This helpful collection of gift inspiration will help you year round for any gift giving occasion.
It will especially save your neck during the busy holiday season when you realize you’ve missed some people on your shopping list.
Gift cards are an easy save in a pinch, but they also are a bit impersonal and can feel like a cop out.
Even if you think it will go over well, it’s always best to avoid the guilt.
Not sure what to get, but want it to be more meaningful than a gift card?
I’ve compiled this how-to and inspiration list to help you create spectacular gift baskets for anyone, even the hardest person on your list to buy for!
How to Make a Gift Basket
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!
Looking for a gift idea for women? Or a gift for shoe lovers? Our easy slippers gift idea is perfect for any occasion! Use flats instead of slippers during warmer months for a fun, easy, and thoughtful gift idea!
Not sure what to get that scrapbooker friend in your life? All of these items will fit nicely inside of a dressed up Mason jar. And won’t they be surprised that you knew just what to pull together to make the gift happen.
I think using a mason jar is a great way to package a gift for teachers, friends, co-workers and even out of state friends. I often fill mine with homemade sugar scrubs or candy to give my sisters and friends during the holidays.
A Little Box of Sunshine Gift Ideas: A sunshine box is a fun gift to not only give, but to put together! Go on a hunt for all things yellow, and surprise someone special with the gift basket!
We swoon over cute ways to dress up any ole’ package and we ALL know someone that loves to wrap gifts…so this season give the gift of a gift wrap caddy!! This is such a great idea for the gift wrapping enthusiast in your life.
Get a basket, add these ingredients and attach a cute tag for the perfect “out of the box” gift idea. What neighbor wouldn’t think this gift is fun and thoughtful? Oh and creative too.
My kids were so excited to go deliver this fun treat to their friends and I have a feeling, their friends were super excited to receive (and eat) it!
More Gift Baskets…
These gift baskets range from Christmas decor to Super Bowl party kits. Kits make excellent gift baskets because they are an assortment of items that fit a chosen theme. So, you can make a gift out of taco night, or even winter survival. Although baskets are the most popular choice, jars can also be utilized for some gifts.
What better way to warm up this winter than with a mug of hot chocolate? This sweet gift is complete with all of the must haves for a making hot chocolate for the whole family!
One of my family’s favorite activities each Christmas is cookie decorating. I always bake a bunch of cookies and we decorate them for Santa on Christmas Eve morning. It’s a great activities to keep them busy during a super exciting time. I wanted to bring this tradition to each of our friends in the easiest way possible so I put together the kits along with my favorite sugar cookie recipe for the to use in years to come. I like to do handmade kits like these for neighbors and family friends each year. Last year we did our Christmas Sundaes boxes. I think they bring a bit of our family to those we love.
With our love of spicy food this present would have been perfect for us! Its perfect for anybody who needs a little “spice” in their life too. A Mexican food themed gift basket!
I love the idea of including the most important member of the family in a summer fun gift basket, especially for couples who don’t have kids; So I put together a dog-approved gift basket you’ll want to give for every occasion. BBQ. Picnic. House Warming Party.
This sweet little basket is going to one of our favorite neighbors. It’s a little homemade mixed with a whole lot of pre-made.
There’s no escaping cold and flu season once the kids start school and the weather turns chilly, so why not cheer your friends up with a selection of comforting items packaged in a pretty tin?
A cute box filled with all sorts of random things you always seem to run out of!
A perfect gift for anyone, any time of year is a car care gift basket. Whether you have a car enthusiast or new driver in the family, there’s nothing like the pride in taking care of your car – inside and out! From shammies to fragrances, everything she will need to keep her car looking and smelling good. Car care gift baskets are a great gift for everyone who loves their car!
My sister’s birthday was in December, and she’s one of those, “My birthday is around Christmas, so everyone forgets about it,” kinda people. Do you know someone like this too? 😉
This year, I’m pretty excited about her gift. Not only was it so EASY… not only is it a concoction of things for relaxing…not only is it gender neutral and perfect for those men & women that are hard to shop for in your lives… IT’S something that can be used over and over again!
Alright sports fans, time to get the birthday boy geared up for the big game!
Even More Gift Baskets
Food baskets either for cooking or just snacking are always a good choice. So, for those with a sweet tooth, consider cookies in a bag. Cocktails and pop are another way to go, because they are also a treat. However, this works just as well with savory meals like pasta or burgers.
Last summer we discovered this really cool plastic Stuffed Burger Press. I found a recipe on Pinterest to make THE BEST stuffed Jalapeño Burgers with it. So, for our friends who love to grill, I thought, why not create a basket around it?