Saturday, November 20, 2010

Created-by-You, Special, Homemade Gift Boxes and Baskets

Nov 20, 2010 Donald Reinhardt

Gift Baskets are Designed by People like You - Brookhaven National Laboratory

Gift Baskets are Designed by People like You - Brookhaven National Laboratory

A gift basket or gift box – should you buy one or make one? That is the question — to buy or to make? Of course, nothing is free and some things must be bought and placed in those gift baskets or boxes — however, there is value and adventure in the self-designed, homemade gift basket or gift box.

Homemade Gift Baskets Boxes, Self-Design Ideas – What to Do and How to Start Right

Whether the gift is for the holidays (Christmas, Chanukah, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.), birthdays, get well, welcome home, anniversary, new baby, baptism, Bar Mitzvah, let your imagination and thoughtfulness fill any gift gap. Think well and "think inside the box or basket" that will hold your gifts.

There are 5 ideas to keep in mind about gift baskets:

  1. Who is receiving this gift? A gift basket or box works best when customized for the likes and wants of the recipient. Knowledge of the recipient's needs and wants helps toward the assembly of the right package of goodies.
  2. What is my budget? That question refines what will the possibilities and the realities of the gift package.
  3. Based on the answers to the questions above, what is the full list of possibilities that will work and what size of the container is needed for the final items selected as gifts?
  4. Will this gift be mailed or will it be delivered in person to the recipient? This is a critical point since shipping costs can be high and are based on size and weight considerations. Further, unless carefully packed, shipped goods can get damaged. There is "Free Shipping" for some internet-purchased cheese-wine, cheese-meat-sausage and related gift baskets and packages and this might work better than doing your own. On the other hand, having your own personalized gift adds a special flavor to a homemade basket or box of suitable gifts.
  5. Is the homemade gift package appropriate and right? This is a final check and evaluation of what items to include.

Homemade Gift Baskets and Boxes – You Plan and Design That Special Gift

The gift basket or gift box composition is determined by the recipient's desires, needs or wants and the budget as discussed above. The list here is endless and includes drinks and edibles, adornments, health and beauty items, and various other items of personal need.

Once the 5 points above have been decided for the homemade basket or box of gifts, the project can begin as follows:

  1. Purchase the items that are needed for the basket or box and also obtain or purchase the appropriate-sized container to hold those items. Plastic or cardboard shoeboxes work well for smaller items that can be fitted conveniently within these containers. Buying both the gifts and the containers in the same location may or may not be possible. Simple, empty baskets or gift containers can be found in thrift stores, dollar stores, big box stores or just about anywhere. In fact, you might have some of these items somewhere in your house and there are ready to be filled. Keep in mind that cost of the container is an important consideration. Some gift recipients might have little use for a container so be wise in this choice. Plastic storage boxes come in a variety of dimensions and can be used as gift containers.
  2. Purchase some colorful, surrounding soft paper to give the basket or box a colorful and warm personality. Choose a color that meets the occasion and is among the recipient's favorite colors. If unsure of color preference choose a gentle, soft color.
  3. Carefully place and arrange your items so they look pleasant and stand out in a complementary manner. Look at the photos below (click to enlarge) to get a feel for some suitable arrangements
  4. Wrap the present with clear cellophane so the items stay fixed and tie everything off with a pleasant ribbon or bow that fits the occasion.

Homemade Gift Basket and Box Gifts – Wine, Cheese, Soaps, Beauty, Snacks, Vitamins, Essentials

The list of items that can be placed in these containers can be as broad or as narrow as one wants. It is good to make lists of what will work or might work for each gift recipient. The gift-giver is the person in control, so choose wisely.

Consider a few of the possibilities:

  • deluxe selection of 3 to 6 wines or liquors of choice
  • wines and cheeses
  • wine, cheese and meats
  • beers of the world: a selection of German, Belgian, Mexican, Japanese, American, etc.
  • baked good delights: pies, cookies, scones, cakes, shortbreads
  • soup mixes and snack foods
  • candy-lovers delights: dark chocolates, speciality sweet products, deluxe candy box
  • health benefit package of mega multivitamins, soaps, toothpaste, aspirin, skin cream, bandages, toothbrushes
  • music-lovers gifts: CDs, sheet music, musical instruction book, history of music book, music lesson gift card
  • artist's basket with paints, charcoal pencils, color pencils, watercolors, acrylics, brushes, instruction books and DVDs of lessons
  • snack delights: nuts, dry fruit mixes, cheese, tea and coffee packages
  • surprise potpourri of gifts with a new calendar, manicure set, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, shoeshine kit, etc.
  • necklace, hairpins, clasps, ribbons, beads, bracelets and a watch

Yes, let your imagine run wild and fill the gaps that are obvious here, there and everywhere. You can create a memorable, customized gift package on just about any size budget and the gift that you create can be perfect for the people who you have in mind.

Free Shipping Gift Packages – A Substitute for Homemade Gift Packages

If the shipping is free it may work out better than anything else! Heavy items cost quite a bit for the ordinary person to ship. Gift companies often provide free shipping because they lower prices and discounts for large volumes which ordinary customers do not get. Heavyweight gift items that are not transported personally by the gift giver to the recipient may be very costly. Therefore, it is possible that "Free Shipping" offers for items of wines, cheeses, cakes, cookies, fruits or other items may be the best deal. In the end everyone needs to weigh all the options and make the right decisions.

Remember to include your special, personal note or card for the gift recipient. Make your gift memorable and one that counts and one that you are happy to give – it is often better to give than receive and there is joy in giving gifts that are truly meaningful, thoughtful and uniquely yours!


Copyright Donald Reinhardt. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

  • Gift Baskets are Designed by People like You - Brookhaven National Laboratory

    Gift Baskets are Designed by People like You - Brookhaven National Laboratory

  • Custom-Designed Gift Baskets - Brookhaven National Lab

    Custom-Designed Gift Baskets - Brookhaven National Lab

  • Shoebox Gift Boxes - DNR of South Carolina U.S.

    Shoebox Gift Boxes - DNR of South Carolina U.S.

  • Gift Basket with Great Variety and Goodness - Minnesota Historical Society

    Gift Basket with Great Variety and Goodness - Minnesota Historical Society

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