gift basket ideas

Recently, a fellow coworker was diagnosed with colon cancer and had surgery. He still faces chemo treatment and even with decent insurance, is bound to face unduly medical bills. Something I love about my job [and working with literally a hundred faces daily] is that when one of us is faced with troubles, we come together as a family. And this was no exception. Although a small act with plenty of heart, my colleagues schemed up a gift basket raffle event to benefit our coworker and I jumped at the chance.

I make a mean gift basket. I made one for a friend once that had broken her arm and had been at home alone, feeling a little down. I went a little overboard but seeing her face light up at such an unexpected gift made me feel great too. Wouldn't you love to get a gift box with your favorite magazines, medicines, and candy bars?! 

For this event I decided to make two baskets. The first was a "fitness basket." I felt this was appropriate because 1) it's spring- the perfect time to get in shape before bikini season, and 2) many of my coworkers are engaged in a weight loss competition. So I'll show you how I made it, give you lots of good tips, and give you plenty of other ideas that may fit your needs.

I started with this Target basket I got for $10. Always buy your basket last, after you have a better idea of what needs to fit in it. I knew I wanted something a bit shallow so that the yoga mat could stick up and so I could also show off all the other goods.

I usually start with a base to "build it up." This time I started with plastic bags I had on hand covered in tissue paper to pretty it up. 


Add your larger or hard to fit pieces first and then work around those. I also make sure to add the higher objects in the back of the basket. Then, fill in from there. This basket had a yoga mat, water bottle, latex stretch band, shape fitness dvd, wrist/ankle weights, frisbee, arm weights, and a pedometer. Luckily, we have a store called Five and Below so I was able to score everything here for $5 or less! It still cost me about $50 with the basket included but I had some donations from friends at work who wanted to help but didn't want to bother with making a  basket. 



"gift basket ideas for charity"

For the next one, I thought outside of the box and used a colander to hold the contents of a spaghetti basket. Everything in this one cost me about $40 but I bought nicer brand goodies and didn't find much on sale. 


                  "gift basket idea"

I used a towel to layer in a bit and again, left the tall goods for the back. I included three pastas, a tomato sauce, a piccata sauce, Parmesan cheese, and basil pesto as well as the colander and towel.  I love how it turned out! You could add a bow too but I didn't have any on hand. Also, consider who will be receiving or bidding on your basket. I tried to keep mine gender neutral to appeal to more people. 

Other gift basket ideas:

  • a garden basket with a flower pot as the basket
  • a housewarming basket with plenty of kitchen goods or diy basics like nails & tools
  • car wash goodies in a scrub bucket 
  • spa basket with a robe and lotions, etc.
  • movie basket with popcorn, a movie or tickets, and snacks
  • a going away or welcome basket with food native to the area [our area is heavy on apples, mushrooms, and wine!]
  • favorite foods and snacks [perfect for the college student- my mom would do this and I loved having a piece of home while away].
  • a picnic basket with wine, artisinal cheese, and a blanket. 
  • a naughty basket for your lover... I'll let your imagination take this one
  • a pet friendly one for the cat-person in your life!
  • specialty like gluten free or low sugar for the person in your life with allergies or a new diagnosis that's hard on them
  • a baking basket with plenty of baking accessories 
I would say that's a good start! Any ideas that you've considered or made?? I'd love to hear them!


  1. You've just reminded me of the one gift basket I ever made for a friend a while back, and now I'm wondering why I don't do more of them. Yours are so very cute and thoughtful!
    Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. Thanks Stephanie! They're so much fun to make and I always feel amazing when I give one. I think everyone should get one at least once!


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