If you need holiday planning inspiration, take a look at these ideas for DiY gifts for men. These gifts often use things you have on hand, skills you already know, to create fabulous and useful gifts for those you care about. Browse the list for inspiration, and check the bottom of the post for this year’s Christmas Planner too.
Instead of blowing your budget on Black Friday, make your own Christmas/Holiday gifts, supporting local artisans and local farmers, or buying from local owner operated stores in your own community. This not only helps your budget but also supports your local community.
The Men on your list are some of the hardest to make gifts for. In this article I want to give you some gift ideas that you can make for the men in your life. These gifts are mostly free or take a small investment in yarn or recycling. All can be made in a few minutes to a few hours. And you will have the joy and pleasure of the creating, as well as the joy of giving.
For the man who spends a lot of time outdoors:
1. Fingerless gloves
Knit fingerless gloves from your own hand-spun wool or from ready made wool yarn. If they are likely to get really dirty from hay or straw, don’t knit them out of angora or merino. Use a good lustre wool that’s still non-itchy and combine with mohair for strength. You can make a pair in a a few hours. (Here’s my pattern)
Use a natural colored wool — grey or brown for a sturdy, masculine pair. If they will get a lot of hard wear, I like to use a 3 ply yarn and spin it worsted. Made from well spun worsted yarn, these will last a long time.
If you are buying your yarn, use a 100% wool or wool blend yarn. Wool keeps you warm even when wet.
If you live in a cold, windy area, consider making your hat with ear flaps that tie under the chin. If you make it from your own handspun, use a 2 ply sport weight yarn and cast on 80 stitches. Again use wool, or wool blends. Hats are a great DIY gift for men, and are a lot faster to create than some other knitted items. An experienced knitter can make a hat in just a few hours.
Here’s some links to free knitting patterns to get you started:
3. Wool Socks
A 60 stitch wool sock from sock yarn will last through many wearings and keep his feet warm and dry in boots. Wool blended with nylon or mohair makes a well wearing sock. To give it extra life, pull up tight on the sole stitches, as you are knitting. This is a more involved DIY gift for men, so start early if you plan to knit socks, they are small only in size.
4. Wall Art
A framed, enlarged photograph of his favorite hiking/cross country skiing spot. If you can draw or do water colors, consider painting a picture of his special spot and framing it for the wall. It can be abstract, just suggesting the place. Don’t be afraid to draw or use your art talents.
5. The ubiquitous coupon book
Consider the audience and if you can follow through, before taking on this gift idea. A coupon book offering a massage, work doing a job he hates, his favorite dinner with candlelight, baby sitting, time at a museum, park or a wine tour. Try to avoid the mall or the bar — it goes against what you’re trying to accomplish.
For the book lover or music lover:
6. Record a book or musical performance
A recorded book for him to listen to on his commute — you can get a library book that you think he’d enjoy, read it aloud into a microphone on your computer, edit it using audacity, a free open source audio editing program. Save it in the format that he can listen to — A WAV file for a CD player or mp3.
Download free online books that will encourage him in his hobby. Put them on a thumb drive, or print them out and bind them into a book for him to read. If he’s a non-reader consider recording them for his commute.
8. Sew a cover for his gadget
Make a cover for his electronics — Kindle, I-Phone, Cell Phone, Blackberry. Pad it and make it sturdy to protect his device. This is a good use for older leather (a ripped leather coat?) or felted wool.
9. A beard care kit
Create a lovely beard care kit in just a few hours to keep his scraggly beard soft and manageable. He’ll appreciate the softeness a little beard oil gives as it conditions both skin and beard hair. Grab the recipes here.
10. Candy is always good.
Cook up some of his favorite candy – peanut brittle, almond roca, candied pecans, maple fudge. maple sugar candy. Package it in small 1/4 lb. (100 gram) bags and tie with a ribbon. Place it all in a basket with the TV schedule, or a deck of cards and a crib board.
11. Make a game board
My friend Connie is weaving a checker board and cutting out some pieces from wood. There are other ancient games that you can create the board and the pieces for. Be sure to include instructions.
Check out Board Games of the world for more ideas. Think about creating the board game on felt, cloth or leather. Thread a piece of braided cord through the edges of a circular board to make a pouch that will hold the game pieces. This makes a beautiful and thoughtful gift that can be stored in the glove compartment and taken into the coffee shop for impromptu matches, without the emotional involvement of chess.
Use polished local stones, clay, polymer clay, sanded and waxed local wood, or disks of felted river stones, in two different colors.
11. Desk organizers
Create a Desk organizer from fabric, card board and recycled containers.
In the old days it was a blotter, pen holder, and paperclip cup, but today consider creating a mouse pad, file organizer, box to hold the thumb drives, or digital cameras and the Flip recorder.
12. A lap robe or couch blanket
You can use recycled fabrics, yarn or even felted thrift store sweaters to pull together a pretty, warm and cosy lap blanket to keep him warm while he relaxes at the end of a winter day. This simple DiY gift for men can be knit, crochet, sewn, or woven.
13. A car emergency kit that includes snacks.
See my article on putting together a bug out bag, to give you a starting off point. Car emergencies have a decent chance of happening, so staying prepared is a great idea, and helping your sons or husband stay prepared is also a good plan.
14. A bugout bag
This makes a great gift for your sons, when they launch into adulthood and are making ends meet on their own. Include emergency soups, granola bars, and ramen noodles. Add light sticks, an extra pair of socks and underwear, a small solid fuel stove (you can make one with wax, and cardboard in a tuna can), a multi tool, a fire starter, a pot and a few water bottles, along with an emergency blanket. Broaden it with the S.O.S. survival guide.
15. Knit a Dicky
A Dicky is like a neck warmer, with a flared mini-poncho style base. This DiY gift will keep your man’s neck and chest warm in the great outdoors, without adding bulk. These are especially good if he works around machinery where a scarf could get caught and cause him injury.
Make an advent calendar
And a bonus for the whole family to make together this weekend:
An advent calendar that uses your own photos, and a template, or create your own. Make it this weekend with the kids — takes less than an hour — and have it ready to go December 1st.
Put one together for Grandpa with pictures of his grand children behind the “doors”. He’ll be so impressed. After the holidays it can be framed and put on the wall.
Plan the best Christmas Season
If you are looking for ways to DIY Christmas gifts and make happy Christmas memories while living within the health and budget constraints that have been handed to you this year, I created a resource that will help.
This DIY Christmas Planner workbook will help you make a solid plan you can live with for a Happy Holiday season. You’ll find inspiring DIY gift ideas, space to reflect on what is important to you, and a place to set goals for bringing a happy and meaningful Christmas to your family this year.
Get on Santa’s Permanent Nice list by staying organized, calm, and in control this Christmas Season with this free planner.