When it comes to gifts, it’s the thought that counts. A present doesn’t have to be expensive in order to be appreciated. Most of the time, a gift is well-received no matter what the price tag.
The same goes for gift-wrapping and presentation. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show that your gift is heartfelt. In fact, a unique gift basket demonstrates more thoughtfulness than expensive jewelry. When the recipient sees that you’ve put time and effort into individualizing the presentation, then he or she will know it’s a meaningful present.
Traditional Gift Baskets
When presenting several things at one time, a gift basket makes a lot of sense. If you’re starting with a plain wicker basket, you can customize it to suit any occasion or relationship.
For example, if you’re welcoming a new pledge into your sorority, then wrap the basket handles with ribbon in your sorority’s colors. Add tissue paper to match, stencil some sisterhood quotes onto labels or sashes, and you’re all set.
If you’re in charge of the gift for a retirement party, incorporate the company logo or company colors into the ribbons and bows that adorn your basket. Whether the individual gifts are aimed at a leisurely retirement or a second career, you’ll be reminding the gift receiver of positive and happy times.
Consider the Contents
Sometimes a gift basket isn’t actually a basket. It can be a gift bag or a gift box. If you’re giving someone perishable food, then it might make sense to decorate a cooler so that nothing spoils. This works well for a new-parents gift. Decorate an insulated cooler with baby-themed stickers or just paint it pink or blue or a gender-neutral green, and tie it up with fun ribbons. If you know the baby’s name, add it for a personal touch! Then fill the cooler with healthy fruits and vegetables (already washed and peeled for convenience) and other helpful items that will save the sleep-deprived new parents a trip to the grocery store.
If your gift is a fragile item, then a sturdy box decorated with ribbons and bows might be your best bet. You can put the box inside a cheerful gift bag and tie helium balloons to the handles. Though it will technically be a bag, you can still call it a gift basket.
Even if you’re giving a joke gift at a bachelor party or a birthday party, you can still decorate a beautiful gift basket. In fact, the joke is sometimes funnier when the gag gift is wrapped in glossy, thick paper and buried in sheets and sheets of soft tissue paper. Your wrapping might hint at an expensive, high-end birthday gift, when in fact it turns out to be an “over-the-hill” t-shirt.
If you give your basket a theme, then decorating it will be a snap. Going to a Super Bowl party? Decorate your basket with your favorite team’s colors—even if your team won’t be playing in the Super Bowl. Or decorate an any-occasion gift basket with ribbons and bows that reflect the current season, like pastel colors in spring and earthy colors in the fall.
Remember, all you need is some imagination, a little time, and the right supplies. Tissue paper, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, markers, balloons — the sky’s the limit when you’re decorating a gift basket. As long as your homemade gift basket reflects your personality and enthusiasm, it will be a winner.
Marian Sparks is a freelance writer and a DIY enthusiast from Los Angeles, California. When she is not busy researching new markets and writing, she enjoys working on hands-on projects with her kids.