If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet this year, take a look at some of the cool projects and kits available in the Maker Shed (the retail operation of Maker Media, which also publishes MAKE, the magazine I edit). I asked Dan Woods, the associate publisher of MAKE
and the general manager of e-commerce, to write about the top 10 gift items in the Maker Shed had been this holiday season. Here's what he had to say:
I've been sharing some awesome holiday news with my MAKE comrades. November sales in the Maker Shed were up a whopping 81% over last year (which was up 72% over the prior year). Now, to be sure, we have a dedicated team working insane hours and doing a lot of smart things well (for which, I'm eternally grateful), but that's the e-commerce story. The more interesting story for me is that the gift of making and hands-on learning is making a really strong comeback.
Selling kits, components and tools to experienced makers isn't new for us. But this year we've been seeing a sharp upswing in people looking for kits and tools designed to help a loved get started in something new; like electronics, Arduino projects, robotics, even lock-picking. Not only are people giving gifts they've made themselves in greater numbers than ever before. But they're also touching loved ones with the gift of making by giving a project kit that enables the friend or family member make something of their own. A passing of the DIY torch if you will.
The question I get asked the most is "What's the hottest gift for makers this year"? Hands-down, it's The Make: Electronics Component Pack 1 -- all the components required to take you through the first 1/3 of the projects in Charles Platt's sensational book Make: Electronics packed brilliantly into a really cool fishing tackle box. Not surprisingly, the second hottest product is the Make: Electronics Deluxe Toolkit, which includes all the basic electronic tools that Charles outlines in the same book, followed closely by the Getting Started With Arduino kit, which bundles an Arduino Uno microcontroller with all the components needed to tackle the projects in Massimo Banzi's book Getting Started With Arduino.
I invite you to visit the Maker Shed store and check these and hundreds of other cool DIY products out for yourself. But whether you choose to buy something from MAKE or another DIY retailer, consider giving the gift of making to a loved one this year. Even better, crack open that kit, roll up your sleeves and do some hands-on kitchen table projects with a good friend this holiday season.
Maker Shed's Top 10 Maker gifts so far this holiday season:
Make: Electronics Components Pack 1
Make: Electronics Deluxe Toolkit
Getting Started With Arduino
Projects Pack for Arduino V2.0
Make: Complete eBook Collection (PDF)
Pixel Qi display
Beginners Lock-Picking Blend Set
Make: Tool Guide
Ice Tube Clock Kit
Rev. Peyton of the Big Damn Band plays a three-stringed “Guitgun” that he designed and Bryan Fleming fabricated.
The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based organization that creates manufacturing jobs making EMPWR coats that double as sleeping bags: Via designboom: the empowerment plan is a detroit-based, nonprofit organization focused on permanently elevating families from the generational cycle of homelessness. it hires single parents from local shelters and provide them with training and full-time employment […]
In under an hour, glass artist James Mongrain transforms blobs of molten glass into a stunning green dragon. The choreographed teamwork, the variety of tools, and the interesting narration make this a real treat.
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]