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.


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 (£16)

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 (£25)

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