Best Gift Ideas for Makers 2021

It’s that time of the year! Here are my recommendations for the best gifts to get makers in 2021. To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

Arduino Boards

Whenever I’m getting ready to prototype a new project, I reach for an Arduino board first. No maker has enough Arduinos, so they make great gifts. This year you can take advantage of the Arduino Black Friday sale through November 29th to get discounts on all the most popular products.

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Endless Seltzer

I upgraded my seltzer machine by hooking it up to a 50lb CO2 tank, with the help of my friend Ian. We’re calling it “Endless Seltzer”. We both really love fizzy water.

Ian Charnas is a YouTuber who does mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. In his videos he makes these super fun inventions and raffles them off to support good causes – so you can win almost everything you see on his channel.

Supplies

We did some research online and found this adapter you can get that connects the SodaStream to a more industrial standard type tank. That’s all that’s really required for the minimum viable product, but naturally, we wanted to add a bit more engineering so we also built an internet-connected scale that keeps track of how much CO2 is left.

Supplies and Tools:

Check out the electronics components in a saved list on Digi-Key.

Although you don’t have to build the electronics part of this project to enjoy the fizzy benefits, you must understand the dangers of working with a pressurized tank of gas. If it falls over and the valve is damaged, the whole thing could become a dangerous projectile. Basically a missile. The main precaution we’re taking is to install a tank strap to the wall. Don’t skip this step. I’m also setting up a CO2 safety monitor/alarm just in case there’s a leak.

Check out all my favorite electronics tools and supplies.

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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Webcam Privacy Friend – 3D Printed Eyeball

Meet my new webcam privacy friend, a motorized and 3D printed eyeball that sits atop my screen.

I’ve used stickers and post-its to cover my webcam for years, for peace of mind that my webcam is only accessible when I want. But it’s hard to remember to replace the sticker after each meeting, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to try building a simple robot companion.

Here’s how I made it.

For this project, you will need:

And if you optionally choose to solder your circuit:

Check out all my favorite electronics tools and supplies.

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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Tape Measure Yagi Antenna

My take on this classic design uses pieces of standard tape measure steel as radials, a 1-inch diameter PVC pipe as the mast, and 3D printed couplers to link the radials to the mast.

Supplies

For this project, you will need:

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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Zodiac Embroidery

Here’s an easy beginner embroidery project that celebrates your favorite constellation. Follow along to see how I made this classic constellation and also this glowing version made with LEDs and conductive thread.

Supplies

For this project, you will need:

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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