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 YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.
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.
Battery Powered Glue Gun
I don’t know I lived without this cordless glue gun. If you’re not sure the folks on your list want one of these, trust me, they do. Even if you don’t buy into the Ryobi battery system, any maker would be thrilled to add this tool to their arsenal, even if they don’t know it yet.
3D Printed Planters
Plants make great gifts, and a homemade planter makes it extra special. If you have a 3D printer, making planters is an easy way to elevate your houseplant cuttings into thoughtful, low-cost gifts.
Every maker needs a self-healing cutting surface, if not two or three in different sizes. Whether you’re scrapbooking or robot-building, a good-quality cutting mat can last a lifetime and protect your work surface and cutting implements while providing useful alignment markings for cutting precise angles and accurate measurements.
LED Sewing Kit
My LED sewing kit is a great introduction to soft circuits. Choose a color and send your giftee a link to the companion tutorials.
Homemade Robots Book
My good friend Randy wrote this awesome book called Homemade Robots: 10 Simple Bots to Build with Stuff Around the House! I helped test some of the instructions. It’s a solid 10/10 in both quality of instruction and level of fun. His meta robot-made-from-book guide gives you a pretty good idea of the types of techniques used throughout the book.
First Aid Kit
When was the last time you updated your home or workshop’s first aid kit? Odds are it wasn’t very recently. Everybody, not just makers, could use a new first aid kit. If the house and workshop are already stocked on first aid supplies, the kit could go in a vehicle.
Headlamps aren’t just for outdoorspeople! I’ve used mine to pick the lock on my filing cabinet after I broke the key, to investigate inside cavernous electronics enclosures, and to fix my motorcycle on the side of the road. Trust me, everyone even remotely handy will love a headlamp as a gift. Like other flashlights, it’s the kind of thing you can never have too many of.
Every gadget lover needs a ham radio. You don’t have to be licensed to listen, and even if they don’t get smitten the hobby, it’s still a good device to keep around in case of emergency. Ham radio hobbyists have a big overlap with the maker community since there are so many fun projects to build, like my tape measure yagi antenna for listening to satellites.
For even more ideas, check out past year’s guides: