Four handmade gift ideas
Christian Becksvoort gives you four ideas for handmade gifts that will please your friends and family and use up the scraps lying around your shop: a versatile flatware carrier, a two-piece desk set with tray and pencil holder, a tea light holder, and a hanging mirror.
A woodworker’s friends and family always want to see the results of all that time spent in the shop. Small, quick-to-make gifts are a good way to show them. We’ve all made our share of cutting boards and keepsake boxes; here are a few plans for other quick pieces you can make. This is a great chance to use up those accumulated scraps and make a lot of people happy.
The first is a sweet caddy can be made with hand tools, power tools, or a combination. It is a variation on a Shaker dining room tray. The original was 18-1⁄2 in. long, but I find that most flatware and kitchen utensils will fit easily into this smaller version. Build it to whatever size you find most useful.
The second is a small inbox with a pen and pencil holder that makes a great project. The box is dovetailed, with a cutout in the front for easy access to the papers inside. I use a bandsaw for the cutout, but a coping saw would work, too. The bottom can be quartersawn pine, glued underneath, or a floating panel set in grooves on all four sides. The pencil holder is a block of scrap, drilled with two holes.
The third project, a tea light candle holder, is a great chance to use scraps, no matter the species. It’s also a chance to get creative. Although my holders are all tidily rectilinear, feel free to offset the parts and expand the sizes, numbers, shapes, and layouts. If you’re a turner, turn a disk and drill holes in it. If you’re a carver, shape and carve a nice slab and drill holes to suit.
The Shaker wall mirror may take a bit longer than the other gifts, but it is well worth the effort. The mirror rests on a shallow hanging shelf, and its forward angle can be adjusted. The frame has mitered corners
Near the top of the back, you’ll drill a small hole and insert a piece of string, with a large knot at the end to keep it from pulling out. The top end of the tapered hanger has a hole that allows it to hang on a peg.
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More on FineWooworking.com:
- VIDEO: Chris Becksvoort, the dovetail master at work
- Under-Bench Tool Cabinet – Practical storage cabinet utilizes the wasted space beneath your benchtop
- Sturdy Stool for Home or Shop – Comfortable and quick to build, it fits the workbench or the kitchen island
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4 Handmade Gifts
Here are four ideas for handmade gifts that will please your friends and family and use up the scraps lying around your shop. Christian Becksvoort provides directions and plans for a versatile carrier for flatware, tools, or other odds and ends; a two-piece desk set with a tray and pencil holder; a multi-level holder for tea lights; and an adjustable hanging mirror. These projects are straightforward to build, elegant to look at, and practical too.