The Culture Jamming gift guide at MAKE – hack, stick, throw, jam and inspire!

Home Technology
The Culture Jamming gift guide at MAKE – hack, stick, throw, jam and inspire!


Ok, folks, I know not all of you approve of culture jamming shenanigans, but here are some gift ideas for that mischief maker in your life!

Peggy Kit
Create a light board with your own picture! You can make an LED sign for your window, a geeky valentine for your sweetie, one bad-ass birthday card, or freak the holy bejesus out of Boston. Your call. It’s a versatile, high-brightness display. How you configure it and what you do with it is up to you. This first version can make any static design you can dream up. Version 2 adds simple animation capability and Arduino compatibility.
Price: Version 1: $79.95 Verion 2: $94.95

photo above by Flickr user smashtheqube

Read on for the complete list of awesome culture jamming gift ideas!
2743030759_b7d3005079_b.jpg bugSticker.jpg

Print out some stickers!
There are several fun stickers available for messing with the status quo. Print out (or get printed) some stickers and give some cheery thought-provoking public advertisement interaction! Print out a sticker for your license to become an intellectual property donor, put outrageous advertising claims in their place with Matt Mechtley’s [citation needed] stickers, encourage anti-consumerism with the Anti-Advertising Agency’s “You don’t need it” stickers, or make sure people know who’s behind their everyday objects with “Property of the Bavarian Illuminati” decals. Oh, and don’t forget to alert electronics and software consumers about the “Now slower, with more bugs” features in the products they’re interested in buying.


MAKE: Bomb Defuser – Leatherman “Squirt” E4 (electronics version)
Small enough to fit on your key chain, the MAKE Bomb Defuser is the perfect companion for mobile fixing, hacking and MacGyvering. This is a limited offering with custom “MAKE: bomb defuser” laser etched with care using a 35w laser. Order today or be sorry tomorrow. Not “carry-on” friendly. Please take note that Make does not suggest you attempt to defuse a bomb with this unless you have prior expert training.
Price: $39.95

A helium balloon
Yep, that’s right. Foil a CCTV camera with a static-charged(rub it on your hair), helium filled balloon.


Wave Bubble Jammer
It’s illegal to sell a cell phone jammer in the USA, but it’s not illegal to build your own! Ladyada has instructions, circuit board layouts, and a parts list for the Wave Bubble, a completely open source multi-range RF jammer. It’s a complicated device to make, so if you’re savvy, build one for a friend, or get the boards etched and make some kits to give as gifts.

This little gadget is one of my favorite culture jamming tools. Another Ladyada (co)creation, you can assemble this kit to turn off any TV while out an about dining, etc. Originally created by Mitch Altman, you can also buy a pre-made and less powerful keychain TV-B-Gone, or the extra-powerful TV-B-Gone Pro. These make great gifts for your family members who don’t know how to solder, especially your grandparents with hearing aids. This kit is easily adapted into a hat, hoodie, or another incarnation of your choosing.
Price: $20.00 – $49.95 depending on which version

Moss Graffiti
Give the gift of CRAFT:04, where you can learn to make moss graffiti and liven up your environment.


The Yes Men movie
This is the ultimate culture jamming documentary. Travel with “a couple of anti-corporate activist-pranksters as they impersonate World Trade Organization spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world.” Inspiring, astounding, hilarious.
Price: DVD $11.99

Double-stick tape
Turn everyday objects into objects of public intervention with a little double-stick tape.
Price: $2.49


Maker’s Notebook
I know you’ve got all those plans, those great ideas, well quick! Write them down! Put your own ideas, diagrams, calculations & notes down in these 150 pages of engineering graph paper. We’ve also included 20 bonus pages of reference material, from useful stuff like electronics symbols, resistor codes, weights and measures, basic conversions and more, to really useful stuff like the amount of caffeine in different caffeinated beverages and how to say “Hello, World!” in various computer languages. Cat not included.
Price: $19.99

New Era Hat
Is somebody on your list into designer clothes? This New Era hat plastered with (counterfeit) stickers might just do the trick.


Bar code scanner
Ok, ok, I know. A bar code scanner?! But I swear, it kicked it all off for me. Learning how to breakdown the cryptic barcode system is what got me interested in taking control over the information around me. This one acts just like a keyboard, so just plug it in (USB!) and start scanning right into a text editor or barcode database! You can make some cool art with barcodes, too.


The Best of Instructables Volume I
Birthplace of the LED throwie phenomenon, 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, and the Instructables community itself have put together a collection of 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. Speaking of LED throwies, you could make a kit with LEDs, batteries, and magnets and give the gift of throwies! These easily-removable light-graffiti tools make every night feel like the holidays, DIY style.
Price: $29.99


Recipes for Disaster
From the product description on Amazon: “Beautifully designed A-Z of the totality of revolutionary politics. This brand new Crimethinc book is the action guide – the direct action guide. From affinity groups to wheatpasting, coalition building, hijacking events, mental health, pie-throwing, shoplifting, stenciling, supporting survivors of domestic violence, surviving a felony trial, torches, and whole bunch more. Incredible design, and lots of graphics give it that hip situ feel. Loads to read, to think about, and to do. At 650 pages, you could always throw the damn book at a suitable target. What are you waiting for?” It also has a great how-to on linoleum asphalt mosaics, one of my favorite methods of urban communication.
Price: $10.17


Twitchie Robot Kit
With the special combination of three servo motors, laser-cut wooden parts, and extra-twitchie code, it’s hard NOT to make a public disturbance with this kit. No matter what you wrap it in, it just comes out… creepy. In a good way. See example 1, example 2, and example 3.
Price: $99.95

Anarchist action figure
So you can’t go out and buy this right now in a store, but it’s an interesting idea; Packard Jennings hand-crafted these anarchist action figures and placed them in SF bay-area stores to show how easily even radical ideologies can be commodified.


Items from the Bansky Shop Free downloadable art for causing your own Banksy-esque hijinks. High-res files available for making your own posters, too.

Metal X-ray plates
Stick a stencil-cut slab o’ metal in your suitcase to let that special TSA agent know you care. Evan Roth calls this TSA Communication, and even though you can’t buy a set of plates on his site, if you know somebody with a plasma cutter, you can make your own.

An idea from the Idea Vending Machine
Running low on inspiration? The Idea Vending Machine gives you more than just ideas! For just 50¢ you get (1) idea, a map if travel is involved, (1) toy, (1) quarter, and (1) lucky penny. Sounds like a bargain to me! If you are wondering why you get a quarter back? Well, the vending machine will only work if (2) quarters are inserted and artist thought that was too much money to charge, so he returns (1) quarter back to you. In the end it only costs 24¢. Don’t forget about the lucky penny!

Fabric and toilet paper rolls to make a PIXELATOR!
Cover that big black box in your living room with fabric and recycled cardboard tubes to make a very pretty stained glass effect, and make your TV into art!

Holiday Shipping Deadlines:

FedEx*: Ground – Dec 15th 3-Day Saver -Dec 17th 2-Day -Dec 18th Overnight -Dec 19th

*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.


Want more? Stop by the Maker Shed store and check out THE place for open source hardware, 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.

If I left your favorite culture jamming gift idea out, please leave me a note in the comments!

6 thoughts on “The Culture Jamming gift guide at MAKE – hack, stick, throw, jam and inspire!

  1. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing culture-jammy about encouraging consumerism.

  2. Phillip Torrone says:

    many/most of the things here are things you can make….

  3. Maha says:

    The [citation needed] made me laugh so hard. That style of culture jamming i like.

    The Anarchist action figure is probably the wrong direction and the link doesn’t go to anything about the actionfigure. Just an 8 page comic type thing about anarchy.. burning down the world and somehow everything turns out all peaceful with natural living. If someone really wants that they can sell their belongings and start walking up and down the appalachian trail for the rest of their life (and probably die in the first winter).

    Make is about building things! many times it’s about taking old broken things and remaking them. Make isn’t about destroying everything.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

View more articles by Becky Stern


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).