It seems like Christmas hits the stores earlier and earlier every year. And while that makes many of us shake our heads in bewilderment and sadness at the over commercialization of the holiday season, it also provides makers a wonderful opportunity if you are looking to stock up on inexpensive materials for projects and hobbies. As the cost of manufacturing components like LEDs goes down, the amount of interesting and useful items you can find in stores goes up. Need some LEDs or small solar cells? How about a battery holder or a light sensing circuit? Or maybe you could use some 16 gauge stranded wire. In some cases, a trip to your local dollar store could get you one or several of these items just by taking a look in their holiday section. Take a look at the picture above of my recent purchases (less than $10) and see if you can think of a project or two to make with them. Who needs Radio Shack when you have a dollar store and a local makerspace?

‘Tis The Season … For Cheap Maker Treasure