(BPT) - Graduations, weddings, birthdays, office celebrations, Mother's Day, Father's Day and barbecues - spring and summer are full of occasions that cry out for a great gift basket. A big basket bursting with a bounty of goodies can be costly, however, if you buy a pre-made one. Worse yet, store-bought baskets can be predictable and impersonal. Creating your own gift basket can save you money, allow you to really personalize your gift and be as much fun to make as they are to receive!
Not sure how to start? Follow these simple steps to create gift baskets that work for every occasion:
First, pick a personalized theme. Store-bought gift baskets can be pretty homogenous - snacks, beverages, candy, etc. Instead of going with a predictable theme, think about the recipient's favorite activities or hobbies. Choosing a theme that's meaningful for the recipient personalizes the gift basket and will help you brainstorm just what items to include.
Here are four theme ideas to help you get started creating amazing, personalized gift baskets this spring and summer:
* Spice of life - Your giftee doesn't have to be a foodie to appreciate a basket of spices that will add flavor and excitement to any dish. Frontier Co-op can help you make your own personalized spice blend to be the star of a gift basket full of seasonings and cooking accessories. Frontier Co-op's website even has a downloadable label you can print to place on the bottle.
Try their recipe for Spicy Buffalo Popcorn Seasoning:
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Frontier Organic Cayenne (according to heat level desired)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Frontier Organic Paprika
1 teaspoon Frontier Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon Frontier Sea Salt
3 tablespoons Frontier White Cheddar Cheese Powder
Mix spices and place in an airtight jar or tin.
* Go team, go! - Of course, team-themed items are a must for a sports-themed gift basket, but don't forget to include all the extras that make watching the game so much fun. In addition to a new mitt and cap, baseball fans might appreciate a gift certificate to the best hot dog joint in town. A beer-of-the-month membership certificate and team jersey work great for football fans.
* Movie night at home - Packets of gourmet microwave popcorn, all the accoutrements you need to make a rootbeer float, and a gift card for DVD rentals are sure to please every film fan.
* Tea for two - For the sophisticated tea-lover, a basket of accessories like a tea infuser and teapot cozy are ideal. Boost the appeal with a selection of bulk teas packaged in beautiful or themed glass jars - it's a great way to treat your tea lovers to all their favorites while introducing them to new varieties, too.
Once you've chosen a theme, it's time to pull the basket together with these simple steps:
1. Set a budget - It's easy to get carried away when you're buying items to put in a gift basket and overspend. It's just as easy to under purchase, ending up with a skimpy, unsatisfying basket. Setting a budget will help you know just how much you can and should buy.
2. Make a list - Once you've decided on a theme, write a list of items that fit that theme. Keep in mind list items should easily fit in a basket or other container. Organize your list with one or two centerpiece, must-have items at the top and would-like-to-have items in descending order of desirability.
3. Choose a unique container - Yes, it's called a gift basket, but you don't have to stick with a traditional wicker basket. Choose a container that really fits your theme. For example, a decorative plastic flower pot is a great container for a gardening lover's basket. Your sports enthusiast might appreciate a cooler stocked with team-themed items.
4. Stock your basket - Now that you have the container, you know how much you need to buy to fill it. Grab your list and head to the store!
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