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Gift Baskets for Women: Create Your Own

Updated on August 30, 2013

Can’t come up with any gift ideas for the women on your list? If you know her well, you’ll surely know her interests and hobbies, so steer in that direction. Purchase several small gifts and assemble them attractively in a basket or other container. Line the bottom of the basket or container with wood straw, colorful paper strips, or some other filler, place the entire basket plus contents in a large clear bag, suck the air out, and gather the top into a pretty ribbon and bow.

Some of the suggestions below can be appropriate for men, also. There are lots of male nurses, male gardeners, male artists, and male teachers, for example!

Horse owners: First of all, choose a bucket in which to place everything. This can be part of the gift since horse owners are always using buckets for bathing, feeding, watering, and soaking. In the bucket, place a brush, a curry comb, a hoof pick, a mane and tail comb, horse treats, horse shampoo, hoof dressing, leg wrap, saddle soap, neatsfoot oil, and insect repellent.

Seamstresses/quilters: Buy a nice sewing basket for the container. Fill it with needles, thread, patterns, chalk, straight pins, pin cushions, small hoops, and an antique or silver thimble or two. If the gift recipient is a quilter, add a whole book of quilt patterns. You might also want to add a sewing/quilting magazine or two, or maybe a whole yearly subscription.

Scrapbookers: Lots of folks are into scrapbooking these days, and you can find tons of stuff for them at craft stores and even at Walmart. A good container for these items would be one of those flat-bottom totes. That way, it will give the scrapbooker a place to keep all her supplies together. Things you might want to add: A scrapbook, scrapbook pages, stickers, small cardboard cutouts, stamp kits, glue dots, photo holders/protectors, stick-on letters, and permanent markers.

Artists: As an artist, I can give it to you straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth. Buy one of those art caddies or a large tackle box and fill it with tubes of paint, good brushes, pens, small natural sponges, India ink, small canvases, a palette knife or two, some retarder, and a couple of plastic palettes. If the artist works in oils, include some linseed oil and some turpentine. Toss in a couple of painting technique paperback guides for good measure.

Gardeners: If I were giving a collection of gifts to a gardener, I’d place everything in one of those rolling gardening caddies. They’re really handy! I’d include some gloves, some pruning shears, some bulbs, several packets of seeds, liquid fertilizer, a bulb planter, a hand spade, a garden claw, and some how-to books on gardening or growing specific plants.

Cooks: Use a large sauce pot or a picnic basket to hold all the goodies. Include a collection of unusual spices, fresh herbs, meat rubs, gourmet sauces, chutneys, small cookbooks, a cute apron, a pizza stone, a cutting board, a chef’s knife, a knife sharpener, a spice guide, measuring spoons, a large glass measuring cup, and the latest kitchen gadgets.

Dog lovers: Buy a large bucket or basket and paint or stamp paw prints on it. Fill it with dog chews, balls, toys, gourmet dog treats, a fancy collar, a new leash, breed-specific items like a coffee mug, dog shampoo, a doggie blanket, and a couple of dog books. You might want to add a training video, or if the owner has one of those “diva dogs,” you can include a doggie outfit and some matching hair bows. Your dog-lover friend can use the gift container to store the doggie stuff in.

Cat lovers: Stuff all your gifts into one of those round cat hideaways. Include nail trimmers, jingle balls, rubber mice, feathered toys, catnip, cat treats, a grooming brush, a fancy food dish, a cat calendar, and maybe a few cans of gourmet cat food. A great addition would be a laser pen. Cats LOVE chasing the red light around – it will entertain them for hours!

Crafty ladies: If you have a friend or family members who are into crafts, they’re always needing supplies: scissors, hot glue guns, glue sticks, paint pens, beads, rhinestones, glue dots, polyurethane spray, ribbons, acrylic paints, paint brushes, sponge brushes, feathers, patterns, fringe, and pompoms. Try to find out more about the specific crafts she creates, and you’ll get more ideas for little gifts. Craft books and magazines are always a good idea!

Teachers: I’m a retired teacher, so I’ll tell you the kinds of stuff I liked to get. Many school systems don’t pay for classroom supplies, and teachers use a lot of staples, pens, sticky notes, notebooks, markers, dry erase markers, folders, and planners. Another good idea is an oversized calendar – one with enough room to write on. Classrooms can get rather musty sometimes, so scented candles are a good idea. Because we have to talk so much, our throats get dry – give us some hard candies. On teacher work days, we actually get to leave campus for lunch, so gift certificates for restaurants near the school are another good idea. Also, throw in a good insulated travel coffee mug.

Nurses: My middle daughter is a nurse, so I asked her advice on this one. She suggested white cushioned socks, gel insoles, a watch with a second hand, energy bars, plastic work clogs, hair scrunchies, nurse tree ornaments, an insulated travel mug with a nurse logo, an insulated water bottle, and small packages of gourmet snacks.

Tea drinkers: Have you seen those tea blooms? They’re dried blooms that open into beautiful flowers when placed in hot water, and they’re a must in a gift basket for hot tea drinkers! Add a wide selection of different flavored teas, a fancy tea ball, a nice teacup, and some gourmet tea cakes.

Wine drinkers: Use a large ice bucket as your “basket.” In it, place a nice bottle of wine, a corkscrew, some wine charms, some fancy coasters, and one of those hand-painted wine glasses that are so popular now.

Coffee lovers: Search for small packets of gourmet coffees, gourmet powdered creamers, a good thermos, and a nice insulated coffee mug. Now add something to go with the cup of joe, like biscotti, coffee cake, shortbread, or gourmet bakery cookies.


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