Christmas Gift Guide: 12 creative gadget gifts

Build Your Own New York Cards (from US$1.50)

Pick and choose as many postcards as you like to assemble a miniature model of the Big Apple. Some cutting and folding is involved but nothing to trouble anyone who owns a scalpel. Take a couple for desktop trinkets or go to town and build a backdrop for a stop motion remake of King Kong.

Outside the Lines (£8)

Society tells us that colouring in is for children only. Society also tells us that doodling on notepads is bad, so why not put two crayons up to Society and get a grown-up colouring book. It's a lot more fun than doodling.

Aluminium photo prints (from £30)

Enlargements are great, canvas prints are even better, but a pucker picture on aluminium beats them both. Landscapes, black and whites and arty shots work best rather than family album snaps, with highlights being picked out in silvery rainbows when the light catches them from the right angle.


Little Bits / Korg synth kit (US$159)

A wonderful idea for so many reasons, this kit is a collection of analogue synthesiser components that you can clip together in various arrangements to make your own fully playable techno machine. You'll be cutting it fine for Christmas but you can pre-order from the States, shipping from 6th December.


Umbra Conceal Bookshelf (£10.50)

Arty books deserve an arty bookshelf, and this one is just perfect, making it appear as if your tomes are floating on air (or glued to the wall at the edges). Of course they're not. It's all done with mirrors, isn't it?

Build your own life-size human skeleton (£20)

We've pretty much said it all there in the headline. It starts out as a book with pages that you pop out into little cardboard shapes. Fold them, bend them, put them on the side until figure out if they're a leg bit or an arm bit, and before you know it you'll have full-sized skeleton to hide in your closet.

Adjustable Alphabet Cake Pan (£22)

If you've got something important to say, say it with cake. But probably in no more than three letters because these cakes come out pretty big. LOL. Get a few if you want to bake your letters simultaneously.

More after the break...

PicPaperie (from US$14)

Personalised gift wrap can be yours via this California-based start-up. It's currently in the funding stage via Indigogo but early contributors can place orders that should arrive in time for the big day. Upload your pics, choose your layout and the job is done. Or you could print some yourself at home, which might be a bit quicker and cheaper.


NIKEiD sportswear (£varies)

The NIKEiD concept allows you to choose from a huge range of sports shoes and bags (including men's, women's and children's), and customise the colour and material of each element via the NIKEiD website to create your own unique attire.  Gift cards can be ordered from the site too.


A4 Personalised Photobook (from £30)

You can hardly go wrong with this one. Either compile the book yourself online or via the iOS app, uploading and dropping your pics onto the pages, or if your loved one would rather create their own, get a voucher from the Photobox site and let them do the business as they see fit.

Sony PJ780ve (£1110)

Yes, that's over a grand for a camcorder, but this is a real stunner. It's capable of pro-quality TV footage, with brilliant "floating lens" image stabilisation, connections for bolt-on extras and a built-in projector that's actually more useful than you might think. Too steep? Try its little brother, the CX410ve.

John Lewis

Akai EIE Pro (£170)

Who wouldn't want this sitting next to their computer? Your creative type certainly would, as it's got everything they need to interface with all things audio, whether that's podcasting, music recording or MIDI interfacing with techno bleep boxes.

Posterista (from £5 for PDF)

This ingenious UK web app delves into your Instagram, Facebook or 500px accounts creates montages for real-life posters from them automagically. Grab your giftee's logins choose from the various options (landscape and portrait orientations, layouts of just squares or a mixture of squares and rectangles, dark or light backgrounds and size of the poster), and you can instruct the service to send them a beautiful print, framed print, or a hi-res PDF file that they can print themselves. Neat.

Posterista (US$12)

The spawn of the brilliant minds at Mint Digital, allows you to easily create a Minecraft-esque mini figure of whomever you want, using the Mii-like tools. Make one that looks like your granddad and the service will dispatch it to him in an envelope. He can build it on Christmas day instead of drinking too much whiskey.

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