A Few Handmade Presents

Miss Thrifty17 January 15, 2013

When I posted last week about how we managed to buy Christmas presents for 16 people on a budget of £180, I promised to post a round-up of some of our handmade gifts, created by my husband in his workshop. And here they are…

He began with a cardboard box filled with pieces of wood. At this point, I should probably explain that my husband makes (and repairs) guitars for a living. He works with wood from all over the world. The result: a giant box of offcuts.

handmade chopping boards

These large (and heavy!) chopping boards were made with lots of the smaller offcuts. The woods used here include maple, sycamore, walnut, mahogany, alder and ziricote. The wood isn’t stained: those are the natural colours. The dark purple wood is purpleheart.

handmade coffee grinder

This coffee grinder was made from padauk: the striking red wood from which my sister-in-law’s bracelet was also made. The grinder mechanism bit was £7 from a local timber merchant. The accompanying coffee beans were £3 from Waitrose.

handmade clock

You can’t tell from the photo, but this clock is a slab of mahogany. The clock face is maple (I think I’ve got that right; I’m sure my husband will be along to tell me if I haven’t). The circles and other flourishes on the clock face are all tiny, inlaid pieces of different woods and mother of pearl. The clock mechanism was £5, from the same timber merchant.

wood raspberry pi case

Unless you have a geeky bent, I don’t expect you to know what this is. It’s a custom-made ziricote case for my brother-in-law’s beloved Raspberry Pi: a tiny and basic PC. My brother-in-law’s name is Jochen, hence the inlaid abalone ‘J’.


On Christmas Day, the gifts went down really well and people were telling my husband to branch out and begin producing items like these as a source of side income. But he said no: they took so long to make, it wouldn’t really be viable. He did well though: excluding the price of the screws, glues and oil finishes, these gifts came in at £15 for the lot.

Did you enjoy this post?

Free Daily Digest

17 Responses to “A Few Handmade Presents

krantcents says:

My wife routinely makes a couple gifts for friends or our children she knows will appreciate it. It is not to necessarily save money, but to give something personal and special.

January 15, 2013 at 2:18 am

Betsy says:

Your hudbands workmanship is beautiful. I love the cutting boards.

January 15, 2013 at 3:23 am

Claire says:

Beautiful gifts. I wouldn’t use the chopping board for fear of damaging it!

January 15, 2013 at 9:02 am

Zoe says:

I love those gifts, especially the choppingboards. What works of art! Told hubby about the raspberry pi house and he was a teeny bit (lot) jealous… I’m a knitter by hobby, but i play with fabric too. For gifts I’ve planted up hyacinth bulbs and made bath salts and lavendar sugar in the past. This year i’m thinking of making tree decorations.
Love the blog

January 15, 2013 at 9:39 am

Nessie says:

Your husband is really very talented. I love, love, love the clock! And I am sure that it takes a lot of time to make these things and that just a few people would be able really to afford that. Still: wonderful gifts!
Love, Nessie

January 15, 2013 at 10:11 am

Naiomi says:

Wow very impressive! I would buy three of tho’s chopping boards if i saw them in the shops! Me & two friend’s love that sort of thing x

January 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

Louise says:

Such lovely presents! Your husband is really talented – and i love that you promote the idea of homemade gifts.. We could use some more of that thinking in Denmark

January 15, 2013 at 11:31 am

Make do mum says:

The words “handmade present” usually make me think of terrible knitted creations but these are beautiful, I especially like the chopping board. You can tell that lots of effort has gone in and I’m sure they were really appreciated!

January 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

Gem says:

I love those chopping boards, they are beautiful! I think a lot of people get the wrong idea about home made gifts believing them to be cheap, however I think they make beautiful and thoughtful gifts. You know that person has put their own time and effort into making you something they believe you will enjoy, which I value more than someone just parting with their cash. Not to say that I I’m not thankful for bought gifts, only I think handmade ones are a little more special and thoughtful and certainly not ‘cheap’.

January 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

Lizzie says:

Beautiful. We don’t do big expensive gifts so this is about our level. I have to say i really covet those chopping boards. I you ever decide to open a shop bear me in mind!

January 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Such beautiful gifts! I especially liked the chopping boards and the clock!

January 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Your husband’s woodwork is amazing, I wouldn’t have minded any of those in my stocking!

January 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Miss Thrifty says:

Ha – the chopping boards are winners, clearly! I love them too: such a shame he didn’t have the offcuts left over for another one for me. Maybe next year…

I haven’t yet posted the presents he made for me, which are truly lovely. I might leave it for a bit because, hello! we’re halfway through January, and I should really stop banging on about Christmas already. But I’ll post about them soon.

January 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Mais says:

what a great ideas, simple to do and creative.

February 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Marek says:

What about creating some personalised clothing? I recently designed some hooded tops for my local tennis club and they look and feel great! I even wear mine whilst I’m out and about. They were also great value at fifteen pounds each!!! Check out yazzoo for your personalised hoodies

February 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Theo says:

Brilliant ideas, these have give me the inspiration to go out and do this by myself. I am sure the wife will be pleased with my efforts.

May 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Leave a reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *