Christmas Gift Guide: 12 gadget gifts for Makers

Got a gadget DIY fan to buy for? This collection of homebrew kit will have them gathered around the tree on Christmas day, soldering to their heart's content

Getting DIY with your digital kit is back in a big way.

Where tinkering with electronics was once the preserve of strange-smelling men with egg on their cardigans, the last year has seen a veritable explosion of tech that you can assemble and customise yourself, armed only with a soldering iron and a screwdriver.

We've rounded up a selection of the best gadgets for the new generation of Makers – some are fun, some are educational, some are useful, and a few are all three.

Voltage Village Glowing House Kit (£20)

A Boxing Day project and readymade relations-avoider, these little paper houses are a breeze to build and give off a warm homely glow at night thanks to the light sensor. There's no need for soldering – just used the bundled Electric Paint pen to draw on the circuitry.

firebox.com

Electro-fashion cat kit (£18)

Combining electronics with textiles, this kit comes with everything you need to make a stuffed felt cat with light-up green LED eyes. The secret sauce is the included two metres of conductive thread, which is used to carry charge from a coin cell battery pack via a push button switch in the cat's right ear. 

You'll need scissors, a needle and pins and, ideally, an affection for cats. But hey, this is the Internet – who doesn't like cats?

kitronic.co.uk

More after the break...

Raspberry Pi Model B (£32)

It may not look like much, but the Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card. The dinky device has been used for everything from gaming to brewing to turning vegetables into musical instruments – its potential is only limited by your imagination. It's even been into outer space.

rsdelivers.com

Adafruit Pi Printer Project Pack (£85)

If you're looking for a project for your newly-purchased Raspberry Pi, you might want to take a stab at this adorable little Internet of Things printer (not dissimilar in concept from the Little Printer). It's powered by Linux, and some understanding of basic Linux coding is recommended, but once it's set up you'll be printing tweets, Sudoku puzzles, weather forecasts and basically anything you fancy... if you have the time to make it work.

Note: Raspberry Pi Model B not included

coolcomponents.co.uk

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