Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or just looking to give a hand-made, do it yourself gift from the heart, making cute DIY gifts that people want is easy once you know how to deconstruct the end result. For example, building a clock from scratch might sound like a challenge until you realize that all you truly need is backing material, a quartz clock movement kit, a drill and some time to customize your masterpiece.
Project Idea #1 – Build Your Own Wall Clock Using Metal
As mentioned earlier, making a wall clock is simple once you think about the pieces needed to achieve the end result. In this example, we built a mirrored stainless steel wall clock using the following materials:
• #8 Stainless Steel Mirrored Sheet
• Quartz clock movement kit with oversized 5′ red hands
• Drill with appropriately sized metal bit
• Drilling oil to reduce heat and damage
Things we learned: When drilling a hole, it’s generally good practice to start with a pilot hole if you’re using a 3/8″ bit or larger. This ensures that you get a properly centered hole that’s spot-on the first time, preventing the drill from wandering across your material and causing all sorts of unintended consequences. To start, we suggest creating a small impression in the material using a nail or a center punch tool and continue to widen the spot until it’s perfect in size and location, using a slow-but-steady approach to reduce heat and friction.
Project Idea #2 – DIY Drink Coasters That Shine
Recently, we took on the task of crafting metal drink coasters from pre-cut 4″ x 4″ 304 stainless steel metal squares, and they’ve become a local hit, serving our office and warehouse well on those days in which a coaster is absolutely necessary. While our coasters kept it minimal on the design front, just imagine what kind of etchings and shapes are possible with our pre-cut squares.
To do this yourself, we suggest:
• 4′ x 4′ metal squares (we offer pre-cut metals on our website)
• A good backing material, such as cork, felt, foam or rubber
• Scissors to cut the backing material to size (a good utility knife will work, just take your time)
• Adhesive (we used Loctite to fasten foam to metal)
Things we learned: Making coasters is a breeze. However, we’re literally barely scratching the surface. Imagine what you could do with etched steel and a good design – from your favorite sports team to your recipient’s initials, the possibilities are endless.
Project Idea #3 – Build a $1000 Coffee Table for Cheap
First off, for a hand-made coffee table to be worth $1000, some skill is required. However, that can be achieved with time, effort and practice. This summer, we explored materials, tools and blueprints that can turn aluminum and restored wood into the centerpiece that ties your living room together. What does it take?
• Four 15’’ x 1’’ x 2’’ Aluminum Bare Rectangle Tubes
• Four 1’ x 1’’ x 2’’ Aluminum Bare Rectangle Tubes
• Two 2’ x 6’’x 2’’ pieces of lumber
• Two 2’ x 3’’ x 1’’ Aluminum Bare Rectangle Tubes
• 1 Quart Dark Premium Wood Stain
• Twenty 1 in. Zinc-Plated Corner Brace
• Twenty1-7/16 in. Phillips Flat-Head Self-Drilling Screws
In addition, you’ll need an electric drill, welding equipment, sandpaper, measuring tape, PPE and a good pencil. If welding seems like a tough challenge, what has worked for many of us is to look online and see if you can’t contract the effort out to someone looking to pick up some freelance work. Or, learn how to weld and become a true DIY master!Now I know what you’re thinking – “Why would I want to build a coffee table for Christmas?”, but think about it like this: You have the opportunity to make something that will last a lifetime and with effort, you can ensure that future generations will have something made with love and hard work.
Project Idea #4 – Build Your Own Monitor Stand
Have a monitor? Then check out what we’ve done here in the office with 6061-T6 Aluminum I-Beams and extruded plexiglass. By incorporating these two materials found on our website, we’ve managed to create a monitor stand that will last a lifetime and give your desk some extra space for storage.
Do It Yourself with OnlineMetals
Creating heartfelt and versatile gifts that last requires imagination and effort, all of which make the presents mean much more than their parts. Trust that the folks at OnlineMetals have exactly what you’re looking for (and we can cut to your specifications and ship worldwide, too) and we make it easy to find, order and receive materials with fast shipping and an excellent customer service staff. Give us a call at (800) 704-2157 or visit us online and get started today!