How to Make a Gift Basket Your Teen Will Actually Love

Scratching your head over what gift to give your teen? We've created the ultimate basket that won't disappoint.

It’s no secret that finding the perfect gift for a teen can be a tricky situation. Give them something you liked when you were their age and you’ll seem out-of-date. (Psst! Here’s the reason why today’s youngsters are passing on family heirlooms.) Or give them something that seems “too-young” and you’ll risk receiving the dreaded eye-roll. While many parents and grandparents have caved-in and opted for the gift-card route, we here at Taste of Home believe that there’s a better way. That’s why we’ve assembled the gift basket of your teen’s dreams—and it’s so, so easy to do. Here’s how:

Step 1: Start With an Unconventional Basket

Gift boxes and fussy wrapping paper sheets are so yesterday. Get cool parent points by finding an item that serves as a gift in itself to house all of your teen’s favorite goodies. Maybe it’s a trendy new tote bag or locker organizer. We opted for a modern wire bin that’s perfect for storing makeup, magazines, DIY slime supplies—or that thing called homework.

Step 2: Get Your Goodies

The best part of about a gift basket is that you don’t need to rely on any one item to wow your teen. Pick 2-3 small items (in the $5-10-dollar price range), that you’d think she would enjoy (think: accessories, electronics, makeup) and fill the rest with goodies you pick up from the checkout lane or dollar store. To give you some inspiration, here’s what we filled our basket with:

  • Trendy scarf
  • Bangle bracelets
  • Simple striped t-shirt
  • Adult coloring book and colored pencils
  • Essie nail polish
  • Headphones
  • Candy

Here are more ideas to love.

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Step 3: Assemble

Since your gift basket won’t be wrapped, have a little fun styling the items you’ve purchased. Peel the plastic wrap off of books or take the tag off of accessories to give the gift a finished touch. Roll up a t-shirts and tie it off with a ribbon. Try to layer the items so that they’re all clearly visible, placing the shortest in the front. Use a softer item like a scarf or beach towel as a filler to prop up the rest of your gifts. (Neutral-toned tissue paper also works in a pinch!)

Step 4: The Finishing Touch

Don’t forget to top your gift with a personalized card. With today’s technology, the handwritten note is something of an endangered species, so pull your finest pen and teach ’em a thing or two. Add a special quote or word of wisdom they can hang on to for years to come.

And there you have it! Looking for a gift for the baker in your life? We’ve got a guide for that, too!

A little homemade candy never hurts, either!
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Nicole Doster
Nicole is the Content Director of TMB's Strategy and Performance team. She oversees the brand's shopping and trend editorial teams and assists with content planning across Taste of Home, Family Handyman, Reader's Digest, The Healthy and Birds & Blooms. With over seven years of experience writing and editing in the food and home space, she enjoys sharing cooking tips, recipe picks and product recommendations that make life a little easier. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's either practicing latte art or fixating on her latest DIY home renovation.