beer, by the way.)

Buy for $26 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men

Saukore That Ain’t Burnt, That’s Flavor Grilling Apron

My dad loved to grill, and he was great at it … most of the time. Once in a while, he’d get busy on a different project and forget to check the grill until it was a little too late.

There was no calling for pizza on these nights, though. The grilling results always ended up on the table, whether they were perfectly cooked, still actively on fire, or anything in between.

So this funny grilling apron speaks to me, as my dad used almost this exact phraseology if any of us little smart-asses dared to question the overdone grilling results. (He used significantly more colorful language than this apron does, but the sentiment is the same and still gets the point across.)

Buy for $18 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men

ApronMen Your Opinion Wasn’t in the Recipe Grilling Apron

At any barbecue where you are in charge of grilling, there always seems to be one pain in the ass who needs to inject an opinion into every move you make.

Since the law (at least for now) frowns on you smacking this backseat griller in the back of the head with a bag of briquettes, try showing him this funny apron for men instead.

And if Mr. Opinion still doesn’t get the hint, pretend that you don’t have enough charcoal or propane to finish the job and send him home to get some … across town … in your car with the gas tank on E. If he doesn’t make it back, so much the better. If he does make it back, he’ll at least have put some gas in your car.

Buy for $23 on Amazon

Funny grilling aprons for men: Breaking Bad Los Pollos Hermanos

Loco Aprons Los Pollos Hermanos Grilling Apron

Breaking Bad involved a cook (of sorts) and a delicious restaurant (of sorts) called Los Pollos Hermanos. So fans of the show will love wearing this fun apron. (Sure, Los Pollos Hermanos was just a front for a huge meth operation, but those details don’t have to affect your enjoyment of this apron. The cook on your grill is completely legal, after all … even if you’re using secret sauce and ingredients that you wouldn’t reveal to anyone, including the cops.)

And for those who’ve never seen Breaking Bad, just tell them that, during a trip to Mexico, you were given this cooking apron for men by the master of a secret grilling society that has been active for centuries, and it gives you special grilling powers. If they’ve had enough beers, they might even buy it.

Buy for $15 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men: i like big butts

Nomsum I Like Big Butts Grilling Apron

What’s better than having dad grill some amazing burgers and steaks? Having dad do some freestyle rap while he’s grilling amazing burgers and steaks.

This funny grilling apron is sure to inspire dad to lay down some bars. (We feel very confident that one of the lines will include, “I’m here to say,” at some point.)

Do you think Sir Mix-A-Lot realized what he was unleashing on the world when he released Baby Got Back? Us either. Even if you’re a terrible rapper, you can still enjoy this funny cooking apron for men. Hey, and if your intention was to sleep on the couch tonight, #you’re welcome.

Buy for $18 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men

ApronMen Meat Is Murder … Tasty, Tasty Murder Grilling Apron

Sometimes, you’ll have someone at your barbecue who wants you to place some vegetables on the grill next to the meat. We understand that’s sacrilege for some grill masters. We’re not totally opposed to it on occasion, as long as everyone realizes the star of the show is the meat.

But if you run into someone at your barbecue who has a strong opinion that the grill should contain only vegetables, then this is one of those inappropriate aprons that simply must be worn.

Hey, it’s OK to appreciate animals and still think a pork chop or chicken breast tastes amazing on the grill. Humans have managed to balance the two ideas for centuries. This funny apron for men just helps to ensure the tradition continues.

Buy for $23 on Amazon

funny grilling aprons for men

Panoware I Grill and I Know Things Grilling Apron

Game of Thrones fans will appreciate the humor behind this funny grilling apron, as it twists one of the most well-known quotes from show character Tyrion Lannister. (Come to think of it, no twist was needed: “I drink and I know things” would’ve fit appropriately on cooking aprons for men for grilling time.)

If people who are not fans of GoT see the apron, they might just think you have super dad powers. (This is never a bad thing to make your kids think you have, by the way. The more they think you’re watching them, the less s*** they’ll screw up.)

Buy for $25 on Amazon

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.