Broke for the holidays: Build something yourself!

Altoids clock
Altoids clock

If you're in a quandary because you're short on gift money for Christmas this year, I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you pick up those tools of yours which are gathering dust, and build something with your own hands? There are tons of ideas out there for things you can make for gifts. If you have more time than money, consider what fine things your own hands might build.

You could create a fine doll house for your little girl, utilizing free doll house plans and recovered scrap materials. Shop the thrift stores for old book cases or cabinets which can be converted into cheap building materials. Then, simply apply your own imagination. There are tons of free building plans available for toys and games which would thrill either boys or girls. You could even try building a small storage cabinet for that PS3 or Xbox 360.

There's a great website called Instructables, which is loaded with an expansive variety of do-it-yourself projects which you can build as gifts. The Instructables user community will show you how to build a clock from an Altoids tin, or from a bicycle chain and gears. You can make really cool clocks from all kinds of stuff, including old vinyl records or junk car hubcaps!

All you need to do is decide how involved you want to get, and make a realistic assessment of your talents. You can build something small with free wood working plans, or you could build a greenhouse from scrap materials. When money is in short supply, all we need to do is become more ingenious and inventive. Come to think of it, that's pretty much how this country was built!