Prairie Style Box
There are many gifts you can make that won’t break the bank or exceed your skills. The above box is elegant with modern and traditional elements. Slight design changes can add personal touches to enhance the look or simplify the machining. Any hardwoods would work, but since the box uses so little lumber, using highly figured woods is a great touch. For safety, ease of construction and consistent cuts, a jig for bevel-cutting the legs and another jig for beveling the top surface of the lid is recommended. All of which we can help you with in our shop!
Initially I thought a wine rack would be a finicky project to create, with the necessity of holding the bottles at a certain angle, etc. However, this could be a quick, easy and fun to make. The shape of the bottles lets them rest on the rack at the correct angle (which is really only important when you are going to let your wine age). The simplicity of the design also allows you to see the labels on the bottles. This is just one possibility when it comes to wine racks as there are many ways to go if you are considering a wall mounted version. Space constraints and personal style of the gift recipient would be important to think about before beginning. However, just as the above example shows, most are fairly straightforward and easy gifts you can make with just a little thought and planning.
Cutting Board / Serving Board
A custom cutting board or serving board is an attractive, useful, and practical project that just about anyone would be happy to receive. Plus, it’s a great way to use up scrap stock and you can build several at the same time – one for everyone in the family!
A luminaria (often called luminary) is a traditional Mexican lantern made from a paper bag with sand and a candle inside. Add some woodworking panache to these outdoor accents and build these luminaries from wood, with box joints and a star-shaped cutout. They’re beautiful — and reusable — ways to brighten patios, steps and walkways this holiday season.
You can make one of these decorative sconces in an afternoon. In this case, we have a leaf design. You could just as easily use a standard pattern or create your own custom pattern.
A ukulele (consider it a small guitar, if it better suits your musical tastes) is but one example of the infinite possibilities when thinking of ornaments to make. Regardless of your choice don’t make each individually, make these decorative ornaments using what’s commonly referred to as the “log” method of construction. Create a single thick piece that’s shaped and appointed to resemble a uke, then slice it up into multiple thin ornaments. A single log made from scrap 8/4 stock yields eight to nine individual ornaments.
Here’s another practical gift that you can make beautiful and unique. This version features inlay details. You can take this basic design and easily modify it with your own custom details. The spinning base is a simple part you can buy and attach for very little extra money.
A cribbage board is really just a piece of wood with 240-plus holes drilled in it. This project could easily be programmed into our CNC machine to drill all the holes. There are also templates for boring the holes with a drill if you prefer. There are endless opportunities for customizing this project with different species of wood. All this adds up to the fact that cribbage boards are great gifts you can make.
Entryway Coat Rack
This practical entryway storage unit is made from solid wood and is glued together: no nails or screws (apart from those that hold it to the wall) are used. This was made out of soft maple, but it could be made from any good quality solid wood: pine, oak, birch, fir…whatever best matches the trim or furnishings in the place where it will be mounted to the wall.
With only four parts total, this is a small project is a gift you can make in just a few hours. This version is 1/2″ thick white oak, but any sturdy hardwood, would do just as well. It’s another project that is easy to make multiple versions of and use up some scrap lumber.
There you have it – Ten gifts you can make this holiday season. Even if these are not what you are looking for, perhaps we have given you some ideas of your own. There is nothing like a gift that is handmade!
Happy Holiday Gift Planning!