Collecting Items For Gift Baskets

Category Baskets
Gift baskets are fun to put together and can be a great gift. Finding the perfect items to go into the basket is key to making it a special gift. This is a page about collecting items for gift baskets.


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February 15, 2006

When you have a large family creating gift baskets are 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 years 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 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 knic knacs, 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, 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.

By Cheryl from Peebles, OH

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October 7, 2004

Throughout the year, after Christmas and until before Christmas of the next year, whenever you see a bargain gift, buy it -- whatever it may be. Put the bargain in storage or in a gift closet or space. Then during Christmas time, take the bargains out and separate them by his, hers, and unisex. Buy some big, cheap baskets in a thrift shop and fill them up with your bargains.


Use tissue as filler, then wrap the baskets up with cellophane and put on bows. Your receivers will have a unique bounty of goodies. Don't worry if the bargains aren't part of a theme, as long as they are appropriate to the gender, it won't matter.

By Reinhardt

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July 11, 2000

If you participate in free and reduced price offers on the internet, save some of the items you receive for future gifts. Many free samples can be added to "theme" gift baskets that you make yourself.

Free Sample Gift Basket

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November 9, 2000

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.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 6, 2008

We had a big family and now our children are all grown, married, and we have lots of precious grandchildren. The problem is that we can't afford to give individual gifts to all, but still want to give something to each instead of drawing names as our children do among themselves. We have decided to do family gifts.

This year, I'd like to do a gift basket for each family, filled with inexpensive items. I have a list of ideas, but would like more input. Please keep in mind that some of these will have to be shipped.

For those who may be looking for other family gift ideas, one year I spent many hours scanning almost all the pictures of our children's growing up years, then burned them onto CD's. Our kids are very sentimental about their youth, so it was the best gift we could have given. The greatest cost was time.

One son used some of the pictures to have a hardbound book "Memories of Home" made for us for the following Christmas. It was so precious and moved me to tears. But when I arrived at the page that had the words to the lullaby I'd sung to them every night, I had a real meltdown!

Judy from Frederic, MI


By quiltinlibrarylady (Guest Post)
October 7, 20080 found this helpful

With our children getting older and moving out, my husband and I are working on a cookbook of my favorite recipes. We are including memories about the recipes and possibly photos. They will end up being priceless.

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By Rosey B (Guest Post)
October 7, 20080 found this helpful

I read about this somewhere - 'movie baskets'; DVD, popcorn, tissues, if it is a weepy. I am going to run with this idea this Christmas.

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October 8, 20080 found this helpful

When I do "movie baskets" I use a large holiday gift bag. I put a Blockbuster gift card for whatever amount I want. Then I add microwave popcorn, soft drinks, and movie style boxes of candy such as Sugar Babies, Whopers, Hot Tamales, etc. At the movies they cost about $2.00 but I get mine at the Dollar Tree for $1.00. A large gift bag can get kind of costly, but you can go smaller and less expensive. I have used this idea quite a few times, especially for parties where everyone brings a gift and then they are exchanged by one of several ways. It has never failed to be a hit and people have actually fought (playfully) over it. Enjoy!

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October 8, 20080 found this helpful

I have been buying movie rental passes on eBay for less then $1.50 each, including shipping. Some I got for $1.00
Also, the Dollar Store here has plastic popcorn containers (look like movie popcorn boxes) that would be nice to use as baskets for the movie gifts. I also bought 10 popcorn type bags there for $1.00.

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October 8, 20080 found this helpful

I've been using the rewards points from my checking account to get $5 Starbucks gift cards all year.

Last year, my mom who loves to give to everyone but is unable to afford it was down in the dumps. I bought discontinued 6 x 6 scrapbook albums that had the white pages, and page protectors in it for $6/ea. I then interviewed her about early memories from when she was a child. Because of time constraints, I added a couple of photos that she had but picked up Betty Boop stickers for the page about school (her first lunchbox), and a map of the area in which she was born. Each Christmas I'll be adding more pages.

She is also well known for her cooking/baking abilities. She made goodies and stuffed them in a decorated candy bag. And they were personalized, i.e. Splenda sweetened cookies, lactose-intolerant specialties, etc. She also included the recipe hand written which will mean so much!

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

MP3s or video files on CDs are good gifts...not just necessarily popular songs or movies, either. Are they storm buffs? Find videos of lightning, and tornadoes and other storms. (I love those, myself.)

you can make things like bath salts and those scented bags people use to keep closets fresh. You should be able to find all kinds of recipes online.

Put in nature-ish things like shells and acorns and other things that kids like to play with. Jump ropes and bubbles and bubble kits make good gifts for the kids that fit easily into baskets.

Travel games are fun, and those are small and usually inexpensive. Hope this helps!

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