A gift basket is the perfect all-occasion gift. They can be created out of a wide array of containers, not just straw baskets, and can run the gamut of useful, fun, and personal items for the giftee. A gift basket is also an excellent way to save money while looking like you spent a lot. Here’s how to create the perfect gift basket for every recipient and occasion.
- Check Your Calendar – Make a list of upcoming occasions for which you will need a gift and the actual date or approximate time you will need it. For instance, if you are making a “Get Well” gift basket for a friend having surgery, the surgery date would be the actual date. What’s more, if you know you have a bridal shower coming up, the approximate time would be 6 weeks before the wedding date.
- Set a Budget – Decide how much you want to spend on the occasion. Write this number down next to the occasion and the date on your list. Setting a budget in advance ensures you won’t spend too much.
- Choose a Theme – Decide on a theme for your gift basket. Are you going to fill your basket with humorous items such as humor books, items with fun sayings? Are you going to fill it with things representing a TV show, movie character, or hobby the recipient loves? Do you want your gift basket to be useful? Choosing a theme will help you select the best items to fill the basket with as you find them.
- Select a Container – Do you want to use an actual basket for your gift basket, or something different, such as a diaper bag for a baby gift basket, a decorative planter for a new home gift basket, or a laundry basket for a bridal shower basket? Purchase the container before you start purchasing items to make sure you buy the correct number of and appropriate size of items for your gift basket.
- Line It – Decide if you will need a lining for your basket and if so, what will you use? A diaper bag probably doesn’t need a liner. A straw basket may need one. If you decide to line your basket, choose something that can be part of the gift itself, for instance, a receiving blanket for a baby shower basket, a tarp for a new homeowner gift basket, or some such suitable lining for your themed basket.
- Shop Outside the Box – Once you have your theme, basket, and budget, you are ready to start choosing items with which to fill the basket. Now let the real fun begin for the shoppers among you. The best gift baskets include things that the giftee doesn’t realize she needs or wouldn’t ordinarily buy for herself. To bring this to light, a baby shower basket could include things like extra t-shirts, white socks, baby wash clothes, and receiving blankets. These are all things new parents never have enough of. Perhaps you could even keep a running list all year round. My sister does so by listening to what her friends say they would love to have or to do and then jots the down. She shops throughout the year for such things or representation of such. Then when a particular gift giving moment arise, she is able to delight those friends with items she curated that they may have even forgotten about among all the details daily life entails. Why not accept for yourself her accolades of ‘How thoughtful” or “How could you have possibly remembered that?” Parenthetically, don’t feel that you need to shop at the most expensive department stores: nowadays, your local dollar stores ~ as you may have already learned for yourselves ~ have lovely items to augment your baskets.
- Arrange It All – Arrange the items you purchased for the basket so that the ones you think the recipient will like most are seen first. Move things around to create a visually inspiring display. Put all of the receipts in an envelope in the bottom of the gift basket, below the liner if possible. Do not remove tags from things. Cross out the price on the item with a black marker. Multiple items from multiple stores? Write the first letter of the store’s name on the tag and on the front of the receipt envelope. Forgot to get a gift receipt? Cross out the prices on a regular receipt. To add a designer touch to your gift basket, dollar stores may, again come to the rescue with clear or themed gift basket wrappers to make it look like it was professionally finished with quite literally a colored bow on top made of ribbon from ~ you guessed it ~ that magnificent dollar store.
- Add Personal Touch – Include a handwritten note, journal, or photo to make your gift basket personal to the recipient.
What are some thoughtful gift baskets you could create and give? What are some you would like to receive … or perhaps that is the way you should first view this fun project!
Photo: Cristina M. Miller