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    30 Hands-On Gifts That'll Excite Everyone On Your List

    A+ options for foodies, photographers, musicians, and more 🥯📷 🎸

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    Hey! While we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time for Christmas, shipping times are especially tricky this year and can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. Shop early and be sure to double-check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for the 25th!

    1. A Polaroid Lab with the ability to take yesterday's IG shots and make them into analog keepsakes. Was your gift recipient alive in the era of instant cameras? Even if your answer is a confident "Nope!" it doesn't matter, 'cause now we have this nifty gadget.


    All they have to do is set their smartphone atop the Lab, hit the red button, and watch as their favorite pics start to print. Using the Polaroid Originals app, they can even make a single image into a multi-print collage.

    Promising review: "I bought this as a V-day gift for my partner. He has a drone, and loves photography — so I got it for him. He LOVES it. I can not tell you how many Polaroids are now hanging around our house. Plus, when ever a friend comes over for the first time (just moved six months ago) he asks for a favorite photo of themselves and prints one out before they leave. We even did this for his parents. It's easy, and a great gift. Would recommend." —Elizabeth Knop

    Get it from Amazon for $128.79+ (available with or without film).

    2. A DIY polymer clay earring kit for the friend who wants to get into jewelry making but isn't quite ready to spend $100+ on supplies. (Oh how I wish I could go back in time and show myself this.)


    DewDrop Inc, by Toronto-based artisan Liat Weiss, has a whole bunch of DIY kits and for every purchase made, she donates $1 to Pancreatic Cancer Canada.

    What's included: Four polymer clay colors (roughly 1.2 ounces each), one parchment paper, six earring display cards, 12 earring studs (choice of silver or gold), 12 silicone earring backs, 20 jump rings (silver or gold), one wooden pick, one circular cutter, one wooden roller, two sandpapers, two alcohol prep pads, and one tube of adhesive (optional).

    Promising review: "A birthday gift to myself! This awesome kit is small but mighty. It gave me all the tools I needed to get started right away on a craft I've been eyeing for a while, without needing to worry about researching the supplies I needed or choosing among tons of clay colors. The step-by-step instructions and inspiration were easy to follow and super helpful, without being too much information. I'm super excited about my black and white cookie studs (in progress)! Shipped quickly, too." —stephaniegomory28

    Get it from DewDrop Inc on Etsy for $31.94+ (available with silver or gold jewelry and with or without glue).

    3. A pair of serotonin-inducing skates that they can zip around on as Fleetwood Mac blares in the background because they *are* the main character.

    Urban Outfitters

    The statement-making skates feature a "faux leather lace-up boot with a padded build, lightweight aluminum trucks with carbon bearings, classic wheels, and a toe stopper." Basically...they're beautiful + built to last.

    Promising review: "These are amazing. Best purchase ever. True to size. You will get so many compliments and have the best time on them!" —Streaps

    Get them from Urban Outfitters for $139 (available in women's sizes 6–12 and four colors/patterns) or Amazon for $119.95+ (available in women's sizes 6–11 and four colors).

    4. A MasterClass subscription for the friend who loves to learn, learn, and learn some more. They can take 90-minute courses on everything from creative writing with Margaret Atwood to Texas-style BBQ with Aaron Franklin.

    MasterClass courses with Ron Finley, Anna Wintour, Stephen Curry, and Gordon Ramsay displayed on a tablet, iPhone, laptop, and TV

    MasterClass currently has more than 90 instructors (hello, Tan France, Issa Rae, and Robin Roberts 😍) who teach about a variety of topics including art, business, food, science, tech, wellness, and government. While chances are slim they won't find something that piques their interest, new classes are also added every month. Plus, they can download and view the videos offline, so they can turn any commute into class time.

    Get an annual subscription from MasterClass for $180.

    5. A knit-your-own cardigan kit for the friend who lives *exclusively* in oversized sweaters. We should also mention that it's made for beginners, so your buddy doesn't need an FIT design degree to end up with something resembling clothing.

    We Are Knitters

    What's included: Six skeins of pima cotton, US 8 wooden knitting needles, the pattern, small knitter's sewing needle, and an embroidered label.

    Get it from We Are Knitters for $69.30 (originally $99; yarn is available in 18 colors and instructions are available in two languages).

    6. A The Office-themed game of Clue for those who hate Toby Flenderson just as much as Michael Scott. "I tried. I tried to talk to Toby and be his friend, but that is like trying to be friends with an evil snail." —M. Scott

    The board game and box with all pieces laid out

    Players will assume the identity of six other Dunder Mifflin employees (Jim, Pam, Andy, Dwight, Angela, or Stanley) who must attend a "mandatory" team-building event to figure out who killed the loathed HR rep, with what, and where. If that doesn't work tho, everyone can just go home for the day!

    Promising review: "This is like the old classic, but with some clever twists to make play a bit more fun and interactive. They did a great job sticking to The Office theme, with weapons, locations, etc. We had lots of fun figuring out 'WHO KILLED TOBY?'"— Diana P.

    Get it from Amazon for $79.99.

    7. A craft beer kit so they can tell everyone they actually made the IPA in their pint glass. Beer snobs will certainly appreciate the gift, but just keep in mind you'll forever be hearing about the fermentation process and in great, great detail.


    The Mr. Beer Complete Kit comes with everything your giftee/first-time brewer needs to get going and they'll have a final product that's ready to drink in three to four weeks. 🍻

    Having trouble choosing between the kits? Consider their favorite type of beer. The Starter Kit comes with a pale lager; the Complete Kit comes with golden ale; the Bonus Kit comes with Oktoberfest lager and Canadian blonde. No matter the kit you purchase, you can also add on ingredients to make additional brews like an Irish stout.

    What's included: Compact lightweight fermenter, 11 25-ounce reusable and shatterproof bottles, a can of brewing extract (a concentrated form of all-natural malted barley and hops), a no-rinse cleanser, and carbonation drops.

    Promising reviews: "Gave as a gift to my brother in law, he was looking for a hobby and I thought this was perfect. My sister has noticed some changes with her husband since he has been creating his IPAs. His beard grew in overnight, he wears a slouchy knitted hat and leather apron all the time, and he changed his name to Ian. After his first batch of IPA, he developed muscles in his upper body and built a pub (with brick fireplace) in the garage within hours. The Irish accent is getting on her nerves and when in hell did they get Irish Wolfhounds!!!! I’m no longer permitted to purchase any more gifts for my brother-in-law. Making beer at home will change a warned. These events happened within the first week of making beer." —J. Carrabus

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in three sizes).

    8. A 1,000-piece puzzle that delivers major I Spy vibes with bric-a-brac galore. Forget dated nature scenes and planetary diagrams, this is the Millennial-friendly jigsaw we've all been waiting for.

    Piecework Puzzles

    Piecework Puzzles is a woman-founded brand from Rachel Hochhauser and Jena Wolfe. Their aesthetically-pleasing jigsaws run the gamut from Power Lunch ("a sushi-and-calculator-filled masterpiece") to Punch Line (see: jello molds, tiny pickles, and fluorescent punch).

    PS: Make note in your card that Piecework Puzzles also has an accompanying Spotify playlist so they can really set the mood as they get to work sorting.

    Get it from Piecework Puzzles for $28.80 (originally $36).

    9. A three-pack of all-natural dough because no one is ever too old for an arts and crafts session.

    The Starburst three-pack which comes with pink, orange, and yellow dough
    The Dough Project

    The Dough Project is the brain child of Chelsea Milkman, an NYC-based preschool teacher who knows a thing or two about dough. Her mixes are made with all-natural ingredients like organic wheat flour, sea salt, cream of tartar, and veggie oil, and beets, turmeric, spirulina, and purple carrots for color.

    Get it from The Dough Project for $13.99 (originally $19.99).

    10. A Hunt A Killer subscription for the giftee who's always upset when the murder onUnsolved Mysteries goes...unsolved. With this monthly kit, they can do their own detective work decoding ciphers, piecing together timelines, and going through a victim's personal effects in order to get to the bottom of their case.

    A Hunt A Killer box with newspaper clippings, police documents, letters, and other paperwork
    Hunt A Killer

    Hunt A Killer currently has nine different box sets which ship in six monthly installments and seven all-in-one premium kits which can be completed in a single night. Themes include the Blair Witch experience (self-explanatory), Baker's Dozen (players have to figure out which cooking show contestant plans to poison the judges), and The Woods (a paranormal investigation in which you have to find out how a young woman has been afflicted by an ancient evil).

    Get it from Hunt A Killer for $25+/per month (you can buy a one-time box or 6- or 12-month subscription).

    11. A personalized notebook/planner/journal where they can scribble down their most pressing thoughts from "What would be the longterm costs of unmitigated climate change?" to "Today I put everything bagel seasoning on an everything bagel and it was d.i.v.i.n.e."


    Promising review: "This was a gift for a relative and they really liked the quality. The artwork on the covers, the personalization, ribbon marker and quality of the paper impressed them. Keep up your high standards of quality! This sure makes a statement over a digital planning device any day. It was a hard choice just to pick one design!" —Dianne D.

    Get it from Papier for $20.99+ (available in soft or hardback and lined, plain, or bulleted pages).

    12. An ultra-portable synthesizer they can slip into their pocket and bring to their next jam sesh. If you're their music buddy, they now have no excuse not to come to you!

    Teenage Engineering

    The palm-sized synth runs off of two AAA batteries but that doesn't stop it from offering 16 synthesized 8-bit video tones as well as parameter locks, chord control, punch-in effects, just like the big boys. Plus, you don't even need to hook it up to any external devices (though you can if you want to), since it has built-in Knowles speakers.

    Get it from Amazon or Teenage Engineering for $59.

    13. A terrarium-building kit so they can cultivate a whimsical garden without even having to step foot outside. Plus, since the succulents and moss require v little maintenance, it'll free up more time for them to tend to virtual weeds in Animal Crossing.


    The kit comes courtesy of Cori Kippin, the artist behind Living Arrangement, an Etsy shop specializing in terrarium supplies and art. If you need more living holiday decor, check out the shop's handmade wreaths and ornamental fairy houses which come straight from Maine.

    What's included: A 6-inch glass container, sphagnum moss, soil, charcoal, drainage rock, ornamental rocks, sea treasures/woodland treasures, instructional pamphlet, and — if you buy the kit that comes with plants — two succulents.

    Promising review: "Sent this to my mom and its AMAZING! I want one for myself now! She called me to open it together and she was SO EXCITED! There were a bunch of really cool unique bits and a Dino! It's a great gift and fun to put together!" —Robyn Nova

    Get it from Living Arrangement on Etsy for $29.99+ (available in two shapes and with/without succulents).

    14. A make-your-own hot sauce kit for those who religiously watch Hot Ones. If they love to brag about their tolerance for spice and heat, they can create their own boundary-pushing sauce with liberal additions of chipotle and guajillo peppers.

    The hot sauce kit with bottles labeled yes you cayenne, devil's tears, make my verde, the firestar, and red hot chili papa
    Uncommon Goods

    What's included: Various ground and whole spices, 8 ounces of distilled white vinegar, six 5-ounce glass bottles with lids, six labels, funnel, gloves, instructional booklet with recipes.

    Promising review: "I bought this gift for my brother's 65th birthday. He's the guy who has everything and needs nothing. He absolutely LOVED it and was excited to use it the very next weekend! He called ME to tell me how much he loved it! Never happens. I'm thrilled!!!" —Sally

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $40.

    15. A weaving loom with all the bits and bobs they'll need to create a wall-worthy display. If they have even one (1) crafty bone in their body, we best this'll be a hit.

    Chelsea Stuart / BuzzFeed

    I got this as a birthday present and was SO excited to get to work. I'd never weaved before, but I do have penchant for crafts and with a bit of Googling, I was able to figure out how to get the loom warped (AKA put on the initial set of yarn/twine that the rest of the weaving works off of) and load my shuttles with different colors. Perhaps most importantly, it was really simple to put together (with the included nuts and bolts) and proved super sturdy as I got to work. Pro tip: just keep it away from your pets. (My cats had me working backwards to untangle my yarn quite a few times 🤦‍♀️)

    What's included: Two side frames, one wooden stick, one heddle bar, two beams, two frames, two support frames, three large shuttles, one wooden comb, and nuts and bolts.

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

    16. A kombucha-brewing kit for the friend who's sorely missing their on-tap work booch. That ish is expensive when bought by the bottle, but this kit comes with enough ingredients to make a full gallon.

    What's included: One-gallon brew jar with plastic lid, organic kombucha culture and one cup starter liquid, organic cane sugar, organic loose leaf black and oolong tea, reusable cotton tea bag, temperature gauge, cotton cover and rubber band, pH test strips, pipette, wet erase marker, step-by-step brewing instructions, post-brewing guide.

    Promising review: "I got such great results I bought another kit almost immediately. This is a virtually fool-proof Kombucha kit. The ingredients are high quality, the instructions crystal clear and a noob like me just followed the instructions to the letter. The scoby provided is healthy, happy and fermenting away. The kit literally has everything needed other than water. I got a fantastic result: delicious Kombucha for pennies compared to the commercial product. I plan to buy a few more of these kits as gifts." —Da Moogs

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99+.

    17. An adult coloring book with simultaneously humorous/disturbing illustrations that'll make them ~uncomfy.~

    The front of the coloring book which shows a cat on a skateboard
    Chronicle Books

    The activity book has 45 giggle-inducing illustrations and 20 activities (like decorating a cat butt cake or solving a feline-inspired word search) that will keep them entertained for hours on end.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95 or Bookshop for $9.15 (to support local bookstores).

    18. A relaxing spa box so they can forget — even if only a for moment — the year we've all had. With 2021 right around the corner, it's time to (responsibly) bath salt the blues away.


    What's included: One soap of your choice, one lip balm of your choice, one 4-ounce pink grapefruit bath salt, one muscle rescue balm tin, one skin rescue balm tin, one gift box with navy grosgrain ribbon, one gift tag.

    Promising review: "I was very happy with my spa gift purchase. I gave it to a friend and she was delighted with it. It is very nicely presented in a cute little cardboard box with a ribbon on top. I liked it so much, I wanted to keep it myself. You get several items in the box. They are smaller sample sizes, But given that this is a boutique company making specialized products, it is a fair price for the amount of items you receive and the care they take to package it. Lovely!!" —C. Mcquillan

    Get it from Amazon for $28.

    19. A macrame plant hanger kit with everything one needs to make a '70s-inspired planter. Corduroy bell bottoms and curtain bangs don't come included, but we'll assume they already have those.

    Everything that comes included in the kit and a photo of the complete planter

    What's included: 100 meters of cotton cord, one wooden ring, four beads, DIY instructions.

    Promising review: "Great little kit for beginners. Had everything I needed and good quality. Instructions were a little hard to follow but YouTube was a quick solution for that! Had a lot of leftover string so I can make more projects!" —Nawal

    Get it from Amazon for $20.98.

    20. An Olive & June mani system with every tool they need to create salon-worthy nails right at home. It may take a bit for them to get super confident painting with their non-dominant hand, but the Poppy polish handle makes it a whole lot easier. 💅

    A model painting her nails with one of the colors included in the six-polish set
    Olive & June

    What's included: seven tools, one super glossy top coat, and long-lasting polish in your choice of color (one, six, or the eight-piece Winter Set).

    Promising review: "I’m not a nail girl. I never get my nails done or really care about how my nails look, so when I received this kit from my sister for my birthday, I was a bit confused. I totally get it now. I watched some tutorials and followed the instructions, and I’m obsessed with Olive & June. The kit makes an at-home manicure possible for even the most inexperienced nail girls. I’ve gotten so many compliments on how beautiful my manicure looks. Everyone assumes it’s professional because the colors are stunning, and they don’t believe I actually did my nails on my own. I highly recommend." —Jenna T.

    Get it from Olive & June for $50+ (available with 1 or 6 colors)

    21. A make-your-own ukulele kit for the musician who also majored in fine arts. The uke ships in pieces so they can give it a personalized paint job before assembling it., Amazon

    Promising review: "I’ve been playing ukulele since 2007 and I’ve owned everything from the toys to the $350 exotic wood models. I’ve purchased and gifted countless ukuleles as well. I’ve played many, but never built one! This was a roll of the dice...I bought it as a quarantine project to keep myself busy. It was fun, educational, and allowed for an enormous amount of creativity. It holds up against my $350 Lanakai ukulele....the wood is lower quality, but the intonation is on point. I will buy this again...and I will give these kits as gifts going forward. I am SO impressed. Your hands-on learner will take pride in their work and will also learn a new skill. Highly recommended!" —Musiclover0101

    Get it from Amazon for $33.99 (available in four sizes).

    22. A DIY baroque 3D clock that, once completed, may just burst into a rendition of "Be Our Guest" any time they have friends over.


    The 3D puzzle clock comes completely deconstructed so it'll be up to them to put on their engineering hat and assemble the 47 included pieces. (FYI — no glue or tools are needed.)

    Promising review: "This clock was fun and straightforward to put together; the instructions are very clear, and it came out beautifully! Definitely a good gift choice for people who like to work with their hands. I will be getting more kits soon!" —Dr. Kristine Kirsch

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99+ (available in four designs).

    23. A mini essentials kit from Brightland for the foodie who has different bottles of olive oil for cooking vs. dipping. The kit comes with two EVOOs and two fruit-forward vinegars that not only taste good, but have some bonus brain and beauty effects.

    The mini essentials kit which comes with two olive oils and two vinegars

    Brightland is a women-founded brand, from Aishwarya Iyer, that sources its olives from a family-run farm in California.

    Get it from Brightland for $70.

    24. A smart jump rope for those who're into fitness but over every YouTube workout class they've done. The futuristic device connects to an app on their smartphone or fitness wearable and keeps an accurate count of their jumps, burned calories, and workout time and even lets them challenge others to a double Dutch competition.

    The jump rope in blue next to a smartphone and fitness wearable connected to the accompanying app

    Promising review: "Bought two for my 30-year-old kids and myself. Found that it this 60-year-old mom is very competitive. Jumped 3,000 counts in one day just to beat my kids. Now, I just compete with myself. Very accurate. My kids love them. They say it’s great so they can put in their exercise if they come home late from work." —biokid

    Get it from Amazon for $39.95 (available in four colors).

    25. A bagel and cream cheese-making kit (straight from Brooklyn) with everything one needs to make a bodega-worthy sandwich with schmear.

    Two kits; one for everything bagels and one for cinnamon raisin
    Uncommon Goods

    Promising review: "So, the process was not entirely-stress free. We could only find ultra-pasteurized heavy cream! Were we rolling the bagels right? But you can't argue with results. Sitting down to eat a meal of bagels with a schmear that you made from scratch is amazing. Next time, it'll be easier." —Gabriela

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $25 or Amazon for $29.95.

    26. A tabletop pool game they won't have to clean out their entire basement to make room for.

    Urban Outfitters

    The felted set comes with miniature versions of all the regular accessories including two cues, 16 balls, a triangle, chalk, and a table brush.

    Promising review: "This is literally the cutest thing EVER. I’ve always loved playing pool because it’s so fun. I live in a tiny apartment with my family so I thought this would be nice to have around. The balls are not lightweight or hollow, they are heavy duty and dense. They’re just tinier than regular pool balls (obviously) and everything is just so easy to assemble. I love this. It's great gift also!!" — mahimahayat

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $34.

    27. A surprisingly affordable mask set from Sephora with eight jungle-themed options that'll pamper their eyes, hands, hair, face, and feet. Don't know your giftee's skin type? Don't fret — this collection is perfect for dry, oily, combination, and "normal" (w/e that means) skin.

    The complete set and keepsake box which is jungle themed

    The eight-piece set comes comes in a keepsake box and includes cucumber eye masks, caffeine eye masks, watermelon face mask, charcoal nose strip, bubble mask, coconut hair sleeping mask, cactus foot masks, mango hand masks.

    Promising review: "Had already tried all the masks in this set and was very impressed by all of them. The value is great and this is the perfect gift for someone who needs and deserves some pampering and relaxation. Also a nice treat for yourself and an ideal introduction to Sephora mask products if you have not tried them before." —Annex1

    Get it from Sephora for $25 ($36 value).

    28. A retro Lite Brite toy for anyone who wants to teleport back to the '90s or introduce their little ones to the "retro" toys they grew up with.

    The Lite Bright box which says the kit contains 214 pieces and a bigger, brighter screen

    Promising review: "OMG who doesn’t love light bright? I’m 41 and this thing would keep me entertained for hrs even now. It’s a Christmas gift but I did look at it and maybe I played with it a bit. The light is bright and makes me remember when I was young. Great for kids or all ages and even us adults. Hey I won’t judge!" —AprilT

    Get it from Amazon for $12.82.

    29. A solar photography kit so they can harness the power of the sun in order to take photos like they're livin' in 1842.

    Uncommon Goods

    Paper Kit: six 5 x 7-inch sheets of photosensitive paper (each printable on both sides), instructions, light proof plastic storage bag.

    Fabric Kit: six 6 x 6-inch sheets of photosensitive cotton fabric (one each of green, orange, rose, turquoise, violet, and white; printable on both sides), instructions, light proof plastic storage bag.

    Promising review: "Of all the Christmas gifts, this one got the most comments & discussion. This was bought for my 15-year-old granddaughter whose major interest is art. She says it is great!" —SmittyK

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $14.95.

    30. And a DIY mochi-making kit for the friend who makes multiple dedicated trips to Trader Joe's every week just to pick up some of the sweet stuff.

    The mochi kit packaging and included ingredients and tools
    Uncommon Goods

    Each kit has enough to make four batches — AKA 32 matcha- and cocoa-flavored mochi balls.

    What's included: sweet rice flour, potato starch, matcha green tea powder, cocoa powder, dough cutter, silicone mochi mold, and step-by-step instructions.

    Promising review: "This was a last-minute gift addition as we had gone to the grocery store and her favorite mochi ice cream flavor was sold out. I remembered seeing a kit here and purchased it with less than a week before her birthday and it came in a couple of days beforehand. The best part of the gift is the ability to keep making the mochi ice cream — the mold holds up and it's easy to source ingredients and make our own custom mochi!" —Alisha

    Get it from Uncommon Goods for $32.

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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