Designing a Homemade Gift Basket

Gift baskets are an unusual and thoughtful gift that generally doesn’t cost too much to make and is often beautifully presented. With a gift basket, the present is as much about the presentation as what’s actually inside it, and they make great gifts for people you don’t know too well or don’t know what to buy for. While you can often buy them ready made in a package, homemade gift basket ideas are actually much nicer gifts as they come across as less generic and more thoughtful. Believe it or not they can actually be quite fun to make too, so here are some homemade gift basket ideas that you can use to make yours really stand out and be something they actually want to use as opposed to a random selection of cheap goods.

The first thing you should think about when thinking of homemade gift basket ideas is a theme. If you use a theme it brings the whole thing together, makes it far more unique, and gives the recipient ideas for how to use the basket. In these situations you see, the basket itself is part of the gift, so you can make use of that by making it a convenient carrier for the items themselves. This means that the items want to be things that go well together and that can be used in conjunction. In other words – don’t give someone a basket of ‘hair shampoos, jam and cheese’. The selection is too random, the items will come out of the basket, and probably go off before they get used (furthermore, soapy goods should not be kept alongside food as they can affect the taste). What you do want for your homemade gift basket ideas, is something that will bring them all together, united by theme. So a picnic basket, or a spa day, which will mean they keep the basket intact and then enjoy a fun day out or evening with the goods.

Another consideration is what items go well in a gift basket. Generally when you think of a basket you think of it being full of food, but this needn’t be the case. Any kind of gift can go in a gift basket (as the name suggests), as well as wine, flowers, smellies, lotions and more. And you can combine these items by theme, for example why not put some glasses in with a bottle of wine and some cheese? This way you’ve combined some items that will go great together and at the same time included some gifts that will have a longer lifespan (the glasses).

Finally, the last thing to consider is the basket itself. Nice gift baskets can be bought from crafts shops or carboot sales, but then you don’t necessarily need to go for a standard basket. Instead you could put the gifts in a rucksack, a wine cooler, a handbag, a box, a bowl or a vase. This is the part of the gift that the recipient actually gets to keep so try to make sure it’s something they’ll find useful and want to keep on them. You can also make this something that ties the theme together even more and that they can use along with its contents. For example if you’re making them a picnic-themed basket you could have a picnic basket or lunch box as the container. Try to be original and creative when picking the elements of the gift basket and don’t be afraid to think outside the box (groan…).

Homemade gift basket ideas:

Picnic Gift Basket – This basket would contain everything you need for a nice afternoon picnic in the sun. The basket itself could be a picnic bag or a old fashioned picnic basket and you could also include other useful aspects such as a blanket to sit on, paper plates and plastic cutlery and cups and maybe even a wicker hat for a dash of humour. Ideas for food could include a fresh baguette or rolls, cheese, jam, marmite (or some other spread), a large pack of quality crisps, squash, chocolate biscuits, pack of yogurt and maybe some sausage or ham. Add a bow or a flower to improve the presentation and the recipient can then keep the basket nicely together until they decide to take the basket out for a spin and enjoy an afternoon in the sun at your expense. They can then keep the basket and blanket for future use making it a long lasting, unique and fun basket.

Women’s Romantic Basket – For a loved one a gift basket can make a great present for Valentine’s day or an anniversary that’s a bit different and shows time and effort have gone into it’s creation. For a container you might use the standard basket, or perhaps a nice handbag (this will go down well most likely) or gift bag. For ultimate mushiness you could then fill the bag with rose petals or potpourri to give it a romantic scent. Some nice items to include could be a teddy bear, a bottle of wine or champagne, a box of expensive chocolates, a necklace or other item of jewellery, massage lotion or muscle soak for the bath and maybe a mushy letter or card. If you tie this all up with a ribbon (probably red) it’ll make a great selection of items for a romantic night in that shows effort and includes keepsakes that she can cherish forever.

Men’s Romantic Basket – The male version of the romantic gift basket needn’t be much different to the women’s one, but perhaps a little less mushy. Rose petals probably aren’t necessary anymore (better to go for potpourri) and you certainly won’t want to include a handbag. A drink however will still likely go down well – either wine, champagne or a martini asti. Chocolates will still likely go down well and perhaps instead of a cuddly toy you could include a photo of the two of you, or photo album. Other ideas could include a book, a head massager or aftershave. Massage oil is also still a nice idea and something you can enjoy together and a romantic card or note will also ensure it’s nice and romantic.

Bath Basket – The bath basket should contain everything necessary for the ultimate relaxing soak. The container will probably be the regular basket though if you can find such a thing you could get one that floats or is water proof. This can then include soaps, shampoos, relaxing muscle soaks, bubble baths, scrubbers, hair net, a flannel and certainly the crucial rubber duck. Candles too can make a great addition, as can a book or relaxing CD for them to enjoy while they soak. The brilliance of the bath basket idea is that it can be used again and again before everything is used up.

Fruit Basket – A fruit basket is a popular choice of gift basket. You can keep the goods either in a regular basket, or to be a bit original an actual fruit bowl which can make a great gift on its own. This has the problem of becoming potentially just some fruit however, so the secret is to include unusual fruits such as mangos, pineapples, passion fruit etc. You can also include fruit flavoured candies in among the fruit itself and perhaps a fruit juice drink or cake too. Add to the presentation with a ribbon.

Green Fingers Basket – The green fingers basket would be aimed at someone who loves gardening and could include gloves, clippers, gardening book, seeds for plants or perhaps actual plants and flowers. This also has potential to be well presented, and if you wanted to make it even more unique you could use a watering can or perhaps even a wheelbarrow.

Country-Themed Basket – If you or the recipient are foreign, you know they like food from a certain region, or you just want to be a bit cultural – a great theme for a gift basket can be based on a specific country. For example you could make a ‘Mediterranean’ basket with Mediterranean fruits and foods, or an ‘Italian’ basket with pastas, tomatoes and pizza bread. Decorate with items appropriate to the theme – flowers from the region or maybe ornaments or pictures from the country.

Spa Basket – A spa basket, like the bath basket, should include everything you need to have a relaxing spa treatment and really unwind; scented candles or potpourri, candles, a CD of relaxing or classical music, wooden massagers, a face mask or moisturiser, massage oil, body cream, bath goods, scrubber, nail file and rough sponge. Again this basket can be used several times for repeated relaxation sessions.

Win/Champagne Basket – This should include everything you need to fully enjoy a nice bottle of wine and really savour the experience. This should include wine (obviously) – either one bottle, several, or lots of smaller ones and could be champagne if you really want to push the boat out. This could then go with a selection of cheeses, grapes, chocolates and perhaps one or two wine glasses. For a colourful display get a red and a white wine and then get red and white grapes to compliment each. Tie it all up with a ribbon or bow of the finishing touch.

Coffee Basket – The coffee basket is perfect for the caffeine addict in your life and makes an unusual and long-lasting gift. The theme is a wide ranging one and allows a lot of things to be included – a large mug, a coffee pot (which could alternatively serve as the basket), a variation of coffees (and could include both caffeinated and decafe options), lates and cappuccinos, spoons, sugar, milk, biscuits and chocolates or a coaster.

Afternoon Tea Basket – The afternoon tea basket can make a great British-flavoured (literally…) gift for a posh afternoon of tea and biscuits. You can again include a mug and a tea pot, but should also have scones, jams, biscuits and chocolates to give them a truly posh experience. You could also include a tea-cloth and the small matter of the tea bags themselves (with so many variations available you could give them a large selection of earl greys, twinings, fruit teas and green teas).

Summer Basket – The summer gift basket would include a variation of things you can enjoy in the sun, and maybe things that remind you of the summer. A hat perhaps, jams and sandwiches, sun tan lotion, daffodils or sunflowers, a summer read, sunglasses, a beech ball… there really are a lot of options for this theme.

Winter Basket – The winter basket is an alternative to the summer basket to be used roughly six months later (logically). This would include more warming items – a scarf and/or hat and/or gloves, candles, chocolates, brandy, coffee and a festive DVD to watch in doors.

Christmas Basket – A gift basket makes a great Christmas gift and there are many ways you can make it Christmas themed with brandy, Christmas tree decorations, ginger bread, or even a Christmas cake. Obviously this time you can add to the presentation by wrapping it up in wrapping paper with a bow.

‘Pub’ Basket – The pub basket makes a great gift for the lager lout you know. This is quite a fun one to fill and you can use cans of beer, placemats, a pint glass, a pub quiz (you can write this yourself or get one online) with optional general knowledge book to help smooth the process and give them an edge, crisps, pork scratching, nuts… everything they need to bring the pub experience to their dining rooms.

Cheese Basket – A selection of cheeses makes a great basket for those who enjoy their cheese boards. Try to find some unusual cheeses that they won’t have tried along with the classics of stilton, Edam, cheddar etc. You can even you’re your own cheese. Combine this with things they can enjoy along with the cheese such as biscuits, wine or grapes. You can also include an actual cheese board and make this part of your display.

Confectionary Basket – A confectionary basket makes for a great and varied range of baskets. You can include any selection of sweets, chocolates or biscuits or stick to just one of those ranges. If you use mostly sweets you can make it a ‘goody bag’ style theme like the ones you used to get at friends’ birthday parties in first school, or make it a stylish selection of chocolates that you’ve gathered and presented (Thorntons, Lilt etc etc), or even a selection of sweets, cakes or chocolates that you’ve made yourself.

Health Basket – Alternatively you could go down the other route and aim to make your basket as healthy as possible. Include juices, vitamin tablets, fruit, cereal bars, protein shake sachets and probiotics yogurts. This makes a great gift for any ‘health freak’.

Poorly Basket – A joke that might also come in handy, the ‘poorly basket’ makes a great ‘get well soon’ gift. Items for your consideration are vitamin tablets, pain killers, a flannel, a thermometer, soup, tea, tissues and a small bell to alert for help (their significant other won’t that you though!).

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