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Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1: Magazines

Inspiration, Tips & Tools

Black Friday is upon us, which means……… ’tis the season for frantically running from store to store in search of the perfect Christmas gift. I love giving presents, but I hate finding them; the perfectionist in me is never quite happy with what I find. In the back of my mind, there’s a little nagging voice telling me that something even better awaits at the next store. So I shop, and shop, and shop…….. and end up procrastinating and debating over things until finally I give up and “settle” on something that, in my minds eye, isn’t quite right. Maybe this year I’ll just do gift cards ;)

To get myself in the holiday spirit, I thought I’d share some gift ideas for the fixer-uppers in your life over the next few weeks. It’ll give me something to do with the giant list of bookmarks I’ve been collecting all year.
Part 1: Magazines!


I love giving magazine subscriptions as gifts, since it lasts all year. And everyone love to get mail, especially when it’s a well-designed and inspiring magazine. It’s an easy gift to find, and you don’t have to worry about sizes. What’s not to love?
For the restorationist:

This Old House
Learn about using traditional tools, how to get started with green building, and where to get all the goodies that’ll really blow your budget… all in one magazine. Even though I love this magazine, it’s not a favorite because the projects tend to be higher-end than our budget allows for, and they often showcase “new old homes” rather than actual old homes. Still, a great bet for any historic homeowner!
Old House Journal
This one focuses on preserving, restoring and maintaining old homes, with plenty of how-to’s, resources, and inspiration. You can find sample articles on their website.

Old House Interiors

Quite possibly my favorite of the bunch; gorgeous photos and attention to detail make this one a stand-out. It covers American period design from 1700 to 1940 with articles on restoration, preservation, and “period-sensitive” decorating.
Victorian Homes
Excellent pictures covering various Victorian decor (new and old), arts, and lifestyle. Though I mostly buy it for the pictures it also has interesting articles about daily life during this historic period. I always learn something new when I pick this one up.

For the new homeowner:

The Family Handyman
Great for home improvement amateurs because it provides detailed step-by-step instructions and great little tips and tricks each month. They’ll show you what tools to use for various jobs, and include lots of helpful pictures. It can be a little goofy at times, but overall it’s a great magazine that anyone even the experts will learn something from.

Fine Homebuilding Magazine
Taunton Press puts out great stuff, and this magazine is no exception. It’s much more in-depth than Family Handyman, with professional-level information that’ll help bring your remodeling skills up to snuff in no time. They also give great tool reviews.

Real Simple
This magazine is pretty AND useful. Lots of articles on organizing your home, and handy tips, recipes and cleaning shortcuts to make life less troublesome. Because a simple home life is a must for someone spending 99% of their free time stripping woodwork.

For the DIY’er whose addiction to creating things goes beyond house projects:

ReadyMade Magazine
It’s a hipsters Martha Stewart Living…. with articles on everything from food, to crafts, to homemade furniture with full how-to’s that actually make sense. It takes a while for this one to show up on your doorstep, but it’s worth the wait.
Make Magazine
This one is perfect for the gadgety gizmo lover on your list. With articles like “How to make your own night vision headlamp”, how can they be disappointed?

Stay tuned for Part Two: Wearables…..

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 11.30.06:

You made me want a subscription to Victorian Homes. I don’t think I’ve seen that one before.

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