7 Gifts for DIY Enthusiasts


It’s time to find gifts for all the special people in your life, but how do you shop for someone who likes to do everything themselves? In this case, a pre-made, ready-to-go gift simply won’t do. Hobbyists, craftspeople and artisans want to get their hands dirty as they puzzle out possible solutions and learn how things are made. Treat them to a new experience with a kit or project designed to put their skills to the test. Use this gift guide for DIY enthusiasts to find the best presents for all the gearheads on your shopping list.

Engine Rebuild Kit

Help them finally bring their vintage car or truck back to life with a car or engine rebuild kit. Diesel engines are some of the most complex machines used by consumers, so they will likely have their work cut out for them. The rise of the DIY movement has led to record-high sales of hand tools for manufacturing and repairs.

Once they have the tools, stock up on diesel truck parts for their specific make and model. Every type of engine uses different components. A lack of oil will bring any truck to a grinding halt, leading to extensive repairs. If they’re looking to replace a Ford Powerstroke 6.0 or 7.3, they will likely need a new high-pressure oil pump (HPOP). Shop for HPOPs by engine type.

Diesels also use various emissions reduction systems that keep toxic pollutants out of the air we breathe. The vehicle will also need to pass inspection to make it out on the road. Excess towing and poor maintenance will lead to exhaust and cooling issues that will overheat the engine. Learn about diesel coolant systems and the parts they need. If you think fixing up old cars is just for boomers, think again. Recent studies show millennials are picking up the hobby as well.

Woodworking Kit

Building and fixing things made of wood is the country’s number-one hobby, according to a recent survey from the Craft & Hobby Association shared in PR Newswire. Your loved one can do just about anything with wood, such as make furniture, build a shed, remodel the deck or create a sanctuary for the neighborhood birds. Give them a woodworking kit or help them assemble all the right tools to take their hobby to the next level. They will need plenty of hand and power tools with a solid grip, a woodworking table or workbench, a saw, clamps, calipers, a level, nails, screws, measuring tape and plenty of dry, fresh wood with a place to store it.

Reupholstery Kit

Need a new place to sit? Keep your home in style with a reupholstery kit so your hobbyist can redecorate and salvage old furniture without spending a fortune at Crate and Barrel. They will need a magnetic hammer, stretcher, regulator, rubber mallet, fabric shears, needles, threads, pins, needle puller and the right type of fabric. In case you haven’t noticed, they don’t make furniture like they used to. Due to poor construction, today’s sofas, couches and tables usually last only six years. With the right tools, your special person can even build their own custom furnishings for every room in the house.

Hot Sauce Making Kit

Americans are dousing just about everything they eat in hot sauce. Roughly 8% even drizzle it on their ice cream, according to a recent survey from Instacart. If your DIY-lover wants to get creative with their sauces and spices, give them a hot sauce-making kit to help them burn their taste buds to their heart’s content. They come with recipes and bags of seasoning to create flavor-specific condiments, along with bottles for putting the creations on display. The ingredients include apple cider vinegar and a bunch of dried peppers, including habaneros, ancho pasilla, chipotle and a single ghost pepper. It’s like having the cast and crew of Hot Ones in your kitchen. Bring plenty of water and milk. Your next meal together is sure to be a doozy.

Beer-Brewing Kit

Tired of the same old brands? Let them design their own brews with a beer-making kit. They will need a 4-gallon pot, 6-gallon plastic bucket, formation bucket, airlock, nylon hop bags, racking cane, food-grade sanitizer and a thermometer. The kit should also include everything for bottling the brews, including caps and beverage liners. Make sure they follow the directions to a tee, or they could make themselves sick — and not in a good way.

Gardening Kit

Need more fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables? Help them grow their green thumb with an indoor or outdoor gardening kit. They will need gloves, shears, forks, shovels, a spade, a rake, a hoe to dig up the dirt, seeds and fertilizer. Turn your backyard or windowsill into a garden of delights.

Homemade Jerky Kit

Want more flavor? Satisfy their meat craving with a jerky-making kit. Once they have their meat, they will need a quality cutting board and knife to make 1/4″ or 3/8″ strips. The kit also comes with a jerky screen to make sure it cooks correctly, a digital thermometer for sizzling perfection, a scale for determining how long the meat needs to be cooked and bags of seasoning for every craving.

Your loved one needs a new project to tackle as winter sets in. Keep these ideas in mind to help them make things instead of buying them something they don’t need.

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