How to Make a Gift Basket: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make a Gift Basket: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever wanted to design a luxury gift basket that's so delightful that your recipient wants to savor every item themselves rather than re-gifting those odd-flavored goodies? If so, you're about to begin a journey to create a show-stopper that everyone will be eyeing and wishing they had one, too. Let's dive into the joy of basket building!

Crafting has always been a passion of mine, from DIY-ing ornaments that sparkle on my Christmas tree to handwriting cards that capture the essence of each recipient. It's that personal touch, that consideration of what makes each person unique, that transforms a good gift into an unforgettable one.

If you revel in selecting the perfect items, considering everything from personal tastes to dietary preferences, then welcome. This is how to make a gift basket.

Gathering Your Supplies: Inside the Basket

Creating a luxury gift basket is an art form, and like any great artist, you need the right materials. Here's what you'll need:

A Base

Think outside the basket. Whether it's a chic wooden crate, an elegant metal container, or an eco-friendly bag, select a base that speaks to the vibe you're aiming for. Our selections range from painted baskets to stylish metal tins and sustainable bags.

Kraft Paper

This is the foundation that will give the contents some elevation. Recycle those brown grocery bags or the Sunday paper for a sustainable touch.


​​Opt for either zigzag or crinkled styles to elegantly conceal the underlying paper, ensuring a seamless look. This essential can be sourced from your nearest craft store. In keeping with our commitment to quality and luxury, we've curated a palette of three sophisticated colors for our baskets: French vanilla, kraft, and black. These shades complement the upscale aesthetic we strive for in every creation.


Curate a selection of 5-7 gourmet delights. At Nifty, we only use the best quality in our gifts, so my recommendation is to go to Whole Foods or World Market and purchase organic lemonade, gluten-free GMO-free asparagus, Divina olives, Rustic Bakery goods, a beautiful handmade cookie, or organic chocolates. If you are growing a gift basket business, you might want to consider wholesale purchasing.


Every basket should have a keepsake—something that reminds them of you and this special moment. At Nifty, we love organic soy candles, vintage matches, beautiful socks, and luxe spa items (such as Elizabeth W hand cream or Musee bath bombs). Our Italian baskets have unique items such as a copper colander, fresh bread, an olivewood dipping bowl, and a braided trivet.

Real Greenery and Flowers

At Nifty, we incorporate elements of nature into our gift baskets, using fresh greenery, fragrant lavender, or charming small succulents to infuse each creation with life. I personally love to stock up on bundles of dried lavender and eucalyptus for their enduring beauty and aroma. Additionally, I handpick fresh flowers as needed, ensuring each basket is not only a gift but a gesture of nature's enduring grace.

Gathering Your Supplies: Outside the Basket

Cellophane—An indispensable clear wrapping, cellophane plays a crucial role in unifying the gift presentation. For local deliveries, aim for a voluminous build, but when shipping, opt for shrink-wrap cellophane to secure the contents firmly. Wrapping your completed gift basket with cellophane at least 30 inches wide ensures everything stays in place.

Ribbon—Our signature is the use of high-quality fabric ribbon, elevating our baskets with a touch of sophistication. We encourage you to step away from ordinary paper bows and instead choose vibrant, luxurious ribbons that add character and charm to your gift.

Tape – To achieve a seamless finish, we recommend using clear tape, not opaque, to secure the cellophane wrap around your gift basket.

Kraft Tie—For that final touch, we use slender, kraft-colored ties on metal baskets, drawing everything together neatly before topping it off with a bow. This subtle detail is key to refining the overall look.

Scissors – For enthusiasts committed to perfection, invest in two types of scissors. One pair should be dedicated to ribbon cutting, ensuring clean, crisp edges, while the other tackles general tasks. This small distinction can make a significant difference in your gift basket's appearance.

Ready to get creative? Let's get to designing!

Instructions: Creating the Perfect Gift Basket


How to make a gift basket the Nifty way!

Step One.

Start by placing your chosen base on a flat surface in front of you. Begin by laying out all your items to visualize the arrangement. For a cohesive, luxurious appearance, stick to a harmonious color scheme, such as varying shades of green, ensuring they match or complement each other beautifully. Arrange these colors to flow across the basket, from left to right or vice versa, to create a balanced look. Alternatively, you can position contrasting colors diagonally, such as placing green items in both the upper left and bottom right corners, to add visual interest.

Step Two.

Insert the paper into your base, adjusting the quantity to ensure it provides sufficient support for your items without overfilling. The aim is to create a stable foundation that allows the gifts to nestle comfortably within the basket without appearing unsettled or overly packed. The amount of paper needed will vary depending on the type and size of the base you've selected.

Step Three.

Distribute the shred evenly over the paper to completely conceal it, creating a seamless and attractive base layer. It's important to strike the right balance here, particularly if you're arranging your gifts in a flatlay style. You'll want to avoid piling the shred too high. Excessive height can cause the items to protrude awkwardly, detracting from the overall elegance of the gift basket. Aim for a level that enhances the presentation without overwhelming it.

Step Four

Arrange the gift items, including food and keepsakes, on top of the shred, placing taller items towards the back and shorter ones in the foreground for a visually appealing display. It's normal for items to shift or even topple as you find the perfect placement, so don't hesitate to adjust and reposition them until everything sits just right and looks attractive.

Step Five

Finally, accentuate your gift basket with subtle enhancements such as ribbon, dried flowers, or twine. These touches should complement the gift without overshadowing it. The goal is to enhance the overall presentation tastefully, ensuring that these decorative elements add to the basket's charm without dominating the scene.

Step Six

After reviewing your basket, it’s time to encase it in cellophane or apply shrink wrap for a polished finish. First, clear your workspace by setting the basket aside, then roll out the cellophane on the table. It's best to position the cellophane with the open edge facing you and the roll towards the back, preparing it for a smooth wrapping process.

Step Seven

Next, place the basket back onto the spread-out cellophane. Gently lift the cellophane from both the front and back of the basket, ensuring there's an additional 6-8 inches of material extending above the top of the basket, whether it has a handle or not. Carefully cut the cellophane from the roll, encircling the basket, and then set the remaining roll aside to clear your workspace.

Step Eight

Gather the cellophane at the top, directly above the basket's handle or its highest point if there's no handle. Securely hold the gathered cellophane with one hand. With a smooth upward motion, stretch the cellophane towards the ceiling to tighten it around the basket's contents. While holding it taut, wrap the cut kraft tie snugly around the cellophane below where your hand is positioned. Carefully remove your hand, ensuring the kraft tie holds the cellophane firmly in place.

Step Nine

Gently close the sides of the cellophane, ensuring they lightly adhere to the contours of the basket for a neat appearance. Then, take a 2-inch fabric ribbon and tie it gracefully around the top of the cellophane, right where the kraft tie is located. This not only secures the wrapping but also adds an elegant finishing touch to your beautifully prepared gift basket.

Themes & Occasions

The beauty of gift baskets is their versatility. Whether you're crafting a basket filled with love, a pampering spa set, a taste of Italy, or a heartfelt bereavement token, each basket you create will be as unique as its recipient.


Are you ready to begin? With a little thoughtfulness and creativity, you're set to design a gift basket that will be loved, admired, and, most importantly, cherished. Happy basket building, and remember, I'm just a message away if you need guidance or a bit of inspiration!


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