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: Materials you’ll need
Pen and paper
Table/surface for cutting wood on
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.