Sure, gift baskets are a hoot to receive, but anyone who has actually tried to make one for someone else know that they can be tricky. There are usually a few cast offs included in the basket that people try to re-gift (likely because no one in their right mind would want to eat them – need we mention a fruitcake brick?). So, in in an effort to make your life a little easier this holiday season, we’re sharing our top 7 tips to help you make kickass DIY gift baskets that people will actually like.
7 Tips for Making Awesome DIY Gift Baskets
1. Find an Interest:
For people you know well, brainstorm interests they might have. Are they always reaching for the hottest hot sauce when you dine together or do they go buck wild at the local cheese shop? Do they bake up a storm all year long or fancy themselves a red wine connoisseur (be it self proclaimed or otherwise)? Tuning into their interests can help you come up with the perfect theme for your gift baskets.
2. Good Things in Small Packages:
Everyone knows it’s difficult coming up with creative gift ideas for co-workers, teachers, or unexpected guests (really, who wants another mug with a snowman on it?). We say up-the-ante and fill that mug with something special! Our ideas? Homemade hot chocolate mix complete with marshmallows, an over-sized tea mug filled with a selection of tea bags, or a selection of locally-brewed beers paired with a fancy pint glass.
→ Check out our article on A DIY Hot Chocolate Bar here!
3. Seek Specialty Items:
Simply put, choose a theme and stick with it. If they are an avid baker check out baking supply stores for cute but inexpensive gifts like cookie cutters, colourful spatulas or even a gift pack of sprinkles. Believe it or not The Bulk Barn has an excellent assortment of baking tools and ingredients, especially for those who love decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies. If you’re in Toronto, scour upscale food vendors like the St. Lawrence Market or Kensington Market to find gourmet mustards, spicy jams, or artisanal chocolate bars.
4. Get Creative:
A gift basket should catch your attention from the get-go so pay attention to presentation. Go back to your theme and consider what might make a good container for all of your items. If you go with a baking theme, look for a size-appropriate unique baking dish, lovely pie plate, or a new cookie sheet. Buying for a cheese lover? Seek out a gourmet cheese platter made of marble or unique wood.
5. Baked Goodies are Always a Hit:
Add a personal touch by whipping up a batch of your own homemade goodies to add to your gift basket. If you’re short on time (and let’s be honest, motivation) head down to your local bakery shop and grab a selection of the freshest cookies, brownies, or tarts.
6. Toss in Some Tools:
Consider adding relevant tools and utensils; a vintage cork screw for the wine lover, specialty cheese knives for the cheese lover, oven mitts for the baker. You get the point.
7. Wrap it Up:
The key to well-wrapped gift baskets is clear wrapping paper and some festive wrapping paper or twine. You want all those goodies inside to be the star. From the tie, hang pretty touches like candy canes, a rustic ornament they can hang on their tree, or even a stem of twig with berries.