Gift Ideas

How to Make a Gift Basket & Affordable Gift Basket Ideas

How To Put Together a Gift Basket

Are you looking for great gift basket DIY ideas? We’ve got you covered. We’ll show you how to make a gift basket for any occasion and share some affordable ideas to fill your DIY baskets.

How To Make a Gift Basket – Steps

Before you start looking at gift basket DIY ideas, it’s essential to know how to put one together. We’re going to walk you through each step to help you put together the best gift basket for any occasion.

Step 1: Choose a Theme

The best gift baskets have a theme. A theme is what ties everything together. Otherwise, your gift basket will just look like a hodge-podge of different things plopped into a container.

Themes also help you find the right items to fill your basket.

How do you choose a theme? Here are a few things to consider:

  • What’s the occasion? Is it a holiday, a birthday or for a special event? The occasion may dictate the theme.
  • Who is the recipient? Is it a friend, loved one, teacher, co-worker, or someone else?

Here are some fun theme ideas:

  • Italian dinner
  • Wine lover
  • Coffee or tea lover
  • Kitchen items
  • Gourmet snacks
  • Campfire
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Candy store
  • Summer fun
  • Housewarming
  • First car
  • New pet
  • Game night
  • Spa day

The possibilities are endless when choosing a theme, but the occasion and the recipient’s personality can help you narrow down your options.

Along with the theme itself, consider colors. This is another great way to tie your basket together and really make it look beautiful.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can move on to the fun part – gathering your supplies. Here are some things you’ll need:

A Basket

Rurality Empty Gift Basket to Fill

Don’t take this too literal. Feel free to choose any kind of container. Actual baskets are nice, but you can also use wooden boxes, tins, bowls or something that matches your theme.

A Base

gift bascket filler - base - Crinkle Cut Paper Shred Filler

When putting together a gift basket, you want to elevate your items to make them more visible and appealing. To lift your items, you’ll need a base of some kind.

You have a few options here:

  • Foam inserts. These can be tricky to work with if you have a basket that’s an unusual size or shape. Still, they are a great option because they’re sturdy and durable.
  • Bubble wrap, foam tissue or crumbled newspaper. These are all great options for shallow baskets. They can be shaped however you want and provide a supportive base for your items.
  • If you have a deep basket, you can use small boxes to prop items up.

Having a base is important, but make sure that you also have items to hide it. Colored shredded paper is great for this purpose, and you can usually find this at big box stores or even the dollar store. The paper hides the base and adds a pop of color to the basket. Choose colors that match your theme.

Gift Items

Of course, you’ll also need your gift items. Choose items of different sizes and textures to create a beautiful presentation. Smaller items can help fill in gaps or empty spaces to make the basket look more balanced.

Think carefully about the gifts you add. Make sure they’re items that the recipient will love and that they match the theme.

Basket Wrap

Clear Cellophane Wrap Roll amazon

To keep everything in its place, you’ll need some kind of wrapping for your basket. Cello bags are the go-to option, and they work great for most gift baskets. Don’t forget to buy a bow or ribbon to tie it closed.

Step 4: Assemble Your Basket

Step 4: Assemble Your Basket – How to Make a Gift Basket

Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you can start putting your basket together.

  • Start with your base. Place it into your basket and try placing a few of the gift items on top to make sure it’s the right height. Next, add more tissue paper, bubble wrap or whatever else you’re using to ensure it’s just the right height to display your items.
  • Once you have your base ready, start adding your gift items. Place your tallest items at the back of the basket. This will allow your smaller items to be seen.
  • Find ways to secure your items, especially if you’re transporting your basket. Use skewers, straws, glue dots or whatever else you can to keep your items in place.
  • If you have glass jars or other containers inside of your basket, fill them with something, whether it’s paper or a small gift item.
  • Wrap the basket up in cellophane, and tie it closed with a bow or ribbon.

Your gift basket is now ready for gifting. Feel free to add a card or tag to make the basket a little more personal.

Don’t Forget to Make it Personal

Without the loving touch of personalization, even a gorgeous gift basket can feel like just another gift. Write a note with a personal message and add it to your gift basket. You can use one of our free printable cards: 

Printable Thank You Notes

Printable Greeting Cards

Printable Birthday Cards

Free Printable Thank You Notes

Best Affordable Things to Buy for A DIY Gift Basket and Where to Buy Them

Now that you know how to put a gift basket together, you may be wondering what you can fill it with and where to find some affordable options. We’re going to share some gift basket DIY ideas and how you can get your hands on these budget-friendly items.


Candles are great additions to gift baskets, especially spa and self-care related themes. They can also add a subtle scent to the gift that makes it just a little more special.

Here are some great affordable options:

Yankee Candle on Amazon

Yankee Candle on Amazon

They have dozens of scents, from floral to beachy, fresh and masculine. Their jar candles can burn for more than 100 hours, and you can find many options for under $20. Visit Yankee’s Amazon shop here

Craft & Kin – Smoke & Vanilla on Amazon

Craft & Kin – Smoke & Vanilla on Amazon

This candle brand is designed for men, but anyone who loves more masculine scents will appreciate this candle.

Glade Candle 3-Pack on Amazon


Glade is one of the most affordable options for scented candles. For less than $20, you get three candles. Choose from half-a-dozen different scents.

Unscented Pillar Candle at Walmart

Mainstays Unscented Pillar Candle

These candles are a great option for those who don’t like scented candles. A 3” x 6” candle is less than $6 – that’s a price that’s hard to beat.


snack categories amazon

Who doesn’t love a good snack? You can add food to just about any gift basket. Look for items that the person loves. Maybe they have a favorite candy, or they love cookies. If it’s a birthday or holiday themed basket, cupcakes or other baked goods will be a great fit.

You can find snacks at your local grocery store, or check out Amazon. They have an entire snack category with thousands of options in every price range.

Bath or Shower Bombs

Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers

For relaxation, spa and self-care baskets, bath or shower bombs are great gifts. They’re affordable and they smell great.

Try the Bath Fizzies from Bodycology at Walmart or Cleverfy’s Shower Steamers on Amazon.

Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate

Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are affordable options for gift baskets, and most people will enjoy them.

Here’s a great assortment box from Stash with 52 tea bags, or a small bag of Dunkin’ coffee for less than $10.

These are some great affordable options for your gift basket, but feel free to get creative and think outside of the box. Cute stationary or even mugs that you find at Walmart can be great inexpensive additions to your gift basket.

Best Gift Basket DIY Ideas We Love the Most

Are you looking for more gift basket DIY ideas? Here are some of our favorites.

Gardener’s Delight

The “basket” for this gift basket is actually a garden hose. It’s loaded with things gardeners will love, including seeds, gloves and an adorable plant.

Baking Kit

8 Creative Gift Basket Ideas

A fun basket idea filled with a measuring cup, cookie and scone mixes, tea towel, icing and more. This can be a great gift basket for the holidays or birthdays. The baker in your life will appreciate this one.

Mother’s Day

A gift idea for Mother’s Day

A cute idea for Mother’s Day. Self-care items, a pretty rose plant, gardening gloves, tea and other goodies are packed inside an adorable, galvanized bucket. Mom can plant the roses in the bucket and enjoy the other items for weeks to come.

Coffee Lover’s Basket

35 Thoughtful Gift Basket Ideas

Any coffee lover will appreciate this basket, which is filled with K-cups, scones, chocolate, a pair of mugs and more. You can replace the single-serve coffee K-cups with bags of coffee if you prefer.

Housewarming Basket

Housewarming Gift Basket Idea for Newly Weds

If you’re looking for housewarming gift basket DIY ideas, this is a good one. These are all simple items, but they work so well together, and they are things that the recipient will actually use.

Self Care Basket

DIY Self Care Gift Basket

The colors and items in this basket ooze comfort and relaxation. There’s a cozy pair of socks, a mug filled with tea bags, a candle, some essential oils, snacks, bath salts and more. We could all use a little more self-care, and these items are perfect for that.

Final Thoughts

Putting together a gift basket isn’t as complicated as it seems. It’s all about choosing a theme and finding the right items to tie it all together. Use these tips and inspiration to create a beautiful gift basket for any occasion.