Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How To Make A Cheap And Easy Gourmet Gift Basket For Mom

Gift baskets are always popular and a great idea to give as a gift whether for Mother's Day or any other time of the year. Moms love to receive gift baskets. Making your own gourmet 'mom' gift basket is cheap and easy. You can fill your gift basket with a variety of inexpensive quality items; you have lots of choices.

I've put together a few great tips and ideas for making 'mom' gift baskets, complete with instructions on how to make them. You can make inexpensive gift baskets or expensive gift baskets depending on your budget. You can easily customize each basket to your recipient.

First make a list of the mom's hobbies and interests. List everything you can think of that might possibly pertain.

Suggestions: sports, books, television shows, in-house hobbies, outdoor recreation, camping, workshop, tools, golf, fishing, computer-related, environment friendly, golf, tennis, relaxation, food, chocolate, wine, spa, bath and body, fruit, cookie, etc. These are just a few ideas.

You can find many inexpensive items and products for use in making your gift baskets or filling your gift baskets, at 'dollar' stores, craft stores, party stores, discount outlets, flea markets, close-out stores and even at garage sales providing the items are new, etc.

For gift containers you can use: any type of basket, wicker basket, straw basket, bucket, laundry basket, plastic container, purse, tin, seasonal container, large tea pot, large upside-down hat, red hat or plastic storage container-put lid underneath.

Other items: extra-large coffee mug, boot, potted plant holder, wire basket, large pasta bowl, large popcorn bowl, cooking pot, clay pot, colander, skillet, antique trunk, champagne bucket, hamper, Asian-style trunk or picnic basket.

For gift basket liner you can use: tissue paper, shredded paper, shredded newspaper, tea towels, dish towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, colored towels, colored napkins, placemats, or fabric pieces.

For gift basket filler you can use: shredded colored paper, straw, Easter basket grass, crumpled newspaper comics, a bed of wrapped chocolates or other wrapped candy.

For items in the container it'll depend on the specialty or theme of the gift basket - in this case a mom. Here is a small random sampling to give you a few good ideas:

Gift certificate for massage or spa visit, scented oils, scented massage oils, gift certificate to favorite store, gift certificate for restaurant, loofah, fragrant candle, matches to light candles, CD of nature sounds, favorite artist CD, DVD of newer release movie, how-to video or CD, handwritten poem, perfume, cologne, watch, framed photo, inspirational book, spa pillows, bath pillows, spa supplies, bath and body products, facial and body scrubs, handmade soaps, fragrant soaps, shampoos, hand and foot lotion or fluffy towel.

Flavored teas, green tea, specialty tea, herbal tea, biscotti, tea infuser, healthy snacks, fancy chocolates, boxed chocolates, chocolate bars, hot chocolate mix, specialty coffee mix, homemade cookies, homemade brownies, homemade jams, popcorn, caramel corn, giant-size boxed candy, candy canes, suckers, lollipops, apple, pear, orange, persimmon, mango, papaya, chips, pretzels, nuts, gourmet pasta, gourmet olive oil, pre-packaged food items, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, cookie mixes, wooden spoons, your best chocolate chip cookie recipe, Italian recipes, Mexican food recipes or other ethnic recipes, coffee mug, or potholders.

Garden trowel or other garden tools, garden gloves, work gloves, cold weather gloves, leather gloves, garden picks, seeds, hand lotion, flower pot , small tools, gadgets, playing cards, travel-size games, small puzzles, t-shirt, tickets to events,
small plant, disposable camera, a small book,

Computer-related items, mouse pad, yarn, painting or artist supplies, golf balls, golf tees, golf knick knacks, tennis balls, tennis knick knacks, key chains, small calendars or desk calendars, barometer, outdoor thermometer, science gadgets, electronic gadgets, health-related items, auto-related items or cinnamon sticks.

For gift basket wrapping you can use tulle netting or better yet, cellophane wrap. If you're going to use a lot of cellophane you can purchase it in large rolls wholesale through the packaging specialty stores throughout the U.S. but should be easily found in craft stores.

Tie off the wrapped basket with ribbon. Wired fabric ribbon is best if you have it.

For bows: You can use pre-packaged bows but making your own bow is easy and a better presentation if you can do it. Use a huge beautiful bow.

Assemble all your gift basket items, the tools you need, etc. Now line your selected gift container. Then stuff the selected filler into the gift basket to give added height to your items. Place, layer and arrange your selected items on the filler in the gift container. Put the larger items in the back, the smaller items in front.

Fill in the holes or prop up with more filler (shredded paper, Easter basket grass, wrapped chocolates, napkins or holiday napkins etc.)

Also you can use 'picks' of artificial flowers to fill in small open spots.

Place your cellophane or other wrap under the gift basket. Center the gift basket on the wrap. Bring the cellophane or other wrap over the top of the gift basket and tie it with ribbon and/or a beautiful bow! Use ribbon and bows to match your theme colors.

Tuck a personalized card in the ribbon and that's it!

General tips: You can find fabric or wired ribbon cheaply at Costco -- especially in the fall prior to Christmas or around holidays but often throughout the year in most stores. You can shred colored paper in a paper shredder.

Try to use non-perishable items except, of course, when making fruit baskets. Use freshly packaged food items; packaged crackers and cookies can go stale in a couple of months.

You can find filler flower 'picks' at garage sales cheaply. If you buy 'picks' wholesale they are usually around a dollar each.

Try not to mix chocolate or other food fragrant items with non-food fragrant items in the same basket.

Also there's nothing like learning how to make gift baskets from a video or DVD for making cheap and easy gift baskets. You can view it over and over again and share it with your children, other family members and friends. You can even charge for classes with your new-found knowledge and/or start a home based business if you so desire. In any event, making a gourmet mom gift basket can be cheap and easy.

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