Learn how to assemble a personalized do-it-yourself Welcome Gift Basket with these quick and easy ideas, tips and tricks.
Whether your house guest stays for a couple of hours or spends the whole weekend, give them a DIY Gift Basket that says “I’m glad so you’re here!”
At some time you will find yourself entertaining guests who will be visiting for the day, overnight or even the weekend. They might be a business associate, a relative, grandchild or even a childhood friend.
So, the idea of a gift basket is a great way to express how much you care and glad that they decided to spend time with you.
It doesn’t take but a few supplies to make a one-of-a-kind welcome basket. It only takes some thought as to what you want to include in your basket, as well as a bit of creativity for assembling everything together.
What I love about DIY gift baskets is that it allows me the freedom to personalize it for each guest.
You might think that it costs a fortune to make your own DIY gift basket, but not so. For the most part, welcome gift baskets take minimal supplies and best of all, you control what you put in them.
Supplies You’ll Need
1. Gift Basket Containers
When assembling your welcome gift basket, it’s best to use a basket, tin, or other appropriate “container.”
You will want to match the size of your container with the amount of items to be placed in it. Consider, too, if your guest will be traveling via plane, train, or automobile, as too large of items might not fit in an overhead compartment or under a seat.
That’s why I recommend starting with a medium-sized basket. You can always opt for a larger or smaller one, if need be.
Consider these great gift container ideas:
- Floral Baskets. One low cost option is to use floral baskets from arrangements that you’ve received in the past. Just remove the plastic liner, add some filler and then add your favorite items for your guest.
- Antique Tins. These work great if you keep the fill items small enough. Best of all, most tins are small enough for guests to slip it into their luggage without a problem.
- Canvas Bags. You can personalize this with your guest’s name, an iron-on monogram, or leave it plain.
- Apple Bushel Baskets. Perfect for larger gifting.
2. Basket Fillers
In any gift basket you’ll find empty space that needs to be filled. That’s the beauty of fillers. They help keep items from shifting in the basket or container and also add a bit of color or flare, depending upon what you use.
Here are some great basket filler ideas for your DIY welcome basket:
DID YOU KNOW? You can cut the cost of making a Welcome Gift Basket by thinking outside the box. Consider unused baskets and fillers that are gathering dust in a closet or basement. When you do, you’ll find the overall cost to make one of these baskets plummets considerably.
3. Cellophane Sheets or Bags
You have a couple of options with regard to securing all of the items in your DIY Welcome Gift Basket. You can pack the items in and leave it as is, or wrap your basket with a couple of cellophane sheets. You can even use an appropriate sized cellophane bag.
4. Ribbons and Bows
To give your basket the finishing touch try ribbons and bows. It can be as simple as tied raffia or as elaborate as a silk ribbon and bow combination.
How to Assemble a Professional-Looking DIY Gift Basket (Video)
What to Put in Your Gift Basket
When packing your Welcome Guest Basket, think more “quality over quantity” or “less is best.” You certainly do not want your gifted items spilling over the side of the container or falling out when handing it to your guest.
In addition, be careful not to pack the contents too tightly or you may risk breaking any fragile gift items or even cause unsightly “bulging” of your container.
To be honest, most folks will agree that it is the quality and thoughtfulness of the items that you choose that makes your basket special, not how much you can stuff into it.
And, if you really want to go outside the box, why not make a themed welcome gift basket. It’s easy to do with these creative ideas:
1. Gardener Gift Basket
Garden gift baskets are wonderful for a friend or family member who is a garden enthusiast.
For this type of basket, why not include:
- fresh vegetables
- seed packets *
- gardening book (written for the region they live in)
- garden gloves
- small garden implements like a trowel or hand hoe
Before you ship out your gift basket, be sure to check ahead to see if there are any flight, country or state restrictions for bringing plants or seed across local or international borders.
2. Welcome to My State Basket
Celebrate the state you live in with a variety of food/drink, kitschy items, travel brochures, maps, and a T-shirt that says, “Welcome!”
Consider the pre-made gift basket above. You can see it’s packed with fruit, candies, other foodstuff, along with a book that celebrates the State of California.
I’ve made many “Wisconsin-treat” baskets that include a Wisconsin map, Wisconsin-made cheese wedge, candies, Cheesehead and local bottle brew like Sprecher Rooter. It’s like sharing the best of the Badger State with my guests.
3. Spa Gift Basket
Make a Zen-inspired spa basket that include a CD of spa-like/new age music, soothing lotions, defoliators, scents in a bottle, and even a hot-cold eye compress.
4. Toiletry Essentials Gift Basket
When you entertain out-of-town or weekend house guests, you can put out a out a toiletry basket, filled with a small tube of toothpaste, wrapped hand soap, sample-sized shampoo and conditioner. This way, if your guests have forgotten something they can use these or take them home as a “special treat.”
5. Sports Gift Basket
Put together a sports themed gift basket that includes tickets to your favorite sports team, a team jersey, team program, or even a memento from the event.
Other sports ideas might include a frisbee, a hackey sack, a nerd football–things that you can do in your “down” times between events.
6. Puzzle Gift Basket
If your guest loves to do puzzles, how about assembling a puzzle gift basket. You can include a 500 piece puzzle or one of the many mind-bending hand puzzles wood, plastic, or metal that will keep them guessing how it’s done for hours.
Or how about a Saduko, Crossword Puzzle or Circle-a-Word Book? These too will give hours of pleasure.
7. Game Gift Basket
Create a family game night gift basket with all the trimmings with mini games like chess, checkers, Monopoly®, Scrabble®, backgammon, or even a deck of cards with betting chips–all for your special weekend gamer. Psst: Don’t forget to throw in some snack packs too!
8. Snack Gift Basket
And, speaking of snacks, how about creating a snack basket that includes small boxes of cookies, crackers, nut mixes, and small cheese wedges for when your guest needs a quick treat.
9. Postcard Gift Basket
Collect blank postcards from your various weekend travels and destinations and put them all together, wrapped in a pretty bow or small tin.
You can even write a special “memory” of that day’s event on the back of each postcard.
10. Photo Album or Scrapbook Gift Basket
If you have time to spare, how about collecting all of your favorite photos, special scissors, scrapbook paper, markers and stickers and assemble them in a mini-scrapbook or basket for your favorite crafter.
Gift Basket Tip: If you make a mini-scrapbook, be sure to use archival, acid-free paper, so that your photos and any artwork that you care to include in your book will last for years to come.
More Gift Basket Ideas
- Make It Monogrammed. Monogram special hand towels, soaps, stationary, golf tees, baseball caps, golf balls and more with your guest’s initials.
- Personalized T-Shirts. Wouldn’t it be great to create a memorable t-shirt with a date, photograph, or saying from your guest’s visit?
- Video Greeting Card. What an original welcome gift: Video Greeting Card that is personalized by you! A perfect one-of-a-kind gift that your guest will be able to take back with them to remind them of their special visit.
Need some quick gift ideas for any occasion? Be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Gift Section.