Reinventing the Gift Basket: 7 Steps to Make Yours More Thoughtfull

items needed for a home spa in a wooden basket with small flowers
A modern, more meaningful take on a classic giftable - the gift basket.

From the requisite corporate holiday gift to the I didn’t know what to get you” assortment of jams and cheese, gift baskets have always been an easy gifting go-toBut over time, they’ve lost their charm as they’ve become increasingly impersonal, expensive, and downright useless.


We’re here to redefine how thoughtful a gift basket can be. A curated basket of handpicked goods can be a great way to show you care, and are ideal for intimate occasions like celebrating a friend’s newborn or caring for someone who’s lost a loved one.  
 
Here’s how to make a gift basket they’ll not only use, but love.

 

Choose a theme

Here’s a general gift-basket rule of thumb: the good ones stick to a theme, while the not-so-good ones feel random and thrown-together. Each item should be complementary, serve a purpose, and be something your loved one legitimately needs, wants, or wouldn’t buy for themselves (skip the fillers like teddy bears and pecular perishables).  
 
Have a friend who has been working too hard lately? Try gifting a self-care basket filled with face masks, soothing loose-leaf teas, a jade rollerand pillow spray. Looking for gifts for outdoors people? Build a basket that includes a s’mores kit, tin mugs, natural bug spray, a whistle, and some fun craft beers to try out.

 

Set your budget

It’s easy to get carried away with add-ons, so pick a budget and stick to it. If there is one must-gift item that is sure to make you the hero, factor it into your budget first and build around it.

 

Pick your basket

Your basket doesn’t need to be a traditional basketwhy not try a vintage wooden box, copper storage basket, or woven wicker planter that can be repurposedThe best ones are easily portable (handles!), sturdy, and reusable. Try sticking to your theme. For a gardening-themed gift: use a pretty ceramic plant pot instead of a basket, filled with seeds, fertilizer sticks, and a coffee table book on plant care.  
 
Swap cheap-looking tissue paper or squeaky cellophane for fabric—like a neutral or patterned tea towel. Not only does it add a rustic look, but it’s eco-friendly too! The most impressive baskets appear both full and artful, so use your lining to prop up any products and fill in any gaps.

 

Hunt for those deals

It’s easy to spend more than you anticipated when creating a gift basket, so do some bargain hunting to stay within your budget. A bulk candy store and a little DIY packaging can be cheaper (and prettier!) than a basket full of neon bags. Skip the tiny sample-sized versions of products (which can be both wasteful and a rip-off) and instead dole out your product into glass containers with homemade labels.

Add something homemade

Whether it’s a card, a batch of your loved one’s favourite cookies, or homemade candle using beeswax and essential oils, putting something you made yourself into your basket makes the gift all the more thoughtful. Budget-friendly, and always worth the effort (but don’t forget to include a note with a ‘best-before’ or ‘packaged-on’ date for your perishable items).

 

Think outside the box (or basket!)

A potted succulent, a one-of-a-kind antique, a handwritten card with a link to access a playlist you’ve made that aligns with your basket’s theme—including a non-traditional gift makes your gift basket that much more memorable.

 

Assemble your gift basket

Shred (those crinkled scrap paper strips) is typically the go-to filler used to cushion gift basket items. Look for an eco-friendly version online, or make your own using a shredder or by cutting paper into small, thin stripsand curling by pulling over the edge of a dull pair of scissors. Think of your filler as another opportunity to express your theme: if your basket is a cocktail kit, opt for gold tinsel; if it’s rustic, go with a craft-paper shred.   
  
Next, arrange your gifts in the basket, placing the larger items in the back and the smaller ones in the front—or if you’re creating a box, fill it with shred and lie your gifts flat with the labels facing up. If your basket is looking bare, scatter some colourful wrapped candy across the interior to fill space. 
  
If you’re delivering your gift basket by hand (which is always best!), then skip the cellophane wrap to make your gift more modern and eco-friendly. But if necessary, make sure not to cut the wrap until you’ve made enough of a gathering at the top of the basket. Fasten your wrap with strands of ribbon, a strip of fabric, or twine.

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