We're kicking off our collection of Gift Case Studies with one of the most amazing DIY gift bundles we've ever seen. Like, really.
Okay, now let's jump straight to action, check out what Matthew has prepared for his lucky wife, and make a few points on why exactly each of the gifts is such a perfect component in this bundle.
Hedwig, the messenger owl
The whole bundle starts with a beautifully packaged gift brought by a stuffed bird resembling Hedwig, Harry Potter's pet owl. Matthew himself doesn't list this adorable toy as a gift - but hey, why not? Not only it makes a perfect introduction to the bigger things inside the box, but will also be loved later. And cuddled with. And maybe even given to their kids to play, along with the beautiful story of their father's creativity?
A personal magic wand
Wow, now we're getting serious. For any true fan of the Harry Potter series, a magic wand of their own would already make a fabulous gift - but this one is on a whole other level. Notice the creative packaging and the attached label saying "Mahogany, 12 inches": all of these tiny details make a tremendous impact together, clearly showing how much effort Matthew has put into the making of this item.
Also, did you notice the tiny metal pimple at the end of the wand? A magnet. Yep, that's important, and soon you'll learn why.
Pensieve, the memory bowl!
In order to make this part of the gift, Matthew says he had to take pottery-making classes, which is another gift in itself. Just imagine the time and effort he must've had put into the process! And, well, a husband that can handcraft bowls is always fabulous, right?
Also, speaking of tiny details that make a big impression: notice the couple's initials that Matthew has left on the bowl's bottom. Awwww.
But that's just the start.
Tiny glass bottles with memories!
The most important part of Matthew's DIW Harry Potter wedding gift for Janine was the box of memories: pieces of beautifully colored papers in tiny glass bottles, each of them telling a story about Janine that makes Matthew smile. The bottles look like mini-potions, which just adds to the whole magic vibe of the present. But the real catch is that there's another tiny magnet glued to the bottom of each bottle.
Remember the magnet on tip of the wand? When Janine would want to retrieve a memory from Pensieve, she'd just have to put her wand in the bowl... And pull the memory out! The bottle magically sticks to the wand thanks to the two tiny magnets!
This particular memory is from when Matthew and Janine visited Singray CIty and the girl was attacked by a stingray. Yikes!
In Matthews words: To anyone who thinks this may sound callous, getting attacked is kind of the point of Stingray City. When you get in the water, they give you a piece of squid to hold onto. This attracts the rays so they swarm you. It's in Grand Cayman and super fun.
Some other memories from the big box:
When the car rental place was out of cars except for a tiny Fiat, and the first song that played when I turned on the radio was ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.’
How [Janine] has to stand in my shadow when we get off airplanes in the Caribbean so she doesn’t get sunburned.
A bunch of empty bottles for future memories!
To finish everything with a blast, Matthew included another box with even more glass bottles and colored papers so that the couple could craft more memories for their Pensieve. Honestly, this is an incredibly wise move, since it instantly turns an already amazing gift into a gift that will keep on giving month after month, maybe even year after year.
Who knows, maybe this Pensieve will become some sort of family tradition which their kids will also use and enjoy? Way to go, beautiful couple!
And yeah, the wedding took place two years ago, but let's still celebrate the beautiful moment one more time. :)
The bottom line
As you see, making a legendary gift with your own hands isn't that hard: the crucial part is a bright idea and enough time to make it real. Everything else is secondary and usually very accessible - like the tiny bottles and the colored paper that Matthew used to create a gift that will be remembered for generations.
Moral of the story: stop thinking about your gift budget, even if it's for a major occasion. The biggest and most wonderful things always come from the heart, and the impact they make is trully amazing. :)