Initially, when I learned how to make a gift basket, it was because we had no money and a long list of gifts to buy! However after making them for several years, they have become some of the best gifts to give!
In fact one year a family member was upset we purchased a gift because she always looked forward to the homemade baskets!
Your gift basket, bag, or box can be filled with your special baked goods, candies, and cookies. Or you can create a themed basket, based on the recipient’s hobbies or likes.
The awesome thing about homemade gift baskets is that don’t have to spend a lot of money. Food baskets are super inexpensive!
Last year the girls and I made baked good baskets for all my husband’s staff at work. We purchased containers from the Dollar Tree and made everything ourselves. The gift baskets were filled with fudge, caramel corn, dipped pretzels, cookies, and more.
Over the years I’ve also used cardboard shirt boxes, recycled holiday tins, Christmas dishes, and baskets.
I try to collect items throughout the year to use in my baskets so I don’t spend a lot of money on the packaging.
If you don’t like to bake (and I know a few of you) you can also create themed gift baskets. These are a little more expensive, but you can still put one together for under $20!
Before you get started putting together a basket here are a few helpful tips.
Everything You Need to Know to Put a Gift Basket Together
You don’t need a basket. As I mentioned earlier, you can use wooden crates, buckets, boxes, bins, bowls, glass jars, or even create your own basket.
Have a theme. Think about the person who is receiving the basket. What do they like? Do they have any hobbies? You can also create baskets based on color (see the sunshine basket below).
Use filler at the bottom of your containers. There are several things you can use as filler. One simple way is to purchase shredded party paper at the dollar store. If you own a shredder you can make your own using brown paper grocery bags. Tissue paper makes an awesome filler as well.
When you see a WOW gift basket, it’s probably because some of the items are varied in height. You can create that look by adding filler at the bottom.
Put the largest items in the back. Use the bigger items to anchor your basket. Place the smaller items in front and use flexible or soft items to fill in the gaps.
Remove price tags, packaging, and labels. This makes a huge different in the “look” of your basket. If you can’t remove the label, make sure the labels are facing the back of the basket.
Wrap the basket if you are transporting it. If you have several items in your basket that could potentially fall out, use some clear cellophane wrap to enclose your basket. I keep a roll of this in my closet all year long.
Print out a fun card or gift tag. A quick search on Pinterest is all you need to find a fun tag for the basket. If you are including ingredients for baked goods, print out the recipe on colored paper. Fun tags really make a basket look great!
We’ve got some fun gift tags you can download and print here!
Color Themed Baskets
How fun is this Box of Sunshine? This would make a fantastic teacher gift or get well basket. The key to this gift is the consistency in color. (Notice how they removed all the extra packaging too?)
Not a fan of yellow? How about this blue themed basket?
Movie Lover’s Basket
A movie lover’s gift basket is super simple. If you have the budget you can include a Fandango gift card. Personally, these are my favorite because you can purchase tickets for any theater. If your budget is smaller, you can include a RedBox gift card for a lower dollar amount. Check out this fun movie night idea from Ruffles and Rain Boots.
If there’s a beach lover on your list this year, this fun in the sun basket is perfect! Personally I love the cups with lids and who doesn’t want a new beach towel? Once again, notice how the color matches throughout the basket. It’s not hard to find things that are the same color, especially seasonal items.
This breakfast basket combines homemade and purchased gifts. I love the simplicity and thoughtfulness of this basket. The monogramed napkin provides the perfect personalized touch.
Personalized Food Gifts
Have you seen those expensive fruit baskets you can order online? They are gorgeous and delicious but cost a fortune! You can create your own fruit basket for someone locally for under $10! Here’s how to put one together.
Do you know someone who loves coffee? (I do!) This coffee lover gift basket is perfect! Something I love about this basket is that it includes those fancy coffee flavorings I would never purchase for myself. (This would also make a great teacher’s gift. Find out how to put together your own coffee gift basket at Successful Homemakers. You could also include a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card for those mornings on the go.
Gift Baskets for Pets
Is there a four-legged friend on your gift list? This doggy gift basket contains homemade dog treats. Get the dog treat recipe and basket ideas here.
DIY Wine of the Month
Have you seen a wine of the month club? They seem like a great gift for the person who has everything, except they are really pricey! The Creative Bite shows you how to create your own wine of the month basket for a lot less!
Gifts for Teens
My girls would absolutely LOVE to receive a spa gift basket. I’m pretty sure they keep all the bath and candle stores in business these days. These spa baskets not only make great holiday gifts, but birthday gifts too! Find out how Sarah created this adorable spa in a jar and download the free printable gift tag too!
Gift for the Road
A road trip gift basket is perfect for a going away gift, a holiday gift for traveling families, or a family member who is coming to visit. Learn more about all the goodies in this basket on The Chaos and the Clutter.
Hobby Themed Basket
I love baskets that reflect the hobbies of the person you are giving it to. This sewing basket would have been an awesome gift to receive when I first started learning to sew.
Whoever you are creating a basket for, remember it’s not about how much money you spend.
You can create a gift basket for under $10 by making everything yourself.
Spend a little more and combine homemade gifts with a few purchased items.
Or you can go all out and spend the big bucks on a homemade wine of the month basket. It’s still cheaper than paying retail and you’ll make sure to give exactly what they want.
Putting together items a loved-one enjoys is always the best gift of all.
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Build an Amazing Gift Basket
- Find a container.
Use a basket, bin, box, tin, or jar.
- Decide on a theme.
Fill your basket with items that go together. Your theme can be colors, hobbies, food, or an event.
- Gather the items for your basket.
Buy them or make them yourself. It depends on your budget.
- Place them in the basket.
Remove packaging and place the larger items in first.
- Include a pretty custom tag.
You can find a variety of free printable tags on the internet.
- Give your gift basket away!
the unmodern mom says
Okay, it seems as though you could possibly be my soulmate. Sorry…this is the first of your posts that I’ve read (I’m a new Twitter follower) and you’ve made the same items I’m making to give to neighbors and friends this Christmas. And I’m using shirt boxes.
I *just* made my sugar cookies, they’re cooling on the counter and I plan to decorate them tomorrow while I cook caramel popcorn! I’ll also be making peanut butter cups…a family favorite…all the men in my life expect those now.
Very nice job on these gifts. I would love to receive something like that! Lovely.
Southern Gal says
Your boxes look very much like what we bake to give away around here except for the cupcakes and caramel corn. Everything else is a favorite that gets made and given away every year. Never thought of the shirt boxes. Great idea!
Awee Toni those are pretty. I give homemade gift baskets every year. I have gift bags on the counter right now packed with homemade goodies for all my kiddos teachers and the little girls mom we sit for. I love giving gifts from my kitchen.
i am so doing this…. snow this weekend equals baking day!!!
Crazy About Cakes says
Putting the goodies in a gift box is such a great idea! And you have filled them with such yummy treats. I may have to use this idea for neighbor gifts this year! Love it! Thank you for the post.
I have been baking, too, but instead of cookies I’ve been baking one loaf of bread (sometimes 2) each day for the last couple of weeks for the neighbors, relatives and friends. I try to prepare it just in time for supper and drop it off at their house for them to enjoy at their evening meal.
Great idea Tonya! I hope you stopped by my parent’s house with a loaf of bread! 🙂
Oh, the lemon poppy seed bread sounds delish! And what a cute gift idea! LOVE IT!!!
Candace O says
It looks beautiful! Especially the sugar cookies 🙂 The peanut butter blossoms are a yearly Christmas tradition at my house. We always make them and take them to the Christmas dinners at our families houses. The recipe make so many! Getting ready to look at the lemon poppy seed recipe!
I enjoyed seeing the Star of David cookies in your gift boxes.
Michele (one of your Jewish readers :-))
Love this idea! I had four families left on my list that I needed to do “something” for and this is perfect! Our local donut shop uses beautiful “shirt -sized” boxes and tomorrow my sweet husband is going to try and buy/bribe some off of them 🙂 Thanks for the idea!!!!!!
I’ve been doing that too….I made bread for the kid’s teachers at school. Now I need to start making them for friends and neighbors. It’s been a big hit. I just wrote about it and other gift ideas here: http://moneysavinghabits.com/2009/12/15/gifts-from-the-heart/
(PS….where did you find the shirt boxes — and can I ask how much they were? I always thought I couldn’t justify the cost of boxes, but those look really nice.)
How are you NOT getting smooshy cupcakes? Cupcakes are so easy, but I can never figure out how to gift them without a mess!
I let them sit out for a day (covered) before I put them in the box. The frosting firmed up pretty nicely and they didn’t get smooshed at all.
Thanks for asking!
Love this! I’ve never thought of using shirt boxes! Growing up, we always did plates of goodies. This year I’m using Christmas goodie bags that I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby. I just put the cookies, fudge etc in ziplocs inside the pretty bags.
Thanks for the mention and link love too! 🙂
Somebody's Mimi says
I hope I find one of these boxes under my tree. I actually have baked cookies this year for the first time in many … I’m planning to do more this week. I bought my containers at the DollarTree. I absolutely LOVE getting homemade sugar cutout cookies with icing for ANY gift… was that a loud enough hint??? 🙂
Somebody's Mimi says
You might mention to the donut shop that by using their boxes it is FREE advertising for them!
loud and clear….
Love your gift boxes! They are beautiful! I love to have the kids and I make up gift bags/boxes, etc. to give out each year. Last year we did it secretly to neighbors in bags and this year in treat boxes. Love to get the c0ntainers on sale, too! 😀
I gave my mom a spa gift basket and she loved it!