10 Easy-to-Make and Budget-Friendly DIY Tech Gifts

Amora R Jelo

Tech gifts are becoming more common as people realize that nearly every aspect of the modern society is turning digital. Although this trend can be expensive, you don’t have to break the bank to get your loved one a cool tech gift. You can easily repurpose your old electronics into more useful gadgets.

Here are 10 exciting and budget-friendly DIY gift projects you can try today.

1. Rooted Android Phone

Rooting an Android phone grants administrator level privileges that a typical user can’t access. This opens a host of possibilities from allowing you to install ad blockers to manipulating the base Linux kernel of the device.

Some rooted android phones can even allow you to install hacking and penetrating testing software such as NetHunter. Rooting a phone using Magisk is the perfect gift for a younger sibling aspiring to join the IT world.

2. A Gadget in an Altoid Tin

If you have an Altoid tin that is lying around or one that you may be thinking of throwing away, you’ll be glad you still have it. For this project, you need an LED bulb and a 2V lithium cell. You can create a tiny but functional flashlight using the tin.

The flashlight is ideal since it can be used when your phone battery is low. This is a great gift to inspire someone who is an electronics hobbyist.

3. Floppy Disk USB Flash Drive

Floppy disks are perhaps one of the most memorable forms of early external storage for computers. If you still have a few of these relics lying around, how about adapting them for modern computer access? It’s quite easy and doable.

You can stack two boards together to make the gadget thick enough for use in a regular floppy disk. You can now surprise your friends and colleagues as you transfer files and videos between your shiny modern laptop and a retro storage gadget.

4. Salad Bowl Speakers

If you know a friend that doesn’t have some external speakers for playing their music playlists or watching movies, you can come to their rescue with a strange but effective solution, a salad bowl. The typical IKEA salad bowls can be converted into decent speakers for listening to music indoors.

For esthetic purposes, the speakers can be painted a different color to match the interior decor. Old stainless drawer knobs can provide the final touch as base attachments, which work as stands. Such a gift is both unique and special because it’s pocket-friendly but speaks volumes about the mind behind the project.

5. A Keyboard PC

A mechanical keyboard is one of the main peripherals of a complete PC. You’ll need a PCB, a plate, switches, and keycaps. Setting up the keyboard is a straightforward process if you have all the necessary components ready.

Most mechanical keyboards cost an arm and a leg, but this keyboard PC is an affordable alternative. Gamers and heavy computer users prefer using mechanical keyboards because they offer a satisfying typing experience due to the underlying key-press technology.

6. Give the Gift of Mac With a Hackintosh

Let’s face it, Apple computers are known for being pricey. A Hackintosh is a fun and easy solution if you want to start using macOS for software development or other work related tasks. You’ll finally be able to use iOS and iPad OS apps without having to spend thousands of dollars for an actual MacBook or iMac.

All you need is a copy of macOS Catalina, a desktop PC, a flash drive, and the clover bootloader. On completion, the project will open up the Apple ecosystem to you for free. Welcome to the amazing world of Aperture, Final Cut, iLife, iWork, and Logic Pro.

Related: Creative Ways to Reuse Your Old PC

7. Wi-Fi Music Streaming Radio

With access to a decent Wi-Fi connection, you can create your own Wi-Fi music streaming radio. All you need to hack this project is a Raspberry Pi, a 2A power supply, a network adapter, and a microSD card. Once the setup is complete, you can easily connect the device to a PC or smartphone.

The radio is a great pick if you don’t want to pay for another subscription that will probably make it harder to reach your financial goals. You don’t have to worry about service outages because, as the administrator, you only need a stable web connection.

Looking for another easy project? Check out these DIY air conditioner ideas.

8. Pogoplug Web Server

A Pogoplug has all the essential features you need to create a LAMP webserver. Once the setup is complete, you’ll be free to host your websites without worrying about giving up control to a third party. Moreover, you can improve your website’s functionality over time by upgrading the basic computer components such as RAM, processor, and base storage configuration.

9. DIY Wooden External Hard Drive

One of the coolest tech gadgets you can gift a friend or a family member is a wooded hard disk. The novelty factor of such a product will leave them marveling at your level of creativity and skills. You need two wooden planks, a WD Passport hard disk, wood glue, and basic hand tools.

The project requires you to carefully transfer the electronic components from their plastic case to a wooden one.

10. Convert a NES into a DVD Player

You can make your own Nintendo NES DVD player easily with readily available tools and materials. This is the perfect gift for a loved one that has held onto stacks of DVDs.

By attaching the console to a media player, you’ll have successfully reused an old gadget while consolidating your entertainment tech. You might find yourself looking for some old DVDs and NES you haven’t used in years for the nostalgic effect.

Try a Tech Gift Project Today

None of the projects discussed above will require you to spend more than a hundred dollars. With the necessary tools, a few electronic components, and a handy online guide, your gift ideas will turn into reality. Most importantly, you’ll be playing your part in conserving the environment by reducing electronic waste.


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