Unique Gift Baskets for All Occasions
Three cheers for the humble gift basket! They let you, the gift-giver, be as creative as you want to be; but if you’re not feeling terribly creative or need a great gift in a hurry, there’s no easier way to pull together a gift that still feels personal and thoughtful. More often than not, a gift basket is my favorite way to get creative with my gift-giving without trying too hard. And isn’t that the mark of the perfect gift?
I put together this cute little “Italian Dinner for Two” gift basket from some awesome finds at my local Tuesday Morning. This basket could be the first in a series of themed “Dinner for Two” gift baskets for a newlywed couple, with each basket focused on a different type of cuisine. What a fun group gift idea this could be! Not only could the newlyweds stock their kitchen with tools and servingware with these baskets, but they’d have the right ingredients and recipes to have plenty of at-home date-night cooking and dining adventures together. You can find more food-themed basket gift ideas on our Frugal Foodie Pinterest board.
Here’s wha’ts in my basket:
1) An oil-and-vinegar combo: A drizzle of balsamic glaze isn’t as runny as regular balsamic vinegar and packs a tangy punch that makes even boring bagged lettuce seem a lot more special.
2) Pasta sauce: Basic pasta goes gourmet when tossed in a butternut squash sauce–perfect for a seasonal dinner!
3) Cheese platter: I found this spunky little ceramic cheese platter and had to include it; everything tastes better when it’s presented well!
4) Pasta serving bowl: I opted for a large white serving bowl for my gift basket container, although a colander would have worked too. (If I’d had a little more time, I might have used a little acrylic paint and a stencil to monogram the outside of the bowl for an extra-personal touch.)
5) BH&G cookbook: I picked up this great cookbook to give my newlyweds some kitchen inspiration. It was a steal for only $6.99!
6) Kitchen towels: I tossed in a few of those for color and practicality.
Other add-in ideas: A small, live basil plant; a bottle of your favorite Italian wine; a fresh loaf of ciabatta from a local bakery (or your own kitchen!).
Here are my top tips for curating a great gift basket:
1) Theme it out.
An at-home spa basket for the new mom who isn’t up to leaving her newborn behind for the day yet, car-related goodies (personalized keychain, prepaid gas cards, and carwash supplies) for a new driver–the ideas are endless! Food-themed baskets are an easy and obvious choice, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to get creative within that theme as well.
2) Think outside the basket.
Have fun with your container–it doesn’t have to be a regular basket! Put items in a large bucket for that car-themed basket; use a fun thermal tote for practical twist on the picnic basket or tailgating basket; a laundry basket makes sense for a college dorm survival gift basket.
3) Sometimes, less is…less.
Gift baskets are fun for the recipient because they have lots of little things inside them to enjoy. A great gift basket is big on the number and variety of items included–not necessarily the dollar amount of the items you choose.
4) And sometimes, practical is preferable.
A winning gift basket for a new homeowner or recent college grad, for example, might have all those pesky little things we (conveniently) forget about but desperately need…like emergency cleaning supplies, batteries, (…) One of the best gift baskets I ever received myself was one that I won at a silent auction. It was themed “The Night Before Christmas” and included a selection of gift wrap and gift bags (and matching bows), Scotch tape, a bag of mixed candy (perfect for stuffing stockings), a few varieties of batteries, a small set of screwdrivers, scissors, and a package of chocolate chip cookie mix, all packaged neatly in one of those handy-dandy gift wrap storage containers. I’m not exaggerating when I say that basket saved Christmas that year!