For the last 3 years (at least), a group of YouTube DIY makers have been hosting a “Secret Santa” DIY project. A group of 12 YouTubers whose channels focus on DIY projects each pick a name to give a DIY gift that cost no more than $100 to another YouTuber. In return, a different YouTuber picks their name to give a DIY gift to them. So I going to provide a quick summary of 2021’s YouTube Maker’s Secret Santa videos.
Maybe it will give more ideals your next year’s family or company Secret Santa project that is more than just giving a gift certificate to a local store or Grande Vegas casino bonuses.
If you want to watch all of these videos, visit them on the YouTube Maker’s Secret Santa hash tag.
#1 Look Mum No Computer
Look Mum No Computer made something for ThisOldTony.
Look Mum No Computer make an electromechanical LED chaser, which is something that Tony has wanted since he was 5 years old.
Look Mum No Computer is a Video Blog run by Sam Battle. It started in April 2016, and he focuses on building musical machines.
#2 This Old Tony
This Old Tony made something for Xlya Foxlin.
This Old Tony made a knife for Xyla Foxlin who is a carpenter.
#3 Xyla Foxlin
Xyla Foxlin made something for Estefannie.
Xyla Foxlin is an American engineering, entrepreneur, and YouTuber. She also launched the non-profit company “Beauty and the Bolt” to empower women and minorities to excel in engineering. Foxlin designs and builds projects requiring woodworking and engineering skills, and posts YouTube videos about how she went about building them.
As her Secret Santa project, Xyla builds a computer desk for Estefannie using old computer boards. The price limit on the project is $70.
When my son was watching this video, he asked, “Are the compute boards going to be useable?” I had to explain to my son that the person making the computer project is a carpenter and the person who is receiving the gift is a computer person. Hence, the computer table made with computer parts.
Estefannie made something for Allen Pan.
Estefannie is a computer scientist and self-proclaimed imagineer who likes to engineer things and share them online.
For Allen Pan, Estefannie decided to make a robotic tarot card reader. She decided to make this project, because Allen calls her to ask her to read Tarot cards to her.
Estefannie invents stuff with code, electronics, 3D printing, wood, and other things that can be found around the house.
#5 Allen Pan
Allen Pan made something for Kids Invent Stuff.
Allen made for Kids Invent Stuff an infinity cup or a Tankard. This is a cup that can refill itself.
Allen Pan is an electrical engineer who works with electronics and robotics.
#6 Kids Invent Stuff
Kids Invent Stuff made something for Hacksmith Industries.
Kids Invent Stuff makes videos that bring to life kids invention ideas. They are making something for the Hacksmith.
The is a portable sofa that you can wear on your back. The couch was made out of foam and covered in pink material.
#7 Hacksmith Industries
Hacksmith Industries made something for Thea Ulrich.
Hacksmith likes to make projects out of metal. He has an engineering degree. For Thea, he made a fire equalizer and portable marshmallow roaster, propane not included.
Essentially, it becomes a visual expression of a song with fire. Yes, you need a fire extinguisher handy before using. You can actually see the fire changing height when music is played.
It is called a Rubin’s Tube.
#8 Thea Ulrich
Thea Ulrich made something for Becky Stern.
Thea made a Motorcycle Gas Tank into a Lamp for Becky Stern. The final lamp is a butterfly that has two settings. First, the holes in the gas tank are done in such a way as to make the light look as if they are the wings of a butterfly. There are two settings for the lamp. With one setting, it looks as if the wings of the butterfly do not more, but with the second settings, it looks as if the wings of the butterfly are flapping. It is very impressive.
Thea also likes to make projects out of metal.
#9 Becky Stern
Becky Stern made something for ColinFurze.
Becky Stern made for Colinfurze a hot dog making machine that includes a mustard / ketchup dispenser and an onion dispenser.
Becky Stern combines basic electronics, textile crafts, and fashion in her do it yourself projects.
Colinfurze made something for James Burton.
James made a 14 leg bicycle wheel that can allow a bicycle to easily go up curbs. Colinfurze is making this gift for James Burton.
Colin Furze is a stuntman, inventor, and filmmaker. He has also worked as a plumber. His main workshop is in an underground bunker.
#11 James Burton
James Burton made something for Adam Savage.
James uses a 3D printer to make a human sound making machine.
James is a former toy designer and very knowledgeable in robotics, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. He works with 3D printing in his projects.
#12 Adam Savage’s Tested.com
Adam Savage is a special affects designer, actor, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, projectionist, set designer, toy designer, and educator. Before creating his YouTube channel, he was one of the main hosts for the famous TV Show MythBusters.
Test.com made something for Sam from Look Mum No Computers.
Kate, Jen, and Mel from Tested.com made a butt keyboard from hell. It is not only a musical instrument, but it can also play “The Butt Song”. The main box was a felt lined camera fox. The music from the song comes from a painting, as well as the ideas for a lot of the decorations for the box.
My view …
I cannot do justice to these videos or YouTube channels with just a one paragraph simple description. You really have to watch all of the videos yourself. All 12 of these makes make awesome stuff, and they are just the tip of the iceberg of the different maker YouTube channels you can find on the internet. Due to the way that YouTube pays out videos, a lot of these channels are supported by Patreon.
How did the tradition of Secret Santa get started?
Secret Santa is a tradition in a Western culture where a group from a community, family, or workplace are randomly assigned a person to whom they give a gift. The identity of the giver remains a secret. Sometimes the giver is revealed after the gift is given while other times it continues to remain a secret. It goes by different name in different countries, but the underlay concept is generally the same.
The point is that instead of everybody in a group having to give a gift to everybody else in the group, everybody gets one gift and gives one gift.
This is a story of how the secret Santa tradition got started:
“It all began on a cold day in the December of 1979. Larry Dean Stewart was hunched over a cup of coffee in a restaurant to distract himself from having to face the fact that he had been fired from his job. He was depressed because it was the second time in a row that he was fired right before Christmas. He then looked up and took in others’ misery. He noticed a waitress in a thin jacket in the drive-in, and realized how bad it must be for her to work, earning only dimes, during chilly winters.”
Musings — isn’t Santa himself a “secret Santa”? If anybody wanted to give a gift anonymously, they could just say it was from Santa? I do not see how the two are connected, one person giving gifts anonymously to people in need and group tradition of giving gifts to others in a group. But both are good, and both bring joy to the season.
Toys for Tots, another “version” of Secret Santa
Toys for tots could be considered another version of a Secret Santa gift. People are given the gender and age of a child, and a gift is brought for the child. As with the adult version of Secret Santa, a price range (or physical stocking) is the limit for buying gifts. I worked in a company with a bunch of single workers who did not have children of their own yet. So all of us had a great time picking out gifts for the kids and filling the stockings with our favorite toys from childhood. I remember one friend whose mother never let her have a Barbie doll when she was a child, always brought a Barbie dolls for Toys for Tots.
Support for most of these channels is provided through Patreon
Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy to get paid. Creators can either get paid at a set amount per month or they can paid each time they post something. For the people who support your work, it is a way to pay a creator directly.
In order to open a Patreon account, you need to be either 18 years old or have permission from your parents.
I am actually impressed with Patreon’s policy for children ages 13 to 18. I like how they encourage young artists to sell their work, but at the same time try to provide safety for children. I am going to quote their policy, so I do not misstate anything.
If you are a parent or guardian of a Creator who is under 18 years old, you may want to consider the following ways that you can take a more proactive approach towards controlling your child’s experience on Patreon:
- If your child plans on making a Creator page on Patreon, we encourage you, as their parent or guardian, to reach out to the Trust and Safety team to establish an ongoing relationship with us.
- Doing this early on will allow us to have eyes on your child’s account and advise both you and your child in situations that may be difficult to navigate.
- You may consider supervising your child’s activity on their account or even administer their account on their behalf.
- Doing so will allow you to have greater control over what your child is exposed to on Patreon
- If you would rather have your child independently manage their own account, you should still consider monitoring the comments and messages that other users are sending to their page.
- If you come across bullying or anything inappropriate please block the person and send us a note.
The fact that they have a “Trust and Safety” team is great. A lot of companies have this. But the fact that they openly state on their membership information page that they encourage parents to reach out to them from the beginning, so the team knows it is a child’s account and the parents (and would I assume child) want the safety team helping to keep an eye on the channel is great. It is kind of like the Youth Police Officer that some communities have. It provides a more open environment, in terms of communication between the people who run Patreon and the people who are creating stuff.
DIY (Do It Yourself) projects are great. Secret Santa gift exchanges are great. And artists being paid for their work by people who really appreciate their work is awesome!