Christmas Gift Guide 2016: 17 gadget gifts for Makers

Those with restless hands and makey minds will be right at home with this gift list

Short of hiring a crane and erecting a drone racing stadium on the back lawn, Christmas can be a tough time for those of a making disposition.

But, with our list of cracking kits and clever creations, the put-together tinkerers in your life will have enough projects to play with right through 'til next year.

FULL QUADCOPTER KIT (£120)

In years to come, 2016 may well be seen as the year of the drones. From micro-fliers to top-end aerial machines, it's never been easier to get into the air.

Fuel your thirst for tinkering by putting together a drone of your own, with this do-it-yourself kit. It includes everything except a transmitter and receiver, which are easy to pick up, and is easy to build, even for beginners. So, after a bit of soldering, tinkering and cursing, you should be up in the air before Christmas Dinner.

Buy the Full Quadcopter Kit here

Fabnik Watch Strap Kit (US$29)

Been gifted a smartwatch for Christmas? Give it five minutes and, like any maker, you'll be bored of the standard strap.

Pick up this kit from Fabnik and you can turn your light-fingered skills to a strap of your own. Bundled with everything you'll need to craft a chic wrist-wrapper to suit your style - including tools, beeswax and full-grain cowhide leather - it'll fit any watch that takes a standard spring bar. Because silicon is for dummies.

Buy the Fabnik Watch Strap Kit here

Fabricated: The New World of 3D printing (£19)

Looking for a primer on the 3D printing movement? This book outlines how the future of additive manufacturing will pan out, from potential triumphs to multi-dimensional challenges for the new tech.

Everything from bio-printing working organs to layering up food comes under the microscope, while the authors' ten principles of 3D printing explain exactly what the advantages of additive manufacturing are – from precise replication to manufacturing complexity. 

Buy Fabricated: The New World of 3D printing here

3Doodler Create (£100)

Ever wanted to draw in mid-air? No? Well, with 3Doodler's magic take on making, you soon will.

With better airflow than the original, this second iteration of the plastic-spouting pen features a redesigned nozzle for smoother, more intricate 3D ABS designs - perfect for Nan to revive her garden ornaments.

Practice makes perfect, but the 3Doodler is an inherently intuitive cartridge consuming creator.

Buy the 3Doodler Create here

Bare Conductive Electric Paint (£18)

A fun stocking filler, this conductive paint lets you brush out your own working circuits. You can use it to fix broken electronic kit, as a liquid wire or even to create capacitive surfaces – hook up an Arduino board to your lights and you can even paint a touch-sensitive light switch.

If you're feeling very adventurous, it also plays nice with textiles – so you can create your own wearable electronics. Who needs Apple Watch, eh?

Buy Bare Conductive Electric Paint here

1
2
3