There are so many reasons to make a homemade gift basket. Whether you want to spoil a friend or loved one, or need something for a group of people, a gift basket is always a good choice. Sometimes we struggle to think of a great gift for someone, but know they’ll appreciate all the little treats they love together as part of a beautiful homemade gift basket. You don’t need a giant budget either, as you can fill them with lots of DIY gifts and goodies. Gift baskets are a fantastic way of creating a personalised, thoughtful and budget-friendly present for just about anyone.
So, how do I get started?
Before we get on to the endless list of different things we can put in a gift basket, let’s talk about the basics first! When I think ‘gift basket’, I immediately conjure the image of a cute wicker basket, and I’m sure you do too. A basket isn’t strictly necessary though and you do have options, but if you do decide to go for one you can pick some up relatively cheaply on amazon. You don’t need to buy anything fancy, as we can jazz it up ourselves at home for a fraction of the price.
But what are you alternatives to a traditional basket? I’m glad you asked! Gift boxes would be a nice alternative, as would a gift bag. But that’s a little expected and you could really push the boat out if you want to. Instead of using an open basket, how about using a picnic basket? These come with lids and are likely to be a bit bigger so you’ll be able to stuff in more goodies. I’ve seen people use quaint wooden planters, ice buckets, vintage style suit cases, large coffee cups and even a pasta strainer (which works great for Italian cuisine inspired gift baskets). Your creativity is your only boundary here.
Now, once you’ve decided what you’re going to put all your gifts in, it’s time to make it sparkle! You’ll need a base, something that will present the goodies in the best way possible. Shredded tissue, paper, foil and cotton make excellent bedding for your gifts. Head to your local party supply store (or if you get those seasonal Christmas décor stores if it’s that time of year) to get inspiration. You’ll be able to use these to layer your gifts, so that everything is on show at once and nothing is hidden. Use less at the front and more at the back to make the most of this.
Next you can use some gift basket shrink wrap to cover your homemade gift basket, its simple to use and activated by heating with your hair dryer. You can also use ribbons, glitter, stickers, streamers and much more to add some cute detail to handles and around the exterior of your basket (or whatever you’re using).
All of this will make your basket look gorgeous as well as keeping everything in place and damage free! Here’s a quick video showing you how to present a gift basket.
What can I put in my gift basket?
The short answer to this is ANYTHING! Although there are some things that are quite expected such as fruits, alcohol and candies, if you’re personalising then the best thing is to think of all the things your giftee(s) love the most. If that’s candies, then go for it! But if they absolutely dig homemade bath products, why not throw them in? I’m gonna run through some possible options to give you some ideas, and where to source good recipes or DIYs to make them homemade. But like I’ve already said, there are no rules and you should totally play around with it!
This type of homemade gift basket would be perfect for those foodies in your life. It’s also quite a safe bet and generally what you kind of expect with a gift basket. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and go for the unexpected and I’ll show you how!
Cookies, Muffins and other baked goods
Muffin and cookie gift baskets are an absolute classic for a reason. Who wouldn’t like a basket of cookies, muffins or both? Better yet, they’re pretty easy to whip up yourself to give it that extra special, homemade vibe! You can find my perfect cookie recipe here. However, you could also give them the option of making their own as well, and include a make your own cookies jar.
But why not go crazy and throw lots of different types of baked goods in there as well? Brownies are a great choice, as they are lots of people’s favourite guilty pleasure. You can find an absolutely amazing Brownie recipe here on Savvy Homemade. They’d be perfect for a delectable dessert gift basket. Oat or granola bars, pastries, bite sized pies, cupcakes, macaroons, scones and all sorts could work amazingly!
Different types of bread could be a good choice, especially if it’s for a group or your colleagues at work so that one person isn’t expected to eat a basket of bread before it all goes stale. Here on Savvy Homemade, we have 4 amazing bread recipes that you could give a try and include in your basket. I especially love the Finnish Pulla bread as the braid really gives it that wow factor! You can find the other homemade bread recipes here.
Whatever baked goods you decide to put in your basket, make sure that you’ll be able to get it to your giftee pretty quickly as you don’t want everything to go stale and taste bad. Deliver quickly and in person to be safe!
Candies and chocolates
Another gift bag classic. Candies and chocolates are the perfect addition to gift baskets. I don’t know about you but I’d love a gift basket of just candies and chocolates alone, but mixing it up is pretty cool too. If you’re going for candy alone, have a think about their favourite candy brands. Are they obsessed with Hersey’s, Mars or Cadburys? You could do a cute all Hershey’s candy and chocolate baskets.
Or maybe they’re mad for M&Ms, which means you could incorporate some M&M soft toys and other non-edible branded products as well. Is this making the products yourself? Of course not, but you’re still gifting in the spirit of homemade as you’re putting this together yourself, with love and a personal touch.
Now if you really want to go all out, there are a few recipes that I’ve come across that could make amazing additions to any chocolate/candy gift baskets. If it’s chocolate, we have a couple of recipes here on Savvy that could do really well. The first is how to make homemade chocolate from scratch, and it also shows you how to jazz it all up with chocolate chip chunks, nuts, raisins and more! The other is a super cute candy chocolates recipe that really that tastes heavenly!
Other cool recipes I’ve found include Rose Marshmallow, Caramel Popcorn and Salt Water Taffy. Any of these would be good choices, and you can mix them with recipes you know and love, or even combine them with some store bought ones as well. Remember, there are no rules!
When I think of beverages and homemade gift baskets, I immediately think alcohol. Now as long as your giftee is over 21 and you know they drink, this is totally a valid option! If they dig wine, you could give them a wine gift basket, include a bottle of wine from each major wine producing country, such as France, Italy, the US, Australia, Chile and Argentina. Or, better yet, you could gift some excellent wines from some very underrated producers. For instance Moldova, Slovenia, Turkey and Macedonia have some amazing wines that you’ve probably never tried! But wine isn’t everything. Champaign, craft beers, cider, spirits and liqueurs are all good alternatives to wine. Mix and match so you can offer them a ‘bar in a gift basket’.
Now, not everyone is a drinker, and you really have to keep this in mind. So, what beverages are good choices for people who don’t drink? Soda, of course! Gift your friends with a cool selection of canned sodas, one from different brands perhaps? A healthier alternative would be a choice of delicious, high quality juices or cordials. But remember that you don’t have to just stick with one theme. A couple of cans of soda, or a bottle or two of wine would be a great addition to an assorted gift basket. You don’t have to go mad with one type of thing!
Fruits, Cheeses, preserves and jams
I don’t know about you, but the idea of a homemade gift basket of fruit, cheese, chutneys, jams and other preserves sounds heavenly! A gift basket of just fruits is a good choice, as is a basket of just cheeses. Like with wine, you could do a ‘round the world’ trip theme for cheese with Italian, Swiss, French, British and American cheeses. Including some preserves to go with them is a great choice also. Don’t forget to throw in some crackers, or combine it some nice breads. For just fruits, you could have an exotic theme, or perhaps the best the US has to offer with quintessential American fruits (oranges from Florida or pinapples from Hawaii).
The only thing to keep in mind with this type of homemade gift basket is freshness. Unless you can ship it with a delivery company that will promise your package will be refrigerated en route, deliver this one in person.
So this is a weird and wonderful gift basket Idea that I just love. Include everything a person needs to make a beautiful gourmet meal for their family or friends. I’ve seen baskets that include the ingredients for an Italian pasta dish, with strainer and cheese grater included. Other good choices are curries, chili and pizza. It’s probably best not to include meat, but if you want to gift a meal that does include meat it’s quite reasonable for you to expect your giftee to purchase it themselves (unless they enjoy food poisoning from spoiled meat). A great idea is to include some snacks, such as popcorn, as well as a couple of DVDs and label your basket as a ‘dinner movie date night’ for your giftee and their significant other. It’s a great touch that always works well for couples, and you could include a restaurant gift card instead of the meal to really treat them.
Bath and Body
Moving on from food, we have the next popular type of gift basket, bath and body! This includes everything you’d use in the bathroom (although perhaps not toilet paper) and all the different homemade products we use for health and beauty. This would include bubble bath soap, body washes, bath bombs, soaps, creams, lotions, face masks and so on! I’ve also included aromas and candles that can be used for the home to stimulate the mind.
Creams, lotions, masks and more
Homemade beauty products could be the best choice for your giftees. A collection of products that you’ve either made yourself or collected for your gift basket is a great way of treating someone to a luxury spa day. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t made the products, as after all you’re putting the basket together yourself rather than buying one online or in store. However, there are some excellent recipes here on savvy homemade for ideas of what you can make and include. So let’s take a look at them.
Face masks are such a classic skin care product that have become synonymous with slumber parties, spa days and girls nights. Including one or two face masks as part of a bath and body gift basket is an absolute must! How do you make one, you ask? Well here’s my amazing recipe for a gorgeous organic face mask that any woman (or man) could ask for!
But after a face mask, we need a moisturizer, and I’ve got some recipes that are to die for. Our main homemade moisturizer page has quite a few choice recipes that I swear by, but you could also include these funky moisturizing bars as well! These two products can take a little time to put together, so we need a few things that you can whip up in a flash to compliment the more complex homemade products we’re including in this gift basket. This is where lip balms and facial oils come in! The lip balm recipe we have on this site is totally easy to make and is super versatile. No beauty kit is complete without one. The facial oil is great as well, and is such a quick and simple recipe to follow.
If you take a look in the skin care section of this site, you see lots of different recipes that you could give a try and incorporate into your gift basket. But as I’ve said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with incorporating some Amazon bought beauty products as well. Head to your local drug store and scout for different things you might want to use. Hair products are a great option, as are product designed for the nails or even teeth! There are no boundaries.
Soaps, scrubs, bath fizzies and more
If you’ve spent a bit of time here, you can probably guess how much I love soap, and it’s a lot! A gorgeous homemade soap is the absolute perfect gift, and if you’re doing a lot of soap making you could put together a totally cute soap gift basket. Our homemade honey soap is a perfect compliment to this.
Gorgeous soap balls, duel layer coconut oil soap, castile soap and goats milk soap are all excellent choices. We have DIYs for some super cute melt and pour soaps which would also work really well for this! Take a stroll through the soap making section of this site to get some more inspiration.
But we wouldn’t stop there. There are lots of things that would really compliment a selection of soaps. My homemade sea salt body scrub, for example, would be a fantastic choice for this. Other good choices would be the Cleopatra cocoa butter bath powder, the 10 minute bath fizzies and the super easy homemade liquid bubble bath recipe!
You can’t go wrong with any of these choices. But we have so much more to offer here on Savvy Homemade, so start here and take a look around!
Aromas and candles
Okay, so this isn’t strictly for the body, unless we’re talking homemade perfume and cologne (which is actually a good choice for a gift basket as well). But I wanted to mention these because they can stimulate the mind and your mind is in your body, right? So anyway, these types of things would work great in a gift basket also!
DIY reed diffusers, homemade incense sticks, air fresheners and air freshening rocks are good choices for the aromas. You could also include some essential oils or fragrance oils if you know they have an oil diffuser or are a little crafty themselves.
Candles are also a great way to incorporate a scent in to your homemade gift basket, as you can easily make a scented candle smell pretty much like whatever you want. Unscented candles are a good choice and you can find the recipes for both here. Don’t forget to add a splash of color with some candle dye though, as a standard white candle (although nice) can read a bit boring. Mix and match colors for the best effect. Check out homemade scented candles and the basics of candle making.
There are a couple of homemade gift baskets ideas that I wanted to mention that don’t really fall into any of the previous categories, and one of them is the maternity basket. If you’re going to a baby shower, these are absolutely perfect gifts! You can do it two ways, either focus on the mother or on the baby or even do both! I’ve seen gift baskets that are aimed at after the birth with bottles, formula, diapers, baby clothes, baby wipes, talc, blankets and other things you think a baby might need. Mom will likely have a lot of these things, but spares are an absolute must and they will appreciate anything you put in it.
Now, baskets that focus on the mother are great when they have everything a mom will need when she goes into labour. This is a lovely, thoughtful gift and takes some of the stress out of gathering things up for herself. These includes bath robes, slippers, socks, nightdress or large t shirt (to wear during the birth), lotion, lip balm, some snacks and drinks, scrunchy or hair band, pillows and music. You’ll know the mother well, so you can personalise it and add the things you know she’ll really need. I just think this is such a kind, considerate gift that people won’t necessarily have thought of.
Get well baskets
Lastly, we have the get well gift basket! This is probably quite self-explanatory, but the idea is that when someone you know is sick you can put together basket full of creature comforts, medicines and anything you might think make them feel better. Tissues, chicken soup, aspirin, a blanket, chest rub, hand sanitiser, sleeping aids and pretty much anything that is high sugar/fat so they can eat small amounts but still keep their strength up (chocolates, peanut butter etc.).
I just think this sort of thing is totally unexpected, which also makes it totally cute and thoughtful too. It’s definitely something that a person will appreciate, and you should include a get well card signed by you and all your mutual friends or family. To cut down on costs, get your other friends to pitch in some money and you can bill it a gift from all their friends. My suggestion for items have pretty much been aimed at colds and flu, but you can customise for whatever horrible affliction (I just can’t stand being ill) your friend has to deal with.
So that’s it for today! I hope I’ve given you lots of ideas for different DIY gift basket options this year. The main point I wanted to get across is that you can pretty much put in anything you want providing it’ll be appreciated by the person you’re gifting it to. There are lots of different types of baskets and I’m sure I haven’t mentioned them all. Just be creative. Think about the person you’re gifting and concentrate on the things you think your friend will appreciate the most! If they’ve always got their nose in a book, why not put together a gift basket of all the best sellers at the moment. Your possibilities are endless.
But tell me, what do you usually put in your homemade gift baskets? Use the comments below to give some inspiration!