Stay tuned all week long for gift guides for everyone in your life! Today, it’s MAKE meets CRAFT: the gift guide of techy projects and more for the crafter.
What do you get for crafters who also venture into the tech side of things? Before you start knitting a multimeter cosy, here are some great projects and gift ideas that intersect the worlds of MAKE and CRAFT.
Ready to take your craft projects to the next level? With “smart” materials, unorthodox assembly techniques, and the right tools, you can create accessories, housewares, and toys that light up, make sounds, or do even more. Fashioning Technology offers jargon-free primers and lots of how-to projects that will have you making — and even wearing — functional works of art. This book demonstrates how to blend sewing and assembly techniques with traditional electronics to assemble simple circuits using conductive thread, solder joints for snaps, and switches for buttons. With the sewing machine as a viable substitute for the soldering iron, you can craft a new generation of objects that are interactive, quirky, and fashion-conscious.
LED Mini Menorah Kits
Evil Mad Science make these LED Mini Menorah electronic soldering kits. Each time that it is switched off and back on, it displays one more light than it did the previous time that you turned it on. The source code is available for download. You can modify it, use it to program your own microcontroller, and make your own holiday decorations.
In this CRAFT podcast, Becky Stern shows how to create this embroidered frog with LED fireflies. For a gift, you could put together a kit based on the supply list or create the project yourself to give.
LilyPad E-Sewing Kit/LilyPad Pro Kit
For the more advanced craft tech nerd, the LilyPad e-sewing kit includes the materials to sew LEDs into all sorts of clothing. Add on the LilyPad Pro Kit to enable programming the LilyPad main board for more control. With these kits, make a project like the Turn Signal Biking Jacket.
LED Firefly Baby Booties Tutorial
If you want to make a gift that combines crafts with technology, the LED Firefly Baby Booties project includes a very simple circuit and some sewing. Keep in mind the safety warning before giving this as a gift.
Twitchie Robot Kit – HOW TO – Make a robotic scorpion
With the twitchie robot kit and a few additional materials, you can make a gift that will really freak out a friend. Becky made this scorpion toy with the Twitchie Robot Kit and shared the instructions in a how to video. There is no programming required so the project is great for beginners.
DIY LED Felt Ornaments
This kit includes a tutorial on the basics of sewing soft circuits with conductive threads and snaps. No soldering involved!
3D Christmas Tree Kit
Celebrate the holidays with this great, easy to build kit. Perfect for the cubicle!
8 simple steps gives you a cool flashing multi-colored LED Christmas Tree.
Wire Cutters/Strippers, Basic Multimeter, Shear Cutters
Sometimes the best gift is the right tool for the job. Lady Ada lists different tool combinations at various price levels and links to where to buy them. She also has tutorials to learn how to properly solder and use multimeters.
Make: Open Sourcerer – Leatherman Juice CS4 Tool
You know the saying, a Leatherman in hand is worth two in the bush or something like that. No matter how many tools are in your toolbox, with the Make: Open Sourcerer you have pliers, straight knife, hard-wire cutters, scissors, screwdrivers, container opener, corkscrew, bottle opener, saw and an awl/punch all in your pocket.
MAKE:it – Electronic Makers Toolkit
For everything you need to get started with electronic construction, the Electronic Makers Toolkit was hand picked by our Makers. The kit includes a soldering iron, PCB Vise Panavise “Jr”, desoldering pump, soldering stand with sponge, solder, desoldering braid, wire cutters/stripper, shear cutters, and multimeter.
Computerized Embroidery Machine
Computers are cool, but computers in sewing machines can be even cooler. Natalie Zee Drieu checked out this Singer Futura computerize embroidery machine at Maker Faire. With machine embroidery, you can download graphics or design your own.
Limited Edition Lendorff.Kaywa Scarf
The Lendorff.Kaywa scarf is a knitted space invader scarf with QR code. No pattern, but the limited edition scarf is available for £32.50.
Download the Captain Capacitor knitting pattern for free from from Mochimochi Land. Extra credit if you can figure out a way to make it actually store energy.
This free pattern by Christine Dumoulin on Knitty combines the binary art of knitting with binary.
MAKE – Volume 14, Cosmic Night Light
Learn how to make a glittering LED constellation embedded in resin. The project requires no soldering and the supplies can be gathered at a craft store and a RadioShack.
Make – Volume 10, Vibrobot
With a toy motor and a mint tin, you can make a twitchy bug-like robot. All you need to make your first robot is a candy mint tin and some house hold items.