DIY Gift Ideas to Keep Them Occupied 'Til 2021
Traditionally, the holidays are the one time of year reserved for playing board games by the fire, making treats, and nesting with loved ones. After months of pandemic living — in which we’ve already perfected banana bread recipes, played and put together all the games and puzzles in the house, and even cleaned out junk drawers — most of us are in need of new projects to tackle during the upcoming holiday season.
Ask no more — we’ve scoured the internet to find the best deals on crafting, cooking, gardening projects, and more to keep you and your family busy through 2021. Ahead, find kits that will turn any novice into an accomplished artisan, who turns out edgy embroidered sweaters, masterful tie dye and even homemade pasta.
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Look no further than boutique hotel lobbies (or interior design-focused Instagram pages), and you’ll find macrame is making a major comeback. Score major points from the design-forward friend in your life by giving this kit (at nearly 60% off) or the finished piece.
SHOP: Darn Good Yarn DIY Macrame Wall Hanging Kit, $12, available at Darn Good Yarn
With more than 225 different supplies inside (including metal dies, confetti sequins, faux pearls, and double-sided foam tape), this card-making kit will keep the family busy for days. And when their creations are complete? You’ll have enough thank-you notes to last through the New Year.
SHOP: Crafter's Companion Shaker Card Kit Subscription Box, $21.98, available at HSN
Raise your resident health nut’s kitchen game by giving this crock, which is equipped to turn more than 5 quarts of everyday produce into kimchi, pickled jalapeños, and other probiotic-rich, fermented foods.
SHOP: DIY Fermentation Crock, $59, available at Uncommon Goods
Mix your own fragrances and print custom labels with this DIY candle kit. This find will have you wondering why you ever paid big bucks for a single-wick candle again.
SHOP: STMT DIY Custom Candles, $19.99, available at Macy’s
Test the foresight and coordination of even the most clever in your family with this puzzle rooted in Moroccan tradition and made by Japanese artisans.
SHOP: Art of Play DIY Trunk Puzzle Box, $28, available at Art of Play
Amigurumi, a style of crochet rendered in 3D plush toys, looks complicated, but this kit will have you knotting your way through a dozen Star Wars characters — yes, Baby Yoda included — in less time than it takes to watch A New Hope.
SHOP: Star Wars Crochet, $14.98, available at Sam’s Club
What could possibly be more fun than bringing slime to life? Bringing slime to life that contains gobs of glitter. (Note: we said fun, not tidy.)
SHOP: Nickelodeon Slime Make Your Own, Glitter Slime!, $6.99, available at Kohl’s
Unlocking level “homemade pasta” in quarantine has never been easier, thanks to this stainless steel noodle maker, which rolls, presses, cuts dough at seven different thicknesses and widths.
SHOP: NewAge Supply Inc. Pasta Maker Machine, $59.99, available at Overstock
Scrunchies are here to stay, so why give the future YouTuber in your life a kit to devise an entire hair accessory wardrobe of his or her own?
SHOP: Just My Style D.I.Y. Scrunchie Maker, $13.97, available at Walmart
Forget fridge-bound drawings. This kit will have you kicking out colorful masterpieces on gallery-stretched canvas in less than one-hour’s time.
SHOP: Crayola Signature Paint Pour Canvas Art Set, $19.99, available at Walgreens
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Face it: Your cat is already king of the castle. Why not give HRH a place fitting of his or her stature? This blueprint for a gothic castle will give your family a project that will find whiskers sitting pretty, if not judging you from up on high.
SHOP: Playhouse4Pets DIY Cat Castle Gothic Plans Cardboard play house, $9.95, available at Etsy
Sourdough is so yesterday. Ditto for banana bread. According to Instagram, the latest baking flex comes courtesy of over-the-top cakes. With kits for organic matcha glazed and 24K gold-leaf flourless dark chocolate cakes, no one will ever guess that your elevated creation came from a mix.
SHOP: The Caker's Matcha Cherry Cake Kit, $24.99, available at Anthropologie
Like many pricey candles, this terrazzo-ensconced candle fills a room with comforting rose, palo santo, and cedar. But once it’s done burning, the vessel takes on a second life: after the seeds embedded in the accompanying paper dust cover are planted inside, basil grows.
SHOP: Esker Plantable Candle, $85, available at Esker
When it comes to calm-inducing hobbies, we trust Seth Rogan. So when the actor took up ceramics in quarantine, we figured it’s got to do something to help mellow the mind. This kit (which is also available for parties of up to six) is stocked with everything you need to sculpt a vase, bowl, or planter: carving tools, breakers, and air-dry clay that doesn’t require a kiln for finishing.
SHOP: Crockd Air Dry Kit (1-2 person), $60, available at Crockd
Sweaters with embroidered silhouette designs and statements can run upward of $300. This kit includes everything you need to try your hand at the craft and create gifts that let you brag, “Thanks! I made it,” when the inevitable compliments come rolling in.
SHOP: Wool and the Gang Run The World Beginner Embroidery Kit, $27, available at Wool and the Gang
With the price of produce climbing, there’s never been a better time to grow your own groceries. This auto-watering smart planter exposes tomato, lettuce, microgreens, and more to the perfect amount of nutrients and light — and works in tandem with an app for no-brainer growing.
SHOP: Click and Grow The Smart Garden 3, $99.95, available at Click and Grow