Salad Bowl Speakers
A nice, simple mod to start off our list, this lovely pair of wireless speakers are encased in wooden salad bowls. The tools you’ll need are primarily a decent drill, soldering iron and a few screwdrivers. The man who made the originals actually finished them the same night that he started, so the workload isn’t too heavy either. And the result is a very chic looking pair of wooden, wireless speakers.
Retro Bike Light
Want to give a heartfelt gift, but don’t want it to break the bank? With a minimum of effort and only a handful of tools, you can craft this nifty little stocking stuffer. Great for anyone who likes to ride their bike to work or hit the trails, recipients of this little DIY light will be sure to have something one-of-a-kind upon their handlebars. Blinking red tail lights available as well.
No-Tech Pixelated Lantern
Want to make something cool, but you don’t have the tools for our previous items? All you need to make this cool lantern is a pair of scissors and a sewing kit. And a 16-pack of beer. Yeah, that’s right. Step one of this build is to empty 16 cans of beer (or soda if you like). Once you’ve amassed your materials, all you’ll need to do is sew and cut your way to awesomeness. The genius of this build is that it uses cheap tea lights and beer cans to simulate a seemingly high-tech, pixelated grid of soft light.
Location-Aware Teddy Bear
If you ever had a Teddy Ruxpin or an A G Bear you know the magic that a high tech teddy can contain. This RFID bear is a new twist on that same idea. When it comes in close proximity with an RFID tagged item, it emits a specialized sound. The wonderful thing is that, what with the advance of technology since cassette tapes and all, a simple 4GB SD card can hold over 60 hours of these unique sounds. You’ll need to know a bit about Arduino microcontrollers to pull it off, and sewing skills won’t hurt either.
Just as cute as the RFID Teddy, but lower on the techie totem pole, this crocheted Cthulhu is a tiny bundle of unspeakable evil that you can manifest all by yourself, no cult required. You’ll need to know a few different crocheting skills to pull it off, but the pattern’s creator deemed it “great for beginners” nonetheless. A little time, a needle and yarn, and you’ll have a cute bit of evil to hand out this holiday. Or, you could just buy a custom-made one and say that you did the work yourself.
LED Harry Potter Wand
Wizard duels can be rough on your wand. Just ask Harry or Voldemort. And wands can be expensive. So for the wizard in need or the incoming first-year at Hogwarts, here’s a great, simple DIY wand. The genius of this build is the ready-made tech component (a UV LED key-ring) which allows you to not only cast lumos spells, but revelio ones as well. That is, as long as you’ve already written the secrets you’re meant to reveal in UV ink.
All you’ll need for this build is a bit of fabric, glue and a sewing machine. Or steady hands if you don’t have the sewing machine. Unfortunately, these materials won’t actually craft you a purse that is bigger on the inside. That being said, you’ll likely ward off any surprise Dalek attacks meant for your recipient.
Levitating Death Star
For the Trooper who has it all. This little doohickey is actually a smart mod of a strange little desk ornament: the floating globe. Talk about your office upgrade, though! How imposing will your corporate ladder-climber look with the Death Star on their desk? You’ll need patience and a bit of finesse to pull this one off, so we’re marking it “intermediate”. The tools list is fairly short, though, and you won’t need astronomical techie skills either.
Crocheted Firefly Crew
This one goes out to my fellow Browncoats. The ones who can crochet. As Instructables go, this “build” isn’t all that good at providing you with step-by-step instruction, so you’ll need to know what you’re doing with a needle from the onset. Thankfully there are pointers thrown in on how different details were achieved, including Jayne’s removable hat. The upside is that if you know how to do this sort of stuff already, then you likely already have all the yarn and things that you’ll need. If not, I count around 17 types of yarn here.
Wooden Hard Drive Enclosure
If you’re the type who owns a Miter Saw, here’s a nifty little DIY for you. Wooden computer accessories always lend an air of class to an office, and one you made yourself will have your recipient’s friends gasping in awe. A nice benefit of this build is that it has a longer list of tools than it does of component parts. You’ll just need some wood, glue and the hard drive itself, which can vary a bit in price.
Cute, cuddly robots are definitely something Disney creates well. And nothing quite beats a plush version of EVE from WALL-E for cuddliness. This build is actually fairly simple, what with the simplicity if EVE’s design. It’s almost as simple as making a pillow. A cute robot pillow with arms, that is. There is even the possibility of making this with a glue gun instead of a sewing machine, so non-crafters needn’t be wary.
Time Describing Clock
Want to craft something chic? Okay, how about this digitless clock that sells for $1,100? Not too shabby, right? Well, you’d better be serious about this one, because this build is quite possibly the hardest on our list. The creator of this guide actually gives you a few opportunities to outsource some steps online if you like. But seriously. The dang thing retails for $1,100, so if you can pull it off? Serious bragging rights.
Cross-Stitched iPhone Case
From the horribly difficult to the sublimely simple, our next DIY idea is the cross-stitch iPhone case. Let your creativity guide you with these ready-made iPhone cover grids. There are myriad designs to choose from online, ranging from Teddy Bears to Triforce. Or you can work up your very own, like the designer of this King Koopa image did. You can also work up a matching headphone jack accessory.
NES DVD Player
Here’s a fun thing you can do with your old busted NES that’ll also end up as a pretty unique gift. Update that 8-bit wonder — at least moderately — to play DVDs. Sure, it’s like teaching a caveman to operate a steam engine, but so what? At least he’s moving forward, right? Best of all, the only parts you’ll need are your NES and a cheap DVD player. Tools-wise? Just a glue gun, dremel and some screwdrivers. You can even mod your remote to fit inside the old NES controller.
Millenium Falcon PC
The last item on our list, this PC case mod is one complicated DIY. You’ll also need a little technical knowhow. And it’s fairly expensive to obtain all the parts you’ll need. So why are we recommending you try it? Just imagine the look on your lucky someone’s face when they unwrap this sexy mother. First, they now have an awesome Millenium Falcon. Second, they have a brand-spanking-new PC. And third, you made the whole thing for them. Give this gift and you win the holidays.