Making Unique Gift Baskets

Preparing care package, seasonal gift box with coffee, cookies, candles, spices and cups
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Although it is possible to purchase specialty gift baskets, 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.

Suitable for any occasion, unique gift baskets are just the solution when you can't decide on a specific gift item, and just about everybody 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.

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.

How to Assemble a Gift Basket

What You Need

  • Basket large enough for the items
  • Cellophane - a roll or 2 to 3 yards
  • Wired ribbon (2 to 3 yards) or a ready-made bow
  • Gift tag with string
  • Twist tie or rubber band to gather the cellophane
  • Items to insert in the basket
  • Bag of individually wrapped candy
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Gather up the cellophane, pulling up the short sides first, then the longer ends, and secure with a long twist tie. A helper is great for this step.
  4. 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.
  5. Attach the gift tag with string or tape it to the front of the cellophane.
  6. If one of the short sides of 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.

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.