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.
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.
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.
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.
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.