Gift baskets make excellent gifts for friends, loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers, but you might not want to get a generic basket. A lot of people buy the gift baskets that are already assembled, such as meat and cheese baskets or wine baskets, but while these are beautiful and contain quality products, there is no personalization.
For a gift that is a little more meaningful and gives you full control over what goes into the basket, you should consider making one yourself. It can be a little intimidating in the beginning, but it is actually quite simple to do – and a lot of fun.
Follow these simple instructions for putting together a gift basket, from choosing the container to arranging the items inside. Remember that you can choose anything you want, from a theme, to just a basket with a variety of items you know the recipient would like.
Step 1: Choose a Theme or Type of Basket
The first step to putting together your own gift basket is to decide what type of basket it will be. Remember that if you don’t want to choose a specific theme, you don’t have to! Just get a large basket or container and fill it with smaller items that your friend or relative would enjoy. There really are no set rules for a DIY gift basket. Just get creative.
If you do want to choose a theme, there are some different ways to come up with the decision. Here are some tips for choosing a theme:
Think about their interests or hobbies – If your neighbor is an avid runner, then she is probably interested in items related to running or fitness in general. You can put together a runners’ gift basket with things like an armband to hold her ear buds, a brand new set of ear buds, and even running shoes and gear if you know her size. For someone who loves cars, you might create a car care gift basket with a sponge, glass cleaner, car soap, and car wax.
Decide on what their needs are – The next thing to do is consider what the person’s needs are. Instead of just getting something they want, think about what they truly need. You might have a sister that just bought a new house, so you want to create a nice housewarming gift basket with kitchen tools, a small rug for her bathroom, and picture frames to help start the decorating process. For teenagers, think of any items they will need for school or home.
Consider types of items they enjoy – Finally, don’t forget about items the person enjoys. Think of what drink this person goes for first, whether that is coffee or a glass of wine. Think about the treats they keep on their desk at work or what concerns and events they go to. All of this information can be very handy when thinking of a good theme for the gift basket.
Step 2: Select a Container
Now that you know what type of gift basket you are going to create, it is time to select the container. While many of these gift baskets obviously use an actual basket, that is entirely up to you. Sometimes, a better container is one that doubles as a bonus gift for that particular theme.
You can use anything from a basket to a bucket to a bag and even more types of items. Generally, you want to think about the types of items included in the gift basket, what the theme is, and what other gift the recipient might like when choosing the container. Here are some different ideas:
Use a plastic bucket for a car care gift basket. They can use all the included car wash items and the bucket itself.
Put travel items into a small carry-on bag. The container will be the carry-on bag which includes all of the different travel essential in the ‘gift basket’.
Select a big basket for a general gift basket. Some baskets don’t follow a theme, so that is when an actual basket is perfect.
Step 3: Purchase Gifts For the Basket
Now for the fun part – choosing the gifts! You already know the theme of your basket and what container you are using, so you probably have a good idea of what to use inside. For a good gift basket, you want variety. You don’t need to spend a lot for enough items, but it is good to choose different types of gifts that follow the theme and that are different sizes. If you are using a basket or other open container, you want to layer the items, so having small, medium, and large items definitely helps.
Here are some different themed gift baskets and recommended products you can include:
Gardening Gift Basket – Use either a basket or a gardening tote for the container, then fill it with items like vegetable and herb seed packets, handheld gardening tools, a set of gloves, and a small knee rest. Include a small watering can if it fits in the basket.
Pasta Cooking Gift Basket – Fill a tall cooking pot with a bottle of pasta sauce, box of noodles, container of parmesan cheese, tongs or other cooking utensils, and a bottle of wine. You can also choose to add wine glasses or other glassware, but that is optional.
Date Night Gift Basket – There is a lot of room for creativity here. You can have a date night gift basket with a small blanket, bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses, and some DVDs, or provide gift cards for them to go out for a fun date night.
Step 4: Arrange the Gifts
This can be one of the intimidating parts of the gift basket making process, but remember there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you are using a bag or anything that closes, then you really don’t need to do anything but put the items inside. Try to put the larger items on the bottom so that when opening it, the recipient sees all of the products easily.
When you are using a basket or an open container like a cooking pot or plastic bucket, these tips will help:
Start with the tallest items first. With a basket, you want to be able to see everything that is included, which means you don’t just want to throw everything until it fits and then wrap it up. You really should have the taller and bigger items in back, so that when adding the rest of the items, those taller items can still be seen.
Try to make sure every item can be seen. Arranging a gift basket sometimes means trying a few times until you get it right. You can move things around as needed until everything can be seen when someone receives the basket.
Line the bottom of the basket with towels and other similar items. When you are giving something like a towel or small blanket as part of the gift, use that to line the bottom of the basket. This keeps it out of the way, but can still be seen.
Step 5: Add Filler to the Basket
This is the easy part, because all you are doing is choosing some type of material to act as filler in your basket. Filler is sometimes added to the bottom of the basket, but this is optional. What you are doing with the filler material is filing in any empty spaces so the basket looks full and the items remain in their intended position.
Most people will use some type of shred, whether you get packaged shredded tissue paper or shred it yourself. You can even cut up shred with wrapping paper that matches the gift basket. Just fill the little holes around items with the filler.
Step 6: Decorate and Wrap the Basket
This is only needed when using an actual basket, though you can also add ribbon or a bow to other containers you are using. With a basket, once the items have been added and you have added the filler, you want to wrap the entire basket. This helps to keep all of the items in place and makes it easy to carry the gift to the recipient. There is gift basket wrap that is a large piece of plastic that wrap around the basket. Gather the plastic at the top of the basket, twist it, and secure with some ribbon. Tie it in a bow and you’re done with your gift basket!