Choose Unique Containers When Making Gift Baskets

by : Janet Vogel

Gift baskets have become very popular gifts. They can be practical as well as delicious and beautiful. And, you can make them yourself and save some money.

Selecting the best unique containers is a good place to begin when planning to make gift baskets. Choose a container that is suitable for the number and type of items you plan on placing in the container. Keep in mind that the ideal gift basket appears to be overflowing with gift items and other goodies.

Get your creative juices flowing and choose a container that fits with your theme or the special occasion the gift basket is intended for. You may also want to use all one color such as the recipient's favorite color. Or, if you are making a spa gift basket all one fragrance. For example; use a lavender or white container for a gift basket full of lavender soaps, candles, and other personal items.

Pails, tubs, and basins work well for themes such as barbecue, fishing, sports, or for a housewarming gift basket. These containers are rugged and the larger sizes can hold several cans or bottles of beer, soda, or other beverages. Later on, the recipient can use these unbreakable containers to chill beverages.

A planter, decorative pail, watering can, or a miniature wagon would each make a great container for a gardener or anyone who enjoys plants. This could be as a birthday gift, hostess gift, get well gift, as well as for any holiday or other special occasion. Great idea for grandparents who share the enjoyment of gardening.

Sand pails, dump trucks, lunch boxes, toy wagons, or small doll furniture pieces (cribs, carriages, strollers, etc.) are all suitable containers for young children.

Serving bowls, mixing bowls, colanders, casserole dishes, bundt cake pans, and similar items are wonderful containers for food gift baskets such as pasta, baking, and other cooking themes. These gift baskets make nice gifts for bridal showers, anniversaries, weddings, holidays, and many other special occasions.

For business related gift baskets a letter tray or other organizer would be useful containers. It's nice to use shredded pages of the business section for filler materials to hold the gift items in place.

Popcorn containers work well for movie theme gift baskets or for anyone who loves popcorn. This is a great gift idea for teenagers or students going off to college. A pizza pan is another nice container for younger people; simply place a kitchen towel on the pan and place pizza making ingredients on the towel; wrap it in cello paper or other heavy gift wrap tied with lots of curly ribbon.

And then there are baskets: wicker, chrome, wire, and rattan. Some have no handles, others have two small handles, and some have one large handle centered above the basket (which can be stationary or moveable). Trays made of wicker with sides and handles at each end are yet another option. Think about how you will place the items and then choose the empty basket that best suits your needs and your budget.

If you have a limited budget, refresh a nearly-new wicker basket by swishing it in warm, soapy water; then rinse and allow to thoroughly dry. Another frugal idea is to keep your eyes open for wooden slat-type of crates. Some fruits, such as grapes, are shipped in wooden slat oval baskets with a wire handle; you might get one at no charge from a person who handles fresh fruits and vegetables.

Let's talk a little about filler products as they go hand-in-hand with containers. There are two functions for fillers. One is inexpensive (floral foam or crumpled paper) and is used as a base to hold your gift items in place. This is necessary when your container is deep and your gift items will not be visible. The other filler will give your gift basket a decorate look. Purchased shred, straw, peanuts or mixed nuts in the shell, small silk flowers, and colorful wrapped candy are all good choices. Simply place small amounts between the items in your finished gift baskets.


  • If you plan to include heavy items, make sure the container has a sturdy bottom.

  • Use a paper shredder to make your own decorative filler materials by shredding brown paper, bags, old maps, sheet music, comics, etc.

  • Choose a container with a handle when including a bottle of wine or other beverage. Anchor the bottle by attaching twine, ribbon, or raffia to neck of the bottle and also to the basket handle.