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Designing Holiday Gift Baskets

Tags: DIY Crafts, Deals

A gift basket is the best gift, or the most preferred gift, to give a person because you can put your artistry into creating something that is going to be remembered forever.

"Making gift baskets is very easy," said expert "basketologist" Shirley George Frazier, author of The Gift Basket Design Book. "It's not a difficult process because you are going to find items that are going to put a big smile on a person's face."

Any type of open container can be a basket. The first item that you think of is definitely a basket. It can be any size. You can find baskets, perhaps in your own attic, garage, in your home, which you may not have a purpose for anymore and you just want to repurpose it.

Once you've chosen the perfect basket or container, get some brown paper grocery store bags. Open the bags right at the split and then crush it so it fits into the basket or container. The bag may need to be torn a bit to fit properly. Use your fists to punch it down to get it nice and firm. That firmness will help keep the gifts and food stabilized inside the basket.

Once you have the paper bags inside to stabilize everything, the next step is adding what's called "shred" on top to hide those grocery store sacks in the bottom of the basket. Then, it's time to add the goodies. Shirley has an inexpensive tip to keeping everything up right.

The paper serves as the base for making the gift basket, but you will also want to keep items upright in other way. Shirley suggests using skewers, breaking them into three pieces and attaching them with tape on the back of certain taller and heavier items. Use scissors to punch a hole in the paper and bring the skewer down into the paper.

"All the heavy items, like a bottle of cider or something else that's heavy, needs the stabilization of a skewer, but then the items around it, maybe some chips, maybe some dip, that's going to be light," Shirley says. "And it's going to actually just sit on top not on top, on the side of the heavy item so that those items stay upright, as well."

Dots of glue can also be used to stabilize items next to each other. Both the skewer and glue cost just pennies.

Filling the basket with goodies that you know the recipient will love is the best part, and the most fun.

"Really think about the person who's receiving the gift because you really want to amaze and dazzle them," Shirley says. "You also think about the enhancements that you add. It could be something glitzy and glamorous. It could be pine cones, acorns, different types of little sparkly items that are not only beautiful for the holidays, but for every day gift giving."

Cellophane can be purchased at many craft stores and is the most popular item to close the basket. You can find clear cellophane, as well as a variety of prints. Place the cellophane underneath and bring it atop the gift basket.

Tape down the back ends of the cellophane so they're not in the way of the appearance and then use a twist tie to secure the cellophane at the top.

Now it's time for the bow. Even though you can easily pick up a bow or two from the craft store, you probably have bows around your house already that are ready to be repurposed to place on top of your gift basket.

"Now you've crowned that gift basket with that beautiful bow that comes from your heart and from your house at the same time," says Shirley. "And that is your total gift basket, from what we call the basket to the bow."

Shirley has some do's and don'ts when it comes to making a gift basket.

  • Do not place chocolate items and fragrant candles or soaps together. Chocolates are very porous, so when a person bites into a chocolate that has been wrapped with soaps and other fragrant items, the chocolate is not going to taste like chocolate. Wrap it totally in cellophane twice so that you enclose the packaging in a way that none of the scents get into the chocolates.
  • People have allergies and you might not be aware of what everyone is allergic to. So when talking to friends of the person who you're giving the gift basket to, make sure that you know of any allergic reactions that they might have to any items. The person receiving the basket should be able to enjoy everything in the basket.
  • Don't cut your cellophane too short. It should be tall enough to fan at the top of the gift basket. Make sure to cut the cellophane as tall as possible.

And think outside the box, or basket, when thinking of a container.

If a basket is not the right container, you can look at flower pots, or even shoes. Anything with an open middle can be filled with those great items that a person is going to open and eat, or put on a mantle, or use in everyday life.

You can use all types of baskets for your gift baskets. But you can also use mugs. You certainly have mugs in your home and you can easily find mugs that can be filled with all kinds of snacks and gifts. A mug isn't very big, but you'll be amazed by how many items that you'll be able to get into that mug for that person on your gift list.

"A gift basket is the best gift to give because you can personalize it specifically for the person who is going to receive it," Shirley says. "Instead of buying a gift at the store, which could be okay, you can make a spectacular and really extraordinary gift for a person by putting your own personality in the gift. And also add the preferences and the choices that people want in that particular gift. But you can start off with the items that you open and eat right away. That's what gift basket are all about."

Shirley cautions to remember that the gifts placed in the baskets are not choices of what you like, but what the person receiving the gift basket likes.

Web links:

Shirley George Frazier: http://www.Giftbasketbusiness.Com/

Special thanks to:
The accessory place: http://www.Theaccessoryplace.Com

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