How to Make Unique Gift Baskets

Front view of an assembled gift basket

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins - 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20-100

It is possible to purchase specialty gift baskets, but making your own is a thoughtful alternative option. They are easy to assemble—you can tailor and personalize what you put in them and the final result is stunning! Depending on the person you're gifting the basket to, you can find out what their favorite snacks, drinks, and interests are to have a better idea of what to include in the basket, so it feels special to them. If the basket is a surprise, and you don't want to give it away, try asking your friends or family for a better idea.

Suitable for any occasion, unique gift baskets are just the solution when you can't decide on a specific gift item since mostly everyone loves receiving a basket. You can use any shape basket with or without a handle. The size depends on what you want to put into it, so it's recommended to buy everything you wanna include in the basket before you buy the actual basket. This way, you will avoid stuffing everything in when there's a lack of space or there's too much space to fill.

Choose a Theme for the Basket

Choose a basket theme tailored to the recipient. Try to focus on the individual's interests and select a theme appropriate for them. Then select several items that complement one another and the theme. Any gift basket is fun to open, so don't stress over the contents. The available options are numerous, but here are a few examples to get you started.

  • For a golfer, fill a basket with golf tees, golf balls, a small towel, sunscreen, and other related items.
  • For a gardener, use a selection of hand gardening tools and seed packets.
  • For a reader, pick several paperback books in a genre the recipient enjoys. Add a small book light and bookmarks.
  • For a new homeowner, fill a basket with a DIY book, small tools, duct tape, and paintbrushes.
  • For your favorite knitter/crafter, stock the basket with items the recipient uses in their hobby along with a book on the subject.
  • For a bird watcher, seeds, binoculars, and a bird identification book or birding journal make a welcome basket.
  • For a new cook (or a seasoned one), fill a basket with basic kitchen tools and/or gourmet treats.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors


  • Basket (size depends on what you will include)
  • 2 yard Cellophane
  • Wired ribbon
  • Gift tag with string
  • Twist tie or rubber band
  • Items for the basket (varies)
  • Bag of individually wrapped candy


Overhead view of materials needed to make a gift basket

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  1. Place Materials Into the Basket

    Place a cloth napkin or paper doily in the bottom of the basket. Arrange all the items inside. Ensure that breakable items are secured or wrapped in cloth or tissue. Position the tall items in the center, with medium-sized items on the outside and small ones in between. Individually wrapped candy sprinkled throughout the items adds a nice touch.

    Placing gift bag materials into the basket

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  2. Cut Out Cellophane

    Cut two yards of cellophane—plain or special occasion printed—and place it on a table surface, right side down. Place the full gift basket in the middle of it.

    Cutting out cellophane to cover the gift basket

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  3. Add Ribbon

    Add the ribbon, making a nice bow with long curved tails, or attach a ready-made bow—no need to remove the twist tie unless it shows.

    Adding ribbon on top of the basket

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  4. Attach the Gift Tag

    Attach the gift tag with string or tape it to the front of the cellophane.

    Adding a gift tag on top of the basket

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

  5. Secure the Basket

    If one of the short sides of the cellophane is gaping, you may be able to adjust it by pulling gently on the top section. Otherwise, secure it with a small piece of clear tape.

    Tying up the basket with tape

    The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

Extra Gift Basket Tips

  • Cellophane is sold in rolls that are clear, colored, printed, or festive. The clear with a small gold pattern is versatile for any occasion.
  • Ready-made bows are great for taking the hassle out of making one, but make sure that the size is right for the basket. A large basket requires a large bow. Likewise, don't hide a small basket with an oversized bow. You can also get more creative with your gift topper ideas too— pine cones, dried flowers or herbs, or buttons make great alternatives.
  • Other items can be used instead of a basket, such as a casserole dish, pie plate, serving bowl, or gift box bottom. If the basket or container has low sides, you may require a helper to gather up the cellophane.