labelled kilner jars maplin christmas tech gift guide

(I’ve been getting busy with my labelmaker)


You may remember the post where I wrote about the joys of having my home smart-ified by Maplin. It’s been one of the absolute best things I’ve done this year – the sheer ease of being able to turn my heating on, off, up or down, remotely from my ‘phone wherever I am in the world using my Nest system is just brilliant, and the novelty of being able to talk to couriers or the postman via Ring, so that they can leave my parcels in a safe place never fades.

Maplin Nest Thermostat Smart Home Installation

If you’re looking for an inspired present, then check out my smart home post – paying for any of these things, along with installation, would, I think be fab. (Although it’s obviously worth working out if the person is a love getting useful presents person, or a loves unwholly impractical gifts person.)

I first started talking to the lovely people at Maplin at a press show because I LOVE that store. I think the poor PR may have been a bit taken aback by my slightly over enthusiastic response to her hello but I meant every word – the Maplin stores on Parkway in Camden, and on the Strand, in particular have saved my bacon on so many occasions. The one on the Strand furnished me with all sorts of  emergency tech supplies, from memory cards to power banks and cables, during London Fashion Week when it was based at Somerset House and I was on the move all day with no time to return home, but it’s the one on Parkway that I really embrace.

Just a few blocks from my old office, and a quick walk away now, for the past five years it’s been my first port of call, whether I needed new batteries, bike lights, fuses, WD40, extension cables, labelling machines, computer parts, hard drives, or memory cards of every possible variety. I even bought from them a brilliant set of outdoor low level steps so I could water my hanging baskets.

And, last Christmas, oh the brilliance of Maplin – the mother of godchild number five had said, when asked for Christmas present ideas, oh he likes robots. That was all. I drew a blank in the frenzied run up to Christmas and his present remained the last thing on my list before I flew to Thailand. I nipped into Maplin to buy some new video memory cards, and there in front of me was a Science Museum Robot Kit. Amazing!

That’s when it dawned on me that Maplin were pretty big in gifts too, not just of the workaday tech variety. So I’ve been on their excellent online site and done an LLG edit of what I think would make brilliant Christmas gifts this year.

They have lots of special offers on at the moment, which you can check out here. If you order by 6pm Thursday and select Next Day Delivery, your gifts will arrive in time for Christmas. There’s also a great click and collect offer right now: a £5 voucher when you spend over £10 by 24 December. (T&Cs apply – read here.) 

Freeloader Supercharger 5W portable solar panel maplin christmas gift guide

Freeloader Supercharger 5W portable solar panel £39.99
I have one of these for when I am travelling to more remote areas and electricity can be patchy, or to places where there is so much sun and power is in short supply that recharging using a panel is the most eco-friendly option. It can directly charge a full range of electronic gadgets, including smartphones, MP3s, GPS, E-readers and tablets via USB; it’s water and drop resistant and comes complete with 2 Velcro straps to attached to a bag, backpack, pannier etc.

LED Disco Bulb £7.99 (reduced from £12.99)
Who doesn’t want an LED Disco Bulb?! Personally, I’d like several. (Designed to plug into a standard ES (Edison screw) light fitting.)

DIY neon sign Maplin christmas gift guide - 1

Make Your Own Neon Effect Light £11.99
Neon signs don’t come cheap – I know, because I’ve been mulling over ordering one for ages. This is a great interim compromise at a brilliant price, and would make a fab gift, especially for any  teenager. The pack includes two strips of three metre neon effect (one pink and one blue) flex, three metres of shaping wire and one metre of fixing wire.

brother compact label maker Maplin christmas gift guide - 7

Brother PT-H110 Compact Handheld Labelling Machine £34.99
I truly love my labelmaker. have labelled every single plug in my house, so I never unplug the wrong thing. I have also labelled every single food storage jar, so I will never again mix up plain and self raising flour, Puy and green lentils. The perfect gift for both the hyper organised, and those who aspire to be organised. (I definitely fall into the latter category.)

Philips AE5020 DAB:FM Radio maplin christmas gift guide

Philips AE5020 DAB/FM Radio £59.99
I have a digital radio in my kitchen, which is on 24/7. I managed to melt its casing my keeping it on top of my microwave last year and it looks like a health hazard. I rather fancy this one as a replacement – it looks great, it’s not too big, I like the handle for easy portability, and it’s both mains and battery operated.

There is currently Buy One, Get One Free on selected Maplin Stocking Fillers, including these ones following. (Mix & match, cheapest item is free, discount applied at checkout.)

mirror led power bank Maplin christmas gift guide - 2

Maplin Gadgets 3,000mAh Power bank with Built in Compact Mirror  £19.99
I already have a fairly extensive selection of power banks – smartphones, however new and shiny, rarely last until lunchtime with my level of use, but I was rather taken by the multi-tasking cleverness of this one. I’m often caught without a mirror, needing to check for lipstick on my teeth or to check whether a fake eyelash is crawling down my cheek, and with this gadget I’d always have one to hand. I like that it has a ring of LED lights which illuminate to help you check your make up in low light or complete darkness, and when not in use the mirror folds onto the power bank for easy storage.

bluetooth beanie Maplin christmas gift guide - 3

Maplin Bluetooth Beanie £9.99 (reduced from £19.99)
I love this so much – I listen to podcasts when I’m walking Lettice in the Park each day, and this way you can keep your head cosy whilst listening to music wirelessly via Bluetooth. It takes just two hours to charge via USB, Includes volume up/down and track forward/backward controls and has up to six hours of battery life

sweater defuzzer Maplin christmas gift guide - 4

Sweater Fabric Defuzzer £4.99 (reduced from £9.99)
Yes, sticky tape works well at de-bobbling sweaters, but this is a lot quicker and works like a dream. (Purists say they thin out your sweaters – I remain unbothered, as the likelihood of of my cashmere becoming too thin from de-bobbling before the bloody moths get to it is minimal.)

Smart Touch Screen Gloves £9.99
If you are anything like me, then you can never, ever have enough pairs of gloves and positively welcome being given new pairs. (I have a box of single gloves in the vain hope that one day I’ll lose enough singles and be able to match up the lonesome survivors.) Smart Touch Screen Gloves allow you to click and use multi-touch screens, whilst keeping your hands warm.

waterproof bluetooth speaker Maplin christmas gift guide - 5

PX4 Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker with Suction Cup £9.99
Well, I’ve already bought myself this. It’s just such a great idea – the speaker connects wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled audio devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, and streams music directly. You can pause music, skip tracks and even answer calls using the buttons on the speaker; it sticks to the wall in the shower, or by the pool with its detachable suction cup.

Colour Changing Duck Bath Lights maplin christmas gift guide

Colour Changing Duck Bath Lights £4.99
Self explanatory, really. Who wouldn’t want flashing ducks in the bath?

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One comment


These are indeed lovely ideas…but…. I have been trying to find your old (ancient?) post about what you pack tech-wise when you travel – the adapters, the # of cameras, laptops etc. It was such an illuminating post, and try as I may, I can’t find that post again, by searching “adapters”, “laptop” travel”…I’m going to make my first trip to London this September and I don’t want to mess up!
many thanks! Em

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