Since I dabble in so many different crafty activities, I’ve become a real gear junkie. I’ve come to believe that having good tools is the way to really enjoy the practice of creating, and in many cases can produce a more satisfying final output. Here are some tools that would be perfect for gifts! I try not to duplicate tools from previous guides, so check out the 2007 Crafty Tool guide, too!
Plush stuffing fork (13.95)
If you’re in the practice of making plushies with long tentacles, Heather Bailey’s plush stuffing fork works way better than an old chopstick for getting stuffing down into the tiniest contours.
Knit Kit ($19.95)
This item is brand new to the Maker Shed!
The perfect accessory for the knitter on the go, the Knit Kit is equipped with the seven most essential knitting accessories needed to accompany a set of needles and yarn in your project bag. The front contains a durable locking row counter and a smooth retracting 5ft. tape measure. The left side has a fully removable crochet hook for picking up that dropped stitch or weaving in an end, and the right side has a folding in-and-out thread cutter in the event your scissors are not available. The back compartment of The Knit Kit nicely houses sturdy, TSA Compliant, collapsible scissors as well as point protectors and three different sized stitch markers.
Crop-A-Dile eyelet and snap punch ($20)
MAKE Senior Editor Gareth Branwyn loves this thing. He writes:
I reviewed it for CRAFT, but I’ve used it ever since. It’s a multi-size hole puncher and grommet/eyelet setter. It’s even strong enough to punch hole/set eyelets in the Maker’s Notebook cover!
A snap setter like this is also perfect for snap-ifying baby clothes!
1″ circle paper punch (under $10)
Speaking of punching holes in things, CRAFT Contributing Writer Rachel Hobson can’t live without her new 1″ hole punch. It’s more versatile than you might first expect, and for that reason makes an excellent gift since your crafty giftee might be less inclined to get it for him/herself. Use it not only for scrapbooking, but for making gift tags, buttons, magnets, or stickers.
i Craft: things Leatherman Squirt S4 ($29.95)
Show off your love of crafting, right on your keychain! This multitool is oh-so useful. I use mine literally every day! The scissors are a nice alternative to the pliers on other models of the Squirt.
Sewing machine (price varies)
A good sewing machine makes an excellent “big ticket” gift for a loved one. You might drop hints or ask some intel-grabbing questions to find out just what he/she is looking for in a sewing machine before you just go and pick one out, or better yet, just come clean and pick one out with the subject of your affection. I recently got the Singer Confidence 7470, and I’m really pleased with it. If you go to your local sewing machine shop, ask them to give you a tour of their machines, and you’ll end up with the perfect one. Some other brands we like: Bernina, Brother, and Husqvarna/Viking.
I bought this on a whim in the craft store one day, and promptly fell in love with it. It fits comfortably around your finger for a very controlled slice through lightweight materials like paper and fabric. My computer-weary wrists love this thing!
Yarn ball winder ($40)
This ball winder by Royal is just lovely! Have you shied away from buying some gorgeous yarn because it came in a hank and you couldn’t bear the idea of gettting it all tangled or balling it by hand? This fun little gizmo makes delicious little cylindrical pucks of yarn with a center pull strand. I don’t even remember what it’s like to have a tangled mess while working on a yarn project anymore. I recommend getting a swift to go with the winder, too.
If you like to sew and are trying to think of gifts for an embroiderer or knitter, whip up an arm rest organizer with inspiration from our own Rachel Hobson. You can customize the elements to taste, but a pincusion, scraps cup, and slots for scissors and other tools are good basics to start with. I remember as a kid always poking myself on pins and needles sticking out of the arm rest in my mom’s favorite spot on the couch, so please, save your friend’s housemates by making them one of these!
In the Maker Shed:
Want more? Stop by the Maker Shed. We’ve got all sorts of great holiday gift ideas, Arduino & Arduino accessories, electronic kits, science kits, smart stuff for kids, back issues of MAKE & CRAFT, box sets, books, robots, kits from Japan and more.
Holiday Shipping Deadlines in December:
04 (Fri) – Deadline for microscope shipping
11 (Fri) – postal shipping deadline
14 (Mon) – ground shipping deadline
18 (Fri) – FedEx 3-day shipping deadline
21 (Mon) – FedEx 2-day shipping deadline
22 (Tue) – FedEx overnight shipping deadline
*Customers experiences on orders with these ship methods placed after these dates may vary, the dates listed are what we call “safe dates”
USPS (Any Method):
Due to the high volume of mail that the postal service deals with around the holidays, order by Dec. 10th, however, many packages are lost or delayed in transit and we do not replace or refund any orders lost using this ship method, we strongly encourage you to not use this method in December.