A DIY gift will always trump a store-bought one — if you create a present that really suits the recipient and shows off your impressive skills or thoughtfulness. Here are some DIY creations that will prompt your gift recipient to gush with gratitude: “You made that for me?”
Easy DIY Gifts
Vintage Book GRID-IT
We’re fond of the GRID-IT line of versatile gadget organisers. While the official organisers aren’t expensive, this DIY version lets you customise the cover as your recipient’s favourite book and show off your craft skills.
Original Post: Build Your Own Grid-It Tech Organiser In A Vintage Book
DIY Instructions: Vintage Book Travel-Tech Organizer [Design Sponge]
Binder Clip Mobile Phone Car Mount
This stocking stuffer is just as useful as its branded counterparts (though bear in mind that many states do require you to use a commercial version). Take two binder clips and transform them into a smartphone or mobile phone car mount. If your gift recipient hasn’t seen this hack before, he or she will think you’re a genius with this clever MacGyver gift.
Original Post & DIY Instructions: How To Build A Car Mount For Your Mobile Phone From Office Supplies
DIY Smoker from Flower Pots
If your friend loves slow-cooked, smoked meat, this is a great backyard smoker that costs hundred of dollars less than commercial ones. Build a smoker out of flower pots and other readily available parts. You just need to be able to wield a drill.
Original Post: Make A DIY Flower-Pot Smoker
DIY Instructions: A Little Brown Egg in Maine: Terra Cotta Smoker [Instructables]
Personalised DIY Gifts
For a small sum, you can create a truly unique and personalised present that your gift recipient will admire and use: a lamp that showcases old snapshots from 35mm negatives. Take a $10 IKEA lamp and use decoupage glue to decorate it with old negatives. Use the right negatives, and this sentimental, meaningful gift will highlight what the season is all about.
Original Post: Turn Photo Negatives Into Artsy Personalised Lamps
DIY Instructions: Grono Lamp Hack [Poopscape]
DIY Photo Canvas
Sure, you could buy a photo canvas print, but you can easily do it yourself — and the time and energy you put into making this keepsake/piece of personal art makes all the difference. It’s also a very forgiving DIY gift: the imperfections during the photo transfer make the final product even more touching.
DIY Instructions: Make Your Own Canvas Portrait! [A Beautiful Life]
Stickygram Instagram Magnets
Here’s a quick and inexpensive gift anyone can make: customised magnets made from your Instagram photos. Technically, you’re not really making the magnets yourself — the Stickygram service is — but you have to take the photos and select which ones to share with your gift recipient. The cost is just $US14.99 per sheet of 9 magnets, with free global shipping.
Web site: Stickygram
Geeky DIY Gifts
For that special NES games lover, turn an old laptop and monitor into a table-top gaming machine. All you need are some decent carpentry and soldering skills to make your own Nintendo Arcade. (It can still be used as a regular PC as well, if your gift recipient can break him/herself away from Super Mario Brothers.)
Original Post: Build A Nintendo Arcade To Get Your Old-School Game On
DIY Instructions: How to build a Nintendo Arcade [Instructables
Mason Jar Speakers
These unusual battery-powered "audioJar" speakers are made out of mason jars. The design, which uses MIT's David Mellis's Fab Speakers instructions, is very customisable, so you can make a more portable version or one that looks completely unique.
Original Post: DIY Mason Jar Speakers
DIY Instructions: audio Jar [Sarah Pease]
Raspberry Pi Keyboard Computer
Got your hands on a Raspberry Pi and willing to turn it into a gift for someone? Make an old-school computer-in-a-keyboard by simply stuffing the Raspberry Pi in there and modding the keyboard case.
Original Post: Turn A Keyboard Into A Computer With Raspberry Pi
DIY Instructions: RaspCherry Pi (Google Translate) [Preamp