Gift baskets are as fun to make as they are to receive. The choice of the basket or similar container can also help define the sentiment and theme. You can customize the contents for the person and the occasion. This is a guide about making your own gift baskets.
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If you save all your gift wrap paper, here's a great use for it. Put it through a paper shredder and use it as your filler. Match the color to the theme of your basket. The paper can be older or wrinkled, but remove all the tape before you run it through the shredder. I make tons of gift baskets each year and decided to try this. Now I have a free source and great upcycle use.
By anne 
This "basket of sunshine" is sure to brighten someone's day!
This is an amazingly inexpensive gift, party favor, etc. You will want to make several and keep one for yourself!
These can be made for showers, weddings, and other gifts. Don't forget to check out thrift stores and the scrapbook department, button/embellishment department, and your own stash. The possibilities for what you can tuck in are endless. This craft takes just a few minutes to make :)
By joynchocolate from Landisville, PA
Reading all of these tips made me remember what I packaged up last year. Sorry, no photos, so you will have to use your imagination!
I hate Easter basket type gifts! This might sound harsh but what I really hate is the basket that these gifts come in. What do you do with them after the gift is gone? The real answer is that unless it is not a true wicker Easter basket, one usually tosses them or donates them to get rid of them. So with this in mind, I did not want to subject others to my strong aversion to wicker Easter baskets when (as a mother of 3) I am giving out thank you/acknowledgment gifts during the holidays to: teachers, neighbors, principals, best friends and casual friends, managers and the like. I created gift baskets in storage containers with the thought in mind, who would not want a (new not used) food storage container?
During the holidays, our local drugstore was selling food storage jars. Some had a plastic over the mouth seal as a bonus food sealer and some did not. I bought one selling for about $2 each that was a square shape and the size was about 6 inches tall, I believe it was measured in ounces. I got the 32 oz. one. Some things were bought in bulk or multi-serve packaging, keeping the cost low
Stuff the jar, putting a scattering of M&M's to fill in the cracks of the other items.
Place seal over mouth of jar with the self sticking plastic seal for the mouth of the jar. A lot of the people I gave them to thought that they were bought at a store that way and some even came to me asking what store I bought them from.
Place stickers around jar. After stuffing the jar, the next step was to get some festive Christmas stickers (not the tacky ones but the ones that looked more classy) and put a few on the lid and some around the jar.
Wrap ribbon with name card and candy cane around jar and hand out to people for Christmas.
I suggest keeping a list of all that was stuffed in jar because this year I did the same type of packaging but I had forgotten what I had put in the jar last year so I might have duplicated some items.
Several of the people that I had given these type of gift baskets to were very thankful to have something other than Christmas calorie punching food to snack on and a jar to keep all the goodies in while taking the time to snack on them (Hawaii has a terrible bug problem).
It also made me feel good not to inflict others with my aversion to wicker Easter/gift baskets.
By Soyzick from Hawaii
Gift baskets are a great way to make a personal gift for family or friends. This article includes many ideas of containers and themes to help you get started on a gift basket for everyone on your list. Gift baskets can be a lot of fun for you and the recipient and don't have to cost a lot of money.
The first thing to consider is who you are giving the basket to:
The container or "basket" doesn't have to be expensive. Pick a theme (some are listed below) and find a container that goes with the theme that can hold some items or have items attached to it. You want the container and the items to go together and for everything to be usable and practical. (This is not to say that a few fun things can't be thrown in too.) Below are some of my ideas for containers but there certainly are many more possibilities.
The items that go within the gift basket should be tied together by a common theme. The themes below are gift basket recipes that can be modified to fit your needs or to get you started on developing your own themed gift basket.
Use a basket or usable container with some or all of the following:
Use a nice basket with some or all of the following:
Use a rubber/plastic storage box with some or all of the following:
Use a basket or a camera bag with some or all of the following:
Use a square basket or plastic box with some or all of the following:
Use a rubber storage container with some or all of the following:
Use a colander or bowl with some or all of the following:
Use a clay plant pot, bucket or watering can with some or all of the following:
Use a cat bowl or pet bed with some or all of the following:
Use a dog bowl or pet bed with some or all of the following:
Dogs come in all sizes so make sure you are buying for the right size dog. Also if it is for a puppy, chewy stuff is the best.
Use a tool box or tool tray with some or all of the following:
Use a basket or gig bag with some or all of the following:
Use a small pack or canvas bag with some or all of the following:
Use a basket or reusable container with some or all of the following:
Use a wine cooling bucket with some or all of the following:
Use a nice holiday basket with some or all of the following:
Once you have obtained your items here are some fillers to put around them.
If you buy colored cellophane you can cover the entire container with it disguising what is inside. Tie a ribbon around the whole thing or paste a ribbon on top. Have fun!
By Susan Sanders-Kinzel
I use pinking sheers to cut up all old magazines, candy wrappers, colored paper of any kind and keep it to use as basket stuffing when giving a gift or making baskets for friends.
By Denise from McRae, GA
My sister-in-law and I both have kids in college this year and decided to pare down a little by purchasing consumable gifts for $15 or less. These Lifesavers Gift Packs are what I am planning to give everyone on that list. Some of the items in each pack are similar, but I tried to personalize each one a little, including alphabet shaped sitcky notes, for example. I made vinyl bags because I thought they would be more durable, but zipper bags would work just as well or holiday treat bags with a design on the front and clear on the back.
Approximate Time: 20 minutes plus shopping time
By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA
My husband and I buy foods in bulk to keep on hand for emergencies, so we don't have go grocery shopping every week.
I bought the basket from a garage sale this summer and added a ribbon. The only items that I had to buy was the teapot, and the tea bags. Total cost for making the basket was about $20.00 or less.
By Marge W. from Sanborn, NY
You can make baskets for gifts and holidays, by buying the shrink wrap paper to put over it and then blow dry it. You can use anything to load the items in you want to cover. Like a toy dump truck, there are just all kinds of ways to make things and cover and make them so pretty. You can make gifts from bowls, pretty trays. A lot cheaper too.
By Sue from Shoals
When you have a large family, creating gift baskets is a wonderful way to give everyone a gift without breaking the bank. Making your own gift baskets is easy and economical. Each one you create can be individualized in any way you want. If you are really on a tight budget and want to present an impressive gift to someone, a homemade gift basket is the way to go. Something that is hand selected and put together by you often means more to the recipient.
Buy numerous items on clearance racks, dollar sales, etc. Keep them stored where you can easily get to them when a gift is needed. After the holidays is a great time to find deals for items for the following year's gifts. There are several different things you can use as your "basket" to hold all the goodies, wicker baskets, large plastic bowls, large decorator platters, decorated bags, etc. I have used large plastic containers in a red or green color. After the gifts are all removed, it serves as a popcorn bowl, fruit bowl, mixing bowl, etc. I have used wicker baskets which can double as a small trash can or a planter. Plates or platters will also have another use afterwards. The list can be endless.
Here are some ideas of items I have put in my Christmas baskets: Hot chocolate mix packets, candies, coffee mugs, embroidered fingertip towels, calendars (full size and pocket), decorative and scented candles, flavored coffees, flavored coffee creamers, ornaments for the tree, coloring books and crayons (when the family has smaller children), bubble bath, flavored crackers, mints, potpourri, decorative knick knacks, coasters, pot-holders, dishtowels, dishcloths, incense, decorative containers for cooking oil or dish-soap, decorative soaps, ink pens, pencils, gifts in a jar items, note pads, the list goes on and on. Useful everyday items can be great fillers.
Bags to put the gift basket in are another item that you can get a good deal on after the holidays. Christmas and Easter seem to be the best after holiday sales for this item. They can also be found at some of the dollar stores. There are decorated ones and plain ones, some that shrink to fit with a little heat from a blow dryer. Simply tie them closed with a pretty ribbon (which can be found on those holiday clearance racks, too).
Of course, gift baskets can be used for a number of events. Just adjust the items to the event. For example, you have a wedding shower to go to and the new bride is setting up housekeeping for the first time. What fun! A laundry basket filled with measuring cups, spoons, can opener, spatulas, wooden spoons, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plastic zipper bags, dishcloths, dishtowels, maybe a duplicate of a particular item you have found indispensable in your home, etc. And then there's the baby shower: a diaper bag filled with powder, lotions, baby wipes, disposable diapers, rattles, bottles, etc.
When you put a gift basket together, let your imagination be your guide. Have fun doing it!
You decide how much you want to spend on a basket. If you collect items all through the year, it is much easier on your wallet come time to make up the gift.
I save money on gifts by giving baskets with handmade items.
Example: Cookie making basket, including, cookie mix, sprinkles, cutters, couple of hot pads, wooden spoon. Put all items in a mixing bowl (or just a decorated box if money is really tight). Wrap in cellophane and add a bow.
Example 2: Pasta Dinner - put in serving bowl or pasta pot - pasta, pasta sauce, pasta serving fork, Bottle of Italian dressing, Garlic butter, Biscotti (whole box or 4-6 pieces). Wrap as above. (Nice gift for $5-$10)
Example 3: Breakfast Basket - Pancake mix, wooden spoon, jar of jelly, bottle of maple syrup, flavored coffee, a couple of bananas or other fruit of choice. (Wrap as above).
My sister got a basic sewing machine for Christmas and wants to start making things. For her birthday in February I decided to make her sewing themed gift basket with some of the basic necessities.
Never pass up baskets which are somewhat used or being sold cheap. Save them all for Christmas gifts. Anything can be put in them, two or three items of the same theme, such as yarn, crochet, and crochet book, etc., and then wrapped with pretty cellophane paper and a ribbon. Makes a great Christmas gift.
I buy wicker baskets at yardsales and paint them white if they look slightly tawdry, and cut off the bows and ribbons. I use spray paint outside. When they are done, I put them away for Christmas or any occasion for which I need a gift.
I buy small objects throught the year to fill these baskets. They can be anything like cups, hot chocolate, shampoo etc. I buy the clear plastic sheets to bind the baskets and top with a pretty ribbon to bring all together and attach the card. Saves a bunch and is always ready when you need one.
By Susan from Hamilton
For gift baskets, find something that goes with the theme. The "basket" does not have to be an actual basket but can be anything that will hold the contents, i.e. a watering can for a gardening basket or a bowl for a kitchen basket. Be creative but also be practical. The great thing about gift baskets is that everything is practical, useful or consumable. Use your imagination. Tins, pretty boxes, plastic storage containers, laundry baskets, wastebaskets, buckets, anything that is reusable and will hold the items. Shop all year at garage sales for containers.
Fillers for Gift Baskets: To finish your gift baskets use some of the following fillers to give it a festive look.
After carefully arranging your items stick in some other goodies
For Christmas Baskets:
For other occasions:
The great thing about gift baskets is that they really need no wrapping. You can take colored cellophane and cover the top to disguise the contents. Just tie on some colorful ribbons.
I enjoy making gifts, using baskets from thrift shops and filling it with tons of the samples I order from the internet. If the items are basically shampoo, conditioners, etc. I will line the basket with a couple of hand towels and wash cloths. If the items are kitchen related, spices and such, I will include items such as kitchen towels, potholders, utensils, and the like. The baskets are pretty and interesting searching through finding all the neat and new items.
BrendaLea from DuQuoin, IL
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Here are questions related to Making Your Own Gift Baskets.
I have an old tobacco basket hanging on an out building and I would like to add some life to it. Any ideas on how to jazz it up? I would love to see some pics. Thanks.
Heather Southern Ohio
By Paula Jo C.  04/13/2008
I had the same idea for the same object "an old tobacco basket"/the one I am talking about is flat.
Depending on the size of your dining room table - I thought of shellacing one (to help perserve it) and useing it as our dining room table's Lazy Susan.
All of the bowls would then move in unison, as the basket would be the only item moving under them.
SO instead of having to pass the bowls of food to you, the person would "spin" the basket to the bowl they desired to get food out of.
Good Luck and let us know what you ended up doing with it
What works best to hold things together, like to stick them together in gift baskets? Hot glue doesn't work.
I need to know what do you put in a basket that will have smoked halibut in it? Please help, the person getting the basket is a 68 year young grandma.
I need easy to follow directions for weaving an egg basket. I have 2 sets of instructions, but they are confusing. I am a beginner basket-weaver. Thanks.
By PageC from Richmond, VA