Sunday, December 28, 2008

Favorite Things: Gift Baskets and Bags

First, isn't this little angel precious??!! I just had to share her with you. She is the front of a Christmas card I received and she makes me smile!! She's wishing really hard for a nice Christmas!

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!


  1. I have never really done a gift basket before, but have received a couple. I will have to remember this if I do give one or some. I am starting to plan for next year already. I will need to include this information on a list I am making. Thanks so much for the info. The baskets you made are beautiful!! You do a wonderful job.

  2. Your baskets are beautiful. I would love to recieve a basket like you have made. Thanks for showing us and giving tips to do it also. Blessinga DEANIE

  3. To the Queen of gorgeous and thoughtful're the BEST!

  4. They are so beautiful! I usually do just homemade things wrapped pretty, but yours are really something! Glad you had a nice Christmas.

  5. You just gave me ideas for next year! Thank you so much.
    Gracie at

  6. The picture of the little angel reminds me of my daughter when she was 1 years old......I have pictures to prove it. Enjoy your blog. Liz

  7. Becky I absolutely loved your blog. I saw that you had stopped by. Your note reaffirmed to me how powerful blogging is. We are a community in our own rights. Thanks for being my new neighbor. I will add you to my list for the Valentine Blog Party. Deb

  8. Gave you an award! Stop by my blog to pick it up and pass it along!!

  9. Becky...Ceekay again!! I love your gift baskets. I received one once. Hated to open it! That is my kind of goodie! The joy is in the wrapping. I am going to have to study your do's and don'ts so I can try it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share some JOY!
You're a blessing to me!