How to Make a Gift Basket Like a Pro!

By: Kristine Mulholland

Gift Baskets make great gifts for every occasion; they are fun to give and fun to receive! Have you ever wondered how to make a beautiful, professional looking Gift Basket? Well, you are about to learn how!



Since you have probably already decided who you are giving the gift basket to, and for what occasion, then the first step is to write down a list of your recipient’s interests. By making a list like this, you can decide what kind of theme your gift basket will have, and what kind of gift items you will include. Does your recipient like cooking, gardening, reading, golfing, fishing? Is the gift basket intended for a specific occasion such as the birth of a new baby, or a particular holiday? The answer to these questions is where you will begin to make your own gift basket.



Pick a container. You can use a traditional basket as your container, or you may want to use something entirely different. If you are making a gardening gift basket, why not choose a clay pot, or if you are making a fishing gift basket, you could use a tackle box as the container. You could use a colander for a cooking “gift basket", or an Italian theme basket. You could use a child’s small wagon, or a large toy truck as a container for a child’s gift basket. The possibilities are endless! Just let your imagination run wild.



Now, refer back to the list of themed gift items you made earlier. You will use these items to build your basket. Adding pre-packaged food items into your basket is always a good idea! People love treats! You can also use, wine, champagne, nuts, non-perishable cheese spreads, crackers, popcorn, candy, or whatever special items your recipient likes to snack on. If you are making a basket for a new baby, you could use baby powder, baby shampoo, baby bath wash, hooded towels, bottles, rattles, receiving blankets and the like. Pre-packaged food mixes, such as pancake mixes, brownie mixes, cookie mixes and so forth make great items for housewarming baskets. Maybe you could use a skillet as your container, and add some wooden spoons, potholders etc.

Let your creativity flow!



Now it is time to begin to assemble your gift basket. Here is a list of items you will need, they are all available at your local craft store:



1. A Container (basket or something else)

2. Foam blocks, newspaper, bamboo skewers, clear tape, scissors, wire cutters, GlueDots (optional)

3. Your gift items

4. Silk flowers, eucalyptus stems, or other items to “enhance" the basket.

5. Cellophane wrap, wired ribbon (for the bow), and shred or curling ribbon to match the general color scheme of your gift.



You need a base in the container to stabilize and place your items. You can use floral foam blocks (available at any craft store), or you can use craft paper, or newspaper. If you are using foam blocks, cut the block to fit inside your container, you might have to cut the blocks in several pieces and them connect them together with bamboo skewers. Be sure to leave a little space between the interior edges of the basket, and the foam. Place some wadded up newspaper in the bottom of your container to set the foam blocks on top of. You might want to wrap the foam in tissue paper first, although this is not necessary, but it will keep the green foam off of the gift items.



Now use the bamboo skewers and the tape to place “stakes" on the back of each gift item. Make sure to leave about 1-1 ?" of the stake hanging over the edge of each item. This is how you will stake the item into the foam so that it won’t move around. Place taller gift items in the back of the basket, and smaller items toward the front. Before you “stake" the gift items, set them up in the basket to see which items will fit best where. Design with an eye for an overall pleasing shape to your basket, distributing the weight of gift items evenly. Tip: Layering items at different heights in the container makes the overall design more pleasing. To do this, simply leave more of the bamboo skewer hanging over the edge of particular items, so that they appear taller when you stake them into the foam.



As an alternative to using bamboo skewer “stakes" to place your items, you can put pieces of wadded up newspaper in the container, and then use your hands to smash down “pockets" in the newspaper (or craft paper) where your items can be placed. You can then use GlueDots to hold the items in place. You would put one or two GlueDots on each item, and then secure it to the item next to or to the container itself. Tip: make sure that you don’t put too many heavy items all in the back of the container, as it will make the basket tip over.



After all of your items are secured in the container, fill in the empty spaces with shred (available at craft stores) or curling ribbon. Now you can really get creative! Use the silk flowers, eucalyptus stems, or other items you bought as enhancement, and place them into the foam around the sides, and along the back edge of the basket. This is the finishing touch for your beautiful gift!



Now it’s time to wrap the basket in cellophane. Spread the cellophane out on a flat surface, placing the basket in the center. To cut to the desired length, hold up one end of the cellophane, and the other end that is still attached to the roll, and bring them together above the basket, making sure to leave at least 5-6" extra cellophane above the top of the basket. After you have cut the cellophane from the roll, bring both ends together above the basket, then pull up the other sides of the cellophane so that all of it meets in the middle above the basket. Take a piece of curling ribbon, and tie the gathered cellophane together with this. Now gather the excess cellophane above the curling ribbon into a bunch. Cut the bunch straight across leaving 4-5" of cellophane above the curling ribbon. Now you can fluff out the remaining cellophane above the curling ribbon. Finish the basket with a beautiful hand-tied bow using the wired ribbon!



Congratulations! You did it, and I bet it looks great!

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