Christmas is a time of love – no matter where we find ourselves this extraordinary year, we will still hope to have a special time. You can make it extra memorable by creating a DIY Christmas present that is handy and unexpected, with the help of The Handy Mano.

This Christmas, we set a challenge to plan and create a handy and unexpected present which was #MadeWithLove for a special someone. The idea was for the present to take pride of place in a loved one’s home, as a way to ‘be there’ even when physically we may not all be together.

We’ve shared one of the #MadeWithLove creations below, alongside some insight into the creative process. We have also shared links to the video below so you can see each part step by step. 

Dan Lovatt – A wall-mounted cabinet for his mum

Back in March, my mum got Covid and was quite ill which wasn’t a nice experience as we couldn’t see her. So, this Christmas I want to make her something special. As she is obsessed with cosmetics, I wanted to make her a wall mounted cabinet that she can use to house all her lotions and potions and keep them all contained. Excited to get started on this! 

DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove
A DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove

DIY Christmas present: Materials you’ll need

Birch Plywood

Makita 6 piece

Router

Tool box trolley

Hard wax oil

Corner clamp

Pen and paper

Ruler

Table/surface for cutting wood on

Sanding paper

Hammer & nails

DIY Christmas present: Steps

Step 1 – Make a plan

Work out all the parts you will need to make (sides, the back, and shelving) and the size of the cabinet (the cabinet I made was 518mm x 518mm x 120mm). I opted to use 18mm birch ply which has the most beautiful soft grain.  

Plan out your wall cabinet
Plan out your wall cabinet

Step 2 – Seamless edges

I planned for all of the joins to have mitered edges to create a seamless effect. To do this, I used the Makita circular saw for extra precision, which means you get the sharpest of cuts. The saw is great as it’s precise, lightweight and packed full of power!

Create a seamless edge
Create a seamless edge

Step 3 – Groove it

Clamp the pieces of wood down, then using the router, press it gently down to create grooves for the shelves to slot in. The cabinet I designed had 3 shelves but you can adapt this according to how big you want it to be.

DIY Christmas present: create grooves for the shelving
DIY Christmas present: create grooves for the shelving

Step 4 – Glue it up

Put each of the parts together and check it all fits. To attach each piece, I used Gorilla wood glue and clamped each piece together to help it stick nicely.

Glue the shelving pieces together
Glue the shelving pieces together

Step 5 – Smooth it over

Sand over the pieces in 120 grit to smooth over the surface, which also prepares the wood to be treated.

Smooth over the surface
Smooth over the surface

Step 6 – Bringing it together

Attach the backpiece to the shelving using Gorilla wood glue, then clamp together. I then hammered in some nails around the frame to make it extra secure. Handy tip – when you are driving nails into something, use grips to keep the nail in place whilst you protect your fingers! Your cabinet will now be taking real shape.

Add the back piece to the shelving
Add the back piece to the shelving

Step 7 – Treat it

To emphasise the natural grain of the 18mm Birch Ply, use light coats of Oslo Oil Clear Mat to protect the wood and give it a warmer finish.

Protect the wood with a lick of Oslo Oil Clear Matt
Protect the wood with a lick of Oslo Oil Clear Matt

And voilà! A wall mounted cabinet which was #MadeWithLove for Dan’s mum! A great idea for a DIY Christmas present and easy to make. You can take a look at Dan’s Instagram Reel to see the tutorial in action.

DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove
A DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove

Did you enjoy this article on a DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove? Why not read our article on making your own snowman game out of pallets or even our guide on how to recycle your Christmas tree!

Are you creating your own Christmas presents? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #madewithlove, #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

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