Make shopping easier this year with our gift suggestions for the do-it-yourselfer.

By Annie S. Butterworth
August 12, 2008
Copper weathervanes from New Concept Louvers
New Concept Louvers

For the jack-of-all-trades. IDL Tools International offers a new three-in-one 48-inch-long level ($50) that will help the do-it-yourselfer complete any task. The design combines a 10-inch level and a 24-inch level that can be used together or apart. Magnets and rubberized ends keep the level in place. Visit for product details, or look for it in your hardware store.

For the coastal gardener. Make tangled water hoses a thing of the past with the No-Crank retractable hose reel ($45-$57). A water-powered engine does all the work, leaving garden hoses neatly coiled and out of sand and sun. Buy one with a sink station and storage shelf ($120) to keep the messiest projects from getting out of control. Visit or call 866/493-7638.

For the neatnik. Cleaning porch floors, beach chairs, and boats just got a little bit easier. Black & Decker's new cordless, battery-operated power scrubber (around $100) works even under water, and its 18-volt motor means boat owners no longer have to use elbow grease to keep watercraft looking good. Find one at hardware stores.

For the exterior decorator. A copper weathervane from New Concept Louvers offers a fanciful way to show off a home's unique personality (and it tracks wind direction). The company's coastal designs include sailboats, lighthouses, and dolphins; visit

For the out-of-towner. The Fairmont extra-large security mailbox ($106) by Gibraltar Industries is perfect for the friend who's always on vacation. The mailbox is designed to hold several days' worth of mail, and its locking door protects against identity theft. Purchase at Home Depot or other hardware stores.