Holiday Shopping Guide for the Do-It-Yourselfer in Your Life
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
The holidays are here and we all have that special person in our life who likes to tinker around and make stuff—making them a giant pain to buy presents for. Not to worry! We have more than a dozen gift suggestions suited to fit just about every type of do-it-yourselfer.
Do it Yourself Beer Making Kit
There are various beer making kits out there. Our favorite is from the Brooklyn BrewShop because it allows you to control every part of the beer-making process (whereas other kits have you start with malt extract rather than making your own mash), and also because it includes all the hardware you need to make small, 1-gallon batches, suitable for the home (or apartment) brewer.
Cast Iron Pan
Winter can be long, cold, and intolerable when you can't get outside to barbecue. Luckily, with a quality cast iron pan, you can stave off the winter blues and cook some grubbing food—everything from pan fried steaks to grilled veggies and even cornbread.
Playing barista is nearly as fun as playing bartender, as long as you have the right tools. This affordable espresso machine gives you just what you need to get your homemade caffeine fix on, whether it's with a cappuccino or a pumpkin latte.
Art & Music
Build Your Own Guitar Kit
The only thing more fun than rocking out on a guitar is rocking out on a guitar you built yourself. There are various companies that make do-it-yourself kits so you can do just that. Our current favorite is The FretWire. They are able to keep the cost of their kits affordable by manufacturing overseas, but maintain quality control by hand-matching the bodies and necks in their U.S. headquarters so you know you're going to get a good fit.
Paper Making Kit
Writing handwritten letters and cards already has special meaning in this day and age of e-mail, e-cards, and swiping right. Now you can up your game even more by making your own hand crafted paper.
Home & Garden
Window Herb Garden Kit
Gardening outside in the winter is no fun, particularly if you live in a cold climate. With an indoor garden box, though, you can turn your house into a mini greenhouse of sorts and always keep fragrant herbs on hand. This kit gives you everything you need to grow basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives in one handy package.
The joy of woodworking comes largely from the fact that wood is so forgiving and you can make a high-quality project even with a couple of mistakes along the way. Not so much when it comes to joints. Screw them up and suddenly the legs are falling off your table. A biscuit joiner makes it easy to create precision joints and do so quickly. There are cheaper options out there, but we prefer the DeWalt because it's robust and reliable.
While a biscuit joiner does all the behind-the-scenes work, a router can give your woodworking projects that pleasing visual aesthetic that takes them over the top from a hobby piece to a professional looking construction. We like the handheld variety of routers for smaller odd jobs or when first getting started. Just make sure to also get yourself a router bit kit, so you can experiment with grooving, dovetails, Roman ogees, round overs, and more.
Parenting & Kids
Kid's See-Through Garden
You might not be looking forward to the inevitable conversation about the birds and bees with your kid, but this cool garden kit makes it fun to talk to them about plants and seeds. It includes everything you need, including a plastic planter with removable top and handle, premium soil, and radish, carrot, green onion seeds—perfect for getting your kid interested in gardening (and maybe even eating their veggies).
Give your burgeoning inventor a head start with this super cool electronics kit that includes 300+ built-in projects, including an electronic organ, AM radio, and touch-sensitive lamp.
Here are a handful of our favorite books that turned us from bumbling novices into competent do-it-yourselfers (who still occasionally bungle things up).
Cover photo by Kasjan Farbisz