Make a gift basket without a basket

Make a gift basket without a basket


One of the reasons why gift baskets are so popular is because they are highly customizable. Every element, from the gift items to the decorations, can be purposefully selected to complement each other and appeal to the recipient. It can be incredibly satisfying to see everything come together, making a beautiful and personalized gift for a friend or loved one.

If you want to get creative and do something a little unexpected, try choosing a different type of container for your gift basket. Here, we’ll share some alternatives you may want to use in place of an actual basket, along with some helpful tips for selecting the best container for your gift.

Tips for selecting a container

When selecting a container to use as a gift basket, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. They are size, shape, sturdiness, and appearance.

Your container should be big enough to hold all gift items without overcrowding but not so big that it will not look full and impressive. The preferred shape can vary depending on what you are gifting. Many smaller items look best in a short, wide shape, while tall items may require a deeper profile to keep them upright. That leads us to sturdiness. If gift items are heavy or tall, choose a container with a sturdy bottom and tall walls to support them. Finally, the overall appearance is also important. The look and feel should match your theme and gift items.

Basket alternatives

The term “basket” can be used to refer to many types of containers. For this purpose, we are referring to one made from materials like straw, plastic, or wire woven together to form a stiff container. Baskets are often used for carrying or storing objects and are often decorative, which makes them a popular container.

However, there are so many alternatives to traditional baskets you can use for arranging gift items! Here are a few other common ideas as well as a few that are not quite so common.

Storage box or bin

While technically not a basket, boxes or bins made from sturdy cardboard or fabric are often used to hold gift items. You can find them in craft stores or the home organization section of big box stores. The wide variety of sizes, colors, and patterns available makes it easy to find a perfect fit for your theme.

Wooden crate

Wooden crates are sturdy, sustainable, and versatile gift containers. The high-quality look creates an impressive presentation that can be kept classic and simple or dressed up with embellishments like ribbons or bows. They are available in different sizes, styles, and finishes, and can even be customized with a name or image.

Make a gift basket without a basket

This collection is pictured in a 12 in x 9 in x 5 ¼ in small wooden crate by Carpenter Core.


Another popular container option for gift-giving is a bucket. This is due to its natural ability to hold and carry items, as well as the wide variety of types and sizes available. A classic tin pail can hold anything from yummy treats to BBQ tools, or a plastic sand bucket can be perfect for a beachy theme.

In the kitchen

Many gift basket themes revolve around food, so in that case, you can look for a unique yet practical container in the kitchen. Arrange a collection of baking items in a large mixing bowl or Bundt pan. Or, choose a roasting pan, colander, or even a slow cooker for gifting cooking utensils and spices.

Multi-purpose and on-theme

Outside of the kitchen, there are many other multi-purpose container ideas for just about any theme you can think of. These not only work well for holding gift items, but they also serve an additional related and functional purpose.

For a housewarming, a laundry basket or hamper works well to hold towels, linens, or other housewares. Pet items look adorable arranged in a dog bowl or litter box. Use a toolbox, tackle box, or watering can for a DIY, fishing, or gardening theme. A cooler works well for a camping or tailgating gift. Utilize a popcorn bucket for an at-home movie night and slippers for holding small self-care items. A baby bathtub or diaper bag is both a useful and unique way to gift baby items. The possibilities are endless!


Using a unique container other than a basket is a great way to instantly upgrade your gift and make it extra special and memorable. Just keep in mind the tips we shared for selecting a gift container. If your creative basket idea does not allow you to arrange and present gift items appealingly, you may want to rethink it. You can always opt for a functional and attractive storage bin, wooden crate, or bucket to keep things interesting and beautiful.

This article was made possible by support from Carpenter Core. We make small customizable wooden crates and boxes used for gift baskets and product packaging.

Elevate your gifting experience with Carpenter Core's wooden crates!

Ditch the traditional basket and opt for something that's not only attractive but also sturdy and sustainable. Our versatile crates provide the perfect foundation for creating unforgettable gift baskets. Explore our collection to find the ideal fit for your next special occasion. With various sizes, styles, and finishes available, plus the option for customization, your gift presentation will stand out from the rest.

Explore wooden gift crates

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