How to Make a Gift Basket

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Learn how to make a gift basket for any occasion. We talked to an expert about themes, assembly and more. Read on for the best gift basket ideas ever!

A basket chock-full of goodies is one of our favorite gifts to give. After all, what’s more versatile? Gift a personal basket to your BFF, or keep it simple for your boss. Not to mention, gift baskets are appropriate for almost every occasion—from holidays to housewarmings. Ready to get started? We’ll show you how to master this all-in-one gift once and for all.

Psst! Check out our hub for more creative gift ideas.

How to Make a Gift Basket

We talked to Taste of Home’s Executive Director of Visual Production, Stephanie Marchese, to get the inside scoop on how to create a wow-worthy gift basket. Here are her top tips.

Step 1: Start with a Theme

Every good gift basket needs a purpose. It can revolve around a specific holiday or special occasion, but a “just because” theme works, too. “If I wanted to do something for a friend, and it wasn’t her birthday, and it wasn’t Christmas, I would think—what does she like to do?” Stephanie says. “Look at what people are interested in.”

Specific hobbies and fandoms are great places to start, but so are general interests like travel, cooking or gardening. Feel free to get creative!

Step 2: Set a Budget

Once you have a theme in place, you’ll want to set a budget. (Otherwise it’s easy to go overboard!) And keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a lot to create a heartfelt gift basket—especially if you shop at budget-friendly stores like Marshall’s or Target. Homemade crafts and food gifts count, too.

Step 3: Go Shopping

It’s time to hit the store! Grab 5-15 items (depending on the size of your basket) that fit within your theme. “Make a nice package…think of all the little things that can fill in the blanks,” Stephanie says.

And don’t forget the most important thing: the basket! “Make the basket something you can actually use,” Stephanie suggests. “Finding a basket that’s utilitarian is a better way to spend your money.” Some of our favorite vessels include tote bags, storage baskets and crates.

Step 4: Assemble

Once you’ve selected all of your goodies, it’s time to arrange them in an appealing way. Start with the heaviest items in the bottom or near the back of the basket, then layer upwards. You can use crinkle paper to add volume: “It takes up space and makes it look pretty,” Stephanie says. Or, opt for functional filler. “Try socks, a bathrobe, a beach towel, dish towels—something that you can use to pack but that you can also use,” she suggests.

If desired, add a card or ribbon for a finishing touch—then get ready to gift.

Our Best Gift Basket Ideas

If you’d like a little more inspiration, these expertly crafted baskets are easy to replicate.

“A Little Something” Gift Basket

A little something gift basketTaste of Home

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or a random Tuesday, this “little something” basket is sure to put a smile on your recipient’s face. It’s packed with essentials everyone can enjoy, like fresh flowers and a cookbook.

Make It:

Brunch Bash Gift Basket

Brunch bash gift basketTaste of Home

Staying over at a friend or family member’s house? This brunch basket is an amazing “thanks for having me” gift. Load it up with tons of goodies—like a mini waffle maker, specialty coffee and a kitchen towel.

Make It:

Picnic Gift Basket

Picnic gift basketTaste of Home

Need a fun date night idea? This ready-to-picnic basket holds plenty of fun goodies for a memorable outing, such as a charcuterie board, blanket scarf and gourmet eats. All your giftee needs to bring is a fresh baguette.

Make It:

More Gift Basket Ideas:

Want even more ideas? Try these creative approaches:

Need something pre-assembled? These are the care packages we love to send.

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.