14 DIY Gifts You Can Make in a Weekend
There's nothing more satisfying than giving a gift you made yourself. Treat friends and family to one of these unique DIY wood gifts and everyone will be delighted.
Season's Greetings Spice Rack
This spice rack will keep your favorite 18 seasonings on ready alert. It's quick and fun to make and, using our dimensions, will fit inside a standard kitchen cabinet. You'll need:
- an 11-1/2- and a 7-1/4-in.-dia. wood disc
- 9-in. lazy Susan hardware
- four 1-5/8- x 5/8-in. dowels for legs
- one 5-1/4-in. x 5/8-in. dowel handle
- a 1-7/8-in. Forstner drill bit
- a 5/8-in. spade or brad point drill bit
- a 1-1/2-in. wood ball or other knob.
With a pencil and a protractor, divide the larger disc into 30-degree wedges to create 12 center lines for the bottle indents. Center and trace the smaller disc on top of the larger disc. Next, with a drill press, drill 3/8-in.-deep holes on the 12 center lines with the 1-7/8-in. Forstner bit, spacing them between the disc's outer edge and the traced circle. Next, divide the smaller disc into 60-degree wedges and drill six more 3/8-in.-deep holes with the Forstner bit.
Drill four 5/8-in.-dia. 1/2-in.-deep holes on the large disc?inside the traced circle?then use 5/8-in. dowel centers to transfer the hole locations to the underside of the small disc. Drill four 1/2-in.-deep holes on the underside of the small disc and a 1/2-in.-deep hole in the center of the top for the dowel handle. Glue in the dowels to join the discs, and glue in the handle. We drilled a wood ball for a handle knob, but a screw-on ceramic knob also provides a comfortable, attractive grip.
Apply a finish to match your cabinets, then center and screw the lazy Susan bearing under the large disc and play spin the bottle.
Surprise your friends and family with easy-to-make photo sculptures. Your favorite folks will 'pop' from your photos when you use this easy technique.
Here's how: Apply photo mount adhesive to pieces of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood, firmly press on the photos to be sculpted, then cut out the figures with a scroll saw. Make some wood bases from scrap wood and glue on the sculptured photos with Special-T cyanoacrylate glue (about $11). This glue will tightly bond the sculpture's bottom edge to the base, so you won't need to fiddle with notches or screws.
Hints for great-looking sculptures:
- Use a sharp No. 2 or No. 4 'skip tooth' blade (about $24).
- Change blades when the sawn 'paper edge' appears slightly ragged.
- Select a medium or high speed and feed the work at a slow rate, pressing the wood firmly on the table as you saw.
- When choosing photos to sculpt, look for clearly outlined subjects so it's easy to follow the cutting line. Hair or clothing that blends into the background is difficult to cut.
If you're buying for a homeowner, you can't go wrong with these inexpensive, easy-to-find tools:
- Beloved by contractors, the '4-in-1' screwdriver is one tool everyone should own. It has tips to fit large and small Phillips and slotted screws.
- Spring clamps are meant for woodworking, but anyone who has fewer than three hands will find them useful. And you can never have too many.
- Super-bright halogen work lights are great for auto repair, painting, remodeling and a dozen other tasks. They are available in several sizes and styles.
Photo Collage Tray
Give a Pot of Blooming Tulips
How about tulips under the Christmas tree this year? You don't have to wait till spring to enjoy the refreshing color of hardy bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocuses. By 'forcing' bulbs, you can have them bloom at any time during the year. Here's how.
Fill clay pots with a light soil mix and plant the bulbs so the tip is just above the soil sur- face. Mix in a tablespoon of bonemeal in each pot as a fer- tilizer and lightly water. Set the pots in a place that's dark and cool, approximately 40 degrees F, for 12 to 14 weeks. Once small shoots start to emerge, bring the pots out to a shaded spot for a day or two. Gradually give the plants more light and warmth. First keep them in a location where the temperature is 55 to 60 degrees F and the light is bright but indirect.
Once the plants are green and about 5 in. tall, move them to a sunny window to start their bloom. The temperature, amount of light and type of bulb will affect how long it takes for the bulbs to bloom. But it usually takes three to five weeks for the plants to show their color once they're brought out into the light.
Simple Step Stool
- One 8-ft. 1x8 clear hardwood board (actual width is 7-1/4 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.). Oak is a good choice because it's readily available at home centers.
- One 4-ft. 1x3 hardwood board (actual width is 2-1/2 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.).
- Two 22-in. riser boards
- Two 11-in. riser boards
- One 14-in. step board
- One 14-in. seat board
Easy Knife Block
Indoor Hopscotch Mat
Blustery days don't have to be boring for kids if you make them this super-easy hopscotch mat. All you need is a 10-ft. utility runner with a nonskid back, duct tape, number stencils and spray paint. Home centers sell utility runners by the foot. Number stencils come in a variety of type styles and sizes at art supply and craft stores.
The toughest part is getting the 10 boxes measured evenly. Our 10-ft. runner is 3 ft. wide, so each box is 12 in. long and 18 in. wide. Cut and place the duct tape where you want it and press it down firmly (Photo 1). Then tape each number in the center of its box (Photo 2). Mask off the areas around the numbers when you spray the paint onto the stencils. Let it dry overnight. Use beanbags, Koosh balls (shown), stuffed animals or other soft toys instead of stones so you don't scratch wood floors or other inside surfaces. When everyone's done playing, roll up the mat and store it for next time. If you're thinking that the kids in your life need a place to store toys more than more toys, check out this project. These bins hold toys, sports gear and much more!
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