Creative gifts for your DIYer
By Kay Reynolds
The Virginian-Pilot - December 10, 2006
HOW MANY HAMMERS does one person need? There are more gifts than tools
to be found for your favorite DIYer during the season of giving. Let's
explore the possibilities:
Expand the library
Nothing beats curling up with a book to linger over potential projects.
First, check out "House Beautiful's Storage Workshop," published by Hearst
Books. Whether you live in a mansion or apartment, everyone can use more
storage. "Storage Workshop" gives advice on how to get started and take
control of your space. From bookshelves to kitchen cabinets, you'll find
plans. Cost is $24.95.
Wall Wizard Brian Santos' "Painting Secrets" can help a novice learn how
to paint like a pro. You'll find instructions on how to ready the room,
repair drywall, plaster, concrete and brick, clean stains, and remove wallpaper.
Detailed steps also illustrate color and paint selection, painting techniques,
cleaning and storage of paint and tools, and creating effects. For more
advanced painting techniques, there is Brian Santos' "Faux Finish Secrets." Both
retail at $19.95 each and are published by Meredith Books. Available in
local bookstores, they can also be ordered at www.meredithbooks.com.
We also like Sunny Goode's "Paint Can" from Sterling Publishing Co. Goode
has her own line of water- soluble colour washes, glazes, stencils and
paint kits available at www.sunnys-paint.com. Kits include DVD or VHS instructional
videos and "Deck-O-Rator Cards," plastic transparencies you can hold up
to a wall to see how a color glaze will look in the room.
"Paint Can" offers tips on how to bring style into every room. It's great
for weekend projects that can be done alone or with friends and family.
Find Goode's book at her Web site or at area book stores. Cost is $24.95.
Even tough guys can use "The Tuff Chix Guide to Easy Home Improvement" by
Paige Hemmis. Hemmis, known by her pink tool belt, has been seen on ABC's "Extreme
Makeover: Home Edition." She is a self-taught handywoman who believes anyone
can handle home fix-its and maintenance.
Hemmis' "Tuff Tips" include fixing clogged toilets and sinks, replacing
light switches and dimmers, installing dead bolts, patching leaks, laying
tile, cleaning gutters, and patching walls. Cost for the book is $16. It
is a Plume Book; find more details - or order - at www.penguin.com. (Visit
www.tuffchix.com and order a pink tool belt in pleather or canvas for $39.95.)
Wow with art
Nothing brings a chill to a room like naked walls. Art makes a home and,
now you can combine digital photo talents with large canvas prints for
a personal gift. It's easy to order at www.photowow.com.
Select a design - such as an old fashioned comic, vintage watercolor, film
strip or Warhol-like pop - choose a price (starts at $138) and upload the
digital image you want transformed. They do the rest.
'Tis the season to decorate and what better way to start than at the front
door? Organic Bouquet has a wide collection of eco-wreaths, both decorative
and culinary that make thoughtful gifts.
Unique designs include an 18-inch Snowflake wreath (right) of fresh organic
Shore Pine and Douglas Fir pinecones for $59.95.
A Savory Bird Swag is perfect for gardeners. Made from naturally grown
millet and other greens, it makes a decorative bird feeder or can be displayed
inside. About 24-inches long, the cost is $57.95.
Find these wreathes and others at www.OrganicBouquet. com.
You could also surprise your hubby or wife with a new door by Jeld-Wen.
That's a great accessory for a holiday wreath. Jeld-Wen offers a line of
styles in wood, fiberglass and steel.
Prices range from $300 for a nice entry unit with good curb appeal to $5,000
for a custom system.
The doors must be special ordered, but you'll find information about Jeld-Wen
at 84 Lumber Co., (757) 465-8403; Virginia Sash & Door, (757) 627-7001;
Norfolk Sash & Door, (757) 255-3142; and Stock Building Supply, (757) 543-6836.
Also find information at www.jeld-wen.com.
Save a penny, build a kitchen
Help your building buddy start saving for a new bathroom, floor replacement
or landscaping project. The Nest Egg from J Schatz (pictured on the cover)
is an elegant, ceramic bank that can help save for the next DIY project.
It comes in brilliant colors including orange peel, aqua, sun yellow and
red hot. It also has the capacity to hold 307 quarters, 559 dimes, 278
nickel and 1,350 pennies. The Nest Egg retails at $85 and can be ordered
at www.jschatz.com, or call (866) 344-5267.
Let it flow
Is it too chilly to enjoy your outdoor water feature? Make one for indoors
and let it brighten the room (See instructions at right). The Beckett Container
Fountain Kit, retailing from $24.99 to $29.99, is an all-in-one kit that
can be used to craft a fountain to suit any style or special occasion.
Beckett products can be found at Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement
Tools and gadgets
If you're still set on gifting tools, consider these:
Want that screwdriver personalized? Choose up to two lines and 12 characters
to personalize select Craftsman tool sets, socket wrench sets and ratchets
by calling (800) 377-7414. This is an ideal way to identify tools and keep
track of what has been loaned out. Laser-etched nameplates for storage,
chests and cabinets are also available.
The new battery in the Craftsman Lithium-Ion Screwdriver will remain charged
for up to 18 months. The drill has a 2-position pivoting handle, integrated
work light, and a 22-position, adjustable torque clutch. It includes two
double-end bits, a 21-piece bit set, case and charger. The cost is $39.99;
the model number is 11316.
The 48254 Craftsman Indoor/Outdoor Measuring Tool is capable of measuring
distances up to 150-feet away. It features point-to-point sonar measuring
capability that measures in feet or meters. It works in a variety of lights
and can even make measurements with partially obstructed views. The cost
The new Craftsman Digital Level is available in 9 or 24 inches, priced
respectively at $49.99 or $69.99. What this means is you don't have to
stare at a bubble in a tube to be sure a shelf is level.
The digital technology displays the angle down to one-tenth of a degree.
You can calculate angles, slope, percent of grade or calibrate to custom
angles with the push of a button. A large LCD screen is visible in dark
and light conditions. Both levels feature a laser guide to reference points
up to 100 feet away.
Craftsmen tools can be found at K-Mart stores as well as Sears. Items can
also be ordered at www.sears.com.
Stanley's new items include the FatMax Mobile Project Center, a portable
work space that folds up for easy storage and travel. It has a UL-listed
electrical socket for use of up to three power tools. Adjustable clamps
have rotating handles and special inserts allow you to keep power tools
handy while you work on the 34 inch surface. Cost is $109.
If a new hammer is a must, check out Stanley's FatMax Xtreme Antivibe Hammer.
Features include a magnetic nail starter, checkered striking face to help "grip" the
nail head, and wear-and- slip-resistant grip. Stabilizing bars inside the
handle reduce torque and the patented AntiVibe feature minimizes hand-wrist
Hammer weights are 16, 20, 24, 26 and 28-ounces; prices range from $19.90
Stanley tools are available at home improvement centers and department
stores, including Lowe's, Home Depot, Robbies, Ace Hardware and Taylor's
Contact Kay Reynolds at 446-2640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in the December 10, 2006 issue of The Virginian-Pilot