Our family is big into LEGO, and when I received a press release for these volumes, I knew I had to get copies to review. These two books from No Starch Press would make great gifts for the LEGO afficionado on your list.
The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book includes instructions for 15 Christmas decorations, all made completely from LEGO. Each decoration is given its own treatment, and the instructions are laid out just as they would be in any LEGO set, so it's all very familiar and easy to follow. The projects start out simply with a flat poinsettia, followed by a wreath, and work their way through balls, a gingerbread house, Christmas tree, and even a camera and old desktop computer and monitor. These are very cool ideas, with increasing complexity to keep the creator intrigued.
But, I have a word of warning. These designs are fairly intricate, especially to get the rounding needed for many. And that means that these use a lot more than the standard 2 by 6 blocks. Unless you have a very extensive collection of LEGO already, it is likely you will need to purchase some of the smaller pieces. Have a look at this next image to see what I mean.
I checked at our local bricks & mortar LEGO store this week, and although they do have loose bricks and some obscure parts on hand, they don't carry many of the very specific-purposed pieces required for these designs. The pieces are all available for purchase online though, at LEGO.com, and they cost anywhere from 5 cents to maybe 75 cents each. You can buy them individually, so you're not stuck with a gross of a part you'll never use again.
We actually have a huge LEGO collection, but it's currently sorted by colour in big bins, and locating any of the tiny pieces is next to impossible at the moment. So, I've learned that I need to re-sort and get some kind of craft tray to sort and store the obscure bits so I can find them when I need them. By next year I hope to have at least a few of these decorations on my tree!
Geeky LEGO Crafts provides year-round LEGO fun, with building instructions for 21 fun and even sometimes practical projects for the geek in your life. There's a Space Invaders desk set, floppy disk coasters, cursor bookends, a zombie pencil holder - the list goes on. There are even instructions to make a snowman and a Santa figure. Or how about this retro game controller phone stand?
And the great news? These designs all use standard LEGO bricks. As long as you have a reasonable number of different sizes and colours, these are very accessible projects for anyone to complete. And they will be well-loved by gamers and techies everywhere. Or, really anyone who loves LEGO. Anf robots. Or zombies.
Both of these books offer clear and easy to follow, standardised LEGO instructions, as well as beautiful, clear photography. They would make great gifts for LEGO lovers on their own, or consider combining Geeky LEGO Crafts with one of LEGO's Classic Creative Brick Boxes as a great family gift. That way they'll be sure to have a good variety of pieces, and they can make some great family memories building together over the holidays!
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of these books for review purposes. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.