Make: Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Gifts you can make

Make: Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Gifts you can make

Forget Black Friday, 3am sales, and long lines of unhappy people buying giant flatscreen TVs, it’s time to MAKE something this holiday season! Impress your loved ones with a truly special gift from the heart, not from a store. Spend the day after Thanksgiving with your family and friends, making gifts instead of trying to remember where you parked the car. What are you making as gifts this year? Share with us in the comments.


Homemade beer makes a fantastic gift. It’s fun to make and celebratory to share! I’ve found the best way to get started in brewing is to brew with an experienced friend (thanks to Contributing Writer Matt Mets for being that friend to me), but if that’s not feasible check out the Home Brewing Wiki  to see what you’ll need to get set up and even find a local brew store near you.


Marshmallow shooter

Here’s a cure for stuffy family gatherings, just pass out marshmallow shooters and have a blast! Check out the Howtoon in MAKE, Volume 01 and also an Instructable on creating your own PVC contraptions.


DTV antenna

Ok, so say you did end up getting that big flatscreen after all. At least make your own DTV antenna! It’s mainly made from just a piece of wood and some wire coat hangers, but the spacing of the sections is the secret sauce for great reception. We have the PDF plans and video to show you how it works, both from Make: television.


Street spam lounger

MAKE’s own Sean Ragan designed this sweet lounger made from corrugated plastic campaign billboards. Read about it in MAKE, Volume 15, but don’t miss his plans for creating your own Street Spam Lounger!


Anything with a MakerBot

Ok, I realize that if you’re lucky enough to have a MakerBot Cupcake CNC 3D printer, you have probably already thought of printing out gifts this holiday season. I recommend the screwable jewelry box to house small gifts like a MakerBot engagement ring. Also notable for their printable gift potential: salt and pepper shakers, this iPod dock, a hairpin, and this heart-shaped box.


Cracker box amplifier

Strapped for cash but want to impress the musician on your list? Amplify his/her tunes by building a cracker box amp! The parts cost less than $10 (or you may have them kicking around already). Preview the article in MAKE, Volume 09, or check out the Little Gem circuit at RunoffGroove.

DIY grilling/smoking

With your mad maker skillz, it’s not too hard to fashion up a fancy new grill or smoker. Check out Sean Ragan’s hot to cold smoker conversion, or convert a steel drum to a grill.

MAKE holiday cards

If you’re giving the gift of MAKE this season, we have a few printable cards for download, so why not hack one to make it extra special… and blinky?

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.

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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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