Two of my very favorite things to do are making wreaths and gift baskets. I love the search for just the right things and the embellishments to make them pretty. I'll show wreaths in a future post.
This is a pic of the basket we gave to my sister-in-law when we visited in November. I normally don't put in something as tall as that tree, but she loved it, and I didn't want to give it separately.
Here is one that I made for a friend to give to a friend. I try to pay attention to the little details like the JOY ornament dangling from the ribbon. It just gives it a bit more polish and personalized look.
This one was a Christmas gift for a friend. Nothing elaborate, but I still focused on the detail by adding the ribbon around the votive holder, and the little coffee pouch, and coordinating the colors. The iridescent shreds add a nice sparkle to the icy blue, silver and white. The little basket I bought for 1/2 price at Michael's.
You can't see them very well, but there are also mini silver-wrapped Hershey bars and kisses for a little sweetness and shine.
A different view
The poinsettia has some sheer petals and glitter with a little green to add a pop of color. I took it off of a small bunch I purchased at Michael's, leaving about 6-7 inches of stem so I could securely tuck it down into the filler.
I attached this little silver dove ornament to the votive holder
My goal when I put together a gift is to show the person how special they are to me, so if possible I buy containers with extra detail like the pearls added to this one, and the velvet liner in the red one above.
This little snowman was included in a basket for a friend that I didn't remember to take a photo of. He makes me smile, too!
I also like to embellish inexpensive gift bags like these. All that was in these mini bags was a gift card and some candy. The bags were $1 and $1.50, but adding a little sparkle and some special tissue paper made it look like more thought had gone into them. (and it had! :) The one on the left was for a 14 yo girl, and the other one was for her grandmother.
I am by no means the final authority on the subject, but here are some things I've learned on how to prepare a nice gift basket:
Do choose contents thoughtfully if it's for someone you know well. Don't buy something that will look great in your house, but won't match theirs'. You have no idea how many people do this!! Shop specifically for their tastes, hobbies, etc...
Do have a theme whether it's content (coffee lover's, pampering, chocolate, food etc...)or color related. It makes sense and makes your basket more attractive.
Do "save" on the cost of the container if possible. You'll have more money to put into the contents and embellishments. I made 12 gift baskets for a church giveaway and used little bread baskets from Dollar Tree, but they turned out so nice no one would ever have noticed.
Do save on filler by crumpling up newspaper, using paper you've shredded or inexpensive tissue paper. Top it with a layer of coordinating tissue paper, a napkin, fabric or shreds. Then fill.
Do add a fabric ribbon for an elegant touch. You can get beautiful ribbon for 70 % off now at most craft stores. Many of the seasonal ribbons can be used year round, like the golds and whites. You can find bow-making tutorials online, or just make a simple bow and dovetail or angle trim the ends.
Do buy a little smaller container than you think you might need.. They look much better if slightly over-filled than a larger one that looks sparse.
Do wrap them in basket wrap, a lacy fabric, or tulle for a more professional look, and add a bow to complete it.
Don't buy a dozen inexpensive things just to fill up a larger basket. Scale it down and buy a few nicer things you know the receiver will enjoy.
Don't go broke on the container, but do consider re-purposing things like decorative metal planters, baskets you've received but seldom use, and pretty floral containers.
Don't forget: details, details, details. That's what will set your baskets apart, and make the recipient feel special.
Don't forget to include some sparkle and shine, even if it's just from candy wrappers!! You'll see their faces sparkle and shine!!
Don't reuse tissue paper in gift bags. Crumpled paper just doesn't say "You're important to me". Save it to use as basket filler, or to cushion your seaonal decorations for storage.
REMEMBER: You want to save money wherever you can, but you want the recipient to feel "splurged on" Give something you are EXCITED about giving!!
If you have never given a gift basket, DO IT!! Women especially love a basket full of hand picked goodies, and YOU can make beautiful baskets!! HAVE FUN WITH IT!! IT WILL SHOW!!
Have a joy-filled Sunday!