Christmas is a time for family, friends, holiday cheer, and if you’re a techie, try to avoid these as much as possible. Even with all the holiday obligations, no work, and a lot of stuff closed, you still get a lot of free time. And how best to fill this free time? A DIY project or two.

Even better, if you take on a Christmas themed project, you can pretty much claim to be getting into the holiday spirit by locking yourself in with your favorite soldering iron and Arduino. If you have some family obligations to fulfill, you can simply let the children help. Holidays are really the perfect time to do your own thing.

Let’s take a look at seven great project ideas you can do during the Christmas holidays.

Christmas snowball lights

Regret buying those sticky Christmas lights? It doesn’t take much to turn them into something more special: just a ping pong box and a workout. User Instructables hboom does it in this super simple Christmas themed project. Sometimes you don’t have to go all-in with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis to make something cool.

By putting every bad LED in a ping pong ball, you can turn the worst Christmas lights into beautiful glowing balls. With half an hour of your time and a few dollars, it’s easy to dress up decorations this Christmas.

Control your Christmas lights with Arduino

If you want to get a little more involved, you can use an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi to take full control of your Christmas lights. You can create static or dynamic templates like in the video above. Osprey22, another Instructables user, has created a tutorial that shows how to do this. This setup is much more efficient than anything you can buy in the store.

Combine this with the previously mentioned snowball lights and you have the coolest Christmas tree ever.

Tiny Arduino powered Christmas tree

The Arduino Christmas tree doesn’t have to be a huge space pig. This amazing little mini Christmas tree by Instructables user Imperkins is built using LEDs and copper wire. It will fit even in the smallest apartment and will be a great decoration for the Christmas table.

If you have the few hours it takes to assemble it, this is a great little project to put your soldering skills to good use. in the test and learn how to drive many LEDs with a limited number of I/O channels.

The sweetest Christmas sweater in the world

Ireland has a tradition of dreadful Christmas sweaters (we call them «jumpers»). The more pleasant it is, the better. As Christmas approaches, people try to outdo each other on how badly they can find a sweater. This year, I know I will win by mastering a few simple DIY skills.

This tutorial from Instructables user librarianjd shows you how to use the LilyPad Development Board to add flashing lights to an (already awful) Christmas sweater.

Whether you want to show off your (lack of) holiday sense in clothing or just start experimenting with electronic textiles, adding lights to a Christmas jumper is a quick and easy project to do around the holidays. You might even make one as a gift.

Make your own Christmas cards

I have already shown you how to create your own Christmas card in Photoshop. your own Christmas card in Photoshop. but if you are not familiar with the software or want something a little more then you can try your DIY skills. With a few sheets of card, a couple of pens, some glue and a little creativity, you can create stunning personalized Christmas cards that will impress anyone — even the most demanding mother-in-law.

If you’re on a tight budget or just want to show people that you care, a DIY Christmas card is one of the best ways to cheer up the holiday spirit (and show off your craft at the same time).

Of course, it’s too late to send them in, but with some free time, you can be sure you’ll have a set of beautiful, unique cards for next year.

Build something with kids

Perhaps even better than building something for yourself is taking the time to build something with the kids. It could be your kids, your siblings’ kids, or even just family friends, but Christmas is a great time to share your skills.

The Raspberry Pi is a great stocking filler, so why not give it to the kids you see around Christmas (here are a few reasons why) and spend a few hours learning how to use it. ? Start kids early with DIY DIY Baby is one of the best things you can do. It gives them an understanding of how the world works around them.

Here at, we’ve shared some great Minecraft DIY projects you can make with kids. Most of them can be done in just a few hours; perfect for a lazy day after christmas.

Whatever DIY project you’re putting off

Any DIY project you do over the holidays doesn’t have to be themed. While Christmas itself tends to be very busy with family obligations, the following days are often much quieter. This is the perfect opportunity to tackle any DIY project you’ve been putting off in real time.

It doesn’t matter if the project is big or small, whether it’s learning a new skill on your own. work on your own or create something amazing, the holidays are a great time to do that.


Christmas is a time for family, friends, and the holiday spirit, but it’s also the perfect time to grab a soldering iron and make something DIY. You can even combine all your DIY Christmas commitments by making something Christmasy like snow lights or an Arduino Christmas tree, or just hook up your family and friends by sharing your skills with them. Some of my happiest childhood memories are when my brother, my father and I spent the day after Christmas packing.

If you build something for Christmas, we’d love to see it. Share any projects or ideas in the comments below.

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