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Creative Gift Basket Ideas

These creative gift basket ideas are so fun you’ll want to give one to everyone left on your list!

We were recently in charge of coming up with some budget-friendly gift ideas for a work event. With a price point of about $20 per gift we knew we had to get creative to come up with some gifts that people would actually enjoy/want! I immediately suggested some gift basket ideas. It took a little planning and one night to put them all together but they turned out wonderfully and were a hit with the recipients.

Sometimes coming up with thoughtful and useful gifts can be difficult on a budget. Themed gift baskets are a great thoughtful gift idea that really can be done at any price point. Below are creative gift basket ideas that you can easily do for $20 or less.

Creative Gift Basket Ideas under $20

Creative Gift Basket Ideas – For Holidays, Fundraisers, or Any Occasion

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Gift baskets are one of my favorite gift ideas. They are especially great for birthday gifts or for Mother’s Day. They’re also great as gifts for co-workers, neighbors, family members, teachers, and friends. I love giving gift baskets because it’s a gift that can be achieved at any price point. You really don’t have to spend a lot, you can spend as little as $10 to as much as $100 to create a thoughtful gift. For a really inexpensive gift basket, you can thrift the basket and find the filling for the basket at a dollar store. I’ve given a dozen ideas here and even more at the bottom of the post for themed gift baskets. You can elevate them simply by adding high-quality ingredients or you can create the same gift baskets on a budget by shopping smart.

You really don’t have to spend a lot, you can spend as little as $10 to as much as $100 to create a thoughtful gift.

Tips for putting together the best gift baskets:

Buy baskets on the cheap when you can. I always buy baskets when I find them on sale and just keep them in the closet for future gift baskets. I also ask friends and neighbors if they have any baskets laying around. Local thrift shops and second-hand stores usually have a significant selection to choose from. Other places like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross usually have affordable baskets that are great for gift giving. 

Stock up on goodies throughout the year. I buy items throughout the year when I find them on sale and just store them for later. So in January and February, I’ll buy some hot cocoa mix to use in a gift basket for next year (check for expiry dates). Most recently, I purchased a few throw blankets for 50% off to use in the future for birthdays or gift baskets. There’s nothing like that a little stockpile of goodies to choose from when you have to put together a gift last minute.

Cookie Making Gift Basket Idea

Here’s 20 Gift Basket Ideas

Pasta/Italian Night
For your pasta-loving friend – Put together the fixing for a perfect Italian night at home in a well-packaged gift basket. We picked up most items at World Market including gourmet pasta, pasta sauce, gourmet olive oil, meats and cheeses, and a colander. You could also include Italian spices, bread, and tea towels. What makes this gift basket idea special is that it includes everything the recipient would need to make the meal that evening – no need to think about what’s for dinner!

Baker’s Favorites
For your friend that loves to bake – An adorable mixing bowl stuffed with some of my favorite baking items like silicone whisks, measuring spoons, cookie cutters, and sprinkles. This was the hottest gift of the day! I made sure to pick colors that mixed well together – packaging matters. You could also include an apron, oven mitts, and gourmet baking mixes. What makes this gift basket idea special is that it contains items that people would use and enjoy but may not purchase on their own.

Cozy as can be Gift Basket
If you have a friend or neighbor that is going through some stuff, a cozy gift basket might be just the thing to bring a smile to their face. Think all things cozy, that’s what this basket is made of. Fuzzy slippers, a soft throw blanket, snuggly pajamas, a scarf, some hot cocoa, a candle, and anything else you can imagine that would make you feel cozy as can be.

Spa day gift basket

Spa Gift Basket
I’ve done this gift basket many times now and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s so simple. Put a basket together full of masks, loofah, a couple of nail polishes, orange sticks, cuticle gel, a plushy headband, think anything in that little section of Target with beauty items that are small – they’d all be perfect for a spa basket.

S’mores Night
For your friend that loves hosting – Who doesn’t love sitting by the fire eating these marshmallow treats? The basket included a bag of giant marshmallows, a box of graham crackers, and a variety of chocolate bars. We took it up a notch and included specialty chocolate bars in fun flavors like “hot fudge” and “peppermint bark.” The only thing this box was missing was some roasting sticks which were remarkably difficult to find in December. What makes this gift basket idea special is that it take and go. You’ll pal will be roasting marshmallows that evening and will hopefully invite you over to enjoy them as well!

Coffee Lovers
For your friend that’s always caffeinated – Everyone has a friend that always has a mug in their hand – they’re all probably moms. This is the perfect gift for them. Give a bag full of their favorite coffee (or hot chocolate even with a few candy canes), a fun, oversized coffee mug (grab four of these for $12), flavored syrup, and some gourmet cookies to top it off. What’s special about this gift is that it can be thoughtfully curated for the person receiving it. It would be wonderful to include a coffee subscription as well. This would work great as a hot cocoa gift basket as well.

Gifts for a Crafty Person
For the person in your life who can’t get enough crafts – grab and basket and fill it up with all the crafty things. The contents of this basket will vary depending on the person but consider ideas like paper crafts, washi tape, and stamps for the scrapbooker. Specialty yarn, crochet needles, and pattern books for the crocheter or knitters. Or for just a generally crafty person things like Sharpies, washi tape, ribbon, and a good pair of scissors.

Family Movie Night Gift Basket
For your neighbors or friends with families – This basket contains the makings of a great evening at home and who doesn’t love staying in, snuggling up, and vegging out on Sour Patch Kids and popcorn? I stuffed popcorn tubs (similar here) with microwavable popcorn, boxes of candy staples, and a gift certificate to Redbox. What’s special about this gift idea is that it’s made for the whole family to enjoy!

Wine Night Gift Basket
Friday nights are cocktail nights at my house so this basket totally speaks to me. Consider giving a subscription to a wine of the month club or a bottle subscription like, Winc or you can just give a bottle or two of wine, some wine tags, wine glasses, and a bottle stopper.

gift basket ideas

Hostess Favorites
For your friend that loves to entertain – A breadboard (similar), tea towels, some fresh bread, and specialty marmalade or preserves make a fantastic hostess or housewarming gift. Put everything in a cute basket and you’re good to go. What’s special about this gift idea is that you can make this as minimal or as elaborate as you’d like! We found many of these items at Home Goods and TJ Maxx!

Beach Day Basket
This is so appropriate if you are on the coast or in the summertime. Package some beach towels, fun sunglasses, some sunscreen, a water bottle, and a pool float or intertube, and encourage your pals to have some fun in the sun at the beach or the pool! I love this gift idea for an end-of-the-year teacher gift. It will be well earned.

Game Night Basket
Family fun for everyone all in a neatly packaged basket. Score a few games, some snacks, and you’ve got a great basket that gifts hours of entertainment. Include a board game, a card game, or a memory game for some variety, along with your friends’ favorite snack items. I love this because you can really tailor it to a particular person. Whether it’s for a family or for a couple, you can buy appropriate games to fit the recipient. Some games we love are Sushi Go, Qwixx, Sequence, and Ticket to Ride.

Charcuterie To Go
Everyone is obsessing over cheese boards right now. Especially as a holiday gift, a charcuterie tray in a basket is a great gift idea. Just package a variety of cheese (consider a couple of hard and soft cheeses), some meats, a variety of nuts, some seasonal fruit, a cheese board, and some cheese knives. This would make a great hostess gift as well.

Grilling Gift Basket
This one is perfect for all the dad types. Who can resist the gift of flavor? Curate a basket full of everything you might need for an afternoon of grilling. You can include tongs, an apron, kitchen towels, your favorite bbq sauce, a tray, some spice rubs, if you are dropping off in person you could even include some high-quality meat. Don’t forget the fixings for s’mores for dessert.

Carwash Kit
For your friend that loves their car – This is a great gift for a man’s man. We put together two of these baskets and they were HOT among a group of sailors. It’s so easy to put together and it’s the epitome of a useful gift. Simply fill a bucket with your favorite car washing supplies. We included ArmorAll wipes, sponges, rags, auto glass cleaner, and car washing soap.

Saturday Morning Breakfast
For your friend that loves breakfast – This was Matt’s favorite and I’m seriously considering adding all of these items in his stocking this year. For the pancake lovers in your life, this basket is perfection! We found gourmet pancake mixes at Target and World Market along with some specialty syrups in flavors like Butter Pecan and Coconut Pineapple. Yum! What’s great about this gift idea is that you can completely tailor it to the recipient. If they love crepes instead of pancakes, add that in instead!

Ice Cream Basket
This one is a little time-sensitive but how sweet would it be to receive a basket full of ice cream treats on your doorstep? Consider adding in some cute ice cream bowls, sugar cones, a few pints of Ben and Jerrys, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a tea towel for a really great gift idea that any sweet loving friend could appreciate.

Sweet Treats
For your friend with the sweet tooth – When you have a crazy sweet tooth but have nothing sweet in your house, you’ll be so glad you got this basket! Matt grabbed his favorite candies and paired them with a variety of specialty sodas to create this simple basket for someone who loves sweets! There aren’t many people who wouldn’t enjoy this fun gift!

Gardener’s Gift Basket
Some of us have green thumbs and some of us don’t. For the friends in your life who have a green thumb, pamper them with this gift basket so they’ll share their bounty with you. Include some flower seeds, a sun hat, some pretty gardening gloves, and some gardening tools. Use a flower pot as the basket for the ultimate gardener’s gift basket.

Pet Favorites
For your four-legged friends – So many of us have friends with furbabies – why not create a basket just for them! We included toys and treats for the pet in their lives. What’s special about this gift is that it acknowledges our four-legged friends! The options are endless with this one!

I would love to hear some gift basket ideas you’ve put together in the past or even some ideas that you’d like to try! I think gift baskets are a great way to give a thoughtful gift without busting your budget.

If you have a raffle coming up or a need for inexpensive gift baskets – pin the image below to save!

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10 Comments

  1. Great ideas! Gift baskets are such a fun gift to give and receive. Thanks for sharing!

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

    1. Great ideas, but I’m not sure they can be done for $20 including the container. It might be better if you itemize how much you spent on each item you mention. Thanks for this article, it was helpful.

      1. Hi Rose! That’s a great idea. Each of these baskets were under $20 as we had a budget of $20 per basket. A couple of the baskets themselves were an extra cost (the pasta basket + the pet favorites). The baker’s favorites utilized the mixing bowl as the “basket” and that did take the bulk of the budget ($12) but we found all of the fillers at TJ Maxx very inexpensively! Hope that helps!

          1. I find baskets at thrift stores, home goods, TJ Maxx, At Home Stores, and Walmart! Hope that helps!

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