November 16, 2010

Tip of the day—Gift Baskets

I like making gift baskets for the holidays.  They are a great way to give an entire family a gift that they can all enjoy instead of worrying about what to give each individual person.  Sometimes I’ll make themed baskets.  For example, one year we gave “movie night” baskets to many of the people on our Christmas list.  It contained a gift card to Blockbuster (at that time the kiosks didn’t exist), a few IBC sodas, microwave popcorn, and candy bars (like you would get at the theater).  They were a huge hit! 

The part of the gift basket that can make or break your budget is the basket itself.  Here are some ideas for saving a little dough:

  • Shop thrift stores such as KARM or Goodwill for baskets. 
  • Hunt for them at garage sales and store them away until the holidays.
  • Refinish a basket with a little spray paint.  An Easter basket can be painted gold in a matter of minutes.  Let it dry overnight and then add a few touchups as needed.
  • Use something other than a basket.  One year, I had a bunch of boxes that I wrapped and then added the goodies.  Sometimes I’ll use a large bowl as a vessel and add cooking themed goodies.  A laundry basket is a nice touch for baby showers.  This year, I’m using a bag from Thirty-One as a vessel for gifts.
  • Use coupons and watch for sales.  When JoAnn’s had their 40% off sale on their baskets, I scored some great buys.  Ask your store if they will accept a coupon on a sale item—some will and some won’t.  If you have a coupon for another craft store, ask if they will honor it.  Some stores accept competitor’s coupons, allowing you to shop the sales where you choose.

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