45 Last-Minute Gift Ideas That are Perfect for DIYers
Still haven’t found that perfect gift for your favorite DIYer? There’s still time to snag one of these gems, guaranteed to be a hit with any handyperson.
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This Snow Joe shovel is geared toward those who fight bad backs every winter as a result of shoveling. The product was designed to greatly reduce the effort, strain and potential injury involved in shoveling by up to 30 percent. Meanwhile, the ergonomic shovel grip is spring-loaded, capturing the expended energy from throwing the snow to return and reset the shovel.
“These bad boys are a TOTAL back saver!!” an Amazon reviewer boasts. “I’ve ordered five of them… I have a crew of four up on the roof of our motel clearing off over 3′ of snow (on a 300 ft. run of roof!!) and THEY love them too. I’ve shoveled several hundred pounds of the white stuff myself, and I gotta tell ya, I will NEVER use a ‘regular’ snow shovel again! Having that extra handle is a God-Send!! If you’re [semi] old 🙂 like me (60) or a young buck that just needs something that will fling the snow WAY out of the way – GET YOURSELF one or more of these! You’ll LOVE it!!” Check out how car wax can make shoveling snow easier!
The WeMo Insight Smart Plug is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that allows you to monitor energy consumption in your home. It also gives you the opportunity to control home lights and electronics right from your mobile device. You can also turn your lights on and off randomly to make it seem like someone is home.
All-New DIY Quick Class Subscription
Have a DIY-obsessed friend or family member? Or perhaps you’re the one who is impossible to shop for! Introducing the ultimate new tool—unlimited access to the Family Handyman’s complete library of DIY University online quick classes. This option is designed for DIYers who want to tackle it all—build a wall-mounted bike rack or your own workshop, add elegant kitchen storage and backsplash, install a sleek USB charging station, and much more! This year, you can give 64 years of DIY experience from the experts and instructors at Family Handyman—to your friends, family, and even yourself!
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and whether you’re roasting your first or fiftieth turkey, you’ll be grateful for a meat thermometer. This one has all the bells and whistles, too, not the least of which is a hands-free monitor with a large digital LCD screen that displays both food and oven temperatures and works up to 300 feet away, so you can spend time with your guests, guilt-free. It also has a timer, dual probes, and works with an oven, smoker or barbecue.
An oscillating multitool is the kind of tool that goes unused for months and then saves the day in some oddball situation. For me, that usually means cutting metal or wood in tight quarters. Over the past couple years, I’ve tried a dozen oscillating tools. The Rockwell Sonicrafter F80 is unique in letting you select the oscillating angle: The blade makes short swings when you need precision, wide swings when you want to get aggressive. It also packs more power than most (4.2 amps). The Sonicrafter F80 accepts blades of any brand. — Editor-in-Chief Gary Wentz. Next, check out some really cool tech add-ons for your car.
This Troy-Bilt snow thrower clears up to 21 inches wide and 13 inches deep in one quick pass. The one-stage machine features 8- x 2 -inch wheels and an EZ Chute Controller, which allows you to adjust the direction of the snow discharge.
“Our old machine finally gave up in one of the last snowstorms we had in Minnesota, and we couldn’t find any store with inventory left,” begins a reviewer. “Amazon to the rescue! Got this in 3 days, just before another significant snow, and it worked like a charm. Hubby got our long driveway plowed in no time and is very happy with this purchase. He’s almost hoping for one more blast (but I can wait until next year!)” Take a look at these snow blower oil change tips.
This home security camera is a video doorbell that allows you to see and speak with the person outside. The most notable features include the topnotch video quality at 1080p with color night vision, and the capability of capturing footage for several seconds prior to a triggered event. The Ring Video Doorbell is another popular option you might want to check out.
A portable heater for your car is going to save you this winter. This dashboard heater plugs into your car’s power socket, directing heat to the front, top and all around the car, thanks to the high-powered fan, as well as two strategically placed vents that will target both the windshield and the inside of the car.
Does your car heater just blow cold air when you turn on the fan? It just might mean recalibrating the heating system or replacing the blend door actuator. Here’s how to fix it.
If you’re a penny-pincher, you might be tempted to keep the temperature down in your workshop. If that’s the case and you have a concrete floor, your feet may get cold when you’re at your workbench. This foot-warming mat will keep your feet toasty without using nearly as much electricity as other devices, like a space heater. Here’s how to heat a garage.
When it’s drizzling, you’ll need to keep the rain out of your face. Or if you’d rather not have twigs in your hair while pruning, a hat is an important accessory for autumn yard work. A simple, durable sun hat can serve as all-purpose protective gear for your head for projects in the fall.
When you’ve been away, the last thing you want to come home to is a mess. Even if no one has been in your home, dust can create a stale smell. Freshen up remotely with a robot vacuum! The DEEBOT OZMO 930 app comes with leading mapping technology, scheduling and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
With the many ways technology can change your life, why not make your home as smart as it can be?
Another great addition to your road trip is the Wagan cooler/warmer that’s the closest thing you’ll get to a mobile refrigerator or oven. It plugs into the 12-volt DC outlet for power or to recharge the battery. You can toggle between hot and cold, but wait — you just want it for drinks? Its 24-liter capacity will hold a 24-pack of 12-ounce cans of soda, no problem! The Coolest Cooler is an all-in-one high-tech must-have. Check it out in this collection of 32 amazing accessories for glamping.
Bake some French bread pizzas or toast sandwiches in this black stainless steel toaster oven from Toshiba. It’s large enough to fit a 12-inch pizza and has Accu-timer technology for perfect toast every time. Here are simple fixes for common appliance problems.
Build giant snow forts with this snow fort building kit from Paricon. Perfect for use in the snow (or sand), to create blocks for snow fort or castle walls. The kit has three molds which are easy to stack and store in the off-season. Here are 13 snow fort masterpieces you have to see.
It’s hard to imagine life before sticky notes. How did we remind ourselves to call our grandma on her birthday? How did we remember to grab our lunch leftovers out of the work refrigerator?
As essential as sticky notes have become in our everyday lives, they do have limitations. You’d never put one on your gas grill to remind you that you need propane or on your brick siding to mark the spot where you want to mount that new security light.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were beefed-up sticky notes that would work outside on bricks and wood and frozen pipes? Game changer, right?
Well, dreams do come true! The inventive geniuses at 3M, creators of the original Post-It Notes, have come up with sticky notes 2.0—Post-It Extreme Notes! Catchy tagline: Sticks in tough conditions.
These notes are made of strong, durable paper and adhesive. They perform well in hot and cold environments, indoors and out, and if applied to a dry surface, they will hold in wet conditions.
The paper doesn’t tear easily and it has texture that makes Sharpies the recommended writing implement. The only caveat, don’t use Extreme Notes on paper or other delicate surfaces. Use one as a bookmark and you’ll be sorry.
Stormy weather can lead to fallen branches and damaged trees limbs. When fall is in full swing, you may notice dead limbs that need to be removed. While a chainsaw is your go-to, it’s not the easiest to maneuver when pruning trees, with its lack of control and skipping when starting cuts. This cordless lopper is a great alternative, as it adds powerful jaws that clamp the branch in space, so you can cut wood into manageable pieces. Peruse these 11 hand tools for the hard-to-shop for DIYer.
This foldable shovel can be adjusted between three positions: folding, vertical and horizontal, making it great for multiple uses. The D-shaped grip ensures comfort, protection from frostbite while using, and the ability to get the job done with less power. The lightweight PP blade, with a durable aluminum edge, improves the ability of clearing snow.
Amazon reviewers note it’s best used for the car. “Folds up small and about 3 inches thick as shown. Easy to fold up or unfold. Snow scoop is thick plastic with aluminum edge. Intended use is to keep in the car during winter as emergency snow shovel. Looks very well suited for that purpose.” These human-powered tools will help battle snow buildup whether you’re at home or on the go.
This wireless security camera system is a three-camera package that requires AA batteries and a WiFi connection to operate. It can cover a lot of square footage of your home, with each device featuring built-in sensors that are triggered by motion. Upon detecting an intruder’s movement, the alarm goes off and an alert is sent to your smartphone, while a short video clip of the event is uploaded to Blink’s cloud storage. You can even integrate the security cameras with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Install a reliable security system in just one day. DIY home security systems will help to protect your home and your family.
If temperatures drop quickly overnight in your climate, you may have to deal with treacherous morning ice during your fall projects. As a result, protect yourself with advanced new boots designed with treads made to effectively grip at the ice. And check out these boots to help you find the right footing for your sole.
The Bucket Boss turns a five-gallon bucket into an easy-to-carry tool organizer. It comes with 30 pockets that line the outside and inside of the bucket, as well as three interior loops to hold a hammer, drill or other tools with handles. If all your tools are stuffed in plastic buckets or jumbled together in a drawer, check out these simple yet clever tool storage tips.
If you have to get on the road early every morning and you don’t like making coffee at home or stopping at a coffee shop, purchase this mobile espresso gadget. The Handpresso is a coffeemaker specifically made for your car, working with your own preferred coffee grounds or espresso pods. It plugs directly into the cigarette lighter or 12-volt port in your car. You should also check out this portable espresso maker perfect for your next glamping adventure.
If you spend a lot of time driving and use that time to make calls, you might find this weBoost gadget useful. After sticking a DRIVE 4G-S in your vehicle, you’ll get a cell signal improvement weBoost claims is up to 32 times what you had without it. It works with all the major U.S. and Canadian cell phone service providers. Check out these three ways to boost your cell phone signal at home.
Not only does this garden hose nozzle from Melnor feature a slip-resistant grip, it has an ergonomic grip design that makes watering easy on the hand, wrist and arm. It features seven watering patterns. Learn how to find the best garden hose for the job.
Need a little more “oomph” for that neighborhood snowball fight? These snowball throwers will make your snowball go the extra distance. Just scoop up some snow, shape it in the mold and let it fly. Speaking of throwing, here are 100 things you should never throw out, and how to reuse them.
An alternative to a tumbler is a worm factory, which puts red wigglers to work turning your kitchen scraps into nutrient-dense worm castings. This multi-layer unit expands from four trays to eight if desired, and you can even collect “worm tea” to be used as a liquid fertilizer.
Maybe you have your eyes on even dirtier projects, and would rather not risk any of your nicer outdoor clothing. And in that case, think about a full-body coverall. Also you can slip on so you don’t have to worry as much about mud, oil, paint and other messes. Figure out where to store those clothing items with 11 Clothes Storage Ideas to Transform Your Closet.
Great for little helpers, this beginner tool set offers 11 tools to get kids started with helping out around the house. The set’s tools have smaller handles, making it easier for tiny hands to operate. And all-important safety glasses are also included. These are 10 tool myths you’ve believed for way too long.
Trimming grass and weeds continues through fall. To easily get into walkways, driveways and garden beds can be tough work, so why not invest in this multi-functional product. It features a 4-cycle engine that eliminates the need to mix gas and oil, as is the case with typical power trimmers. Eliminate weeds in your lawn and prevent their return by maintaining healthy grass, using a minimum of weed killers and good timing.
Plug-In Seat Warmer
Just because your car isn’t fancy enough to have built-in seat warmers (along with not having heat!), doesn’t mean you can’t have a warm seat. Purchase an after-market seat cover to help thaw out and warm up you and your car while you drive. If your car seats are looking shabby and you need replacement seat covers, here’s how to install them.
Outdoor Gear Project Book
DIYers will learn outdoor survival tips in this Paracord Outdoor Gear projects book. It includes practical tips for camping and hiking along with 12 projects they can make with parachute cord. These are the 16 camping hacks you’ll wish you knew earlier.
Photo: Courtesy of Fox Chapel Publishing
This tire mug will keep your coffee and tea at just the right temperature. A great gift for the gearhead, the stainless steel design will keep hot drinks hot for up to five hours. Did you know you can sharpen a dull blade with a coffee mug?
Bugs swirling around your kitchen is just infuriating! It’s also very unappetizing. Keep the pests away with this product. It works best for catching gnats, fruit flies and mosquitoes, with the UV light luring them in, the fan keeping them in and the super sticky glue boards making sure they never escape. Check out the 100 grossest things seen in homes.
These cable clips are perfect for hiding cables from chargers and headphones. They come with a peel-and-stick adhesive so you can place them under desks and tables. Consider these 18 clever storage ideas for hard-to-store items.
A good pair of gloves can be pretty important for working on the car and Mechanix Wear has some of the best. These M-Pact gloves are machine washable, includes a dual layer for the index finger and thumb and can be used on a touchscreen phone. Pick up a pair for $15 on Amazon.
Discover other work gloves that work well in various scenarios.
If you’re looking for an outdoor Wi-Fi security camera, chances are you want one that is completely cordless. Hence the desire for Wi-Fi security camera instead of wired installation. The Oco Pro Dome has a great camera with a wide field of view and resolution both day and night. And, the Oco Pro Dome uses tamper-resistant screws and bolts to keep it safe from vandals and the housing is built to handle weather extremes from – 22° F up to 140° F. However, the Oco Pro Dome has one major drawback—it has to be mounted within 25 feet of a protected power outlet. Here are 21 things a burglar won’t tell you.
My Triton SuperJaws XXL Portable Clamping System is by far the most versatile tool in my shop. I use it on every single project. It’s a reliable third hand or a clamp when I’m doing a glue-up. When I need a quick work surface, I clamp a scrap of plywood between the jaws. The system folds up for compact storage, but mine is in use constantly and never gets put away. — Contributing Writer April Wilkerson.
This wall-mounted desk will save you valuable floor space. When on the wall, it serves as a mirror, and when you’re in need of a work space, simply fold it out to reveal a handy desk with an open storage area and shelves. No room for floor-standing shelves? Build this sliding storage system on the ceiling.
Kids and adults alike will get great joy out of using this plastic gun to eliminate pesky bugs! The shotgun works by shooting a spray of regular table salt to decimate flies on contact. Speaking of guns, here’s why you should buy a trim gun.
You need your hands to drive, but when hot air isn’t blowing out from your car’s vents, they’re likely to get very stiff and cold. Plug this steering wheel warmer into your car’s power socket. It will then automatically release a temperature of 95° F to 113° F to warm up your hands.
Upcycling is chic, and wood pallets are abundant (and usually free!). Sounds like a good partnership just waiting to be explored. DIY Wood Pallet Projects shows how to turn simple shipping skids into fabulous crafts for the home. Projects include: rustic wood clock; herringbone coffee table; planter box; silhouette art and bookcase. If you’ve never worked with a pallet, here’s some info to get you off to a safe start.
Gone are the days of bending over to pluck a pesky dandelion. With Fiskars Triple-Claw Weeder’s long handle and easy-eject mechanism you’ll never have to pluck a weed by hand again. Or, use these natural techniques to help prevent the spread of weeds—and learn what they can teach you about your soil.
A Gift That Lasts Forever
Almost every week I hear from someone who built their DIY skills using Family Handyman as a guide—skills that bring a lifetime of satisfaction, savings and independence. If you want to give a skill-building gift, now’s a great time. If you order and pay for a gift subscription online, you can give a second gift FREE! — Editor-in-Chief Gary Wentz.