Introduction: Christmas Gift - Fun, Easy, Personalized

Hello, Everyone! This is my first Instructable and I hope you (and your friends!) will like it!

A little bit of this year our family decided to stop exchanging unnecessary expensive Christmas gifts and instead to donate the money to a child that really needs them. Anyway, as I enjoy working on small projects, I wanted to make some simple and fun gift for my cousins - I got inspired by this Prank Box and decided to simplify and modify it to a cool Christmas present with a little surprise.

Basically this is a wooden box with nothing on it but only a small ribbon coming out and a label saying "Do NOT pull out".

Of course who can resist the temptation to see what will happen? And pulling out the ribbon wlll trigger a REALLY loud siren! There is no switch, the box can`t be opened and the maddening sound won`t stop even after a couple of hours! After a careful inspection a small hole on one of the sides can be found. When you put inside the paperclip that was hidden in the decoration, it will push a secret button and the alarm will go off.

After pulling out the whole ribbon you will see written an Internet link and when you visit the website, a funny Christmas video with your dancing relatives or friends will start.

Step 1: Materials

1x Plywood box

1x Window alarm

1x ON-OFF button

1x Small Plywood label (optional)

1x Insulating tape (optional)

1x Soldering iron

4x Small scrap wood pieces (optional)

1x Paperclip

1x Instant glue

1x Wood glue

1x Screwdriver

1x Small corner bracket

1x Small piece of wire

1x Red and Green wood paint

1x Piece of ribbon

Step 2: Prepare the Video

An example video with (not so) random faces I took from Internet:

1. Go to

The website allows you to take the faces from up to 5 of your photos and put them in a funny Christmas-themed animated video. The website is really easy to use, you just need to have some photos on your computer (or use your built-in camera to take some). You can also put your own greeting on the video. Then the site does the rest!

2. Once your video is ready you will see a green "Share" button, click on it and then click on the yellow "chain" icon - it will generate a link like the example above.

Substep: The generated link didn`t look so beautiful and was too long, so I decided I wanted a better one. I went on and made a registration - this is a "URL shortener" website - you go there, put the old link and receive a new one - in our case it is

3. The final step is to write your link on the ribbon and put it between the batteries so that the circuit stays open until the ribbon gets pulled out.

Step 3: Prepare the Window Alarm

These "window alarms" can be found at every local hardware shop or market and are really cheep - 1-2 $ per piece. The way the alarm works is really simple - inside the bigger piece there is an on-off switch, a reed switch, a speaker and batteries; inside the smaller part there is a magnet. Once we separate the magnet from the reed switch, a really loud siren (~120 dB) starts.

As we will not use the magnet to start/stop the alarm (the reed switch will be always "close"), we have to add our ON-OFF button to the circuit - this way our friend will (eventually :) ) be able to stop the sound. The ribbon that we'll place between the batteries will keep the circuit open, but once it is removed the circuit will close and the siren will start!

Unscrew the alarm and unsolder one of the cables going to the batteries. Solder 2 cables to the legs of the ON-OFF switch -1 cable will go to the unsoldered cable of the alarm, the other one will be carefully soldered to the small metal plate holding the batteries on their place. Be careful to not heat it too much as the plastic can star melting. With this step we added the new ON-OFF switch to the circuit - by pressing the switch you should be able to turn on/off the siren.

Attention: What I intended to do initialliy was to solder the cable to the battery, but I quickly realized this is dangerous - it can make the battery stop working or explode because of the heat!

I found a small piece of scrap plywood and used it to join the switch to the corner brace and then glued everything to the box.

Note: As the siren was too loud, I decided to put some insulating tape around the alarm in order to lower the sound. I didn`t want to damage my cousin's ears, while he is trying to stop the crazy sound...after all I wanted him to be able to enjoy the hilarious video, too! :)

Note: If you want to be extremely evil, add a button that is ON-(OFF), meaning the alarm will go off only when you manually hold the paperclip pushing the button. :)

Step 4: Prepare the Plywood Box

Plywood boxes can be found in any size and form in all local craft/hobby shops and are not expensive - this one was 1.5$.

I could have used an already assembled model, but I chose this one because it looks like a present box.

After gluing the 4 walls together, I decided to put some extra scrapwood that was laying around - it made the box more durable to "accidental" drops or opening attempts.

Now glue the siren and the button to the bottom and measure the height of the button - you will need to make a small hole on the other wall, so that you can put in the paperclip and switch off the siren. The size of the hole should be just the size of the paperclip - use a drill or a nail to make it.

Step 5: Decorate the Box

I asked my wife to assist me with painting and decorating the box - she enjoys doing it and is actually better than me. Of course you can paint it as you wish, but some green and red colours will give the Christmas look you want.

We bought the paint from the same hobby/craft shop we bought the box, because paint and other products in such places are easy to use and with high quality.

Then we painted the label and we wrote our message: "Do NOT pull!" (not shown on the photo :) ), slightly glued the paperclip , glued and painted the other parts of the box, placed carefully the ribbon to come just a little from the box and we were ready to put our gift box below the Christmas tree waiting for the day to come!

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