Buying or Creating Gift Baskets

Buying or Creating Gift Baskets

Gift baskets and boxes are always a popular thing to give or receive.  But have you ever received a gift basket where there are items you either didn’t appreciate or you didn’t ever use?  I have.  Have you ever stopped and thought about actually making those gift baskets or gift boxes yourself?  It is easier than you think.  However, be aware that it can also be very costly if you aren’t careful.  If you are thinking of giving someone you know or love a gift basket this year, consider making it yourself with some of these steps:

  • How much do you want to spend?
    • Without this step your basket can balloon out of control quickly
  • Who is the gift for?
    • Is it for someone specific?
    • Is it a group gift?  i.e. a family
  • What does the person/people like?
    • Do they have a particular hobby?  i.e. do they like baking, photography, drawing, reading, or cooking
    • Do they like specific foods?  i.e. milk chocolate versus dark chocolate
    • Do they have any allergies?  i.e. gluten-free, nut allergy, dairy intolerance
    • Do they have favourite colours or themes?
    • The best tip I can give is:  listen all year
      • Key phrases:  I wish I had; I need _____; I would love to _____;
      • Key themes:  Cooking, baking, environmentally conscious
  • How are you going to give the gift?
    • Will this be given in person?
    • Will this be sent in the mail or courier?
  • One more thought
    • Is the “vessel” re-useable?


Once these steps are determined, now the fun part begins!

  • Make a list of the items you would like for your gift basket or box
  • Price out the items on your list
    • Are you over-budget?
      • If yes, are there items you can either omit or be creative as to where you buy them from?
      • If no, fantastic!
        • This is the time where you can decide if any of your items can be upgraded or higher quality items can be purchased 
        • Are there any other items you would like to add?
  • Shop!
    • Shop at home first
      • Do you have a basket or box you can part with and use for your gift?
      • Are there any items that you have duplicates of that you do not use?
      • Are there items on your list that you can make yourself instead of buying?
    • Thrift Stores
      • Don’t be afraid to stop in to your local thrift store.  They can be a treasure trove of fun and interesting items to add to a gift basket.  Don’t forget to check out the section where you can find ribbon, bows, wrapping mediums or even baskets and boxes
    • Dollar Stores
      • Many dollar stores today carry the same name brands at a fraction of the price you would find in other stores
      • They also carry such items as candles, glassware, bakeware, craft supplies, stationary supplies and toys
    • Online Shopping
      • Buy all the items you want/need and have them shipped to you or directly to your recipient
      • Consider buying a gift box.  This can be a one-time gift, quarterly or monthly subscription.

Once you have all the items for your gift basket, it is time to assemble and wrap.  Place the items in your basket.  If you

Gift Baskets and Boxes

want to have the items at different heights in the basket, think of using recycled items like boxes.  You can wrap them in plain white or brown craft paper and then place items on top of them.  You may have to tape some of the items together to keep them from falling over by either using double-sided tape or making a loop of tape around a couple of your fingers with the sticky side facing outwards.  If you are putting the items in a box, your choice is to wrap or not wrap the gifts.  If you want to wrap the gifts, do you want them to be monochromatic (all the same colour), do you want to wrap in craft paper, do you want to wrap in newspaper, or do you want them to be a variety of paper and colours?  There is really no right or wrong answer.  If it is a “baby box” you could even wrap the items in blankets, wash clothes, socks, shirts and the like.  This gift is from you.  Time to get creative!

Now that your basket or box is assembled, time to do the outer packaging.  You can buy cellophane rolls in just about any colour.  Place the cellophane under the basket and make it wide enough that the cellophane comes up above the top item or handle by at least 15 cm or 6 inches.  This should give you enough room for the ribbon and bow.  Next, bring up the cellophane and have tape ready.  You can pre-cut the tape and have it lightly attached at one end to a table or counter to easily grab.  As you bring up the cellophane, you can fold and tape the areas that may gape open.  Once the basket is wrapped, tie the top pieces with ribbon.  Tie it tight!  Then attach a beautiful bow, tag or card.  Voila!  You made it yourself!

I have included some links below to items for some ideas.  Use them as jumping-off points and happy shopping!

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