Need an Inexpensive Gift Make Your Own Gift Basket!

If you are looking to save a bit of money but still give a wonderful present that is customized to the receiver's tastes, a gift basket is an excellent gift. Gift baskets are fun to make and always well received. Here are some tips for creating the perfect gift basket on a budget:

Getting the basket: This task could be incredibly easy or somewhat difficult depending on the season. At certain times of the year (Christmas, Easter) baskets are readily available at your local box stores, but other times, you just have to know where to look. Try your local Goodwill store for cheap baskets. They may be second hand, but you can often find some nice quality, gently used baskets that look brand new. Craft stores would also have a year-round selection of traditional baskets. Also, keep in mind that the container of your "gift basket" needn't necessarily be a basket at all. Some themed baskets would do well in colorful cloth bags or cute buckets (example: child's summer birthday basket in a sand pail).

If you are expecting to make baskets throughout the year, note the times when they would go on clearance. After Easter and Christmas sales would be a wonderful time to load up!

What to put in the basket: This is where you keep the recipient in mind. What would the person who receives the basket enjoy? Items you could use vary, but some examples are food, personal hygiene products, toys, cards and games, tools, knick knacks, jewelry, pet care products, etc. Basically, if it fits in the basket, it's fair game!

Still, you probably don't want your basket to be just a collection of assorted items thrown in a container. Try to come up with a theme. Check out this "basket math"=

Cracker Jacks+ Charleston Chew+ Salt Water Taffy+ Glass Bottles of Cream Soda+ Black and White DVD= Retro Movie Night Basket

Chamomile Tea+ Lavender Bath Salts+ Sleep Mask+ CD of Soothing Sounds + Comfy Slippers= Restful Sleep Basket

Baseball+Bag of Peanuts+ Cracker Jacks + Baseball cards+ Sports Magazine= Baseball Lovers Basket

I'm sure you get the idea. Coming up with a theme that fits the person you're creating the gift for is fun and one of the best parts of gift basket making.

Presentation: You don't want to toss all the items in the container and then hand the basket off with a "here ya go." You want it to look nice! Here are some tips:

- Symmetry is important! You don't want your basket to look uneven. If it looks wrong to you, play around with the arrangement to see what works best.

- Keep the color scheme in mind. If your basket has taken on certain colors, but one item just clashes, consider wrapping that item or hiding them under or behind other items.

- A small dab of glue can hold wrapped items in place better than you'd think! Just a tiny drop of Elmer's non-toxic school glue can help keep your items from shifting better than nothing at all. This works bests with candy bars and other similarly packaged items.

- A nice bow on the handle can make a world of difference. Keep this in mind.

Things to consider when making a basket for someone: Your recipient's situation may render what would normally be a good basket into a disaster. Some things to keep in mind include the following:

Hospital diets: if someone is in the hospital and you are unsure of what they can and cannot eat, you don't want to tempt them by buying their favorite candy if the doctor has rendered it a no-no. If there is no fashionable way to ask what exactly the person can or cannot eat, avoid food entirely. Games and books make great alternatives.

Recent events: Don't give people things that remind them of their recent divorce, deaths in the family, or anything else that you wouldn't want brought up. If your sister's cheating ex-husband, the one she divorced last week, used to buy her a certain type of candle, you may want to wait on putting that in a basket! 

Gift basket making can be affordable, personal and a great deal of fun. The best part is  that your friends and family will know you were thinking of them personally when you made it for them. Sure beats a gift card any day!

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It's easy to learn to make gift baskets and they make excellent gifts. The best thing about them is that they can be personalized for any occasion or individual tastes.

The time-honored tradition of gift giving has been practiced by all societies, in all walks of life. Since the beginning of time, the giving of gift baskets has been a thoughtful means of expressing oneself. And whenever a gift is given from the heart, it becomes much more than just a gift.

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