A basket of food and food-related items is an appreciated gift. Baskets containing fancy, sweet or exotic foods are suitable for holiday and birthday giving, while more mundane food offerings are appreciated by new parents or recent widows and widowers. Avoid throwing random items into the basket of food and instead think carefully about what your recipient enjoys and what they will appreciate while also focusing on making the basket attractive.
Determine a theme for your basket. The theme can be specific such as a coffee basket containing different types of coffee, flavored syrups, and coffee cakes. You can also do a more general theme, such as a snack basket containing crackers, cheese, nut mixes and candy. All the items in the basket should complement each other so the recipient can use them all at once, if desired.
Repackage any items in ugly packaging. Make your own labels for jars using your computer and sticker paper. Wrap paper or plastic packaged items in a decorative paper or place them in small decorative gift bags. When selecting food, keep an eye out for items already packaged attractively to save you time and effort when you put the food basket together.
Use a container large enough to hold the basket food comfortably. You can use a regular basket, an attractive or wood container, or a cooking dish that matches the theme of the food. Avoid cardboard containers unless they are sturdy and attractive, such as those covered in decorative paper and made specifically for gift basket use.
Add filler to the bottom third of the basket so the food basket items are elevated slightly above the rim for easy viewing. Shredded paper can make an attractive filler, as can straw or basket grass. Gift wrapping suppliers usually have a large choice of filler material available. If you prefer a useful filler, line the basket with tea towels or an apron to elevate and cushion the basket food. Alternatively, make your own filler by shredding colored paper by hand or in an office shredder.
Arrange the items in the basket correctly. Place larger and taller basket food near the back of the container and place the smaller items in front. If you are including fresh foods, such as fruit, leave them unwrapped and nestle them in the filler in such a way so that their color catches the eye. Avoid over-filling the basket, otherwise the items may spill out during transport.
Wrap the basket in a clear cellophane so that the items are still easily visible. Wrapping isn't always necessary for all basket food gifts. Gather the cellophane edges at the top of the basket and tie it closed with a decorative ribbon. You can also use clear cellophane or cellophane that is tinted with a color, if preferred.
If you order food basket gifts, do so well in advance to ensure they are delivered on the date you need them. This is especially important if you are giving the basket food for a major holiday.
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