If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift that shows your family, friends and co-workers how much you care about them, why not surprise them with a personalized gift basket? Even if you’ve never created a gift basket before, there’s no need to be intimidated by the process. While the pre-filled gift baskets that you see in stores and catalogs are lovely to look at and make nice last minute gifts, nothing quite says “I care” like a custom gift basket filled with hand-picked goodies selected just for them!
Wowing your loved ones with custom gift baskets is extremely rewarding. As Shirley George Frazier, the author of The Gift Basket Design Book says:
A gift is just a gift, but a gift basket is a mood altering experience!
Creating the perfect gift basket is not only tons of fun, but it’s also easier than you think! Just follow these step-by-step guidelines for ideas on everything from how to select a theme to how to physically construct your gift basket so it looks professionally designed!
Step 1: Choose a Theme For Your Gift Basket
The first step in creating a custom gift basket is deciding what type of basket you want to give. Do you want to build your basket around a specific theme? Or would you prefer to give a basket that’s filled with lots of eclectic surprises the recipient will enjoy? Remember, there is no right or wrong way to go about this. The choice is totally up to you!
If you want to create a themed basket, the following questions will help you choose your theme:
- What interests and hobbies does your recipient enjoy? Once you’ve identified their favorite pastimes, use your home computers and laptops to search for gift ideas related to their favorite areas of interest! For instance, an avid runner would enjoy items related to running, fitness and health. Therefore, you could create the perfect runner’s gift basket by filling it with gifts like armbands, ear buds, healthy snacks, and even running shoes and gear!
- What does your recipient need? Sometimes, the best gift baskets are filled with the things our families and friends need the most. For example, if your friend just brought a new home, why not present her with a gift basket filled with housewarming gifts such as kitchen tools, picture frames, a few favorite treats and scented candles? Or, if your child is going away to college, why not present him or her with a gift basket filled with items to decorate the dorm and remind them of home?
- What types of items would your recipient enjoy? Always do your best to include at least one or two sure-fire items that you know the gift receiver will enjoy! For example, if you’re creating a gift basket for a co-worker, pay attention to things like the types of way they decorate their desk, the types of drinks and treats they enjoy, the books they read, and the things they do for fun outside of work. Then, use this information to come up with the perfect theme and surprise them with gifts they’ll fall head over heels for!
Step 2: Select a Container
While the foundational piece of most gift baskets is actually a basket, did you know that you can use any type of container to create your “basket”? Now is the time to let your imagination run wild! If your person enjoys collecting wicker or wire baskets, take the time to search for the perfect basket for them. At the same time, remember that the most fun gift baskets often consist of containers that also serve as a functional gift that is related to the overall gift basket theme!
Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
- Fill a plastic bucket with toys for a children’s gift basket. The bucket serves as a carrier for transporting the child’s toys and as a storage container when play time is over.
- Stash travel items into a small carry-on bag. The carry-on bag serves as the “gift basket” and neatly stores essential travel items in a ready-to-go format!
- Place general gifts in a hand-picked gift basket. If your gift basket doesn’t follow a specific theme, then pick a traditional basket the recipient will like.
Step 3: Purchase Gifts For the Basket
Once you’ve picked your them and found the perfect container, it’s time to start filling it with gifts! The secret to selection is variety. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or break the bank to fill your basket, but be sure to choose different types of gifts that fit your theme. Also, look for gifts that come in different sizes. Picking small, medium and large-sized gifts will enable you to layer your items within the basket and space them in an eye-pleasing fashion!
Need more ideas for themed gift baskets and products to put inside of them? Here are a few recommendations:
- Gardening Gift Basket: Select a basket or gardening tote as the container, then fill it with items such as vegetable and herb seed packets, handheld gardening tools, gloves, a small knee rest and a small watering can if it fits in the basket.
- Pasta Cooking Gift Basket: Fill a tall cooking pot with goodies like pasta sauce, noodles, parmesan cheese, tongs or other cooking utensils, wine and glassware.
- Date Night Gift Basket: This is a great place to let your individuality and creativity shine! Build your date night gift basket around the event you are planning. Some ideas of gifts to include in your basket include a small blanket, a bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses, a few DVDs, gift cards and tickets to a special event!
Step 4: Arrange the Gifts
If this is your first time creating a gift basket, the assembly process can seem a little intimidating at first, but remember: there is no right or wrong way to do it! However, the following tips will give you the confidence to create beautiful gift baskets from the start:
- Place the tallest items in the basket first. In order to make everything fit into the basket, place the tallest and biggest items in the back of the basket, then add the medium size and smaller items in a visually pleasing way. Adjust the items as many times as you need to in order to get everything to fit.
- Make sure that all of the items are visible. When you give a gift basket, you want your recipient to be able to see all of the gifts at once. So, adjust the items as many times as you need to so that everything fits and can be seen at a glance! If needed, once you have positioned your items in their final places, attach double-sided tape to them to secure them in place.
- Line the bottom of the basket with towels and other similar items.
If your gift basket includes soft items like towels or blankets, use them to line the bottom of the basket. This not only keeps them visible, but also provides extra cushioning.
Step 5: Add Filler to the Basket
Choose a filler to add to the empty spaces inside of the basket, The filler helps the basket to look full and helps to keep everything in their designated spaces. Many people choose pre-shredded tissue paper for this option, but you can shred your own or choose anything decorative that coordinates with your gift basket.
Step 6: Decorate and Wrap the Basket
Finally, you are ready to add the final decorative touches to your gift basket! If you used an actual basket as your container, you may want to wrap your gift basket in clear plastic or decorative cellophane wrap to hold everything together. You can add ribbon, a decorative bow and a gift card as well.
Congratulations – when you have completed these steps, you have created your first gift basket and are on your way to putting a huge smile on a special someone’s face!