You don't have to hit the stores to get a gift for someone. Often the best gifts are the ones you make and customise yourself. Here are a few of our favourite projects for just that.
Custom-Built Retro Game Station
Building a retro game emulator with a Raspberry Pi is easy enough, but it doesn't make a great gift on its own. For that, you'll want to build some type of container for it. You have a lot of options for this depending on what type of gift you want to give. You can keep it small and countertop-sized like the image above, make a custom handheld, stuff it inside a GameBoy, or make a whole coffee table.
Microwave Heat Bags
Microwave heat bags are great for soothing aching joints. If you have someone on your gift list who gets a little busted up over the year, heat bags are a cheap and easy gift. All you need is a little cotton, some thread, and some filling for the bag. You don't need to be an expert at sewing here, you'll just need a little patience to sew a bag.
MP3 Mix Tape Inside A Cassette
Mix tapes used to be an awesome gift to give someone, but that's a bit lost these days. To bring back that charm, you can make a custom MP3 player inside of a cassette. It's the perfect gift for anyone looking for a little retro charm.
If someone on your gift list is in need of a new desk, then building one for them is the logical step. Everyone's needs here are a bit different, but building a handmade desk doesn't have to be difficult. You can make one from IKEA kitchen parts, concrete, sawhorses, a single sheet of plywood, or one that folds into a mirror. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Animated GIF Photo Frame
Have someone on your list who loves GIFs? You can't give a better gift than an animated GIF photo frame that turns their favourite internet file extension into a work of art. All you need is a Raspberry Pi, a small display, a cheap photo frame, and some free time.
DIY Tool Roll
Chances are that the DIYer on your list has a toolbox already, but they might not have a tool roll. If you don't mind doing some sewing, you can make one yourself pretty easily. The end result it an easy-to-carry toolkit that fits into tiny spaces.
Finding the perfect backpack is difficult. If you know someone who just can't seem to find the right bag, then you might try your hand at making one for them. It's not the world's easiest handmade project, but done right, it's one that might just last the recipient a lifetime.
Multi-Tool Belt Holster
For the DIYer on your list, Adam Savage's custom multi-tool belt holster could be the perfect gift. You'll need to be skilled in metalworking to make it, but it's not nearly as impossible as it sounds. The end result is a pretty great custom gift that any DIYer will love to have.
If you're looking for a cool handmade gift, then you won't do much better than a custom print on wood. You'll just need an inkjet printer and a piece of wood to get going. From there, the possibilities are pretty limitless.
Everyone needs coasters, and making your own with custom prints is an easy way to make a handmade gift that you know will be put to use. The process is as easy as cutting out an image, gluing it down to a piece of clay tile, and gluing it over.