Yes, I am really going all the way back to Christmas. It seems like so long ago now, doesn’t it?! Next thing you know, it will be Christmas again!
This past Christmas, Ben and I decided it would be fun to make each other’s gift. We wanted to make this a bit more interesting, so we wanted to compile a list of up to 10 things that we could use to make the gift. We were going to come up with the list ourselves, but thought we might be too biased with the materials we are familiar with, so we sought help from the the most creative duo out there… Shauna & Stephen from Something’s Hiding In Here. Anything those two come up with is pure genius, so we know by asking them, we were sure in for a challenge.
These are the ten items they came up: old book, kids’ painting, well-worn shirt, paint, reclaimed wood, glass jar, recycled leather, something from nature, photograph, and wire.
We also added one little bonus called “a secret ingredient” that meant we could use an additional item of our choice. All ten items didn’t have to be used in the gift either. We were both excited about the challenge, but were both so nervous cause we really wanted to make something special for the other.
Here is my gift to Ben…
our handmade christmas giftsour handmade christmas gifts
I wanted to give Ben something that had a little message on it and this is what I came up with. The reclaimed lumber was purchased on etsy because I don’t have the time to go looking for reclaimed wood with 4 girls in tow. The old book page was from a vintage book we already had. The photo was printed onto the book page and was taken at our engagement shoot by David Jay. The kids painted some other old book pages and those are layered under the painting to give it some texture. They also painted the left side of the piece. In total, I used 6 out of the 10 ingredients. Plus, my “secret ingredient” of mod podge to get the book page onto the wood.
I really do love Ben very much and wanted him to know so!
Now, Ben’s gift to me made my jaw drop. His gift was so darn creative that I was just in awe the moment I saw it (he gave me his gift first that I wanted to hide the gift I made him because his was just so cool!)…
our handmade christmas gifts
our handmade christmas gifts
Seriously?!! A ship in a bottle?!! Using 9 out of the 10 things on our list?!! Dude has got some talent!
He found the glass jar at an antique shop and it had to be the perfect size for his ship. The kids’ painting and paint was the blue for the ocean. The ship base was a piece of reclaimed wood from some vintage moulding. The wire he used was cut from hangers. Wow! I wouldn’t have thought of that! His something from nature item were the little sticks from a tree in our front yard that make up the mast of the ship. He used a scrap from an old t-shirt of his for the one of the sails, a little piece of an old book page (that was leftover from this v-day present) for the front sail, and a photograph, along with a homage to the list givers (their mustache on a sticks were used in the picture), for the middle sail and his secret ingredient was black thread to hold up all the sails!
our handmade christmas gifts
I was floored by the amazingness of his creation. I kept staring and staring and it (and still like to stare at it!). It can even fold flat to come out of the bottle and be put back in. I am in complete wow and love it so much!!!
our handmade christmas gifts
Both our gifts are near each other displayed in our home. I even put little lights behind the bottle so it gives it a little twinkle at night. I really loved coming up with something for Ben and I love seeing how he used his creativity for me. Giving handmade gifts are the best and we may just make this a new tradition every Christmas! Maybe we’ll ask a different couple each year to come up with a list. I would love to have a nice collection of handmade Christmas gifts for each other!
Thanks Shauna & Stephen, your list was pure genius and it was super fun for us to make something for each other using it!!! You guys seriously rock!!!



  1. astr!d says:

    WOWZA!!!! what thoughtful and heartfelt gifts!! you guys rock!!!

  2. Katie says:

    those gifts are fantastic! what a great idea to get someone else to come up with a list of components! great job.

  3. CarlyC says:

    what kind of lights are behind the bottle? they look like they are wire or something

  4. megan lane says:

    dang, you guys are so creative!! I love that they're both decorative piees that you can keep in your home for years to come.

  5. Ashley says:

    These are the most lovely, creative Christmas gifts I think I've ever seen! Love the ship in a jar so much!

  6. Awesome!!! Those are gifts you would actually want to keep forever! :)

  7. Rae says:

    such special gifts! that ship in a bottle is incredible! what a sweet/creative husband you have!

  8. This right here is amazingness! I love both of them but that ship. WOW! in 2010 hubs and I went to Vegas for Christmas and rather than spend money on gifts we chose to make our gifts and really it was my favorite gift I've ever gotten because its so much more special that way.

  9. Melanie says:

    Wow. Both gifts are amazing!

  10. Faith says:

    I ADORE this idea! You both did an amazing job!

  11. RachelDenbow says:

    This is so beautiful and thoughtful, Ruby! What a great way to make a handmade gift opportunity ten times more special by including another talented and thoughtful couple! Ben totally nailed this and I think your mixed media art is quite impressive! I love the colors and pattern in it!

    Bravo to you both!

  12. mona says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow!
    I am so impressed. You two are amazing.

  13. You are so crafty! I only wish I could do that, I'm so inpatient with things and rarely finish them…not a good thing :( but you're amazing!

    xoxo, Jjanga

  14. Rubyellen says:

    carlyc- they are the starry string lights from restoration hardware. see here: http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1730031&categoryId=search
    they are on bendable wire and are pretty fantastic!

  15. Misha Lulu says:

    Ruby, these gifts are so beautiful!
    The artwork came out soooo good and the Bottle is so exquisite!

  16. Kira says:

    Those gifts are so thoughtful and amazing!

  17. Steph says:

    Wow!!!!!! Both of your gifts are so thoughtful and creative!

  18. Sarah Joy says:

    Amazing! You both are just incredibly creative = your kids are destined to be the same! :)

  19. WOW! You guys are amazing!

  20. Courtney says:

    What a great idea! Those gifts are both so thoughtful and beautiful. I'm definitely going to try this next year. Thank you for sharing! :)

  21. love the gifts so nice! what a nice example you are showing the girls. gives me an idea for next years presents with the family. thanks. mara

  22. jozen says:

    WOW!! i love them both! tell Ben he truly went above and beyond! gorgeous!

  23. L!$@ says:

    This is an awesome idea! Nice work on the creative gifts!! Seriously cool :D

  24. Megan says:

    You two are obviously the cutest couple in existence.

  25. Jeff Hardy says:

    nice post. Now you can use this india b2b directory directory to promote christmas gifts import & export business.

  26. these are amazing! i've just stumbled upon your blog and i am in awe. i love your photographs, hobbies and life! you're inspiring.


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  1. [...] to order, and then get some little stocking stuffers for the girls (and Ben), Ben and I are doing another handmade gift for each other, and the girls and I have to do a little bit of baking and making for our friends. [...]

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