Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do You Have Any Creative Gift Basket Ideas?


Stephanie, a reader, emailed with this question:

"Do you know of any great ideas for packaging all of these great deals to give as gifts? I've been hoarding some miscellaneous products that I think are ""fancy" or things that my extended family would enjoy in hopes of giving baskets for Christmas this year."

I would love to hear any creative ideas you all may have! Making gift baskets is a great way to show others you care--while still keeping your budget in check. I posted about making the above pictured gift basket previously. I wrapped up toothbrushes, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, air fresheners and much more. It might seem odd, but I personally think it's a unique and very thoughtful gift! Plus, it's nice to know that your giving others items they will actually use--unlike some gifts!

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too plan on making gift bags for a lot of my in laws. (my sister and mother also coupon and stock pile so it would be pointless to give them gift baskets lol)

I too I am little worried that they might think it is weird I am giving them this sort of stuff for an x-mas gift, BUT like you said, with the economy the way it is, hopefully it will allow all of them to go a little while without having to buy a few necessities.

I know I would be happy to receive a bunch of brand name products for free, so hopefully my in laws will be happy too

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hip 2 Save, I love it. I would have never thought to do it that way. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

I have started buying up on the travel size products (mostly free) and making little baskets or bags for local shelters. A great way to help homeless who can't carry around full size items, and single moms, etc. that sometimes just need a little to tide them over. My own pantry, as well as my kids', is stocked to last a very long time, so why let those coupons go to waste?

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of wrapping everything and matching it to a basket! This would be a great idea as a shower gift!

Anonymous said...

I've already given a "Night Out" basket to my sister/brother in-law. Tickets to a local theatre show, bottle of wine/ cheese-n-crackers, and a home-made coupon for free babysitting. Gave them a special "Night Out" with no worries!

Ni said...

I've already said to most realative, "you never know what you will get this year".
My husband and I are both out of work so the deals I have been getting are paying off so to speak. helping us with groceries and stocking up for X-mas. Yard sales are get for the baskets to give them in.
And then there is the dollar store for the rest to fill in.
thanks so much...

Cathy in Pa. said...

I never have to purchase a birthday gift for any of my 16 year old daughters friends, about 4 years ago, I made up a toiletry basket or purchased one of those mesh hampers and put all sourts of toiletries in it. They are the biggest hit with both the boys and girls. My daughter is on the cross country team and last year at the banquet, I made up a total of 28 bags, for both boys & girls with toilteries and they are asking me again, if I am making up the bags, they just love them. they love them because they tell me they don't normally use the products I put in them.

Keri Lyn @ She Saved said...

Last year, I bought really cute Magazine Basket/Tote type baskets on clearance at Fred Meyer ...they were darling box type baskets with handles, and I filled them with theme type items that fit each person, and then I got almost everyone in my family a subscription on Amazon (with my swagbucks) Last year around the holidays, they had so many subscriptions for $5 adn $10 each. I was able to really stretch my gift giving money far, and the packaging was darling (I love the photo of the packaging that you posted Collin!) It feels so good to give a gift that is attractive as well as thoughtful. I have since seen my cute baskets are being used by everyone I gave them to - one of my relatives even has all her "dog toys" in hers, but at least it is getting used... who doesn't love a great basket!!?

Anonymous said...

Our local big city shelter always send out Christmas gift bags to its patrons & I love being about to drop off 25 of my free trial shampoos, toothbrushes, deod., laundry soap. These are all items that they ask for so I am happy to help!

Also, since a lot of people know I coupon, I ask them to tell me if a family is in need (especially around the holidays). I love being able to put together a gift "grocery bag" with all the basics for a family that might have just had a baby or lost their job or moved.

Glad to see us couponers sharing our wealth of products & not always hording. :)

Anonymous said...

This is also a perfect idea for college kids!

Anonymous said...

I like to use baskets or even the little storage totes you can find at walmart for $1. This just adds one more thing you know they can use. You can use tissue paper or the fake grass from easter clearance in the base, and then just put the gifts on top. You can wrap everything individually, or just wrap the whole basket. it looks just as nice to wrap the whole basket in colored saran wrap with a bow. I plan on giving these baskets to alot of people this year. As I say, what would I want for Christmas? Would you rather get one bottle of lotion from bath and body works that costs $12 or a basket full of goodies? I would choose the basket of goodies! :)

Anonymous said...

Dollar Tree has super cute baskets with a lot of different colors to choose from. I'm going to make some gift baskets for Christmas this year!

Heather said...

you could do themes... such as teen, baby, etc

okiegirl said...

this year instead of using wrapping paper or paper sacks, I am putting my Christmas gifts in grocery tote bags that I am making. That way they get an extra present. I found the free paterns at
http://tipnut.com/35-reusable-grocery-bags-totes-free-patterns/

Flipfloppingmamma said...

Off the subject: I just got a coupon booklet from Save-a-lot. All the coupons are manufacturer coupons but it says 'redeem this coupon at Save-a-lot. I heard you mention this in your video...I don't have to use these JUST AT SAVE-A-LOT do I?? I hope not cause that's like 45 minutes away!

Anonymous said...

I made up gife baskets for Mother's day this year. I got the baskets at the Dollar Tree and I filled them up with things that I had got for free. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, chapstick...Everyone love them. They said, a gift that is very useful! They were a hit.

Summer said...

I'm doing a gift basket for my broke, college sister who's living on her own for the first time. I know she'll LOVE all the goodies, like candles and nice hair products, that she couldn't have otherwise afforded herself.

Anonymous said...

I am actually making a "Going to College" gift basket for a local high school charity auction. A lot of the items will be snacks and toiletries purchased with coupons or freebies through the mail.

Two great books for gift basket inspiration:

-Bountiful Baskets by Sara Toliver
-The Gift Basket Design Book by Shirley George Frazier

Courtney said...

I to am doing gift baskets for family members. I thought about them thinking "why am i getting this?" But them im like either they like it or they dont. If they don't then they dont have to take it. I can give it to someone that will apprecaite it. lol.

I got the save a lot coupon booklet too. But i am planning on using it at other stores as well since the coupons are manufacture. I used the Kmart coupon book coupons at other stores with no problem and they had the kmart logo all over them.

Samantha said...

I plan on making a 'back to school' basket for the little bro starting college in January.

It will be a small plastic tote with many of the FREE back to school items from CVS earlier in the summer.

Jennifer said...

I found some adorable striped square bowls (big ones, maybe 14" across) on the summer clearance rack at Kmart last weekend. They were $2.50 after the markdown. I'm using two of them to make two gift baskets full of candles, specialty lotions/skin care items, body washes, nail polish, and other pampering type things I've gotten free.

I tend to keep the toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, and other everyday items for use here. But I am always on the lookout for more pampering-style personal care items for gifts.

The cute bowls will be perfect for wrapping these! Plus they can use them again to serve chips at parties!

Modern Day Mom said...

I have used coolers as gift baskets before; rolling coolers or collapsible trunk coolers. These make great gift baskets for men. You can put specialty beers in them, coolie cups with their favorite team logo, sport t-shirts, blankets or whatever type of sports or outdoor gear you think they would like.

Anonymous said...

For a Christmas gift, I'm planning to fill a Green Bay Packer metal wastebasket (new) with health and beauty item (including those great travel-size Tide laundry detergent packets that were free) for my nephew in college. My girl friend and I both do this for high school grad gifts too. For tween girl birthday gifts I buy clearance and sale-priced makeup bags (sometimes funky pencil cases on clearance) and fill them with a variety of makeup and nailpolish (ooh-loved the recent Sally Hansen nail polish deal at Walgreens.) MKW

Jennifer said...

And, by the way, my husband's step mom told me that what she wants for Christmas is whatever I can get for free! She reads my blog site, so she sees all the goodies that we get free or almost-free. The funny thing is... I've already started to pick out specific freebies that I've gotten with her in mind! So mark her off my Christmas list as done! :)

Anonymous said...

Last year sometime between Christmas and Valentines all the baskets (christmas) at hobby lobby went on sale for 90% off!! I came home with $200.00 worth of baskets for $20.00. They will be filled with gift for christmas this year. Some of my coupon treasures and some homemade! Thanks for all the ideas!

Anonymous said...

I bought an $8 clothes basket from Walmart, and filled it slam full of toiletries, lotions, cleaning supplies, candles, etc for my grandma for Christmas last year. She LOVED it, is still using things from it, and still tells me how much she enjoyed that gift -- from 10 months ago! For her, knowing I got almost everything I gave her for nothing made the gift even better. I think I actualyl had more in the clothes basket than I did in the items in there!

Anonymous said...

I wrap gift baskets in dishtowels or bath towels depending on what is in the basket, if it is for a baby I use a receiving blanket. It is more practical than wrapping paper, anything that is multi taksing works. Even the totes the grocery stores have would be a neat gift bag.

Kandi said...

I've been saving freebie totes to use as gift baskets. Some are really nice fabrics and will work well for HBA items.

Anonymous said...

Love to make diaper cakes for baby showers. Always find great deals on diapers on your site (usually less than $6/pk for a brandname) and add that with lots of free baby items (have a bunch from Kmart doubles, etc.)- makes a super cheap adorable (and looks expensive) gift.

Sharon said...

I know you all mean to be thoughtful, but please keep in mind that these gift baskets could certainly be taken the wrong way. Lets say someone is out of work. To give them soap and toothpaste for Christmas is downright obnoxious. If you want to just help them with the essentials, that's okay as long as you are sensitive in how you do it. As a Christmas gift though???

Sharon said...

Oh yes!!! Diaper cakes are the BEST!!! As a pretty new mother of 2, I can tell you that no gift was more appreciated!

Ali Smith said...

I have a great idea for helping fill all of those baskets! My husband actually turned me onto this trick a couple of years ago and now that I get 6 papers every Sunday, it's easier than ever! I use the comics both as wrapping paper (using it as a sheet) and as basket/bag filler, but sending it through the shredder! It's colorful and works great for both kids and adults! HTH!

Andrea said...

My mom and I came up with a great idea(i think lol). Instead of using christmas bags or gift bags we get clearance beach bags, totes, canvas purses etc. Place your gifts in it and the recipient can then use it for a grocery bag. Great when it is full of goodies I have gotten cheap or free. My mom is looking forward to the basket I am putting together for her. Made up of deals I have gotten and freebies I get in the mail but don't want myself.

mnmom said...

Last year for Christmas I bought everyone on my list a re-useable shopping bag from their favorite store (and put a little gift in it), it was a huge hit. I didn't spend as much on the gift and didn't waste money buying holiday bags! People have been hinting that they need some more bags! :)

Bonnie/AR said...

What is a 'diaper cake'?

Thanks for answering for someone who is way past that stage I guess. LOL...but still LOVES babies!

Janelle said...

I make my extra freebies such as wipes into gift baskets and send them to the troops serving in our military overseas. They can really use it. You can get a box at the post office and send it for about $12.

Anonymous said...

I am Loving the gift baskets for people. I had an idea for my friend who is expecting a baby in a couple of weeks. I made her a "mommy to be basket" with lotion, tb, tooth paste, chapstick, razors body wash, shave gel etc. I put a little note reminding her to take time for mommy beacuse I know as well as many of you do to, the needs of mommy often go lacking once baby arrives. she loved it...also it gave her a headstart on her hospital bag packing. :)

Josh, Candace & Cole said...

I make gift baskets for my mother-in-law and mom every year for Christmas, and we often give them as gifts throughout the year. I LOVE doing them and they love getting them. :)

Some ideas I've done include a "natural products" basket (organic/herbal stuff), a coffee basket (coffee, mug, etc), a kitchen products basket, a cooking basket (recipe book, apron, ingredients), a movie night basket (dvd, popcorn, candy) and a spa basket (nail polish, nail files, lotion, scrubs).

I've also heard people do a salsa kit basket before, which is cute, as well as a gardening basket.

I like to make sure I have a wide variety of items in each basket that all support the theme. One of my favorite things to use instead of tissue paper is towels...it just adds a nice touch, and you can always find that stuff at Ross for really cheap. Bath & Body Works Outlets have cheap baskets, bags and containers.

Money Saving Maine-iac said...

Every year we I give away a 12 days of christmas basket. The recipient opens 1 package a day before Christmas. Every year it is given to someone different. It could be a child, a teen, an elder who knows it's pretty random. But they all love receiving such a basket. This year it is my daughter in law's year. I found a fun wicker basket with small jingle bells and have been collecting all the "freebies" like hand soap, headbands, candles, etc. I'll sneak over while she's at work and put it on her kitchen table for her to find when she comes home from work.

Michelle said...

I made a college gift basket for my cousin and she LOVED it. I had toiletries and pens and dorm hooks, flameless candle and such. She LOVED it.

I also put together a bathroom basket for a distant relative's wedding. I purchased 2 hand towels off their registry and added candles and diffusers to a nice basket.

This fall I have stocked up on "fun office supplies" and will have them on hand at work for back-up gifts if I receive a gift from someone not on my list.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows I coupon and get super good bargins. When my mom watches the kids I fill a littl bag of goodies for her...its fun and helps me share my freebies. Also the shelter here gets alot of my extras.

Sandra said...

I found a certain color of the "shower tote" baskets that were clearanced at Bed, Bath and Beyond back in April and used them to make up graduation baskets for those going off to college-big hit!

Suzzette Parchman said...

When my kids where babies, I still wanted them to have Easter baskets. So I filled the back of a large plastic dump truck toy with baby food, bath toys, gerber snacks and so on. It was really cute and all stuff they liked and could use.

Anonymous said...

i love the idea of gift baskets and just started collecting for them for the holidays: my girls and I are doing one for my husband for christmas with snacks, coffee and crystal light packets, mini cereal boxes, etc as he often can't leave his office for lunch and he leaves too early for breakfast

for my nephews we are putting one together with travel size games I got for .99, BOGO transformers and free dvd, along with activity books and pencils

Anonymous said...

my neighbor does GREAT baskets like this-she does first aid kids for newlyweds (which is random, but super useful) and "all the things you'll forget to buy" for baby showers (gas medicine, a treat for mommy, travel sized wipes, etc)
whenever i do basket-y things i try, if it works, to match waht i put them in to what i'm giving... so i'll put garden stuff in a pot, shower/bath/hair stuff in a shower caddy or a basket that'd work in the bathroom, etc...

Jessica said...

Not really a gift, but in my guest bedroom i have a basket full of nice products like Nexxus shampoo and Aveda hand cream (free sample), along with soap and toothbrushes and toothepaste, and hairspray, whatever! that way its like a hotel and if they forget things they can use whats in there!

Jessica said...

also, for my soon to be mother in law who we are moving to the beach (in the house my soon to be husband just built and i am sooo excited about, but back to the point) i am making a "summer time" basket for her this year with the coppertone sunscreen we got for free a a while back , the revlon nail polish from this week at CVS, one of the MANY free magazine subscriptions, (prob All You since she is a sort of couponer lol) and a beach towel i got on clearnace along with some other little fun summer things i have gotten since the fall has come like wine glasses with palm trees and such!

rachel said...

I recently did some gift baskets for door prizes for our Ladies Tea at my church.
I did a spaghetti dinner basket where I put noodles, sauce, spices, oven mitt, towel, noodle utensil, and I put it all in a nice colander. Lastly I got a plastic gift wrap bag from Dollar tree and it is the shrink wrap kind where you put heat on it and it shrink wraps to the basket - makes the gift look nicer.

I also did a scrap book one where I had a nice scrap book that I got from a yard sale (it was brand new) and I added some stickers and some nice scrap book stickers to the front. I didn't put it in a basket cause it was too big so I just added a nice big bow and ribbon.

I also did a family night one with a card game, dvd, popcorn, gum, boxed candy, and put it all in a popcorn bowl from Dollar Tree.

The travel one had a travel pillow & blanket combo, magazine, travel toiletry items,and put it all in a travel bag I got at a yard sale.

These were all pretty cheap because I got the stuff on sale or at a yard sale. These make great gifts too!

kathy said...

at christmas i like to do teacher gift bags - i will buy the $1 felt gift bags at dollar general that are VERY cute. i will usually put a bath and body works item in it which they really like, and then airborne medicine to help them from getting sick and other things like apple scented spray that i got with coupons, and free snack items i receive in the mail. also small bottles of lotion are very nice for them to keep in their desk.

Anonymous said...

A friend of the family used to have a very successful business making gift arrangements. Her trademark was to use Clay pots (like 10-12 inch), paint them a theme (name, b-day, holiday, floral, etc.) and place styrofoam in bottom. She would use wood skewers and hot glue each item to the stick (it easily peals off with no damage to item) and place them in the pot where it looked like flowers sticking out. Her famous ones were with candy bars and it looks similar to the edible arrangements except with wrapped candy bars or you could do a house warming pot with personal and home items with maybe a candle in the middle. Plus the best part is that they can use the pot for later use and it is decorated nicely (the clay pots are cheaper that most baskets anyway.) I hope you enjoy the idea and can picture how it will look.

Katie Reames

Anonymous said...

I put together a cooler full of my "free" coupon bargains for my brother as a Christmas gift one year. He has 5 kids and had actually asked for a cooler. I put in TP and toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoo etc. The whole family loved it and it really helped out their January budget. It all depends on the person... My brother has always said his favorite gift was a huge Sam's club size set of TP!

Jaime said...

I have a fallen in love with a microwave Smores maker on Amazon.com. My son LOVES them and I love that it is easy and goes in the dishwasher. I bought several on a deal a few months ago and plan to do Smores baskets for some family friends that have kids - the smores maker, grahams, marshmallows and a big chocolate bar. I think each one will end up around $20 but that is not alot for a great family gift! Plus I've started early so it's not a big deal.

As for our freebies, we sue a lot of them to Operation Christmas Child boxes at my son's preschool. Check it out - it's a wonderful program!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas!

I got the Save-a-lot coupon book today too and was wondering the same thing about using it at other stores!

Jamie said...

Last Christmas my mom & father in law were both laid off - I know they are too proud to ask for things even though they know we have plenty so I bought reusable shopping bags (cute ones like a Simpsons one for my mom) and filled them to the brim with anything and everything I could think of from toilet paper to razors to cleaning products (I didn't wrap anything) and gave them as "gifts" (we don't technically do adult gifts for our families - we all have agreed to focus on the kids).

Jen said...

I can't find the bookmark I had, but I saw an idea on another blog. The gal would choose a color for the basket, and group together things of that color. So, the items might not really go together, but it still looks nice because it coordinates!

Jamie said...

I forgot to mention - I save up all the Bath & Body Works items I get with the great coupons you post and give those items to the "hard to buy for" family members. We also are able to make a considerable donation at least once a year to the local Veterans hospital - they have a hard time getting things like toothpaste and shampoo (although they are not allowed personal razors) and my son's Young Marines unit makes up bags and delivers them to each patient with a "thanks for your service" in full uniform - it's quite a sight and they appreciate a new toothbrush more than you could ever know.

Anonymous said...

I used the $2 off coupons to buy some classic movies (Uncle Buck) and will be putting them in a basket with popcorn and popcorn holders that I got on clearance for 25 cents from the Target dollar area!

Anonymous said...

I love the 12 days of Christmas basket!! I'm going to do that for my Mom this year.

Anonymous said...

All of these things make great (& practical) stocking stuffers too! I have so many of the Johnson's Buddies bars of soap that I am going to put them in the party favor bags for my Daughter's next birthday party!

Anonymous said...

I Love Love Love making gift baskets it's so fun. But, everyone literally, in my family does coupons. But my church takes baskets to the hospital with personal care items and snacks in them. It's a great and fun way to get together with friends and give bag! Have fun makin baskets this year everyone!

Anonymous said...

In a pinch, I have used Reynolds Turkey Oven Bags for wrapping up smaller gift baskets. Throw a little curling ribbon and it's not too bad!

Anonymous said...

This is my sons first year of school (pre-k) and I was thinking of making up baskets for his teachers, filled with all sorts of toiletries, candles, etc to give to them at the holiday time.

I am hoping this is a good idea, because money is very tight here. I guess if they don't like it, they can give it away.

Anonymous said...

When my hubby and I first moved out - we got a house warming gift that was a tote full of housing essentials (laundry detergent, soap, dish washer soap, tp, etc, etc). I LOVED IT.

When we were getting married, at my bridal shower someone got me a "things I'll need for my honeymoon" basket. We were going to mexico, so it had sunscreen, a spanish dictionary, immodium, tums, asprin, etc... loved that too!

I love themed baskets. Movie night and game night filled with popcorn and candy are my favorite too.

I've done "Italian dinner" baskets with jars of spaghetti sauce, boxes of pasta, olives, olive oil, french bread, a bottle of wine and then something for dessert - that's always a favorite.

I've done breakfast baskets with waffle/pancake mix, yummy syrup, pancake topping (like strawberry syrup), jam, english muffins, peanut butter and then even like a waffle maker that I find at a black friday sale.

I LOVE baskets! :)

Anonymous said...

I love giving gift baskets. For the grandparents who tend to be hard to shop for in our family I do Winter Survival baskets with cold medicine, hand sanitizer, cough drops, eye drops, and whatever else I get free that works.

Family Fun Night baskets are great too. Then you can give them as a gift to a whole family. I put in games, books, snacks, movies, playdoh, whatever, depending on the ages of the kids in the family.

If you want to make your baskets of toiletries look a little fancier (so someone doesn't get offended that it is charity or something) if you go with a color theme, like all the toiletries are lilac and white or you go with a specific brand like Dove it makes them look a little fancier and more like an expensive gift then charity :)

Janie said...

I get all of my baskets at yard sales for about .25 I use a lot of the free makeup for my mom and sister and the mens products such as razors are great for a mens basket. rite aid and walgreens sometimes clearence out mens slippers and other novelty items great for the guys.
Also, I am using a lot of the glade candles this year in baskets!

Shelley said...

I like to use boxes. I get chipwood boxes from craft stores, or hat boxes from decorating stores. Tie off a plain brown box with a gold satin ribbon and it looks very elegant.

avagdro said...

Adorable gift basket idea indeed.thanks for sharing.

Cheers!!
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Anonymous said...

I love jam! So my daughter gave me a lovely basket with enough jam and jelly to last a whole year! I'm sure she used coupons where she could, because that's how I raised her, but this gift will never be forgotten as those bathsalts and tea towel will!
Tailoring your baskets to the person receiving them shows thoughtfulness and love....go for it!

Anonymous said...

I have been making gift baskets for my 10 neices and nephews for Christmas. If I can get anything they would use, want, need for under $1.00. I stock up and it goes in. The college kids are making out the best so far with laundry detergent, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, soap, feminine needs, candles. But the younger kids have hair accesssories and Agent Blue mouthwash. I just want to make it fun.

Misty said...

This is a great idea! We just moved to a new state and my step son and in-laws are coming down for Christmas. Then I found out that two extra people are coming as well. I wouldn't feel right unless i had something for them to open on Christmas. This is a great idea, do you have any ideas on a inexpensive way to do a kids basket as well?