How to Make a Gift Basket for Any Occasion

4 Materials
20 Minutes

Who doesn’t love a good gift basket? Gift baskets are a fantastic way to celebrate special occasions but buying them can cost a small fortune. Never fear though you can make a gift basket yourself that is just as amazing (and in most cases even more amazing) than the ones you can order online!

Don’t get me wrong the gift baskets you can buy with premium meats, cheeses, and even wine are very nice gifts. I will never say a nasty thing about anyone who has ever sent me a gift basket. I love sampling all the new flavors I might not have tried otherwise. In some cases I’ve even found a wine brand that I am now in LOVE with (I’m looking at you La Creme).

There are times though when you want to have a gift that is a lot more personal. An occasion that the gift basket companies have overlooked. Like when I wanted to send a gift basket to an author friend of mine who received her first rejection or the one I want to create today that is furniture painting themed.

That’s when you have no choice but to DIY.

Let’s make a gift basket!

Choose a Theme or Type of Basket

If you’re giving the gift basket for an occasion like a baby shower then you have a built in theme but if you’re giving a gift for a birthday or no reason at all then you need to think of a theme.

 For mine it’s DIY. I’m also creating one with self care essentials 

Your theme can be anything from a movie lover's gift basket to a car lover's gift basket.

Select a Container

Even though it’s called a gift basket, you can get creative in the “basket” department. I’m using an old tool tote for one of my baskets and an actual basket for the other.

Any container that will hold items is fair game here. For instance, if you were giving a congratulations on your new car gift you could put it in a bucket with a sponge and car cleaning materials. A movie lovers basket can be inside a popcorn bowl. A gardening basket inside of a flower pot.

Buy Your Gifts!

Now for the fun part – choosing the gifts! You already know the theme of your basket and what container you are using, so you probably have a good idea of what to use inside. 

Obviously, you want to make this as personal as possible so I can’t tell you exactly what to include in your basket. Think about that person and what they would like. 

Are there any special memories like a framed photo, or inside jokes that you want to include?

For mine I’m including paint, paint brushes, clear coat, and assorted things I think my friend would like or need to work on her own DIY projects.

For a good gift basket, you want variety. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for enough items, but try to choose different sizes. Like I’m including a sample of Goo-Gone and a sample of paint alone with a quart and a full can of spray paint.

 If you are using a basket or other open container, you want to layer the items, so having small, medium, and large items definitely helps.

Add Filler to the Basket

This is the easy part, because all you are doing is choosing some type of material to act as filler in your basket. I always add filler to the bottom of the basket. You can use tissue paper, Easter grasses, raffia, etc.

 I like using the crimped paper from Dollar Tree. It comes in colors but for this project I’m choosing white.

The purpose of the filler to make sure all your gifts stay above the line of your basket so the gift recipient can see everything. It also helps you position your gifts at angles to make a more interesting presentation.

Arrange the Gifts

This might take a minute or two to get everything configured in a visually pleasing way but don’t let it overwhelm you! Have some fun with it.

Start with your largest items. Like I started with my quart of paint and my spray can because I knew they would take up the most room. Then put taller items in the back and shorter in the front.

Tuck things in wherever there’s a space. Like I said above the paper will help you by allowing you to angle some of the items so they fit. I put one of my paint brushes in the front on an angle even though the others are in the back. 

If you need to use clear tape to help keep some of the items upright then go for it. It’s a gift after all there’s going to be some tape involved!

Play with the arrangements. Take a step back and look at the basket. When you’re happy with the configuration then it’s time for the next step.

Decorate and Wrap the Basket

Now it’s time for the wrapping! I picked up the shrinkable basket wrap from Dollar Tree because I like when you shrink it down that it helps the items stay in place. Bonus it comes with a pull ribbon. Maybe that’s just a bonus to me because I am the world’s worst bow maker.

If you don’t want the gifts to be seen right away you can always line the inside with tissue paper but to me that defeats the purpose of all that arranging. It’s your call though this is your basket!

Tie the basket closed with the ribbon and then use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic down tight.

You’re ready to make a gift basket of your own!

Now your gift basket options are only limited by your imaginations. Creating these gift baskets makes excellent fundraisers for schools silent auctions etc.

Here are some different themed gift baskets and recommended products you can include:

Gardening Gift Basket – Use either a basket or a gardening tote for the container, then fill it with items like vegetable and herb seed packets, handheld gardening tools, a set of gloves, and a small knee rest. Include a small watering can if it fits in the basket.

Pasta Cooking Gift Basket – Fill a tall cooking pot with a bottle of pasta sauce, box of noodles, container of Parmesan cheese, tongs or other cooking utensils, and a bottle of wine. You can also choose to add wine glasses or other glassware, but that is optional.

Date Night Gift Basket – There is a lot of room for creativity here. You can have a date night gift basket with a small blanket, bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses, and some DVDs, or provide gift cards for them to go out for a fun date night.

Movie Lovers Gift Basket - Fill a popcorn bowl, popcorn, popcorn seasoning, cola, movie sized candies, DVDs, or gift card to their favorite movie theater.

Wine Lovers Gift Basket - Fill a basket with a bottle of wine, cork screw, wine and food pairing guide, fancy cheese and crackers.

What gift basket will you design?

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Stacy Verdick Case
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  • Todd Todd on Sep 22, 2022

    This is a great idea!

  • Sarashort Sarashort on Oct 06, 2022

    Thanks for sharing these steps that help you make a gift basket yourself. Indeed, gift baskets have become much more popular lately. I also adore them so much that I receive them and give them as gifts, and that's why I do it quite often. But I tried several times to make a basket gift myself, but it was not accepted. I'm not good at this. But fortunately, different companies deal with their manufacturers, which saves you a lot of time and doesn't cost that much. So for people who are not very creative, this is a way out of the situation.