The invitations usually tell where the person is registered and I check out what they have listed. The lists generally include bigger items they desire, but there are so many little things that I know will be needed and these are the type of things I try to put in a gift basket. I like to give a basket with a theme or items that go together.
You do not always have to use a real basket to make a gift basket. One of the "baskets" I have given in the past that was really a hit at the shower was for a wedding. I took a large laundry basket and put in two bed pillows. Between the pillows I put in a 11 X 14 photo frame that would hold a 8 X 10 photo. Something beautiful to hold a photo of the newly weds. On one end I slipped in a set of sheets with pillow cases and on the other end a package of clothes pins. You can also use a clothes hamper in place of the laundry basket and slip in towels or other items. These are all things that are needed when setting up a new household.
Another "basket" I like to give is to get a tall kitchen trash can and put trash bags, broom, mop, floor cleaner, dish soap, sponges, dish rags and other cleaning supplies. No one lists cleaning supplies on a registry, but they are expensive to get all at once for a new home. This is good for wedding or house warming gift.
I have also used a large mixing bowl as the "basket" and filled it with a cookbook, measuring cup, measuring spoons, wooden spoons, pot holders, oven mit, can opener, chip clips or other things to fill the bowl. Slip into the shrink wrap, gather at the top and adorn with ribbon to tie the top. Always check out the sale items when filling your baskets. It is amazing what you can find!
A new household will also need basic tools so putting together a basket that includes a hammer, packages of assorted nails and screws, screwdrivers, pliers, tape measure and picture hanging kits are great. As you are preparing a gift basket look around your house or in your drawers and think what you use on a regular basis. This assessment will help you determine what the new couple might need that is not on the regular list. Have fun creating a basket that they will enjoy.
Baby shower baskets can include so many small items. You can also do theme type baskets for these events. For example do a "bath" basket and include every thing needed at bath time: shampoo, baby wash, wash cloths, towel, lotion, rubber ducky, etc. Do a "feeding" basket with bottles, baby spoons - oh I just love the new packages of plastic baby spoons - baby food feeder, bibs, wipes, etc. Do a "safety" basket that includes electric plug blockers, cabinet opening stops, night lights and other gagets used to keep a baby safe. You can also make a diaper cake instead of a basket.
For general gift giving one of my favorite themes is to give MADE IN OKLAHOMA gift baskets. You can look online to find things made in your state. Lots of items you can find in the local grocery store...food is something everyone uses! I also checked http://www.shopoklahoma.com/ and found additional resources.
For a breakfast theme basket I found:
Griffin Foods, Muskogee, OK http://www.griffinfoods.com/ and they have syrups (plus relish, bbq sauces etc.)
Shawnee Milling Co., Shawnee, OK http://shawneemilling.com/ featuring biscuit mix, gravy mix, pancake mix (plus cornbread mix, muffin mix, pizza crust mix, brownies, etc)
Neighbors Coffee, Oklahoma City, OK http://www.neighborscoffee.com/ for organic coffee and gourmet tea.
Most places also have ready made gift packages or baskets, if you would rather not put it together, that can be bought at their online stores.
While I am braggin' about Made In Oklahoma I can't leave out Head Country Barbecue in Ponca City, OK http://www.headcountry.com/index.html They have the best barbecue sauce, salsa, marinade and their world famous Championship Seasoning!! Another company I love is Pepper Creek Farms in Lawton, OK http://www.peppercreekfarms.com/ they have wonderful relishes, salsas and bread mixes too! There are lots and lots of other companies in Oklahoma that make great products, and I have fun looking for new things to create a theme basket using the local products!
Hope these ideas will help the next time you are trying to put together a gift basket. Remember to check the sale isles for items that can be included in a gift basket. What are your favorite gift basket ideas?
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Diaper cake with 67 diapers, pacifiers, baby spoons and a baby bottle.
Baby "Bath" basket with lotions, powder, shampoo, baby wash, wipes, wash cloths, etc.
The new mom can keep all the bath supplies together in the green tote used for the basket.