By Lisa Maliga
Putting together lovely gift baskets is the way to give a memorable gift to anyone at any time of the year. Now you can assemble gift baskets, and at a very low price! Baskets come in a variety of shapes from traditional round to oval, square, heart-shaped, and circular. Some have a couple of handles, others are colored brightly, while still more baskets are as natural as the reeds that make them up. Of course not all baskets are made from reeds; you’ll find those made from plastic, metal, tin, fabric, or combinations thereof.
Decide what item[s] will be going into that gift basket.
Group the items together. It is best if the largest items are in the center or at the back, so it creates a pyramid shape. If in doubt about sizing your gifts to your basket, just measure the tallest part and the circumference of your gift items.
Make sure your basket will be a bit larger than the items.
Decide what you will fill your basket with: plastic grass, tissue paper, raffia, crinkled or shredded paper or a towel.
Add your items carefully and securely.
You might be able to find a cellophane bag that is large enough to cover a gift basket and add that.
If using cello wrap, make sure you have a large enough piece. Using clear tape, apply to the bottom of the basket to help secure it. Sometimes it may be necessary to tape around the width of the basket. If so, use invisible tape!
Tightly gather the ends of the cello wrap and tie together tightly with a twist tie. Then add a bow, making sure it’s securely attached.
Adding a gift card is a classic touch. Your gift card should have a loop in which you add a short length of ribbon or elasticized band which you then attach to the perimeter of the ribbon or twist tie.
Make Your Own Shredded Paper
All you need is a nice quality paper shredder and some plain colored paper and you have your own basket lining at virtually no cost, and no effort!
Creativity rules here when it comes to what you can add to a gift basket! Determine whom you will be giving this basket to, if this person is male or female, and what their interests are. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Baby ~ Stuffed toy, blanket, booties, cap, bib, baby powder, mobile, pacifier, books, blocks, toys, bath & body items, music CD, and baby shop gift certificate.
Bath & Body ~ Soap, loofah sponge, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, whipped shea butter, bath salts, sugar scrub, aromatherapy bath oils, bubble bath, washcloth, towels, rubber ducky, spa gift certificate, relaxing music CD, and scented candles.
Birthday ~ Balloons, candles, stickers, bubbles, toys, games, teddy bears, dolls, jewelry, books, gift certificates, cookies, candies, and fruit.
Bon Voyage ~ Travel guides, maps, compass, travel diary, passport holder, atlas, travel size toiletries, language guides, and gift certificates.
Bridal ~ Scented candles, bath & body products, spa gift certificate, gourmet chocolate, flowers, lingerie, champagne, wine, crystal, other gift certificates.
Chocolate Lover ~ Chocolate bars, chocolate candy/bon-bons, chocolate cookies, hot chocolate mix, cocoa butter lip balm, cheesecake, chocolate scented bath & body products, chocolate candy, and gift certificates.
Coffee Lover ~ Sometimes you can combine this with the Tea Lover gift basket. Varieties of coffee, honey, creamer, sweetener, coffee mugs, coffee pot, Thermos, coffee-scented soap, coffee sugar scrub, coffee-scented candles, coffee shop gift certificates.
Corporate/Executive ~ Wine, spirits, gourmet foods, imported chocolate, personalized gifts bearing company logo, cheesecake, fully stocked picnic basket, and gift certificates.
Gourmet ~ Pancake mix, imported jams, cheesecake, candies, cookies, cheese, chocolate, condiments, teas, coffee, fruits, syrup, smoked salmon, truffles, olive oil, imported/flavored vinegars, pasta, biscotti and gift certificates.
Mother’s Day ~ Perfume, gift certificates, flowers, personalized gifts, jewelry, bath & body products, Kindle, Nook or iPad, wine or champagne, and chocolate.
Sports Lover ~ Sports Lovers baskets can include a variety of general sports, or specialize in one sport like golf, football, hockey, etc. Including tickets to a game, a stopwatch, popcorn, nuts, wine, beer, snacks, cheese, toys, t-shirts, baseball cap, autographed team/sport merchandise, and gift certificates.
Tea Lover ~ Sometimes you can combine this with the Coffee Lover gift basket. Varieties of tea bags, tea cups/mugs, honey, teapot, tea infuser, blocks of tea, tea cakes, wafers, cookies, tea-scented soap, tea-scented candles and gift certificates.
Wine & Cheese ~ Fine wine, wine glasses, champagne, napkins, cheese, cheeseballs, cheese spread, crackers, biscuits, wine soap, and gift certificates.
Buying Your Gift Basket & Accessories
Finding an excellent bargain for the basket itself is quite easy. You can locate them at your local dollar store, Goodwill, Salvation Army, thrift shops, flea markets, swap meets, garage sales, craft stores, discount stores and online.
Also, don’t be afraid to be creative when selecting a basket. You can easily find other sizes/shapes that will perfectly match your theme. A toy Christmas sleigh for Christmas presents is an obvious choice. But how about a bucket, mailbox, birdhouse, birdcage, or large mug to name just a few alternative basket ideas?
Cellophane, organza bags, tissue paper, ribbon/bows and plastic grass/shredded paper, can be located at discount stores, drug stores, craft stores, packing suppliers, and online.
Once you’ve made your first gift basket you might be hooked to this creative way to give gifts and will make many more! Gift basket assembling is a profitable business that can be started right in your own home. Make certain you have enough storage space for all your baskets and supplies! Investigate wholesale options for the products you’ll be adding to gift baskets. And make sure you do your research about starting a small home-based business.
To read more about making and presenting unique soaps for birthdays and other holidays, check out the eBook “Happy Birthday Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.” All store links: Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N NOOK, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd and Smashwords