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Do it yourself (and do it better) gift baskets

Filed Under: food, seasonal

gift basketI love receiving gift baskets. Wedding shower, new home, new baby, just about any occasion, it's fun to dig through and uncover little treasures from the beautifully wrapped basket. Still, every time I buy a gift basket for a friend I can't help but feel that I could have made it for half the price and chosen some better (or at least more personal) things to put inside. After years of thinking I could do a better job and still shelling out for the professional version, I've decided to make my own gift baskets and I thought I'd share the process with you here:

Choosing the right goodies is an important step. Buy your basket items first. I know it's tempting to start with the basket , but you don't want your actual gifts to be restricted by the basket you choose ahead of time. When you're considering what things to buy, try making your category as narrow as possible. It seems to be baby shower season over here, and I was looking for some new ways to give the same little gifts. Keep reading to find some fun alternatives to the often generic "baby basket":

It's not ALL about baby basket
Choose some things just for the couple. They will have loads of receiving blankets and sleepers, why not a dinner gift certificate, or a bottle of wine, some massage oil and some magazines that aren't about babies or parenting (try a gossip or fashion magazine).

Sound Sleep basket
Start with your best sleep tool, or if you don't have kids, ask around and find out what sleep secrets are out there. For us, it would be the soothing crib aquarium, or a cuddle blanket, and then add in a cute sleeper, maybe a book on sleep, and some relaxing teas for Mom or Dad while they are up with baby.

Bathing Baby basket
Bathing your baby those first few weeks can be stressful. Why not help out by offering a basket full of bath supplies. You could even use a baby tub instead of a basket, and fill it with soft wash clothes, a hooded towel and soaps and lotions.

Once you know what you'll be putting inside the basket, it's time to think about the basket itself and how you plan to wrap it. If you keep an eye out you can find baskets for pretty reasonable prices at craft stores. Think about your theme and what you want the first impression to be. If you want something simple and understated, choose a basic basket with shredded brown paper, and clear cellophane. Tie it with organic twine. I love this look for organic soaps or a simple romantic theme. If you're thinking of something more fun and celebratory, tie colored ribbons and a full bow on an elaborate basket.

Ultimately, you are the creator here. The great thing about making your own basket is that you can fill it with items you choose and completely tailor it to the needs and style of the person you're giving it to. Next time you're looking through those generic baskets trying to find one that is a bit more intimate, consider making your own.

  • Annie

    New Mom baskets are my favorite to give the first few weeks after baby is brough home from the hospital (the majority of my friends have told me that it has been their favorite gift!). The basket speaks totally to the needs of the mom. It usually contains a nice massage lotion (not too strong a scent), a bottle of wine, a nice candle, a small box of "grown-up chocolates", and an issue of Brain, Child (which my friends LOVE - it's the only magazine for moms that talks about being a mom the way it really is -- it is more like a great book/collections of real-life stories that comes out 4-times a year

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