Home made holidays


I wrote an opinion piece for CNN about making gifts for the holidays.

For Christmas this year, I'm giving out homemade jars of sauerkraut (it costs me 50 cents a gallon and takes all of 15 minutes to shred the cabbage, mix in the salt and let it develop in a crock for a week), hand-whittled wooden spoons (these take a few hours each to make, but the therapeutic value of whittling on the porch is inestimable) and a couple of cigar box guitars I made. The other staffers at Make (and at our sister publication, Craftzine.com) have been busy elves this season as well. Here's a short list of the things they're making:

• Baby pictures mounted in old picture frames purchased at thrift stores for less than a dollar and painted a gold or silver metallic.

Snow globes made from recycled glass jars and filled with little trinkets like Army men, plastic trees and foxes.

• A miniature remote-controlled submarine, made out of plastic plumbing pipes, with an underwater video camera attached to it to study ocean life in the San Francisco Bay.

• A cat toy that has an electronic circuit that senses when it is being played with and sends a Twitter message to its owner.

• An assortment of slippers, scarves and plush toy squid.

Making merry with homemade gifts (Shown here: Shawn and Arlo Connally's snow globes)