Holiday Projects - Submitted by Customers

In our last eNewsletter, we asked our readers to email us the scoop on the projects they were making for holiday gifts.

I've never had a harder time picking 12 answers to publish. Our readers are generous and creative. All their answers were interesting and filled with great gifts. 

Everyone needs a Grandfather like Curt!

I find priceless satisfaction making Christmas presents for my grandchildren in my workshop. This Christmas I made a doll bed for my eldest granddaughter. The attached picture shows the bed after the first coat of paint. This project also gave me a good excuse to buy a new scroll saw since my old one was a “toy” that I have had since I was eleven. 

At Christmas my woodworking club donates toys to needy children.  So while I was making one doll bed I made a second, identical bed, at the same time. I find it interesting that one of the beds is for a little girl that I see multiple times each week and the other is for some little girl I don’t even know, and probably never will.

This backgammon set is too nice to use!

I made a travel backgammon set for my son-in-law.  The playing board is laminated walnut and cedar triangles in 1/4" thick cypress.  The two playing boards, measuring 5-1/4" X 10"each, are inserted into the box lid and box carcass using dados.  The box carcass is made from 1/2" cherry and measures 7-1/4" W X 11" L X 2-1/4" H.  The top and bottom lids are cypress with a 1-1/4" strip of cherry laminate.   I put two cypress keys in each corner of the box.  I inserted a 5/8" cedar plug and a 5/8" walnut plug in the top lid to discourage dumping the contents.  The checkers are fifteen 5/8" cedar plugs 1/4" thick and fifteen 5/8" walnut plugs 1/4" thick.

The checkers and dice fit in a 5/8" wide tray on the front side of the box.  I finished the set with natural stain and six coats of hand-rubbed polyurethane.  I put two brass 1/2" hinges on the back and a brass clasp on the front. Here are two photos of the finished product.

Lewis has been quite busy.

Thought you might like to see a couple of presents. The pepper grinder is made from maple and walnut. I used the Woodcraft 6” mechanisms # 126638 and made a dozen of these for my doctor’s office employees. The candle box is made of walnut and destined for a friend in Virginia.

I used the plans from Woodcraft Magazine Vol. 1/No. 4. Finally, the 6” marking knife is made from Purple Heart, a brass pipe compression fitting and surplus machinist tool stock and will be given to a friend who enjoys making hand cut dovetails. 

Every kitchen needs one of these.

Here's a picture of an unfinished chef's cookbook shelf that makes a nice Christmas gift. It has a sliding adjustable bookend and can be fancied up with an applique on either end.

If it's built right, it stays right.

Hey Don and all,

I’ve enclosed a picture of the Treasure Toy Chest I built for my grandson Tyler two years ago.  This picture was just taken this past April after 1-1/2 years of use.  It still looks as good as when I built it.  No plans other than my scribbled notes on how I thought it should look.  The following year it was a cedar chest for his mother.  This year I think it’ll be a combination sports gear and clothing locker for his younger brother.

Kelly from the Department of Elf and Welfare.

I'm carving, power (Foredom) and hand, snowmen in all shapes and sizes for small gifts.

I am also carving "elf houses" out of cottonwood bark. They all come out differently. I keep telling people I have to keep working on them because there are too many homeless elves and winter is coming! My daughter says I am the Department of Elf and Welfare!



These would look good in my front yard. (hint, hint)

Hi, I made this nativity set for my MOM for the Holidays , I carved them from Cedar logs. The size of them are up to 3 1/2 foot tall. Have a great Holiday I love your store and you offer all the unique tools for wood carving.

Alan knows his way around a scroll saw.

The picture shows some of the Christmas gifts I've made.

Sorry Scott, but now thousands of woodworkers know.

Years ago I purchased a couple of shot glass displays out of a catalog for my brother's collection of shot glasses from every place he travels.  He has since run out of spots.  He also recently bought a new house with a bar in the basement.  My plan is to build a 30"x54" oak bar mirror with a "border" of shot glass "cubbies" and a decorative crown molding with shelf across the top and bottom, and molded oak 'pillars' running down the vertical sides of the "cubbies"... four in all.

I am also building a tv cabinet to match my nieces new bedroom set.  Pretty boring gift for an 11-year old but I am incorporating every pre-teen's dream.  Secret drawers that only she and I will know about. 

Thanks for reading,

Erik needs help deciding.

Started with a small round top chest for my brother made out of tauari – used a lock miter bit for the sides and a "bird's beak" bit to make the barrel top. very dense, hard, straight grained S. American wood - color similar to walnut, grain similar to mahogany. Sister already got her adirondak chairs and tile top end tables made from cypress.

Also working on some turned mini-kaleidoscopes for the sisters-in-law and clocks for the brothers-in-law, individually themed (a round one painted like a baseball for the sports fanatic, etc...)  Clocks made with back-mount alarm mechanisms.

Still trying to think of something for the parents on both sides.  (shaker style mitten benches?)

Any ideas?



All my gifts come from my woodworking shop.

I am making many projects for the holidays: For my grandson I am making a fooseball game with paddles made of different woods and Schwinn bicycle handle bar grips for handles. I am making a cubed block about 30" square for a toybox for my 1 year old granddaughter.  It has the large letters on each side with a border and a background, painted in the three colors of her bedroom. The backside has a secret drawer on the bottom with her name above in 1/4" plywood letters, also in the three colors of her room.  This is my favorite. My two daughters are getting scrapbooks with the covers made from assorted woods and a leather spline.

I am also making wood frames for gifts, each around an artistic display of dried leaves from the various trees on my property - very colorful.

I am making beds for each of my 10 year old granddaughter's American Girl dolls,   patterned after the beds for them in the American Girl dolls catalog.  I am making a teepee with rabbit skins inside for the bed of the American Indian doll.

For that special someone I am making a jewelry box from Curly Maple and Wenge.

Mike makes two of everything.

I have 3-1/2 year old twin girls. I made full size cradles made of cherry for them prior to their birth. This Christmas, I am making them doll cradles from the same plans, but scaled down to doll size cradles - these are also out of cherry. I will be pushing the timing to get them done before Christmas.


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