How to Make a Cheap and Easy Gift Basket for a Chocolate Lover

by Helen Hecker

Gift baskets will always be popular and a great idea to give as a gift. People love to receive gift baskets. Making your own chocolate lover's gift basket is cheap and easy.  You can fill it with a variety of inexpensive items and there are lots of choices.

You can easily customize each chocolate theme gift basket to your recipient.


I've put together a few great ideas for making a chocolate lover's gift basket, complete with instructions on how to make them. You can make inexpensive gift baskets or expensive gift baskets depending on your budget.

First make a list of your recipient's hobbies and interests. List everything you can think of. Suggestions: sports, books, television shows, in-house hobbies,  outdoor recreation, camping, workshop, enjoy working with tools, golf, fishing, computer-related, environment friendly, golf, tennis, relaxation, food, wine, spa, bath and body, fruit, cookie, crafts, gardening, etc.  You can tie in any interests into your chocolate theme. These are just a few ideas. 

You can find many inexpensive items for use in making your gift baskets or filling your gift baskets, at 'dollar' stores, craft stores, party stores, discount outlets, flea markets, close-out stores, etc.


For gift containers you can use: any type of basket, wicker basket, straw basket, bucket, laundry basket, plastic container, toy dump truck or other large toy truck, purse, tin, Christmas tin, seasonal container, large tea pot, large upside-down hat, or plastic storage container-put lid underneath.


Other items might be: extra-large coffee mug, boot, potted plant holder, wire basket, large pasta bowl, large popcorn bowl, cooking pot, clay pot, tackle box, colander, small wagon, skillet, antique trunk, champagne bucket, hamper, Asian-style trunk or picnic basket.


For gift basket liner you can use:  tissue paper, shredded paper, shredded newspaper, tea towels, dish towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, colored towels, colored napkins, placemats, diapers, baby blankets or fabric pieces. For gift basket filler you can use:  shredded colored paper, straw, Easter basket grass, crumpled newspaper comics, a bed of wrapped chocolates or other wrapped candy.


For items in the container it'll depend on the specialty or theme of the gift basket - in this case Chocolate!  With chocolate it's best not to include any fragrant items, unless they are wrapped in such a way that they don’t give off any fragrance. Here's a small random sampling to give you some good ideas:


Gift certificate for massage or spa visit, gift certificate to favorite store, gift certificate for restaurant, loofah, CD of nature sounds, favorite artist CD, DVD of newer release movie, how-to video or CD, handwritten poem, watch, framed photo, inspirational book, chocolate recipe book, chocolate cookbook,  chocolate chip cookie recipe book, chocolate dessert cookbook, spa pillows, bath pillows, spa supplies, or a small fluffy towel.


Also flavored teas, green tea, specialty tea, herbal tea,  biscotti, tea infuser, healthy snacks, fancy chocolates, boxed chocolates, chocolate bars, hot chocolate mix, specialty coffee mix, homemade chocolate chip cookies, homemade brownies, chocolate fudge, Ghirardelli chocolates, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered strawberries, Hershey chocolates, Godiva chocolates, dark chocolates, white chocolates, chocolate bars, chocolate covered cherries, Belgian chocolates, chocolate mints, chocolate truffles, and chocolate covered pretzels.


How about miniature or giant-size chocolate animals, gourmet chocolate candies, Tootsie Rolls, nuts, homemade chocolate-based cookies, pre-packaged chocolate food items, brownie mixes, chocolate chip cookie mixes, wooden spoons, your best chocolate chip cookie recipe, your favorite hand-written chocolate recipes, chocolate dessert recipes, chocolate fudge recipes, hot chocolate or cocoa mixes in fancy packets, coffee mug for cocoa, movie tickets and cinnamon sticks.


You can use as many chocolate items as you like.  You can make it with all chocolate items or mix in a few non-chocolate items.


For gift basket wrapping you can use tulle netting or I like to use cellophane wrap.  You can buy it in large rolls.  Look for specialty packaging outlets where you can buy it wholesale. Tie off the wrapped basket with ribbon. Wired fabric ribbon is best if you have it.  For bows:  You can use pre-packaged bows but making your own bows is easy and the best if you can do it. Use a large or huge bow.


Assemble all your gift basket items, tools you need, etc. Now line your selected gift container. Now stuff the selected filler into the gift basket to give added height to your items. Place, layer and arrange your selected items on the filler in the gift container. Put the larger items in the back, the smaller items in front.


Fill in the holes or prop up with more filler (shredded paper, Easter basket grass, wrapped chocolates, napkins or holiday napkins etc. Also you can use 'picks' of artificial flowers to fill in space. 


Place your cellophane or other wrap under the gift basket.  Center the gift basket on the wrap.  Bring the cellophane or other wrap over the top of the gift basket and tie it with ribbon and or a beautiful bow! Use ribbon and bows to match your theme colors. Tuck a card in the ribbon and that's it!


You can find fabric or wired ribbon cheaply at Costco-- especially in the fall prior to Christmas but often throughout the year in some stores. You can shred paper in a paper shredder. If you're going to need a lot of cellophane you can purchase it wholesale through the packaging specialty stores throughout the U.S. but should be easily found in craft stores.


General tips: Try to use non-perishable items. Use freshly packaged food items, because even packaged crackers and cookies can go stale in a couple of months. You can find filler flower 'picks' at garage sales for pennies. If you buy wholesale they are usually around a dollar each.


Also there's nothing like learning how to make gift baskets from a video or DVD for making cheap and easy gift baskets. You can view it over and over again and share with your children, other family members and friends.


You can even charge for classes with your new-found knowledge and/or start a home based business if you so desire. In any event, making a chocolate lover's gift basket is cheap and easy and will be thoroughly appreciated by the chocolate lover recipient.

For more information on how to make gift baskets and how to start a gift basket business, go to  a website specializing in making gift baskets, gift basket business tips, help, advice and resources including information on drop shipping gift baskets

copyright¬©2007 Helen Hecker All rights reserved. 

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