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Creative, Unique Gift Baskets

Updated on November 30, 2011

How to Make the Perfect Gift with Ease!

Learn to make your own personalized gifts for Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day or any day of the year!

When you need to find a gift for that 'impossible to buy for' someone, a handmade gift basket is a creative and thoughtful way to give. With a few hand-picked items, you can please anyone: the person who has everything; the new girlfriend or boyfriend; or a loved one who just doesn't have any specific hobbies or tastes.

Gift baskets are fun to make, and a pleasure to receive. It's like getting ten presents instead of one!

Anyone can create interesting and delightful gift baskets on any budget. Read on to learn how to create a gift basket theme, select items, arrange your gift items, as well as some tips for wrapping and decorating your baskets. If you're not sure what to buy, learn to create a gift collage, with many examples of themed gift baskets for any occasion, including some great gifts for the Christmas season.

Choosing a Basket

There are hundreds of different basket styles available that you can use to arrange small items into one large gift. Functional baskets that can be used around the house once the items inside have been used are best. Shop around at bed and bath, home décor and department stores to find the style that's right for your project.

Here are some examples of great baskets for gifts:

  • Picnic Basket

    These are great for food themed gifts, and can hold a lot. There's enough room for a bottle of wine and a designer tablecloth to make the basket extra special.

    You don't have to purchase expensive gourmet foods like caviar to make a great food basket. A thoughtful selection of snacks and treats is the perfect gift for a Boxing Day or New Year's Day luncheon.

  • Dinner Roll Basket

    Long baskets for holding baguettes and other breads are nice for small items and home décor themed gifts. Line it with designer kitchen towels instead of tissue paper for that extra special touch.

    Bread baskets make great gifts for anyone who loves to bake or entertain at home. Gourmet spices and grains are a great gift idea, or a nice olive oil and vinegar set.

  • Wicker Serving Tray

    You can find these at kitchen supply stores in different sizes and styles. These extra wide baskets are great for large packages or heavy items.

    They're also great for a breakfast in bed themed gift. Fill one with jams, cloth napkins, gourmet coffee and a great book!

  • Vanity Basket

    A useful basket for a housewarming gift. Fill it with home décor items like towels and candles.

    If you're buying for someone who's just moving out for the first time, include some essentials such as dish soap, wooden spoons, salt and pepper shakers, or a cookbook!

Putting Your Basket Together

There are a lot of different ways that you can arrange and display your gifts in the basket that you choose.

The size and shape of all the items will determine what works best for each project.

Here are some tips to help you make beautiful gift arrangements:

  • Lining

    Use 2 or more sheets of colored tissue paper to line the bottom of the basket. Place additional sheets of paper over the mouth of the basket, then press down and 'fluff' the edges to create a leafy appearance.

    You can also use a stuffing material such as shredded paper or Easter grass. A great way to make your basket eco-friendly is to make your own grass stuffing with left over wrapping paper.

    If you prefer a more eco-friendly basket, use a cloth item that fits the theme of your basket, such as a bath towel, table cloth or even T-shirts. Fold the items neatly to line the bottom, or place one over the mouth of the basket and press it down into the edges before adding gifts.

  • Contents

    Place the largest items in the basket first, and place tall items towards the back. Taper packages or objects so that the highest point is at the back-center of the basket. Fit smaller items around your design, or sprinkle them on top. Make sure that everything will stay secure in the basket without spilling.

    You can use tape to fix smaller items around packages and gifts, or place loose items together in boxes or bags. You can even create your own custom gift boxes from Christmas cards.

  • Wrapping

    You can wrap the basket in foil cellophane to keep the contents a surprise, or simply dress up the basket with a bit of ribbon to reduce packaging.

    If the basket is small, fit it into a reusable gift bag and seal it with a bit of tape. Don't forget to attach a card or tag with warm sentiments. You can make your own gift tags with printed paper.

Fillable Baskets for Everyone

The basket you choose for your gift is just as important as what you put in it. Don't settle for just any old wicker vessel that might end up in a cupboard forever. Find a beautiful, functional basket that will be treasured for years to come!

To learn more about the basket you like, simply click on the picture.

Pfaltzgraff Napoli Bread Basket with Warmer
Pfaltzgraff Napoli Bread Basket with Warmer
A great gift for a young lady. Fill it with candles, teas and exotic beauty creams!
Amerock C54013MB26 Wire Organizer Mesh Basket, Chrome
Amerock C54013MB26 Wire Organizer Mesh Basket, Chrome
Treat a work-at-home parent to some designer stationery and goodies in this unique basket.

Spa Gift Ideas for Him

Have you ever made your own gift basket?

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Choosing the Contents of Your Basket

If you know a bit about the person that you're buying for, select items that he or she would enjoy. Avoid getting the typical basket contents if they aren't suitable for the person's tastes.

For example, a jams and jellies basket wouldn't be a big hit with someone who doesn't enjoy long, sit-down breakfasts. However, if they enjoy puzzles and games, a basket full of crossword magazines, pens and bookmarks will be a joy.

For new family members, friends of friends, or others that you are still getting to know, you can use a generic theme like bath products or gourmet foods. Putting together your own selection of gifts is a thoughtful gesture to open up a new friendship.

Gift Basket Themes

Each person on your list will have different tastes and styles that will help you to decide what their perfect gift basket will be.

To help get you started, here is a list of possible themes and a few gift ideas that you can add your personal touch to:

Christmas Goodies Basket * Mother's Day Gift Basket

Eco-Friendly Gift Basket * Easter Baskets for Girls

For the Scrapbooker * For the Chocolate Lover

For the Coffee Lover * For the Green Thumb

Just for Kids Basket * Pirate Fan Gift Basket

Eastern Picnic Basket * Home Office Gift Basket

For the New or Expecting Mom

Christmas Goodies Basket

Fill a basket with some traditional and tasty seasonal treats such as gingerbread and tarts. This is a great gift idea for holiday tipping, when you want to do a little more than give cash. To make your own Christmas goodies, visit Cute Little Cupcakes for some great baking ideas! You can add handmade paper bows or Christmas decorations to make it pretty.

  • Christmas Cookies

    Either decorated or fresh from a gourmet bakery, everyone loves a festive cookie or pastry man.

    Even if you're not a master baker, you can create four delicous and beautiful styles of Christmas cookies from one simple recipe. Visit Easy Christmas Cookies for ideas. And for some great gingerbread recipes that anyone can make visit Gingerbread

  • Hot Chocolate

    Some delicious instant cocoa is great for cold winter nights.

    Place a few packets into a mug, or make your own mix and seal it in a jar with marshmallows.

  • Shortbread

    Pick some up from your favorite bakery, or buy a packet from the cookie aisle of your grocery.

    You can also prepare your own shortbread from scratch for an extra special touch.

  • Desert Wine

    A small bottle of ice wine is a great compliment to chocolate treats.

Eco-friendly Gift Basket

Whether you know someone who loves eco-friendly living, or you want to encourage someone to make green changes to their lifestyle, an environmentally conscious basket is a gift for the Earth as well!

  • Retractable Clothesline

    Drying your laundry outdoors saves energy and makes your fabrics smell fresh! Easy to install clotheslines are great for houses, and apartments, too!

  • Recycled Notepad

    Sometimes you need a scrap of paper to write on, and a recycled, non-bleached notepad is the best thing to reach for. Many gift shops sell notebooks made by local artists from recycled paper.

  • Biodegradable Soap

    Health food and eco-friendly shops sell all natural soaps that are phosphate free, and contain no added dyes or fragrance.

  • Green Living Books

    The number of ways that we can change our lifestyles to help the environment are practically endless. Many authors have compiled tips and techniques for lowering our impact on the Earth every day. Share your favorites with friends and family, and encourage them to Go Green!

For the Scrapbooker

Scrapbooking is a hobby sensation, so finding items is easier than you think. Any store that carries stationary or craft supplies is sure to have a section for scrapbooking supplies.

  • Hole Punches

    Craft supply and teacher supply stores carry a wide selection of specialty paper punch tools with interesting designs such as teddy bears and flowers.

  • Origami Paper

    A nice variety of colors and designs will please any scrapbook lover. Anything to do with decorative paper or photographs is sure to please the scrapbook enthusiast in the family. For more ideas on what scrapbookers crave, visit the Scrapbooking and Rubberstamping Resources Group.

  • Decals and Stickers

    The possibilities are endless! Just about any store that carries art supplies, stationary or toys will have a variety of sizes and designs to choose from.

  • Photofinishing

    Grab a gift certificate from a local print shop to top off the basket.

For The Chocolate Lover

Baskets filled with chocolate goodies are sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth. With so many varieties to choose from, you can even create a theme such as chocolates of the world, chocolate fruit, or even chocolate animal shapes.

  • Belgian Seashell Chocolates

    These are the Cadillac of chocolate. Look for them in gourmet shops and delis, or in the imported foods section at your grocery store.

  • Instant Cocoa Mix

    The fancier the better! Put it inside a new mug to be enjoyed right away.

  • Gourmet Cookies

    Anything chocolatey or chocolate covered will do. Pick your favorite, or ask for a recommendation from the staff where you shop.

  • Marshmallow Topping

    For a bit of variety, this sweet treat is great for dipping cookies in or adding to chocolate ice cream!

Arranging Chocolates

This quick video from Expert Village shows an example of how you can arrange chocolates in a gift basket.

These ideas are also great for other small gifts and foods for any style of gift basket that you would like to make.

For The Coffee Lover

Coffee baskets are great for early risers, as well as people who like to do entertaining. A selection of hot beverages is sure to please a hard-to-buy for friend.

  • Gourmet Coffees

    Whether it's special roast or flavored, buy vacuum sealed packets that will fit in your chosen basket. Choose your favorite brand, or something with decorative packaging.

  • Sugar Sticks

    Specialty food shops or candy stores will sell swizzle sticks coated with sugar crystals. These are a nice novelty addition to any hot drink theme.

  • Vanilla and Mint Syrup

    A delicous way to flavor any coffee to everyone's tastes. Smaller bottles will fit will into any arrangement. Add designer stirring spoons, too!

  • Nutmeg

    A delicous topping for coffee, cocoa and other hot drinks. Include a bottle of dried ground nutmeg, or fresh nutmeg and a handheld grater.

  • Designer Mugs

    A pair of matching mugs can hold chocolates, candy or biscotti to round out any drink themed basket.

For the Green Thumb

If you know someone who spends more time in the garden than they do indoors, treat them with some outdoor accessories.

  • Wind Chimes

    Select a set of wind chimes that matches the theme of the garden for an even more thoughtful touch.

  • Gardening Gloves

    You can never have to many pairs of gloves for playing in the dirt. A home improvement store or garden centre will have a good selection of gloves for different types of yard work.

  • Seed Packets

    Ask the staff at your local garden centre about what can be planted in the coming weeks to select seeds that can be used right away.

  • Farmer's Almanac

    Most stores that carry books or magazines will have a copy of the latest Farmer's Almanac. You can also find great magazines about gardening and landscaping.

  • Orange Oil Soap

    This ultimate hand cleanser if a favorite of mechanics. It removes dirt and grime quickly without harming the skin. It's great for those who like to get down in the dirt.

Just for Kids Basket

A gift basket is a great way to please all of the kids in one family without worrying about gift sizes or prices. It encourages sharing, too! These gift ideas are great for kids aged 5-10.

  • Books

    The possibilities are really endless when selecting books for kids. Story books are always a favorite, but kids also enjoy activity books and children's non-fiction. Ask at your local bookstore for popular titles.

  • Felt Markers

    Coloring and drawing never goes out of style. Scented markers are an instant favorite, and don't forget to include drawing paper!

  • Disposable Camera

    Kids love to take photos, and disposable cameras are an inexpensive and risk-free way to let them explore photography. Include a gift certificate for photo-finishing.

  • Movie Tickets

    A gift certificate to a theatre that shows family films is sure to please even the most finicky kids.

Easter Baskets for Girls

This short video from Expert Village demonstrates filling your own baskets with personalized gifts for Easter. This video is the second in a series.

To learn more about choosing baskets and fillers, watch the video series "Personalized Easter Gift Baskets":

Making Custom Easter Gift Baskets

Adding Books to Girl Easter Baskets

Adding Accessories to Girl Easter Baskets

Adding Candy to Easter Baskets

Pirate Fan Basket

Do you know someone who's crazy about pirates? Treat them to a collection of fun swashbuckling gifts! This basket isn't just for kids - anyone that loves history can enjoy these inspired gifts.

  • Jolly Rogers

    Anything and everything with a skull and crossbones on it will be sure to please a pirate lover.

  • Booty

    Pirates love gold and jewels. A decorative home décor item that would look at home in a treasure chest will please any sea dog.

  • Pirate Lore

    There are hundreds of books available about the history of sea pirates. Make sure to pick something with plenty of great pictures.

  • Model Ships

    Building a tiny ship will keep a pirate enthusiast busy for hours. Search for these at game and comic shops.

The Asian Picnic Basket

An Eastern inspired, gourmet foods basket is great for couples as a 'date night' gift. Offer to watch the kids or the dog, and include a romantic movie! It is also a great gift for any sushi lover.

  • Chop Sticks

    Kitchen supply stores or Asian delis usually sell a good selection of unique chopsticks in different colors.

    You can include a package of basic wooden chopsticks, or a few sets of decorative chopsticks with unique patterns.

  • Oolong and Green Teas

    Either fresh tea, or teabags in attractive packaging are a great gift anytime. Don't forget the teacups!

    If you're preparing a large gift basket, you can also include a miniature teapot for preparing your tea selections.

  • Sushi Dishes

    Asian tableware is beautiful and makes a great gift all on it's own. Many specialty food shops and home décor stores carry a selection.

    If you're familiar with your recipient's decorating, try to purchase dishes that will match their colors and style.

  • Prawn Crackers

    These crispy treats are a great side for rice dishes. You can purchase them in pre-popped form, or in already prepared packages.

    Pick up a packet from the imported foods section of your grocery store. Include a topping such as teriyaki smoked oysters.

  • Red and Black Candles

    If you're buying for a couple, this makes a nice romantic touch to the meal you've prepared.

    You could also include table linens with an Eastern motif, or a CD with some great dinner music.

Home Office Basket

Anyone who works from home, or spends a lot of time at their computer desk will love a selection of office supplies. Personalize this gift basket idea by selecting items in their favorite color.

  • Paper Clips

    There are dozens of varieties of clips and clamps for organizing papers. From plain and functional, to wacky novelty items, they're sure to be a useful item.

  • Sticky Notes

    No home office would be complete without a deck of notepaper. Some are even decorative. Try to purchase note pads made from recycled paper.

  • Pens

    Whether you grab a box of Bics, or go for a set of quills, new pens are always a delight for writers and jotters.

  • Framed Photo

    Ask a friend of family member for a sentimental photo, and pop it into a decorative frame for the desktop.

  • Desk Calendar

    One of the best things to ever happen to the office is the Page-a-Day calendar. There are hundreds of styles and themes to choose from!

Mother's Day Gift Basket

Show the mom in your life how great they are by giving them a personalized gift basket made by you! Fill your basket with spa items or gifts for their favorite hobby.

  • Herbal Teas

    Select a few gourmet teas for a relaxing Mother's Day afternoon. Include some honey and lemon juice, too!

  • Hand Cream

    Ask the experts at the beauty counter to recommend a luxurious hand cream for your special mom. Try to find something in her favorite fragrance.

  • Hyacinth Bulbs

    Drop by your local nursery and pick up some colorful hyacinth bulbs. Include a fluted vase to grow them in. They're great for indoor growing and look beautiful on a windowsill.

  • Gourmet Fudge

    No gift basket would be complete without a few sweet treats. Select a few unique fudge flavors for your Mother's Day basket, such as strawberry or maple.

For a New or Expecting Mom

Skip the baby clothes and give a special lady something just for her! For even more ideas about what expecting moms desire, consult Professor Baby!

  • Chamomile and Green Teas

    Relaxation and energy in a cup, teas are delicious and soothing for stressed out ladies. Buy your favorite brand, or choose one with decorative packaging.

  • Citrus Shampoo

    New moms do a lot of showering on the go, so an exotic, energizing shampoo will help make the most of the short time they have to recharge.

  • Eye Mask

    Another great stress reliever that's easy to use, and is safe for moms and babies.

  • Comfy T-Shirt

    A funny or sentimental garment that can survive lots of trips to the washing machine will be a welcome addition to her wardrobe.

  • Foot Cream

    Include a coupon for one free foot rub! Or, if you're not into feet, make a coupon for free babysitting services so that Mom can really enjoy a spa day.

Creating a Spa Basket

This video shows how to put together a spa day gift with a variety of relaxing items. This is a great example of how you can use a unique container for your collage gift.

The instructor in this video uses foam packing peanuts in her design. That's Creative recommends using an eco-friendly alternative such as face cloths, or recycled paper.

Decorative Baskets

These functional baskets only need a few treats to become perfect gift baskets!

Lambs & Ivy Basket, Espresso
Lambs & Ivy Basket, Espresso
A great kitchen basket for a food or home decor gift basket.
Three Nesting Wicker Nursery Baskets with Fabric Liners
Three Nesting Wicker Nursery Baskets with Fabric Liners
A set of baskets is great for a variety of gifts. Use a different theme for each one such as candles, soap and candy.

The Joy of Gift Baskets

Do You Enjoy Receiving Gift Baskets?

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Perfect the Art of Gift Arrangement

If you love to make collage-like gifts for your friends and family, experienced basket makers can help you create the most memorable collections. You can even turn your passion into a profitable home-based business!

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