Money is tight out there, especially around the holidays. So, how do you share the magic of Christmas with the technophiles in your life without breaking the bank? One option to keep in mind is a present crafted with your own hands. But what if you are one of those unfortunate people who lack the patience and/or basic scissor-skills it takes to make the perfect homespun gift?
What are those people to do?
Thankfully, there's an Internet full of crafty entrepreneurs selling their wares for all price points. Here's 10 clever tech accessories that are made by hand, but won't break the bank.(Click on any image below to see it larger.)
1. Christmas-Themed iPad Case
Like most people, the two things I'm most worried about this holiday season are iPads feeling cold and/or inadequately festive. Thankfully, one Idaho-based artisan has the perfect solution to both predicaments: a Christmas-themed snuggie fitted for the iPad (though you could probably stuff a netbook in there as well). The bag also comes with a zippered pouch for essentials and a front slip pocket that could accommodate a Kindle or Nook. This Christmas let no iPad be in want of a padded cover or holiday glee.
2. A Suit for A Kindle
The Kindle has the power to bring whole libraries to your fingertips. But there's one thing it's always been strangely lacking: an adorable little suit. But now this glaring omission has been finally rectified. Completely waterproof, machine washable, and made from 100% cotton, this tidy little e-ensemble exudes class and upwardly-mobile professionalism. It will protect your device from the elements, but also show the world that this little e-reader (and its proud owner) are going places.
3. Sticky Note USB Stick
While traditional office supplies steadily fall prey to the digital age, the old reliable post-it note remains an unstoppable force of sticky information. They're easy to use, brightly colored, and can be put anywhere--you just can't mess with sticky notes. That's what makes this USB drive the perfect knickknack for your office's Secret Santa. It can store 2GB of information and has the added benefit of an embedded sticky-note dispenser. It'll be just like sharing a cubical with James Bond!
4. Colored Keyboard Decals
As of late, computer designs have aimed to incorporate all the vibrant hues and kinetic energy of a Steve Jobs turtleneck: cold, sterile, and dead on the inside. But for those who haven't given up on hope for the world quite yet, may I suggest these colorful handmade keyboard button decals that are perfect for a laptop or desktop (both PC and Mac). They give each key a little of that noticeably absent iPersonality.
5. "Mix Tape" Mobile Sleeve
Nothing impresses girls more than a mix tape with a diligently crafted track list. Unfortunately, cassette tapes have been near obsolete for almost two decades now. And in that time, no woman has ever been impressed by anything. But don't fret, ladies, your woo-free, mix tape-less dry spell is coming to an end! Once again, you can receive an old school mix tape in the form of this portable mobile device cover. The sleeve will accommodate all manner of phones and mp3 players and is hand washable--so it's both practical and romantic. Who says courtship is dead?
6. Wooden iPod/iPhone Dock
Wood: builder of fires, hitter of baseballs. And now, recharger of Apple products. Handmade from a cedar log, this homey little rustic dock is compatible with all iPhones and iPods (except the shuffle). It can be plugged into a wall or synched up with your computer. Perfect for the family with multiple Apple devices in the house or for rural hermits who don't want the world to know how linked-in they really are.
7. Game Boy Cell Cozy
If you're shopping for a geek between the ages of 27 to 35, he'll appreciate this Game Boy cell phone cover made from hand-stitched silver vinyl. This little techno mash-up not only bridges two eras of gadgetry, but also combines the unapologetically nerdy with the ironically hip.
8. Pac-Man Decals for A MacBook
Pac-Man, everyone's favorite digital pizza pie is still inspiring the crafters of today. One Etsian has taken her love for this retro video game character and funneled it into colorful vinyl decals to adhere to the back of a MacBook, where he avoids his ghost friends in his quest to gobble the iconic Apple logo. While specifically designated for Mac products, it could theoretically be adhered to any computer. But, let's be honest, Pac-Man chomping down on the Dell logo just isn't the same.
9. Recycled Denim Jean Laptop Case
Blue jeans: the clothes world's most versatile member. They're the standard uniform for the casual office, construction site, or a night out on the town. And now, they can be used to keep your new laptop looking hip and slender. This durable iPad case is made from actual men's cargo jeans and can be customized for nearly any device. No word if there's any plans to offer a looser-fitting "mom jeans" version.
10. Typewriter Computer Keyboard
You know what the best part of the show Mad Men is? It's not the costumes, subtle plot twists, or snappy dialogue. Nope, it's the typewriters. That clickity-clack typewriter sound is cool! And now, thanks to one crafty re-purposer, they're back and being used as an accessory for the computer age! These keyboards are made from actual old timey-time typewriters future-fitted with a USB chord to work on any device. The F1 and F12 keys are even available through a special toggle key. It's what Hemingway would have used to update his twitter account.