Gift Guide: Hardcore Handmade for the Holidays


Welcome to CRAFT’s season of gift guides! We’ll be bringing you a new guide every weekday to make your holiday gift search a little easier. Mixed in with topical guides this season you’ll find gifts to make at all different levels. First up: hardcore handmade! Get started early on these gifts that take forever to make but pack a seriously impressive punch. That special someone will flip out over these projects that celebrate the labor of love. Have you slaved away on a craft project as a gift for someone special? Post it up in the comments. And if you can’t wait to browse our team’s collective gift brain, check out our gift guides in 2010 and 2009.

Mario Level One scarf

Cassie in Georgia knitted an entire level of Super Mario as a scarf for her beau!


Saga electric guitar kit

Build this electric guitar from the easy-to-follow instructions for a gift that’ll be cherished because you made it yourself.

Cosby sweater

Andrew Salomone wants nothing more than to see Mr. Bill Cosby in this sweater made just for him on an electronic knitting machine.

TARDIS blanket

Carrie Fritsche makes it easy to recreate her 9-foot TARDIS blanket with a free pattern on Ravelry. Her sister is the lucky recipient of this cozy Dr. Who tribute.

Moon embroidery

Got a space geek to please this xmas? Take a queue from Rachel Hobson and create a portrait of your babe’s favorite interplanetary body, in this case the lusciously-textured surface of Earth’s moon.


Give a batch of beer

Beer doesn’t take more than a few days’ labor, but there’s a lot of waiting. Get started now if you want to give the gift of homebrew! Maker Shed carries kits for an IPA or Tripel, and we covered brewing start to finish on Make: Live.

R2D2 Quilt

Delicately pieced by a friend, this Flickr user received an exquisite handmade Artoo-Detoo quilt as a gift.

Popup book

Is paper more your speed? Spend hours with a ruler and blade making a popup paper sculpture like Tauba Auerbach.

Electronic popup book

Oh, so a popup’s too basic? Try making your own version of Ji Qi’s computational popup book with conductive traces activating lights and sounds as you activate the book’s tabs and flaps.

In the Maker Shed:

Want more? Stop by the Make 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:

December 14 Last Day to place orders shipped via USPS
December 19th Last Day to place orders shipped via 3-Day freight
December 20th Last Day to place orders shipped via 2-Day freight
December 22nd Last Day to place orders shipped via priority overnight Saturday delivery

Note: We guarantee delivery by Christmas when ordering by the above deadlines, except for USPS, where we simply cannot guarantee. However, we feel reasonably certain based on experience that orders placed on that day will be delivered by Christmas via USPS.

And of course, Gift Certificates and MAKE subscriptions are always available – even on Christmas Day!

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


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