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Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Gift Baskets - Simple Gifts

Ever have that person who's next to impossible to buy for?  A gift basket can be the perfect solution!  There are loads of themes that can be used to make a personalized and fun basket that will be perfect even for the toughest-to-buy-for friend or relative.  Items don't have to be expensive.  They just need to fit the same theme. 

This is one I made for kitchen items.  Everything in it came from Dollar Tree!  The base is a small plastic utility bucket.  In the bottom I placed some crumbled up tissue paper for bulk.  The back items are a scrub brush, long-handled serving spoon, slotted spatula, and rubber spatula.  Then there is a red oven mitt, wash cloths, tea towels, red chip/utility clips, red scrub sponges, and a set of salt and pepper shakers.  Perfect for the person who loves to cook! 

Of note, you can either purchase a container for a base or use wrapping paper or tissue paper to cover a recycled box such as one from powdered laundry detergent, a cereal box that has been cut down and covered in wrapping paper, or tape together boxes of candies in a rectangle to make a gift within a gift. 

Other ideas for themes:  

Car Care:  A utility bucket, microfiber cloths, window cleaner, car wax, Armor All, sponges, Rain-X, and a car air freshener. 
Movie Night:  Single microwave popcorn packets, candies such as Sugar Daddies, M&Ms, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Twizzlers, jelly beans, single bottles of sodas, colorful napkins, 3D glasses, a jar of nacho cheese dip, and a sack of tortilla chips.  
Nail Care:  This is great for a smaller gift idea.  It can be as simple as a bottle of nail polish tied together with a nail file or as large as including several bottles of nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton balls, nail clippers, files, foot care lotion, and bath salts.  
Candy:  Create a base with taped-together boxed candies.  Then use other colorful candies to fill the basket. Suckers, pixie sticks, Twizzlers, Red Hots, Sour Patch Straws, bubble gum, or anything else you can find! 
Home Repair Kit:  This is terrific for a housewarming gift.  Find a small bucket and add a hammer, a Philips and flat-head screwdriver, masking tape, duct tape, nails, medium-watt light bulbs, a picture-hanging kit, Goo Gone, and drop cloths. 
Get Well Soon:  Aspirin (Tylenol or Advil), cough drops, heating pad, can of chicken soup and a cute bowl, cloth napkins, place mat, puzzle books (word search, crossword puzzles, Sudoku), pens, notepad, hot tea, bottle of honey, and a cute mug. 

You can customize just about anything into a gift basket.  Use crumbled newspaper, plastic bags, or tissue paper as basket fillers, then begin at the back with taller items, and add things as you move forward, rearranging to make items more visible and pleasing.  Once everything is in place, use either bags made for gift baskets or very long pieces of plastic wrap (placed in an X fashion), place item in the middle, and bring plastic around.  Tie closed with a twist tie, then add a pretty bow.  

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