Simple Holiday Gifts You Can Make With Power Tools

Home decor

Inside: Simple DIY wood projects to make and give as personalized and customized Christmas gifts; including a handmade Hygge inspired planter box, a personalized tablet stand and a wooden notebook.

*This post is sponsored by Craftsman Canada and may contain affiliate links.

I love love the holiday season and I also love creating handmade gifts to complement store bought gifts too! I always try to do something handmade each year – whether it’s a gift for a neighbour, teacher, daycare worker or colleague; handmade is always such a nice gesture. So today, to make things easy for you, I’m rounding up some Easy Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas for you that you can DIY in an afternoon (or less!). I’ve partnered with Craftsman Canada for this post too to show you how simple it can be to use power tools to create cool things.  Keep reading for the full supply list and instructions for three awesome gift ideas 🙂

Check out the segment I did on CTV Morning Live showing off these and other handmade ideas for the holidays too!!

Essential Tools for DIY Gifts

I’ve tried to keep things really basic this year to emphasize how simple it can be to get started with small gifts made from wood. It is my honest belief that once you try something, it gets easier and easier. I planned my projects to mainly use these tools below:

You can purchase Craftsman tools at any Rona, Lowe’s or Ace Hardware store in North America and they have fabulous combo kits that can be great gifts too!

Project 1: A DIY Planter Box

I love this idea for a gift because it can literally be customized to any holiday – not just Christmas. The build is simple and I’ve included the full supply list below. 

I’d pair this gift with some wonderful succulents or cacti, or if you want to be really festive, some small poinsettia plants!

In terms of embellishing, as you can see, I opted for a couple variations (and sizes) to show you what’s possible. I can also see this done in a multi-colour motif or even with small windows and doors cut from balsa wood and glued on the front for a more 3D effect!

Step by Step for a DIY Planter Box

  1. Measure and cut the sides of your centrepiece box. Use a mitre saw to cut 1x6x16 for the bottom and back of your box. Then measure two smaller pieces to fit as the sides – these will be approximately 1x6x51/2.
  2. Cut another 16″ length from your 1×8.
  3. Assemble your box. Using glue affix the back to the bottom and secure with brad nails. Do the same for the sides.
  4. Sketch your house design on the front of the 1×8, clamp it to your work bench and cut it out with a jigsaw. Now glue and nail it to the front of your box. Fill the nail holes with filler if desired or cover the holes gently with a scratch pen.
  5. Sand the entire thing well.
  6. Apply white chalk paint (or paint of choice) to the back portion of the centre piece.
  7. Section off the houses on the front and use stain wipes in different finishes to ‘paint’ your houses. Finish it off by painting doors and windows with Sharpie Paint Pens.
  8. Fill with greenery (faux or real) and enjoy.

Project 2: A DIY Wooden Notebook

Once again, a project that can be tailored to literally ANY gift giving season. This little project takes minutes to do and is perfect for the kids to work on once the plywood has been cut. 

Here’s another trick for you: I’ve added ‘scrap wood’ to the supply list. When drilling holes through thin plywood, always add scrap wood to the back to avoid splitting the wood around the hole. You don’t need to do this, but it makes finishing things off much easier.

I chose to paint my notebooks and add scrap book paper and a bit of paint, but after I did that, I came up with SO many other ideas for embellishing them! You could paint them entirely with chalkboard paint or add vinyl lettering. Literally anything goes. I’m going to be making lots of these to give this year.

Materials for DIY Wooden Notebooks

Tools for DIY Wooden Notebooks

Step by Step for DIY Wooden Notebooks

  1. If you have a large piece of plywood to start with, use a straight edge and a circular saw to cut it down to a more manageable size.
  2. Measure your plywood into sections that are approximately 8″ x 5″ – or whatever size you envision for your notebook.
  3. Clamp your plywood and use a laser guided circular saw to carefully cut along those lines. You have an option here to use a compound sliding mitre saw to get more accurate cuts.
  4. Now clamp your notebook cover to your scrap wood and then to your bench. Mark the holes for your clips and use a 1/4″ drill bit to drill through the plywood using the scrap wood as backing. (This will prevent the plywood from splitting).
  5. Sand all the edges and splinters smooth.
  6. Paint and finish as you see fit.
  7. Cut note paper to size and use a hole punch to line up the holes with the clips.
  8. Fill your notebook and enjoy!

Project 3: A DIY Personalized Tablet Stand

Once again with the personalization 🙂 It really is a big trend this year and it’s not going to go away any time soon. This project is SO handy.I built one and propped it up in the office for photos, but almost immediately moved it into the kitchen to use for recipe cards and the iPad while baking. It’s honestly such a great gift and truly a beginner project.

If you’ve already bought the chalkboard paint for planter boxes, then you’ve basically got everything you need to make this too!

Materials for a DIY Tablet Stand

Tools for a DIY Tablet Stand

Step by Step Instructions for a DIY Tablet Stand

  1. Use a mitre saw to cut a 1×10 into a piece measuring 8×11.
  2. Cut down your 1×2 into two pieces – one 8″ piece and another 4.5″ piece for the back stand.
  3. Sand all the wood smooth.
  4. Stain using stain cloths (or paint if desired).
  5. Section off the front of the stand using Frog Tape and paint with chalkboard paint and a foam brush. Allow four hours of drying time between coats. You’ll need at least three coats.
  6. Use wood glue to affix the 8″ piece to the front-bottom of the stand and reinforce with brad nails.
  7. Measure 4.5″ from the bottom-back of the stand and gently screw in the hinge. Affix the other side to the 4.5″ piece to act as a stand.

I hope this all inspires you to get out there and create!! Thanks so much to my holiday sponsor Craftsman Canada for making all this girl’s power tool dreams come true and for being a proud supporter of DIY Passion.

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