Looking for gift basket ideas to make a special occasion even more special? These 35 do-it-yourself-themed-basket ideas are unique, fun, and give you complete control over how much money you spend. We even include directions on how to create the perfect gift basket to add a personal touch for the special people you shop for throughout the year!
35 Unique Gift Basket Ideas: Do It Yourself and Save Money [Guide for 2022]
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What You Need to Know
Making your own gift basket is fun and can save you money since you can choose the gifts to go inside!
It’s simple to make a do-it-yourself gift basket. Follow these steps:
- Set your budget guidelines for the gift basket
- Select the theme
- Choose your basket
- Select the gifts to fill the basket
- Wrap it up
- Deliver the basket and enjoy the smiles
35 Unique Gift Basket Ideas: Do It Yourself and Save Money
NOTE: These 35 gift basket ideas are just a start! Jump to the bottom to get information on how to get my top 99 themed gift basket options, plus additional helpful information on how to save money when creating this perfect gift!
One of the most popular gifts for the special people in our lives is a gift basket.
In recent years, gift baskets have become almost as popular as gift cards because of the personal touch they add to the gift-giving experience.
Gift baskets are popular because they are versatile and can be filled with a variety of items, making them perfect for any occasion.
There are many different types of gift baskets you can create, and the best part is you get to select the perfect items for the person you are giving the basket to. If you are not sure what to put in a gift basket, you will get plenty of ideas here!
Another great thing about a do-it-yourself gift basket is that you can save money by putting together your own version of a basket that is perfect for the person you are giving it to.
Many items that make perfect items for a gift basket can be found at a discount dollar store such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or other discount dollar stores. You can also shop at a local store to find more unique items or to get gift ideas you may not think of when schedules get busy during the holiday season.
Don’t become part of the statistics by giving a gift that is not really wanted. A recent survey offered the honest truth about receiving gifts, with 154 million American adults sharing they typically get at least one gift they don’t care for. [source]
What is a gift basket?
A gift basket is a variety of small gifts that are delivered as a single package.
The typical items found in a cute basket are food items such as candy bars or prepackaged sausage and spreadable cheese, beverages such as hot chocolate mix or tea bags, cups or mugs, and other generic items that the recipient will find enjoyable.
In addition to the fact that the actual basket is usually beautifully decorated to display the contents, the main purpose is to keep all of the gifts together in one place.
Gift baskets are available in a variety of shapes and sizes; there are no restrictions on what you can put inside or how the basket itself will look! You can let your creativity flow when you create your own gift basket.
Depending on where you purchase your reusable item that will hold the merchandise (the basket part of the gift), the amount of money you can spend on it will vary.
The best financial part of creating your own gift basket is you are in control of how much you spend, making it simple to put together a gift basket idea to match your budget while still giving a great gift.
What kind of gift baskets are there?
The gift basket ideas in this post focus on a specific theme. This ensures you are getting something the recipient will really love.
Themed gift baskets contain gifts centered around one concept that fits the personality of the receiver.
For example, if your recipient loves coffee you might create a coffee lovers basket filled with items that have to do with coffee.
Another example is if your recipient enjoys movie nights, a great idea for them would be a movie night gift basket that holds items to enjoy on movie night (popcorn, their favorite drink, etc.)
More ideas are a pancake gift basket, bbq gift basket, snow day survival kit, or gamer basket.
The ideas are endless, making creating your own gift baskets fun and rewarding and sure to be loved when you give it!
What should you use as the ‘basket’ to hold the items?
One of the most popular ways to put together a gift basket is to use a wicker basket as the container to hold the gifts.
They can be found at most craft stores, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
However, for the gift baskets on our list, you will get ideas to make your gift basket fun and unique. For the majority of each themed gift basket, the actual basket suggestions are outside of the traditional wicker basket.
You get to choose the size depending on the size of the items you want to include, or how many you want to put in it.
For fewer or smaller items such as fuzzy socks, get a small basket. For larger items such as a cozy blanket use a larger basket.
For example, if you are creating a gift basket for a person that loves to run, instead of using the traditional wicker basket to hold the gift items use a hip bag or small runner’s backpack as your basket. (Idea #8 in the eBook 99 Gift Basket Ideas for Everyone on Your List)
Another example, if you are creating a gift basket for a person that loves to spend their free time crafting, use a crafter’s storage bag for their basket. (Idea #37 in the eBook 99 Do It Yourself Gift Basket Ideas. Jump to the bottom of the page to get more information on how to purchase and get the additional details for this unique basket!)
The most exciting part about building your gift basket this way, is you are spending your hard-earned money on an item the recipient will actually love and use, along with the items you choose to fill it up!
Once you have selected the container for your basket, it is time to start filling it with goodies!
What are good gift basket items?
When selecting items for your gift basket, think about the person you are giving it to and what they like.
This is another reason creating your own gift basket is such a great idea. You can choose personal items filled with things the recipient will love.
For example, if you are creating a gift basket for a person you know loves to bake pies in their spare time, find a beautiful ceramic pie dish, and for the filler (gift items) make a list of all the supplies used to make a pie.
You could use one or several of the following:
- pie cutter
- pie server
- pastry mat
- pie crust shields
- lattice dough roller
- pie weights
Other generic cooking items would also make great fillers for this gift basket, such as a measuring cup set, measuring spoon set, dish towels, or a fun potholder.
(Idea #67 in the eBook 99 Do It Yourself Gift Basket Ideas)
35 Themed Gift Baskets
What is usually in a gift basket?
For the themed baskets, once you know which theme fits the personality of the recipient, it is simple to make a quick list of ideas on items to include.
In the following list, I give you numerous ideas. Use them as a foundation and add to the list! The options are endless!
Each is a DIY gift basket the recipient is sure to fall in love with.
They will also appreciate the extra effort you put into creating the gift basket rather than walking inside a store and picking up a random gift basket on the shelf.
1. Cross-Country Traveler
For the person who travels frequently, fill a fun and practical tote bag with several of the following:
2. Woodworker Addict
Use a shop apron, as the ‘basket’ for a woodshop hobbyist or business owner.
Fill the apron with:
3. Garden Enthusiast
Create a ‘basket’ using a large terra cotta planter. Decorate the pot with acrylic paint. After the paint has dried, spray the pot with a light layer of polyurethane to give it a gloss. Ideas that make great fillers for this basket:
Hand rake, gardening gloves, variety of colorful vegetable or flower seeds, a hand trowel, bottle of liquid fertilizer, wind chime, a gardening book or magazine subscription, a gift certificate to a local nursery
4. Music Lover or Musician
Use a decorative can and glue on a music note or music symbol with some ribbon using hot glue.
Ideas for the can: Strings/reeds/drum sticks/mouthpiece to match their personal instrument, sheet music, instrument strap, recorded music of a favorite artist, valve oils if brass instrument player, metronome, electronic tuner, Amazon Music subscription
5. Relaxation Bundle
For the mom or workaholic that struggles to slow down, select a wicker basket (the size to fit the gift/gifts you select), and fill it with items such as:
Lavender Epsom salt, a gel eye-pack, relaxing bubble bath, essential oils, portable aromatherapy diffuser, scented candles, a hand-held body massager, bath pillow
6. New Homeowners
Have a friend or family member that recently moved into a new home? The ‘basket’ is a toolbox, using one of the following ideas to fill it:
DIY Book with fun and simple decorative home projects suitable to match the personality, tools such as screwdrivers, a wrench, hammer, pliers, assorted nails for pictures, Command picture hanging strips, Command hooks in a variety pack, gift certificate to a local hardware store, duct tape, decorative ceiling fan cord
7. Ski Fanatic
Do you have friends or family that love to hit the slopes?
Select a fun tote bag to fit their personality, preferably one that is useful to take along, and fill it with:
Sunscreen, lip balm, gift card to a local coffee shop at the base of their favorite ski resort, goggles, ski or board wax (if they do their own) gloves, scarf, protective sunglasses case, ski pass, colorful ski pass holder
8. Avid Walker or Jogger
For the person who likes to walk or is a runner, select a hip bag or small runner’s backpack.
Ideas to fill it:
Sweat wristbands or headbands, pedometer, sports socks, shoelaces, water bottle with waist holder, Amazon Music subscription, waterproof rain jacket (fold-up or in a bag)
9. Outdoor Camping Fanatic
For the outdoor camper use a backpack for your ‘basket’, and fill it with one or several of the following items:
Compass, headlamp, tent pegs, sharpening stone, mosquito repellant bracelets, tent patch kit, swiss army knife, camper’s cooking set, localized maps of favorite camping areas, camper’s sleeping pad or mat
10. Movie Buff
For the movie buff, select a tote with a film director quote on it and fill it with:
Theatre gift card for movie or snacks, microwave popcorn, popcorn popper and bag of popcorn kernels, variety pack of popcorn seasoning, camera lens coffee mug
11. New Year’s Party Goer
Create a New Year’s Eve party kit. Select a party cooler, beverage tub, or wine bucket for the ‘basket’.
Ideas to fill it:
Party hats, noisemakers, balloons, plasticware champagne glasses, confetti, sparklers, party invitations, wine cork, beer can opener
12. Vegetarian Lifestyle
For the vegetarian, select a wok, rice steamer, large mixing bowl, or pan for your ‘basket’. Ideas for filling:
Nesting measuring spoons, wooden spoon set, spices such as thyme, oregano, garlic powder, basil, or parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, pack of fun recipe cards and recipe box, assorted dried beans, box or bag of brown rice, pot holders, heat-resistant oven mitt, grilling mesh bags, flavored olive oil
13. Long-Distance Grandparent
Do the littles grandparents live far away? Select a wicker basket or decorative can and include:
Picture frame with family pictures, a coffee mug with a grandparent quote, children’s artwork or crafts they have made, coffee mug set with flavored coffee samples, year-dated Christmas tree ornament, completed scrapbook with photos throughout the past year
14. Rainy Day Saver
Everyone has a rainy day at some point! Choose a colorful and cheerful basket (or make your own with a wicker basket and ribbon), and fill it with:
Crossword puzzle, word search, or sodoku book, deck of cards, game of UNO or other card or board game, herbal tea, coffee mug, root beer mug, adult coloring book and colored pencil set, sketchbook
15. Devoted Golfer
Have a golf lover on your gift list? Use a golf bag for your basket, and fill it with one or several of the following:
Sunscreen, golf tees, small cooler (size that holds 6 pack of soda), insulated lunch bag, golf balls, scorecards, small towel set (personalized if possible to add a special touch), baseball cap
16. Knitting or Crochet Enthusiast
Use a portable or travel yarn storage bag for your basket if you have a knitting or crochet enthusiast on your list.
Ideas to fill it:
Personalized ‘made by’ labels, assorted crochet hooks or needles, patterns, a gift card to a local craft store, box of buttons, accessories kit, knitting needle pointer protectors
17. Comedian of the Group
Every family or group of friends has a person that makes everyone laugh, and they need a special thank you for the fun giggles! Select a decorative can or wicker basket and fill it with:
Whoopi cushion, a deck of trick cards, a coffee mug with a fun quote, a joke book, tickets to a local comedy club, movie theatre tickets or gift card
18. Simple Chef
All families or even singles need something quick for dinner on occasion. Select a slow cooker for your ‘basket’, and select one or two 5-ingredient (or less) recipes, then purchase the ingredients and set them in the cooker with the recipe card to make the dish.
Other options to fill the cooker:
Soup ladle, slotted serving spoon, oven mitts, pulled pork shredder, kitchen timer, spoon rest
19. Dog Lover
If you have a dog lover in your house, get a large dog bowl or a dog bed to use as your ‘basket’ and fill it with:
Dog biscuits, chew bone, squeaky toy, matching leash and collar set, harness, dog t-shirt or sweater, gift card to their veterinarian
20. Soap Opera Fan
If you have soap opera lovers the perfect gift basket for them is start with a wicker basket or decorative can.
Ideas for fillers:
Soap Opera magazines, fan club membership for their favorite show, colorful box of tissues, box of bonbons, coffee mug with soap opera quote, scented candle
21. Sundae Basket
Pick out a wicker basket or ice cream maker and fill it with:
Gourmet topping set, ice-cream scoop, set of small parfait cups, assorted nuts, individual cookie bags such as chocolate chip or Oreo, jar of maraschino cherries, ice-cream spoons, a gift card to a local ice-cream shop, a box of sugar or regular cones, sprinkles
22. Cookie Lover
Use a cookie sheet for a ‘basket’, and when filled wrap it in shrink wrap to hold everything together nicely.
Fill the sheet with:
Cookie cutters, favorite cookie recipes, blank recipe cards and matching recipe box, set of icing tubes, cookie scoop, sprinkles, cookie cookbook, chopped nuts, peanut butter chips, M and M’s, chocolate chips
23. Loves to Write
Select a wicker basket for the writer on your gift list.
Ideas to fill it up:
Engraved pen, lined note pads, a coffee mug with writer quote, scented candle, personal journal, a mousepad with a positive quote, a smartphone holder for desk, desk organizer
24. Avid Collector
For the collector on your gift list, select a wooden box to use as your ‘basket’ and fill it with:
Items they collect, books, a coffee mug with collector’s quote, a cleaning supply kit to match their interest (oils, brushes, special polishes, etc.), tickets to a collectible’s show
25. Sun Goddess
For the person that loves to lounge in the sun, get a beach bag or sun hat for your ‘basket’, and fill it with:
Sunscreen, sunglasses, bug repellant, packets of lemonade, a novel by their favorite author, flip flop shoes, beach towel, small drink cooler (size to hold 6 pack of soda)
26. Home Workout Fanatic
Select a plastic tote with a lid to use as the ‘basket’ so they can use it to store home workout equipment.
Ideas to fill it up:
Hand towel, sweat headbands, subscription to their favorite workout app, set of resistance bands, sports socks, hair clips or bands, shower gel, deodorant
27. Spa Lover
If you have friends or family members on your gift list that loves to go on spa visits, this is the perfect gift basket for them! Use a small overnight bag for your ‘basket’, and fill it with:
Scented candle, Lavender Epsom salt, small lamp with soft lighting light bulb, aromatherapy diffuser, set of essential oils, a gift certificate to the local spa
For the friend or family member that loves working out at the gym, get a gym bag for your ‘basket’, and fill it with:
Pack of headbands, no-slip short socks, face towel, water bottle, gift card for a free month at the gym, body spray, hair ties or clips
29. Electronics Hobbyist
Get a clear plastic box with a lid for the ‘basket’ if you have an electronics hobbyist on your gift list.
Fill it with:
Wire cutters, soldering iron, resistors, roll of electric tape, batteries, light bulbs, LED lights, project books
30. Specialty Coffee Lover
Spice up the typical coffee gift basket you pull off the grocery store shelf with this personalized basket.
Fill a wicker basket with:
Coffee mugs, a variety of gourmet coffees, a box of chocolates, decorative or chocolate-coated stir sticks, decorative bookmark, toffee sprinkles, gourmet flavors of coffee creamer singles
31. Chocolate Lover
For the chocolate lover, fill a wicker basket or a large decorative mixing bowl with:
Variety of chocolate sauces, chocolate syrup, chocolate coffee, chocolate-dipped coffee spoons, chocolate chips, gourmet hot chocolate packets, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels
32. On Their Feet All Day
If you have someone on your list that stands up all day, use a foot spa or large dishpan as the ‘basket’.
Fill it with:
Epsom salt, foot file, bubble bath, thick and fluffy towel, lavender foot scrub, pumice stone, comfortable slippers, nail clippers, foot powder
33. ‘Great for All’ Christmas Food Basket
Fill a decorative Christmas tin or box with:
Christmas candy, Christmas cookies, assorted chocolates, Christmas ornaments, holiday coffee mugs, candy canes, chocolate-dipped pretzels with green, red, and white sprinkles (home-made of all edibles if possible makes this basket more special and personalized)
34. Health Food Buff
For friends or family that eat a clean diet, select a bread basket to fill up. Ideas to include:
Healthy to-go protein drinks in a variety of flavors, variety of layered rice or grains in a mason jar, such as brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc. all-natural protein bars, recipe cards with protein cookies, balls, etc. written on them, assorted spices, a coffee mug with a fun quote about health or fitness
35. Chinese Food Lover
Use a wok for the ‘basket’ if you have friends or family that love Chinese food.
Fill the wok with:
Gift card to a local Chinese restaurant, a box of green tea, tongs, a bottle of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, sweet n’ sour sauce, or plum sauce, a cookbook with Chinese dish recipes, cleaver, small cutting board
How to make an impressive gift basket
As soon as you’ve read through the list of 35 gift basket ideas, pick one that sounds just right for the person you’ve got in mind.
When making a DIY gift basket, it’s important to follow a few basic guidelines:
1. Decide how large you want your basket to be
When it comes to filling your basket, more items mean a larger gift basket. This isn’t a problem if it is what you want; however, keep in mind larger baskets tend to be heavier and more cumbersome to transport so think about how you will deliver them.
2. Get an idea of the filler gift items before you choose the basket
In order to make a DIY gift basket, you can use any container you like. However, make sure that whatever container you choose has sides strong enough to withstand the weight of your items.
3. Stay away from perishable items
It is best to choose non-perishable items so you don’t run the risk of anything going bad if plans change for when you deliver the gift basket.
Perishable items also create a problem if they need to be kept cold and you have limited space in your refrigerator until it’s time to deliver the basket.
This is also a better choice for the receiver so they don’t have a limited amount of time to enjoy the gift items.
Food items such as baked goodies and fruit would not be considered perishable (unless they have to be refrigerated.)
More Gift Basket Ideas
Gift baskets make the receiver feel special because of the special touch they add, making them an ideal choice for all occasions throughout the year.
Use the great ideas for a birthday gift, a thoughtful gift for a close friend going through a tough time, a hostess gift, for a special mom on Mother’s Day or grandpa on Grandparent’s Day, a housewarming gift, a Father’s Day Gift, or any other special occasion where you want to recognize friends or family members with the perfect present, great inspiration, and a special touch.
You can get more gift ideas in the eBook, 99 Do It Yourself Gift Basket Ideas! Learn more by jumping to the bottom of the page!
Also from Smart Mom HQ:
Looking for a special gift without breaking the bank?
Create the perfect themed gift basket for holidays, birthdays, office giveaways, Valentine’s Day, weddings, and any other event!
A personal, hand-crafted gift basket shows how much you care more than any other gift!
Stop wasting your money on a generic gift everyone else can give!
YOU WILL ALSO LEARN HOW TO:
- Pick out the ultimate gifts to fill the basket
- Select the best basket
- Choose the perfect basket to match your theme
- Design each basket so it looks professionally made
- Nestle the contents to look like you bought it from a gift shop
- Do the final wrap (and what products work best)
PLUS GET THE MONEY-SAVING GIFT PLANNER AS A BONUS FOR A LIMITED TIME!
- Gift basket planner pages
- Special notes pages for reminders and ideas
- Gift list planning page
- Gift budget template
- Daily planning page
- Gift list template
*Ready to download immediately! This eBook + bonus planner is 53 pages that will change how you look at gift-giving forever!
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