thanks for all the advice. to be clear, i don't have many unfinished projects- my SO just... well, he does things without thinking. now that i think about it, he did the same thing at christmas. i got one of our kids a farm playset, showed it to him then hid it in the garage. next thing i new he ordered the same thing only bigger. hm.
So this is a pattern with your DH? I could be completely wrong, but it sounds as if he likes your ideas, but doesn't think you execute them well enough. I can imagine him thinking "Woah, farm playhouse. Awesome idea! But the one Padua bought is too small. Kids like big ones! I wanna get one that's larger and better!"
Even so, that's actually pretty insulting to you (even if he doesn't mean to be). It's basically a vote of no confidence. I'd sit down and have a talk with him. Tell him that when he replicates your ideas, it makes you feel upstaged and belittled; as though he doesn't trust your judgement and abilities. Ask him that next time you plan on making/buying your DD a gift, he must have faith that you'll provide her with a great gift, and he shouldn't replicate it.
Or, in the case of the farm playset, a statement that he wanted to be more involved in choosing the kids' gifts? At least, that could be another reason for a generic case. "Oh, you just decided to get them X, without even asking me? Well, if you'd asked, I would have gotten them a BIGGER X! Like this!"
Or if, as padua seemed to be thinking, he just wasn't paying enough attention when she showed him the farm set, I should think they would run into duplicated items a lot, which would eat into the household budget and storage. Padua says, "I went to the store and got eggs, milk, butter..." and her DH hears, "Go to the store and get eggs, milk, butter..." and then comes home with roughly the same items a day later, only maybe it's the sizes and brands he
prefers? So in some cases it could almost be a hearing/attention issue.