Small Toolkits Come Packed with Big Possibilities

When I was a kid, homemade gifts were all the rage. I’d spend the weeks before Christmas gluing, glittering, and handcrafting gifts for all my family and friends … and teachers, and pets, and even our mailman, Steve. (I thought our mailbox was a magic portal, which meant that Steve was a wizard.)

I toted all of my craft supplies in a hand-me-down plastic makeup case from my neighbor. Once Thanksgiving break started—the unofficial kickoff of crafting season—my trusty case and I were inseparable. Behind every paperclip necklace and melted crayon candle was my unbridled imagination and the tools in my case. This was my first toolbox—and while I didn’t realize it at the time, every tool I filled it with impacted the relationship I had with my stuff.

Three young girls standing in front of flowers. The girl on the left is holding a pink box between her legs.
Like I said, that case and I were inseparable.

Tools are cool like that: they make it possible to do things you couldn’t do with just your hands. They’re a never-ending lesson in craftsmanship, and they connect you to your things. They have one more value, intangible but powerful: the ability to inspire.

It wasn’t until I discovered gel pens that I practiced cursive. When Mom graduated me from school glue to hot glue, I spent six Full House episodes making a macaroni ornament for my grandma. And after I got a Pro Tech Toolkit, I learned how to replace my first iPhone battery—the gateway to a series of iPhone repairs I’d do for my family and friends.

That’s why tools have become my go-to gift, because I know that a small toolkit comes packed with big possibilities. The proof is in the pictures—I’ve included a couple of photos that I’ve received from family and friends, showing me their own inspired fixes:

1. Mom replaced her battery in her watch like a champ.

2. My best friend’s first ever repair was fixing a water-damaged laptop. Now she can swap an iPhone battery in less than fifteen minutes. 

3. Here’s my boyfriend fixing my sewing machine … that he stole from me.

And, thanks to the internet, I get to read stories every day about how tinkerers, makers, and techies around the world use iFixit tools to make and fix and mod their things.

I may not have time to make questionably useful napkin holders for everyone on my list anymore, but I can be inspired by gifting others with the ability to make, mod, and fix their stuff. I know there’s an inner tinkerer in all of us—we just need the right tools to tap into it. 

Check out our holiday gift guide to find the perfect toolkit for the tinkerer in your life. Throughout the month of December, you can get $10 off a purchase of $50 or more with the code FIXMAS10. But the Fixmas spirit doesn’t have to end there—tag us in your projects year-round on Twitter and Instagram @ iFixit.