Instructables DIY gift ideas

Instructables DIY gift ideas

Instructables has put together a list of suggestions for make-it-yourself gifts. I bet there’s going to be a lot of handmade gifts this year. Great! A wonderful silver lining to leaner times.

I have a scarf that a friend knitted me for my last birthday. I was so touched that someone had taken that much time to make something just for me. It felt as though her affection for me was actually encoded in the scarf, in the many hours of knitting it. I think about this every time I grab it from the closet and put it on. I’m not sure any purchased item would communicate the friendly love and devotion, the true notion of “gift,” the way this scarf does.

I’m hoping to make most of my gifts this year. In fact, my son and I are planning on doing one of the projects from The Best of Instructables and giving one to all of our family members. (I’m not going to say which one ’cause I don’t want to spoil the surprise.)

Here are a few of the ideas for gifts that the Instructables team put together:


Make a Custom Lift-the-Flap Book for a Toddler

I provide childcare in my home for three toddlers and I’ve noticed that they really love board books with flaps that open. So for Christmas I made three customized lift-the-flap books for them. This instructable will explain how to make your own and give some tips on how to make the process a little easier.


Munny SpeakersGive your speakers some extra personality by making them out of a vinyl doll. Kid Robot makes the easily hackable Munny doll and I’ve been meaning to cut one up. The combined need for some new speakers created a happy union of doll and speaker.

We included this speaker project in The Best of Instructables and Instructables had them at their booth at Maker Faire Austin. They looked pretty cool online, they look A LOT cooler in person! Really unique and beautiful. Of course, this isn’t a cheap project, but one the recipient will never forget.


Trendy note card gift set

Black and white is totally trendy right now, and what’s hotter than adding a little “bling” to your life? So here’s a super quick (only six steps!) note card design that you can make as a gift for that really hip gal in your life – or keep for yourself and use them as thank you’s for all the not-so-hip gifts you’ll be getting for Christmas!

There are so many amazing things you can do with paper products and crafting supplies. A trip to a Micheal’s or places like PaperSource will give you all sorts of great ideas, for both presents and wrapping and packaging ideas. This Instructable shows just how easy and cheap it is make very swanky stationary with just a few special craft supplies and materials.


Photo cube – frameless, cheap and easy!

I made this as a birthday card for my sister, but it’s also a great cheap way to display photos without having to buy a frame. It would also make a lovely personalized bauble or gift box.

You could also use these as gift boxes.


Audio Visual Art….FOTC Style
This guy made a LED back-lit, singing painting for his wife, as an homage to the Flight of the Conchords. You could obviously take the idea somewhere else entirely.

Gift Ideas

From the Maker Shed:
These are just some of the great ideas for homemade gifts. Instructables is a giant treasure-trove of ideas. And so is The Best of Instructables.


Best Of Instructables
Our Price: $34.99
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You Save $5.00! has become one of the most popular magnets for makers and DIY enthusiasts of all stripes. Now, with more than 10,000 projects to choose from, the Instructables staff, editors of MAKE: Magazine, and the Instructables community itself have put together a collection of home, craft, food and technology how-to’s from the site. The Best of Instructables Volume 1 includes plenty of clear, full-color photographs, complete step-by-step instructions, and tips, tricks, and new build techniques you won’t find anywhere else.

Highlights from the book:

* 336 pages, 6-5/8 x 9-3/8, same dimensions as The Best of MAKE and MAKE magazine.
* Over 120 projects!
* Projects cover everything from food hacking and making home furnishings from junk to building robots and CNC milling machines. And in-between you’ll find projects on arts, crafts, costume-making, tool tips, themed photo galleries, and tons more.
* There are also the results of the Community Choice contest winners (the best of Instructables as voted by its members) and links to their projects.
* There are key user comments from the site throughout, called User Notes, and even a section in the back for you to keep your own User Notes as you build the projects.

We tried to involve the Instructables community as much as possible in the creation of the book (we were in direct communication with several hundred authors!). We hope the results do this maker community proud. It was a thrill ride to be sure.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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