Homemade Gift Basket Ideas

homemade gift basket ideas

Looking for homemade gift basket ideas to make? Here you'll find lots of Christmas gift basket ideas plus ideas for many other occasions too!


Gift baskets are one of those universal gift ideas that you can make for close family and friends, for teachers and neighbors, and for people you don't know so well either! Everyone loves unwrapping a basket and seeing the treats inside. They don't have to be expensive to make, and you can have a lot of fun with the contents and themes.

On this page we've listed all the entries into our 2011 homemade gift basket ideas contest, so hopefully you'll find some inspiration for your own gift baskets there. Below that I've listed occasions, types, and themes of basket with a few ideas of items you can place in them. Further down the page you'll also find a list of all the sorts of filler items you can use, with some links to homemade recipes or instructions for how to make these items yourself.

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Homemade Gift Basket Ideas by Theme

Homemade Christmas Gift Baskets

homemade Christmas gift basket

Any sort of Christmas or winter-themed foods will be perfect for this basket! eg. Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, homemade jam, homemade chutney, homemade biscuits, Christmas crackers, spiced nuts, homemade mince pies, homemade flavored alcohol (eg. sloe gin, raspberry vodka), wine or port, mulled wine sachets, drinking chocolate, homemade chocolate truffles, after dinner mints, any sort of gifts in a jar that they can make up themselves (eg cookies in a jar, brownies in a jar, soup in a jar)

Birthday
Think about what the person likes and tailor your basket to them. You could make a sweet (chocolate, biscuit, jams etc), or savory (nuts, chutneys, chili sauces etc) basket, and add in a bottle of bubbly for celebration! If they enjoy a laugh, make an "Age Defying" basket full of birthday-related gag gifts.

Baby/New Parent
In addition to the usual baby clothes (buy a few sizes up, so the baby will grow into the gifts), rattles or soft toys, you can add home-cooked meals that can be frozen (soup, lasagna etc), high energy snacks for the parents (chocolate!), coupons offering your help for the baby with baby-sitting, cooking or cleaning help, and of course a bottle of Champagne to help celebrate the birth! Another homemade gift basket idea could be to adapt a diaper cake - wrapped up in cellophane it will look fabulous.

Anniversary
Think romantic! You could go with the usual wine or Champagne, chocolates, cheese and crackers, grapes or strawberries etc. Or you could add items for a romantic evening together, including massage oil, bubble bath, and candles. You could always pop in an album or framed photos of the two of you, or tickets to go out to a movie together. Just think about what you enjoy doing together, and try and incorporate that into your homemade gift basket idea!

Valentine's Day
Similar to anniversary ideas, pop in anything that means a lot to the both of you. It can be fun to go all out with the love heart theme too You could bake some heart-shaped cookies, make some heart-shaped chocolates. And don't forget to make some romantic vouchers.

Mother's Day
Some sort of "Breakfast in Bed" themed basket is always a fun homemade gift basket idea. Include coffee or tea, fresh pastries or muffins, homemade jams, chocolate and flowers, and her favorite magazine to read. Or you could do a "Tea time" themed basket with everything you need for a nice afternoon tea together, including tea, homemade biscuits or scones, and homemade jam. Homemade coupons offering help around the house are always welcome too!

Father's Day
Think about what your Dad likes and tailor it to his interests. Is he a beer lover? Put together a basket with a few of his favorite beers, some spiced nuts, savory biscuits, crisps, maybe a DVD he can watch. Is he into fishing? Pop in a few of his favorite fishing magazines. Into cars? Put together a car-care package, with everything he'll need to give his car a good clean and polish, and add a homemade voucher or two offering a helping hand.

Easter
Well this is an easy one.... chocolate! Get some Easter chocolate molds and make a range of shaped chocolates. Or you can always bake some Easter cookies or breads. Fresh spring flowers are a lovely accompaniment too, as are decorative dyed easter eggs.

Get Well
Smiling and laughter boosts the immune system, so giving someone a gift basket is sure to help them get better! You can pop in a comedy DVD or two, or a funny book to get them giggling. Comfort foods like home-baked bread or biscuits, or even meals that can be frozen like soups and lasagna are great for those sick in bed at home. Flowers to brighten up the room are a thoughtful addition. For man flu and other such ailments where someone is just mildly ill, it can be fun to make a care-package full of silly treats like lozenges re-labeled to "man flu pills", last will and testimony etc.

Girl's Night In
Make a pamper hamper full of girly treats for the perfect girls night in! Include nail polish, hand cream, face mask, romantic comedy DVD or a girly book or magazine, popcorn, chocolate brittle and other indulgent treats! This is a great homemade gift basket idea for sisters and close girl friends.

Boy's Night In
Stock your hamper with a few beers and some savory treats like nuts, crisps, salsa, and popcorn. Include computer games or an action DVD to watch, or a pack of cards and poker chips, or board games.

Party in a Basket
For the perfect party night in! Include balloons, party poppers, champagne, wine or beer, crisps, chocolate, nuts.

House Warming/Leaving Home
When people move out, especially for the first time, it can be really nice to put together a new house survival kit! Get creative with the packaging. Use a laundry basket or cleaning bucket for the container, and fill it with new house essentials like cleaning products. Or put together olive oil, cooking salt and spices, tea towels, oven mitts and other kitchen necessities. Add a bottle of bubbles to celebrate the new house and some home-baked meals to get them through the early days.

Celebration
A great homemade gift basket idea for any sort of good news, like a promotion at work, getting your license, recovering from illness etc. Include champagne, party poppers or balloons, and cupcakes or other sweet treats.

Chocolate-lovers
Don't hold back, anything chocolate is perfect for this homemade gift basket idea! Hot chocolate to drink, blocks of chocolate, homemade truffles, chocolate brittle, chocolate biscuits, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate brownies (or brownies in a jar that they can make up later!), chocolate spread (nutella or similar), and anything else chocolatey you can think of!

Tea Time

homemade gift basket ideas tea time

Selection of gourmet teas, e.g. fruit tea, Chai, English teas (Earl Grey, English breakfast), Chinese teas (lapsang souchong, green tea, jasmine tea), some home-baked scones, fruit cake or cupcakes, biscuits, jam, and even sandwiches if you know your basket of goodies will be eaten immediately. You could even add tea cups and saucers, and present on a tea-tray. This is a lovely homemade gift basket idea to make when you are visiting an old friend, sister, Aunty, or your Mom!

Coffee Lovers
Selection of gourmet coffees, chocolate-coated coffee beans, coffee candy, coffee and walnut cake, and dark chocolate (for the caffeine hit). You could bake cookies to go with coffee (e.g. Italian Biscotti). You could also add a coffee mug, and present on a tray.

Wine and cheese
This is an easy homemade gift basket idea! Put together a selection of wines, gourmet cheeses and crackers, fresh grapes, and dried figs. For a more lasting gift, you could also include a cheese board and cheese knife.

homemade gift basket ideas beer loversImage courtesy of TimWilson

Beer lovers
The beer-lover is easy to please. He (or she) will be thrilled with a range of beers, a beer koozie/cozy/stubby holder, and some beer nuts and crisps. If you're feeling generous you could add a voucher granting them exclusive use of the TV-remote for a week.

Car Lovers
For the person that takes good care of their car (or should): car wash sponges, soap, and wax, car fresheners, and vouchers offering to help washing the car. A super practical homemade gift basket idea.

Fishing
Put together a fishing survival kit with snack food like peanuts, crackers, cheese, and salmon jerky. Add a ruler or tape-measure (to measure the size of the "big one"), a "gone fishing" sign, and gummy snakes as "bait worms". Package it all in a bucket, net, or fishing creel (wicker basket traditionally used to hold the catch).

Gardening
Garden gloves, spade, fork, pruning shears, packets of seeds or bulbs, hand cream, nice soaps, sun hat, kneeling pad, gardening book or planting guide. If they like bird watching, you can put in a bird seed ball or feeder. Package it all in big terracotta pot.

homemade gift basket ideas beach toysImage courtesy of ethankap

Kids Beach Package
A selection of toys for a day at the beach or sand box, e.g. shovel, sunglasses, beach ball, bubble mix... all packaged in a sand pail instead of a basket.

Kids Holiday Activity Packages
Include lots of activities to entertain them like craft supplies for making Christmas decorations, games they can play, coloring in books with pencils, DVDs to watch, computer games to play, snacks. I think this is a really fun homemade gift basket idea for kids as it makes them feel special and keeps them busy!


Homemade Gift Basket Ideas: Types of fillers

Sweet Ideas
Cinnamon Sugar, Vanilla Sugar, Chocolate Brittle, Chocolate Truffles, Gingerbread Cookies, Cheat's Mince Pies, Snowman Soup, Choc Almond Dates in a Jar, Brownies in a Jar, Cookies in a Jar, Orange Marmalade, Grapefruit Marmalade, Strawberry Jam, Apricot Jam, Lemon Curd, Scones, Carrot Cake, Raspberry Almond Friands, Chocolate Brownies, Grapefruit Cordial, Easter Cupcakes, Easter Cookies, toffee, after dinner mints, fudge, shortbread, nougat, dried fruits, preserved fruits, Italian biscotti, coconut apricots, caramelized nuts, seasonal local fruit, local honey, cranberries in chocolate, hazelnuts in dark chocolate, chocolate pudding, Christmas pudding, fruit cake, cranberry sauce, rum balls, chocolate orange, chocolate-coated cherries, drinking chocolate

savory Ideas
herb and cheese sticks, curry pastes, pickles, chili sauce, chili chocolates, pate, chutney, pickles, spiced nuts, winter vegetable hamper, olive oil, local cheese, olives, flavored olive oil, tapenade (aubergine/olive/sun-dried tomato), mustards, pretzels, peanuts, BBQ spice blend rub, salsa, crisps

Accompaniments
Local wine, beer, coffee, tea, whiskey, spirits, champagne, port, dessert wine, chocolate liqueurs, chocolate-coated coffee beans, Mulled Wine Sachets, flowers, tea strainer, coffee plunger, tea cups, coffee mugs, cocktail shaker, wine glasses, cheese knife, cheese board, tray, baby clothes (including sock roses)

Pampering Gift Ideas
Bath Salts, Bath Bombs, Body Scrub, Love Coupons, Mother's Day Coupons, scented soaps, massage oil, bubble bath, loofah, flannel, nail polish (with toe separators), candles, massage roller, eye mask, microwave heat-wheat bag

Funny Gag Ideas
Find plenty of gag homemade gift basket ideas by taking a peek at our Gag Gift pages. You'll find lots of funny gift ideas like stress relief capsules (bubble wrap with instructions to pop one sheet every 4 hours), and natural bubble bath (a can of baked beans with instructions to eat beans, wait one hour, have a bath and enjoy!). Browse through the different pages depending on whether its a birthday, retirement, or just because gag gift.

Decorations
Christmas crackers, party poppers, balloons, streamers, homemade Christmas decorations and ornaments


Homemade Gift Basket Ideas: Wrapping and Presentation

empty wicker basket for making homemade gift baskets

Want to make a gift basket but wondering what kind of basket to use? The traditional choice is the wicker basket, whether round, square, or rectangular. But depending on the theme of your basket, you can make a gift basket using many other containers too...

  • Laundry basket, cleaning bucket or large mixing bowl - for house-warming or kitchen related gifts
  • Terracotta pot - for gardening gifts
  • Serving tray - for a coffee or tea themed basket

If you don't have a container handy, you can always make a gift basket by covering a cardboard shoe-box or other small box with pretty paper and using that as the base for your hamper. Recycle and reuse as much as you can!

Pack the base of your hamper with shredded paper or scrunched up tissue paper, then pack in the items you want to give. Once packed, wrap your hamper in clear cellophane and secure with a big bow. You can always use seasonal decorations too, like tinsel at Christmas time, to make your basket even more festive.


What Next?

I hope you enjoyed these homemade gift basket ideas. Why not check out these other types of gifts you can make:

Bath and Body Gifts

Homemade Food Gifts

Homemade Birthday Gifts

Happy Gifting!




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