Relaxshax's Blog

Thrift-Gifts for X-mas…For those on a budget/living light (tiny house owners)
December 28, 2010, 11:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One part of the mindset behind tiny housing, is “Why piss away so much of the money you work TOO hard for (wasting so much of your life’s time while doing so)”?

Its with this in mind, to a degree, that myself, and other friends/relatives approached gift giving this holiday season. If it wasn’t hand made, the theme from some was “useful only”- no crud/trinkets. I’m one of those people who feels they truly don’t need anything, and tell most people that, but amongst the very generous gifts I received, my faves….

A homemade “bird-nester” from my wife (A mini wire feeder, filled with yarn, ribbon, and bow scraps from past holidays). The birds grab these, and weave them into their own nests, which become quite colorful). These are so easy to make, incorporate recycling, and the end product (the nests) are really beautiful.

A pneumatic palm-nailer from my brother, Dustin “Dr. Demolition” Diedricksen- we’ll certainly be using this as part of our tiny house building/carpentry workshop this summer in Scituate, MA- Man, do these things save your arm. Workshop Info:

A flexible, mountable work light from my in-laws- these definitely come in handy when the sun goes down on work sites.

And a homemade button wreath from my sister-in-law (to replace our old wreath that was falling apart).

If it were up to me, I’d like to do a whole season of nothing but small, simple, handmade gifts, but that’s always a tough sell….

As for myself, (shown far above) one of the gifts I handmade (a cartoonified design is in my upcoming book and might be featured in the upcoming issue of Countryside Magazine) for my mother was a free pallet-wood deck chair for her deck at home. I’ve been experimenting with these lately and this one is quite comfortable and simple to build (although I need to extend its front legs). Its damn rugged too!

These are great for camps and outdoor use because, well, if you’re the unfortunate recipient of theft/vandalism at your home/camp in the woods, and you lose a chair or two- they truly cost NOTHING to make (using salvaged nailed/screws)….so the loss could be worse. Naturally, you could prevent their theft by surrounding these chairs with booby-trapped, pungee stick pits in the off-season. Kidding…kidding….

FOR MORE INFORMATION on OTHER pallet chair designs- check out my buddy Shelton Davis over at

http://www.craftzine.com and (amongst others) often have some good thrift-gift ideas.

(Hey, PS- the “Fold-down fort” artpiece (speaking of things made from recycled materials) that I created for Make Magazine- is now for sale. The vid’s now gotten almost 50,000 views in just 4 weeks- so thanks for watching! I’m Asking $600 for it, as a functional art piece which too a long time to make- 1/3 of which will be donated to The Arbor Day Foundation or Habitat For Humanity- the rest will help fund a brand new TYH episode

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


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