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Gift baskets are a wonderful way to express how much you care and can be very inexpensive to craft by yourself with the right supplies. There are other reasons to create a gift basket, too. You might want to be frugal, especially when shopping for an entire family, or maybe you can’t decide on one particular item. Perhaps you have a whole group of people who are special to you.

Either way, going the DIY route with gift baskets is one way to make fully customized gifts without putting a dent in your finances. Best of all, if you know how to make a gift basket look nice and full, no one will guess it was inexpensive!

How To Assemble a Gift Basket

There are a couple of vital parts to putting together a gift basket: theme, components, and execution. You can then figure out what you are going to fill the basket with, what you need, and how to make the gift basket look full.

Step 1: Choose a Theme

There are a couple of ways you can customize a gift basket. If you are making it for an individual, you can tailor the gift basket towards their interests or something that they need. For example, if you are making your friend a birthday gift basket, you might want to fill it with all of their favorite snack foods or with items devoted to a hobby.

You can select items that complement an overall theme, such as “breakfast in bed” or “back to school.” For families, you might decide to make a gift basket devoted to the holidays or for a special day, such one chock full of Easter candies or Christmas stocking stuffers.

Making a gift basket for a party or social gathering? Consider the theme of the event! Is it a wine-tasting party? Why not whip up a Tuscan-themed picnic basket? There is so much you can do with a gift basket—and it doesn’t always have to be food-based items either.

Best of all, you do not have to limit the theme solely to the items going inside the basket either. Consider the container that you plan on using. Baskets do not have to be wicker baskets or even bowls. You can use plastic beach pails, watering cans, salad bowls, decorative storage boxes, ceramic pottery, and so much more. The only limits are the depth and size of the basket and your imagination!

Step 2: Choose The Items

Once you have decided on the theme of the gift basket, you can start gathering up the required goods. This doesn’t apply to just the items going into the basket but the container or basket, the shred or stuffing, cellophane, bows, ornaments, and the card that make the whole presentation look and feel like a gift.

You can find inexpensive baskets and containers in a number of places, from wholesale suppliers to dollar stores or specialty craft shops. Cellophane is often sold in rolls, much like wrapping paper, and come in a number of colors and patterns.

You may opt to make your own ribbons or purchase ready-made bows. Just remember that a large basket is always going to need a bow for visual balance. Also, don’t hide small baskets or a lack of items with an oversized bow.

With that in mind, here is your shopping list:

  • A container large enough for all the items
  • Cellophane or wrapping – about 2-3 yards, depending on the basket size and height of the handle
  • Gift tag on a string
  • Wired ribbon or a bow
  • Twist ties or more ribbon or a rubber band to secure the cellophane
  • Individual bags or wrapping paper for some of the items going into the basket
  • Shred or stuffing for the filler
  • A base, like unprinted packing paper or Styrofoam
  • Optional ornamentation

Step 3: Assembling The Gift Basket

Now, once you have your shopping complete, it is time to build the gift basket. Follow the directions below for flawless assembly:

  • Take your container, whatever it is, and put it in the center of your workspace.
  • Next, grab your base. Make sure it fits snugly in the bottom of the container. The base should be stiff enough to support heavier items, like jars, or fragile things, like glass, and keep them from sinking to the bottom of the basket or getting lost in the filler. Don’t use newspaper for the base, because the ink can run off on the presents.
  • Once the packing paper or base is ready, you can grab your basket shred. Try to stick to a single color for the filler, because combining two or more colors can be distracting and make the basket look too busy.
  • Place the items in the basket (arrangement tips to follow below).
  • With the items in place in the container, you can grab the cellophane wrapping or bag. If you have a preformed bag, this part is easy. Otherwise, you can just use rolled cellophane. Bring the ends up around the top of the basket. If the basket has a handle, make sure you have enough cellophane to gather around the handle or just above it.
  • Secure the bag or cellophane with your twine or tinsel cord. If your container has corners, be sure to tape the cellophane around the corners and curves for cleaner presentation. Use clear—not frosted—tape.
  • Attach the bow or ornamentation to the tuft of cellophane at the top of the gift basket.

Note: You aren’t required to use cellophane paper to wrap the gift basket, but it does look more put together and protects the items in the basket from damage during transport.

How To Make a Gift Basket Look Nice

Want to make your gift basket look like a pro put it together? We have some additional tricks for you!

  • To begin, consider the shape of the container. Is it a traditional wicker basket? Does it have a handle? Or is it more contemporary, like a square box or casserole dish or something else? This will change the arrangement of your items. A gift basket that can be viewed 360-degrees with no obstructions means that taller items are going to be placed towards the center and smaller, shorter goods are closer to the edges.
  • Always think about layering objects based on size. Large objects are always placed farthest from the viewer, while small items are closer to the front of the basket or box.
  • Items of various shapes, such as square boxes and rounded containers can look dissonant if all facing the same direction. Try angling certain items, laying others lengthwise, or leaning presents against one another to complete the arrangement.
  • Accessorize. For example, if you are making a gift basket for a baby shower, you can add pacifiers, toys, balled up socks, and other elements to round out the theme and complement larger presents.
  • You can also play around with package toppers. Ribbons and bows are not the only thing available. You can make the packaging look expensive by adding silk flowers around the base of the container, intermingle holiday ornaments with ribbon, or add hand-drawn images around the container or to the packing paper.
  • Use glue dots, stickers, and seals to help secure the shrink wrap or cellophane and keep it from coming apart during transport.

How To Make a Gift Basket Look Full

Did you accidentally buy a container that is too big for the items going inside? Are all the presents small? Here are some extra tricks to make that gift basket look like it is loaded with goodies!

  • Create a focal point. For example, if you’re make a pasta lover’s basket, you might have an expensive bottle of olive oil at the center of the basket. Add in some fillers, like fake olive leaves to take up negative space. You can also position medium-sized items, like boxes or bags of homemade dry pasta on either side of the oil for a difference in height levels. Lastly, the small items can fit in between the spaces like stuffing.
  • Augment themes with smaller treats. You can add decorative components, such as fake flowers and ivy, ribbon, foil-wrapped candies, and other things that complement the main gift.
  • Use the element of surprise thoughtfully. Think about patterns, colors, and depth. Use wrapping paper to conceal certain items or get the packaging to match the theme. You can easily create a stunning gift basket that looks larger than life by alternating shades of color, patterns, and textures.
  • Leave some space between the items and fill it with tissue paper or shreds or other ornaments.

Gift Basket Ideas and Inspiration

Whether you are making a gift basket for a special occasion or a holiday, there are plenty of ways to theme the basket and the goodies to delight whomever receives it. Here are some ideas that will inspire you to grab up some wholesale gift basket supplies and make presents for every person in your life:

  • Ice cream gift basket – cones, an ice cream starter kit, ice cream bowls, and a new scoop are excellent for summer.
  • Coffee aficionado gift basket – a French press, expensive ground coffee, new mugs, and other coffee-related items will make any coffee lover happy.
  • Color themed basket – get create with the rainbow! Create baskets of sunshine with yellow items or cute, girly gifts overflowing with pinks and purples or pastels. Go industrial with grays and blacks.
  • College gift basket – help freshmen prepare for dormitory life with useful day-to-day items that they’re bound to forget.
  • Breakfast in bed basket – add the fry pan or cupcake tin, a pre-made mixture for pastries, hot chocolate, or pancakes, and some delicious fruit spreads or nut butters.
  • Newlyweds gift basket – champagne and matching flutes and other goodies make for a special and thoughtful present.
  • Baby things basket – every new parent will appreciate extra baby supplies.
  • Mother’s or Father’s Day gift basket – a thoughtful gift for Mom or Dad is as easy as filling a basket, bucket, or crate with their favorite snacks, slippers, books, or other fun items.
  • Bar or Grilling Essentials gift basket – know someone who loves to entertain with their bar or grill? Give them supplies to keep the party going.
  • Valentines Day gift basket – fill a red or pink basket with chocolates and other items for couples to enjoy together.
  • Housewarming basket – stuff a basket with all kinds of essentials for making a house a home, including dishcloths and toilet paper.
  • Summertime gift basket – sunscreen, gardening gloves, portable cup, a vacation magazine, and a pool towel prep anyone for days in the sun.
  • Convalescence basket – add some vitamin-C supplements, chicken soup, tissues, and cough drops for a real get well soon wish

Where to Get Gift Basket Supplies

Putting together a fantastic gift basket is easy when you know where to get the best supplies. After all, part of what makes a gift basket one of the best presents to receive is the overall appearance. There are plenty of gift basket supplies wholesale suppliers with online stores. Mid-Atlantic Packaging, for example, has all the wholesale items that you need, such as mylar, filler basket shred, glue dots, gift basket bags and cello wrap, cello rolls, pre-made bows and ribbons, and beautiful gift cards to accent the items going into your gift basket.

Don’t overspend on gift basket items. Use a wholesale packaging supplier who can give you professional advice if needed.

If you are making baskets with food items, you can save money by visiting the bulk food section of the grocery store to get pre-portioned snacks and small candy bars. Otherwise, think of your theme, since that will dictate what you need to stuff the gift basket with—and ultimately where you go shopping!

Wrapping Up

Making a gift basket for any occasion is both fun and inexpensive, and you will delight anyone who receives it. All it takes is a little imagination and planning. Be sure to select high quality items to make the gift basket look professionally done while DIYing to save money and time.

Whether you are planning, creating, or delivering a gift basket, you are going to need the right supplies. Whether you have questions about what to use for your gift baskets or want customized goods, we are more than happy to answer your questions. Get in touch today by filling out the contact form.