Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Creating Gift Baskets, Bundles, and More!

As we approach the holidays, your thoughts are probably turned toward gift giving. Have you thought about preparing a gift basket or bundle? With a little planning and preparation, you can gather, package, and present your bundles in a thoughtful and creative way. 

Items in each bundle will vary as they will be unique to each recipient.  In this post we will discuss the following topics: The recipient, choosing a theme and items, the container, presentation and packaging.

With this type of gift bundle you are able to gather several, often inexpensive, gifts into one bundle that is uniquely tailored to the recipients' tastes and preferences. Anyone would love a thoughtful gift like this!

The Recipient
To begin creating a themed gift you’ll need to take some time to reflect about the recipient. Ask yourself a few questions.
  • Who is the gift for?
  • If it is a child, what is their age? It may help you decide what types of items to gather.
  • What is their personality?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What are their favorites? Color…food…movie…music, etc.
  • Do they collect anything in particular? If so, you may be able to tailor some of the items to add to their collection.

The Container
Your container can be a basket or gift bag, but it could also be a part of the gift, not just a holder for your items. Think about a large mug, mason jars, or a bucket.  What about a mixing bowl or a baking pan? Your container could be a travel bag, beach bag, bath or shower tote, or a picnic basket. Some boxes include a shoe box, cigar box, paper mache, wooden box, mint tins for small items, etc.

Repurpose Containers - Feel free to repurpose something you have at home. Just make sure to clean it out, dust it off, sand it, and/or spray paint it. You may want to decoupage or collage on a box. For packaging food items, make sure your container is food safe. 

Add Your Personal Touch - It’s always nice to add your personal touch. Even if you will be purchasing all of the items for your gift basket, think about what you can add to it that has your “personal stamp”. Do you have a great bread recipe that you can add - either the recipe, a loaf of the bread, or both? Do you have some extra dried lavender you can make into a sachet? Are you good at crocheting flowers? Maybe your recipient would love a few to put onto a headband or scrapbook page. Adding in a little bit of you to your gift bundle gives a personal touch.

Presentation and Packaging
  • Food - Make sure all food is packaged in food-safe containers. Think about individually wrapping homemade cookies in wax paper. You could line the container with wax paper, parchment paper, cupcake or mini muffin cups, papers doilies, a tea towel, or even a pretty monogrammed napkin. If you do use items from home or purchased from a garage or estate sale, make sure they are cleaned and pressed.  
  • Placement - Arrange the items so that they will aid in the stability of the package. Pad the bottom of the container if you have heavy or breakable items. You can use foam padding, bubble wrap, crumpled newspaper, packing peanuts, etc.  Elevate the items so the recipient can see most everything in the container. Cardboard or items listed above for padding will help lift the items into view.  Arrange the items in the container in a pleasing manner. Place the tallest or largest items in the back and on either side. Place the heaviest item near the center of the container for balance. You may need to tie, bind, or tape individual gifts together to prevent shifting.  
  • Fillers - Fill in the remaining spaces with the other items. You may need to add in some fillers to keep things secure such as shredded or crumpled paper, newspaper, plastic bags, packing straw, cellophane, Easter grass, tissue paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc. You can also add smaller gift items like candies to fill in spaces.
Wrapping - If you want to wrap your basket or bundle think about shrink wrap, cellophane, tissue paper, fabric, or tulle.  A large bow or ribbon and a tag complete the gift. 

Check back on Friday, 11/14/2014, for our first gift bundle idea and video!

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