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DIY Gift Basket Ideas for Any Occasion

Linda enjoys searching for fascinating travel destinations, seeking relaxation and fun, and (of course) eating great food.


There's Always One

There's always that one person on your gift list who already has it all—or so it seems. How do you find a unique, one-of-a-kind present for that impossible-to-shop-for person?

Instead of trying to come up with that one unique gift, why not a collection of items that, on their own, may seem ho-hum, but make a thoughtful, tailor-made, I-was-thinking-of-you package when put together.

How to Begin: Pick Your Theme

Think about that person's hobbies and interests. Perhaps they've experienced a recent move, acquired a new pet, or have reached a milestone like going off to college.

Once you have decided on the theme, you can also get creative with the type of container you use. Gift baskets don't always have to be "baskets" and they don't have to be new. Thrift stores, garage sales, and dollar stores are great places to look for an inexpensive but fun, thoughtful containers.

Listed below are a few suggested gift collections to inspire you. The words in bold type are a complimentary container you could use to put it all together. Have fun!

Gift Basket Theme Suggestions

  • For the Romantic
  • For the Gardener
  • The Crafty Friend
  • The Ice Cream Lover
  • First Kitchen
  • The Baker
  • Gourmet Cook
  • College Survival Kit
  • Spa-Like Retreat
  • You Have a New Puppy?
  • . . . and One for Me

Romantic Ideas

  • Picnic basket: silverware, non-breakable plates, non-breakable wine glasses, tablecloth, linen napkins, bottle of wine, corkscrew
  • Colander: gourmet jar of pasta sauce, gourmet dried pasta, loaf of artisanal bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
  • Origami box (DIY project) : vintage teacup candles (see photo above)

For the Gardener

  • Vintage watering can: hand tools, heirloom flower and vegetable seed packets
  • Flower pot: brightly-colored gardening gloves, bandana, hand lotion, kneeling pad

For the Crafty Friend

  • Reusable tote bag: assortment of knitting needles, knitting needle tips, stitch counter, bobbins
  • Sewing box: pincushion, needle threader, thimble, chatelaine, stork embroidery scissors

Ice Cream Lover

  • Colorful basket or non-breakable bowl: cones, sprinkles, marshmallow cream, jarred sauces, maraschino cherries, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, ice cream scoop
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Read More From Holidappy


In the Kitchen

First Kitchen

  • Casserole dish: dish towels, whisk, spatula, measuring cups and spoons, oven mitt

The Baker

  • Bundt pan or cookie jar: rubber scrapers (you can never have too many), bench scraper, spatula, wire whisk, silicone mat, cupcake liners, timer, Russian piping tip set

The Gourmet Cook

  • Kitchen tool crock or wire basket: mortar and pestle, pepper mill, microplane, ove glove, silicone basting brush

College Survival Kit

  • Tote bag or lunch box: pencils and pens, notepads, microwave popcorn, ramen, instant coffee, instant cocoa, prepaid VISA card
  • Tupperware container: one dozen homemade cookies, homemade cocoa mix, marshmallows

Spa-Like Retreat

  • Reusable gift bag: nail polish, emery boards, toe (painting) separators, sleep mask, soft towels, bubble bath or salts, lotion, cozy slippers, chocolates, aromatherapy candles

You Have a New Puppy!

  • Doggie treat canister: tennis balls, chew toys, colorful collar, food and water dishes

Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit

And, this is all I want for Christmas.

And, this is all I want for Christmas.

© 2017 Linda Lum


Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 19, 2019:

Yes, I must confess I'm just in love with these supreme beings. :)

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 18, 2019:

Thank you Audrey. I'm a planner--it's only September and I've already several projects underway in my studio for Christmas. Are you a crazy cat lady too?

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 17, 2019:

I love, love, love these wonderful gift basket ideas you've presented here. The kitten basket is adorable. You've opened up a drawer full of gift ideas for me to use. Thanks so much!

Nikki Khan from London on December 09, 2017:

That’s good to know Linda,Lol.

I like cats and puppies,,I hope everyone does.So I thought giving a gift of cute cat can be a good idea.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Nikki, I wouldn't recommend the gift of a puppy or a kitty for anyone, but my family gets the joke. In Heaven I will be surrounded by cats.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Thank you, Kari. I try, and I appreciate your kind words.

Nikki Khan from London on December 06, 2017:

Excellent hub Linda,,very useful for Christmas gift ideas,,puppy and cats are great ideas.In fact,home made cookies and bakery can be too for choosy people.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 06, 2017:

These are wonderful ideas. I love how creative you are! And, how you share it with us. I can't even decide which one I would rather have. :)

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Flourish, best wishes for your daughter. I know this is a big moment for all of you. Your home sounds like a big load of happiness!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Renee - Thank you. I wonder how many crazy cat lady starter kits I'll receive?

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 06, 2017:

Great ideas! My daughter is eagerly and nervously awaiting her early decision college application response. I may put one of these college themed ones together just in case the answer is positive! I love that last photo. I think I’ve gotten that package before! I have 9 cats, but they tend to show up one at a time desperate and hungry. One child, tons of cats. Utter happiness. My husband gave up a long time ago.

Tori Leumas on December 06, 2017:

This a cool and funny hub!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Ohmygoodness Mary, I don't know if I should laugh or cry with you. It sounds like a sweet, well-intentioned gesture. I'm sure he appreciates you.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on December 06, 2017:

Such creative ideas.

Although we don't give Christmas gifts, my husband did buy me a bucket to soak my feet in after a long day on the farm.

No, I am not joking!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 06, 2017:

Absolutely I remember. That is a good idea.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

Eric, that sounds like a wonderful idea. You'd probably want to select things that are lightweight. Remember the article I did a couple of weeks ago on homemade seasonings?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 06, 2017:

I might be to lazy to make these. I loved the pictures and ideas. And I truly do hope that I get one or two.

I was thinking how fun it would be to make one "shipable" so we could send them to our families in Vietnam. All American ingredients.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 06, 2017:

You are so easy! I had also been considering tofu or Brussels sprouts, but you've narrowed down the list for me.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 06, 2017:


That's what you can give me for Christmas, Linda: a gift basket of chocolate.

Problem solved!


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