I don’t know many people my age who love gift baskets. I don’t think many people really think about gift baskets. I mean, why would you?
I do. Often. It’s my favorite kind of gift to give. One of the very best gifts we received for our wedding was a honeymoon basket from Tyler’s mother. It was a large beautiful rectangular basket filled with everything we could have wanted for our road trip honeymoon: a tablecloth, two cloth napkins, two candles, a bottle of champagne, olives, cheese, crackers, summer sausage, smoked salmon and a beautiful handmade card. It was incredible. (Forgive the lack of photo. I was a little distracted at the time. )When we received a small monogrammed cheeseboard and knife from a friend, we were completely set. We loved our gourmet driving snacks of salmon and cheese and upgrading our meals with candles and cloth napkins at night.
This basket was the catalyst for me. Since then I’ve given three wedding baskets and I won’t be stopping any time soon. I have no idea if the recipients enjoy receiving them as much as I enjoy making them but at least I’m having fun!
This summer two friends were planning a honeymoon road trip and I was inspired to make a similar basket to the one we received. My mother has an excess of baskets and she was kind enough to give me a few. I took a medium rectangular one and filled it with a mustard yellow polka dot picnic cloth (made from an old curtain I had), two navy cloth napkins, a bottle of bubbly, scones, homemade apple butter and a small pouch that contained plastic cutlery and wet wipes. Plastic cutlery and wet wipes are two items that I consider mandatory for a road trip. You need them if you’re going to avoid eating unhealthy gas stations snacks (or to wipe away the Cheetos). Unfortunately the photo of this basket was lost in a tragic I-forgot-the-passcode-to-my-iPhone-and-had-to-have-it-reset incident.
The next two baskets were for celebrations on the same weekend. So much love in such a short period of time!
This basket was for a lovely couple that chose their wedding weekend hashtag as #keepingupwiththewoneses. Adorable. Don’t be concerned though. Their last name is not Wones. I don’t think I could handle that. To pad the basket (another gift from my mother) I used another curtain from my apartment in Austin. I didn’t line it to make a nice tablecloth. If I put more thought into it, I would made it into a table runner.
I’m all about gift baskets including something tasty, something to drink, something practical and something cute. Their go to alcohol is Tito’s vodka, so I had to include a bottle. I added a jar of my peach jam to give it a homemade tasty feature. For a while I had been wanting to support my friend and former coworker, Caroline Robe, by purchasing one of her beautiful handmade wooden kitchen items. This basket gave me the opportunity to purchase her salad spoons. Aren’t they beautiful? Then to make the basket fun I added a succulent in a jar by The Coastal Succulent (keep it local) and an embroidered hoop with their wedding hashtag. Unfortunately the embroidered portion took longer than I would have liked and the gift was late. It had vodka in it though, so who cares.
This basket was for one of my oldest friends and her husband. Knowing her as I do I knew that a gift should be carefully chosen. She’s practical but likes her practical items to also be aesthetically pleasing. She’s recognizes thoughtless or impersonal gifts quickly. They are also moving and I did not want to add to the stress of their packing. Luckily my gift basket strategy would fit the bill.
You’ll recognize the fabric from the other basket. I had more than one window at my Austin apartment and therefore more than one curtain. The basket was one I had been gifted from my mom again.
Drinkable item: Brut Rose bubbly wine from Palate– I was told this was a safe and tasty wine
Homemade items: Tomato jam and Strawberry jam (I like to have both sweet and savory)
Tasty items: Pepperoni and Salami that needed to be kept cool but not refrigerated, perfect for a basket. The company is also based in Virginia!
Practical items: A small cutting board from Caroline Robe’s Blasfemme Designs, two cloth napkins and hidden behind the board were plastic cutlery so they could eat the treats on the way home if they wanted.
I think my dream job might be to make gift baskets. So if you know how I can get this going, let me know. In the meantime as you plan your holiday gifts, I highly recommend the often overlooked gift basket. It’s very handy when you’re giving to a group of people like a family or your office.