The GIFT project develops new approaches to creating hybrid physical-digital visitor experiences in museums. Through design exploration of two concepts focusing on gifting and playful appropriation, the project charts how museums can create a deeper and more meaningful experience by giving visitors the tools to tell their own stories. The project is highly cross-disciplinary combining HCI research, artist-led exploration, technology explorations, and experience design in collaboration with museums. Furthermore, the project gathers 10 prominent museums from Europe and the US in an action research project that both serves to ground the prototypes and framework in the needs of museums, while also facilitating the museum sector's need to become 'digital-ready', understanding and capitalising on digital technology. As the project has progressed through half of its duration, we report on initial findings and how these have shaped our direction of progress.