20+ Ultimate DiY Gifts to Help Load Santa’s Survival Sleigh

by Todd Walker

Bless her heart, my mom still uses a paper towel holder I made for her in 7th grade shop class. To everyone’s amazement, my hand-crafted gift has dispensed thousands of sheets of ‘napkins’ for over 40 years!

It’s not that my gift was the best designed dispenser of Bounty. It takes up counter space, and admittedly, isn’t real pleasing to the eye. However, it was never conveniently ‘lost.’

What’s the secret to my gift’s longevity in my mom’s kitchen?

I made it with my hands! The simple pinewood piece meant more to my mom than if had plopping down a few bucks at K-Mart for an ugly Christmas sweater.

Over the last two years of this blog, I’ve shared my passion for Doing the Stuff – DiY style. These projects create useful stuff, build confidence in your skills, knowledge, and overall preparedness – changing your tune from “I could never do that” to —> “How hard can it be!”

I’ve included the best here. Some are easy, require minimal skill, time, and money. That’s encouraging in our shrinking economy, right!? Others may stretch your handcrafting skills and budget. But still cheaper than a lot of store-bought junk!

Either way, both the giver and receiver benefit. Your DiY skills improve and Uncle Otha will likely treasure your handcrafted gift!

Let’s get started packing Santa’s Survival Sleigh!

Gear and Stuff

Secret Book Safe

  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour with a scroll saw; 2-3 hours with a utility knife
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Salvation lies within” – The Shawshank Redemption

I bought this book for one dollar at a thrift store. There’s plenty of room to hide valuables within! Take a look…

30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Emergency fiat cash and a gun… nice combo!

Here are the instructions I followed to make my book safe (via The Art of Manliness). I used my scroll saw which speeds the process considerably.

Cigar Fishing Kit

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour

Cigar sleeve, duct tape, bank line, electrical tape, fishing line, strike anywhere matches, fire starter , dry flies, artificial lizard/worm, non-lead weights, 3 types of fishing hooks, metal leader, swivels, 2 floats/bobbers, and a snack size zip-lock bag.

Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day…Teach him to make a cigar fishing kit and he can survive the apocalypse. Makes an excellent stocking stuffer!

Fight the Cold: Homemade Pocket Warmers courtesy of Tess Pennington at Ready Nutrition

  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour with sewing skills

Homemade pocket hand warmers are great for cold winter days!

Adjustable Paracord Rifle Sling

  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour

Paracord is the duct tape of outdoor survival. These slings contain about 100 feet of this indispensable stuff. The black sling is adjustable.

A DiY Survival Sling Shot with Big Game Capabilities

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1-2 hours
A DiY Survival Sling Shot with Big Game Capabilities

A DiY Survival Sling Shot with Big Game Capabilities

Hunt, fish, or just have family fun with this one!

How to Build a Rocket Stove to Impress the Boys – courtesy of Jamie at Prepared Housewives

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Courtesy of Prepared Housewives

An emergency stove that cooks on a handful of twigs.

Building a Sawbuck: Work Smarter in the Woodpile

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: $10-$15
  • Time: 1 hour
Sawbuck: Work Smarter in the Woodpile

Big Orange punishing that fence crusher!

This is a simple, back-saving tool for cutting firewood. You could probably build it in 30 minutes or less.

Jim’s DiY Fuel Transfer Pump: Don’t Spit or Swallow

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: $100 – less with parts on hand
  • Time: 10 to 15 hours
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Battery operated fuel pump

Throw this behind the seat of your truck or in the trunk just in case.

Farmhouse Table

  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Cost: $150-$200
  • Time: 10 to 15 hours
Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Surprise your wife with a farmhouse table!

The 5 Minute Tin Olive Oil Lamp

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 5 minutes or less
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

DiY olive oil lamp

Seriously, you can make this in under 5 minutes!

Elevated Compost Tumbler

  • Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 2-3 hours
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

DRG’s elevated compost tumbler

This allows you to open the door and dump black gold into your wheel barrow for easy transfer!

#10 Can Stove Gift Idea courtesy of Jodi at Food Storage Made Easy

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes

Folding Tomato Ladders 

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 1 hour
20+ Ultimate DiY Gifts for Santa's Survival Sleigh

Four Tomato Ladders anchored and ready with an old wooden ladder on the far left.

How to Make a Fire Piston For Under 10 Bucks via Preparing for SHTF

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes
20+ Ultimate DiY Gifts to Load Santa's Survival Sleigh

Plumbing supply fire piston!

I love using plumbing supplies for survival stuff! I’ve got the cooper stub out and other supplies to try this one!

Natural Health

DIY Miracle Healing Salve – courtesy of Gaye Levy at Backdoor Survival

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes to make and 24 hours to set up

DIY Miracle Healing Salve   Backdoor Survival

Haven’t tried this recipe yet but Gaye swears by it for all manner of ache, pains, and skin issues.

Nourishing Tallow Balm with Essential Oils - courtesy of Wardee Harmon at GNOWFGLINS

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes to make and 24 hours to set up

30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

Tallow fat is 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, making it helpful for skin health and compatible with our biology. Be sure to only use grass-fed tallow for your recipe. I’ve been experimenting with tallow on my skin and have seen good results.

You can buy tallow. But this a DiY post. Here’s how I render my small batches of tallow. Wardee made 8 1/2 gallons at once here!

Healthy Household: Master Tonic courtesy of Caroline Cooper at Eatkamloops

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes to make and 6 weeks to infuse for maximum potency
30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh
Courtesy of eatkamloops.org

An all-purpose tonic for cold and flu season. Remember to label and date your Master Tonic. Infuse for six weeks for maximum potency.

Homemade Decongestant Chest Rub courtesy of Adrienne at Whole New Mom

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: 30 minutes

DIY Chest Rub Recipe! Ditch the Vicks® and make this instead! No added chemical nasties and much cheaper!

Food

Down and Dirty Sauerkraut

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: Depends on the batch size – one week to ferment

20120505-141315.jpg

Fermented foods have sustained humans for thousands of years. Add a jar to your pile of stocking stuffers!

Pemmican: Bread of the Wilderness

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: If ingredients are prepared properly, 30 minutes to make

Like most things survival related, it’s best to experience it first hand before counting on it with your life. I don’t recommend it for Christmas dinner. If prepared properly, it’ll last for Christmases to come. You can follow my recipe or try these.

25 DIY Weekend Preparedness Projects courtesy of Angela at Food Storage and Survival

  • Skill level: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Time: Weekend – depending on how many you tackle

25 easy DIY prepper projects for preparedness and survival.

Thought I’d include this one in case you need more ideas.

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

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Categories: DIY Preparedness Projects | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “20+ Ultimate DiY Gifts to Help Load Santa’s Survival Sleigh

  1. Nate Hunagel

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, I believe that somewhere down the way the idea of a Christmas gift being handmade or the though of, has been lost and in today’s world as you take notice of the crowds in the stores as we near the holiday it seems Christmas gifts are all about the highest price paid for it, or who was victorious of the shoving or fighting for a specific item. God Bless, and may your Holiday be filled with lasting memories.

    • Thanks for the kindness, wisdom, and season’s greetings, Nate! In the time shoppers spend standing in line, shoving and kicking their way to save $10 on a toy their kids will throw away before the new year, folks could enjoy building/making something of value that is really appreciated and useful.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours, Nate!

  2. Todd – Fabulous list of DIY projects! Thank you for including my DIY Miracle Salve. I am going to now try some of the others. I know I have an old Altoids tin and 5 minutes so I will tackle that one today. To me it is relaxing to spend time doing something with my hands – much more so than sitting in front of a computer :)

    • Thanks Gaye! Appreciate you contributing here and in our preparedness community at large!

      Your salve recipe is on my list to make. In my shop working on the fire piston just before this little break :D

  3. I love these lists you put together! Super helpful and filled with tonz of fun projects to try! Thanks for including one of mine too ;)

  4. Pingback: 28 Frugal and Natural DIY Holiday Ideas (Link Roundup) | A Sensible Wife

  5. Pingback: Homemade Gift Idea: Make a Paracord Lantern - Home Ready Home

  6. Pingback: 20+ Ultimate DiY Gifts to Help Load Santa’s Survival Sleigh

  7. Great list! The photo of your farmhouse table reminded me of a great blog by Ana White. She is a self-taught furniture maker and has plans for all levels. She helped her husband build their Alaskan home when she was pregnant with their daughter. She had never used a power tool before! Now she is a furniture-making fanatic! Here is here page for starter projects: http://ana-white.com/category/plans/skill-level/starter-projects

    • Thank you, Crunchy! I actually used Ana’s plans from her site and point folks to her site for the details. She’s got some amazing plans and projects on her site! She’s an awesome resource and person.

      Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Sure do miss you around here! :-)

      Todd

  8. Pingback: Handmade Christmas - Survival at Home

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