The basics of what to put in a gift basket for any occasion

The basics of what to put in a gift basket for any occasion


Are you looking for a creative gift idea? A gift basket makes an excellent gift for just about any occasion and recipient. If you want to make a gift basket for someone special in your life but aren’t sure how we’ve got some great tips to get you started.

Read on to find out why baskets make great gifts, see ideas for what to put in them, and learn about other things you will need for assembling the perfect one. By the end, you’ll have all the basics you need to start creating custom gifts for everyone on your list.

Why are gift baskets so great?

The best thing about gift baskets is that they are completely customizable. When you put together your own basket, you control every aspect of it. This makes it easy to personalize to the recipient, so you can select a theme and items that will be most appealing to them. This also allows you to create a memorable and special gift experience on any budget.

In addition, customization means that gift baskets can work for any occasion. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or a special milestone, a thoughtful collection of items presented beautifully is always in style. They can be created with one individual in mind, or given to a couple or even a whole group of people to share.

To get started making a gift basket, first think about your recipient and the reason for your gift. Then, choose a theme and identify small items that fit their interests and your budget.

Idea starters

If you are looking for ideas to get started making a gift basket, some popular ones are given below, along with suggested items to include. Choose an idea as a starting point, then customize it to your theme and recipient to make it one-of-a-kind!


Edible items are always well-loved. Popular variations include fruit, chocolate, and gourmet snacks like nuts, cheeses, and meats. To make a food gift special, choose local or specialty items that the recipient would not normally purchase for themselves but will enjoy indulging in as a treat. Include coordinating items like cheese knives or snack bowls to add variety.


Gift baskets based on a person’s favorite beverage are also very popular. Whether they prefer coffee, tea, wine, beer, or even hot cocoa, these are all great starter ideas to create a theme around. Add a cute mug or fun glass and pair it with accompaniments like biscotti, honey sticks, chocolate, nuts, or marshmallows.


Create a fun and memorable experience in a gift basket. Ideas are a movie night with all their favorite movie snacks, a spa day with relaxing skincare and bath items, or a baking theme with different mixes, toppings, and accessories. These can easily be personalized to the recipient’s taste and modified to fit the season or occasion.


Another direction you may want to consider is a personal interest or hobby. Whether they are into a specific sports team, TV show, or pastime, choose a few small items they will enjoy that relate to the theme. This personal approach is guaranteed to make them feel special and will be a lot of fun to give and receive.

The basics of what to put in a gift basket for any occasion

This collection is pictured in a 10-1/2 in x 8-9/16 in x 3-1/2 in wooden gift basket crate by Carpenter Core.

You will also need

Once you have chosen a small collection of items, you may be wondering what supplies you will need to assemble and decorate a gift basket.

First, you’ll need a container to present your gift in. There are many options to pick from including baskets, bins, crates, totes, or even something unconventional that will match your theme and contents.

Next, you will need something to fill the base of your container to add height and give the items a nice place to rest. For this, use tissue paper, crinkle paper, a towel, or whatever you like that looks nice and matches the contents.

Then, add some extras for decoration like a ribbon, bow, or other embellishments. A few simple, on-theme extras will elevate your presentation. Add a handwritten note for a personal touch.

Finally, you may choose to wrap your basket. Clear cellophane works great to keep everything contained, but also allows you to see all the contents.

Get started

Now that you know all the basics of what to put in a gift basket, all that’s left to do is get started! Remember, the best part of making a gift is customizing it, so choose your theme, contents, and decoration to match the occasion and fit the personality of your recipient. With a little bit of thought and creativity, you can present a beautiful and memorable gift basket for any occasion.

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.

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