Amish Basket Weaver
While you can purchase pre-made gift baskets at most retail locations, you are missing a great opportunity to create personalized baskets for the people on your gift list. Pre-made gift baskets are not only expensive, but often contain small 'sample items' or inferior products in an inexpensive, mass-produced basket that really has no practical use after the items are removed. Even pre-made fruit baskets often contain produce that is past it's prime when you buy it. You are paying a lot of extra money for colored cellophane wrap, a bow, and some basket filler that make an attractive presentation, but are discarded into the trash.
Creating your own gift basket is not only fun and easy, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that your beautiful presentation also contains quality items selected specifically for the recipient. Everything about your gift basket will say 'Just For You', and what a wonderful sentiment this is for the person who receives your thoughtful gift.
Our hand made baskets are crafted using timeless techniques that have proven to create durable and functional designs in woven basketry. An attractive and useful woven Amish handmade basket makes an excellent container for your personalized gift selections. After the 'goodies' are removed, the recipient can find dozens of uses for their basket around the house, the garden, or the farm.
Gift basket making is only limited by your imagination and the size of the basket. Below are a few suggestions from our staff that might provide you with some inspiration for creating your own, unique and personalized basket. We've also included some pictures so you can see what a finished basket might look like. Supplies for gift basket designing can be purchased any where gift wrap is sold. You will need shredded paper filler for the basket, a roll of colored cellophane wrap, and a satin or raffia bow to bring it all together for a stunning presentation.
Any basket can be used for creating a gift basket. When making your basket selection for gift giving, consider the size of the items you plan to include, so they will fit neatly into the basket design and dimensions. Each gift basket below contains a specific basket recommendation to accomodate the items we offered as ideas; but these are certainly not your only choices. Give your own imagination and creativity influence over the basket you choose, so it reflects a design, style, or purpose you know your gift recipient will find useful after they have enjoyed the contents. Afterall, a handmade basket is a gift itself.
GIFT BASKET IDEAS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS: On a bed of colored paper filler, (Easter basket grass in a wide assortment of colors can be purchased after the holiday for pennies and makes a great filler for gift baskets), consider adding some of these suggestions; and don't forget, gift cards, appropriate to the occasion, make excellent additions to gift baskets.
- Anniversary Basket: A bottle of dessert wine, brandy, or liqueur with two crystal snifters; a scented candle; and an assortment of individually wrapped Truffles, Chocolate Covered Cherries, or other chocolate delights for enjoying at home after an anniversary dinner at their favorite restaurant.
- (New) Baby Basket: Consider our handle-less medium round basket Round Working Baskets for An assortment of nursery supplies (powder, lotion, oil, a bar of glycerin soap), a rattle, teething ring, pacifier, Baby Book, and a gift card to a local diaper laundry service famis or favorite children's boutique.
- Baby Bath Basket: An extra soft washcloth, a terry hooded towel, lotion and/or baby oil, a bar of glycerin or organic soap, a pair of baby fingernail clipping scissors, baby shampoo is great in one of our Oval or Rectangular Working Basekts with a woven handle to carry bath supplies, and later, hold tub toys. (Mid-wife's note: a fussy or unhappy baby can often be calmed with a warm bath and a gentle massage using soothing herbs in luke warm Mineral oil.)
- Bath Basket: For a feminine basket, put a bottle of Favorite bath oil, bubble bath, shower gel, skin lotion and a bar of glycerin or other organic soap, a bath pillow or terry hair wrap for the shower, and a pair of aloe & shea butter infused spa socks into our Flare-bottom basket Decorator Baskets.
- Bride's Basket: Thank You notes, a pen with her new initials engraved on it, a book of stamps, new address cards, return address labels, and an address/telephone book will fit perfectly into one of our small Egg Baskets. (The address book can be taken around to her showers and passed among the wedding guests at the reception to fill in their information as a keepsake of her special day and all the vital addresses & telephone numbers she will want to have in the future).
- Cosmetic or Hair Basket for Teenage Girl: Put An assortment of make-up, cosmetic brushes, an extra nice hairbrush, some fashionable hair accessories, a cosmetic bag, nail polish remover, a fancy nail file or emery boards, and a bottle of liquid face soap into our handle-less small Round Working Baskets that can be stored in a drawer or sit on the vanity.
- Cruise or Bon Voyage Basket: Sunscreen, the latest best seller book or travel guide for their destination, aloe gel for after sun exposure, crossword or Sudoku book, lip gloss and sunglasses will be a hit in our woven Specialty Handbag Baskets, perfect for taking to the poolside or a deck chair.
- Diabetic Friend/Neighbor Basket: Try one of our Medium Egg Baskets with an assortment of Fresh fruit, a recipe book for diabetic cooking, a pair of warm & soft socks or surgical socks which are great for circulation, and sprinkle around loose individually wrapped sugar-free chocolates. (You can also check online for recipes to make your own baked goods specific for diabetics).
- First Apartment Basket: Consider our Medium Rectanglar Baskets with woven handle, a light-weight hammer, one of those nifty screwdrivers with an assortment of heads stored in the handle, a couple of packages of picture hangers & curtain rod mounting hardware, a bottle of liquid hand soap, crispy artisan rolls and fill a quart canning jar on your way out the door with your favorite chili recipe. (If you want a really delicious, quick and easy chili recipe, email us and we will share it).
- Friend/Sick Basket: Tuck Cough drops, citrus herbal tea, tissues, the current best seller book, a generous sized mug, and an attractive one pint, wide-mouth canning jar filled with Dry Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup Mix into a soft and fluffy throw you used to line one of our Large Egg Baskets. (This was given to me several years ago, and I requested the recipe: Pour 2- 3/4 oz. packages of chicken or beef gravy mix into the jar; mix 1/2 tsp. chicken or beef bouillon granules, 2 tsp. dried, minced onion, and 1 tsp. dried celery flakes in a small bowl and pour over the gravy mix. On the seasonings, layer 1/4 cup instant wild rice (uncooked), and then 1 cup instant rice (uncooked). Top this with 2 tablespoons dried mushrooms. Seal the Jar. Make a label for cooking instructions: Empty jar into a large saucepan. Add 7 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer 30 minutes.
- Gardener's Basket: An assortment of hand gardening tools, a pair of gardening gloves, an organic gardening or pest control book, a kneeling pad, and a variety of flower seed packets, bulbs or a flowering plant make a lovely presentation in one of our Large Oval or Rectangular Baskets with a woven handle.
- Housewarming Basket: A bottle of wine, two crystal wine glasses, an assortment of cheeses, a roll of summer sausage, a loaf of artisan bread or gourmet crackers, and an attractive knife for cutting the meat & cheese makes an attractive display in one of our Casserole Baskets. A nice snack when your entire kitchen is in boxes. Or, if you are feeling particularly industrious, our casserole basket holds a lasagne pan perfectly--make your favorite lasagne recipe and your friend or new neighbor can keep the basket.
- Indoor Gardener's Basket: Place An assortment of small indoor implements, a porcelain or brass plant misting bottle, a bottle of indoor plant fertilizer granules, one or two houseplants and a small bag of potting soil in one of our medium oval or Rectangular Baskets with a woven handle. (If you would happen to select African Violets, add a decorative pot two sizes larger than the container the violet is in; a clay pot one size larger than the container the violet is in, to fit inside the decorative pot; and use sphagnum moss for your basket liner instead of shredded paper filler. Tell the recipient to transplant the violet into the clay pot after it stops blooming; put the clay pot into the decorator pot and fill the space between the two pots with the moss. Water the violets well after transplanting. After this, water only the sphagnum moss, not the soil. My grandfather was a master gardener and he shared this secret to Happy African Violets with me--and they will thrive in this environment).
- New Mom's Basket: Spa or hair salon gift certificate, a pampering assortment of bath or skin care products, a pair of soft and fluffy spa socks, nestled in one of our Large Egg Baskets lined with a cozy robe or bed jacket.
- Any occasion Coffee Basket: Consider placing An antique or vintage coffee cup and saucer, a bag of gourmet blend coffee or beans (if you are giving beans, add a small personal size coffee grinder), some packages of raw sugar tied with raffia, flavored chocolate filled wafer sticks or a spoon coated in chocolate for stirring, a loaf of homemade cranberry nut or banana nut bread, or homemade cookies in our Medium Rectangular Baskets with woven handle. (Hint: if your coffee is in a bag, use a hole punch to make a couple of holes for threading a piece of ribbon or raffia through the holes and tie with a bow).
- Any occasion Tea Basket: An antique tea pot or kettle, a lidded tea cup, a selection of exotic loose teas or bags, a tea ball if you are giving loose tea, some packages of raw sugar tied with raffia or a jar of locally produced honey, a loaf of homemade quick bread, or cookies placed atop a bed of shredded paper filler presented in one of our amazing Market Baskets.
- Christmas Goodies Basket: Use one of our Large Egg Baskets with a red or green accent for An assortment of your baked goods scattered around a fruitcake, cranberry or banana nut bread sprinkled with powdered sugar, or a plum pudding loaf with a jar of lemon sauce on the side. After the goodies are removed, this basket makes a gorgeous holiday decoration on the hearth.
- Christmas Remembrance Baskets: Perfect for giving to a teacher, hair stylist, co-worker, your pastor's wife or the church secretary: Fill a small or baby red or green accented Egg Baskets with Holiday Scented pinecones (you can buy these where dried or silk flowers are sold) for on their desk or workstation. (If you are interested in buying 9 or more of these, check out of wholesale pricing section.)
- Christmas Remembrance Baskets: Our awesome Cracker Baskets can hold an assortment of gourmet crackers and a block of cheese for the mailman, doorman or maintenance man in your building, school bus driver, a male school or sunday school teacher, gardener, or the guys at work.
- Canned Goods Basket: This could include jams and jellies, fruit butters, or locally grown honey presented with a loaf of artisan raisin bread; or a selection of home canned slaws or chow chows with gourmet crackers; or homemade salsa or corn relish in a basket of homemade tortilla chips--so easy to make: take a package of flour or corn tortillas cut a stack of four in quarters, then cut these in half, continue until you have the amount of chips you want. Fry in hot oil until crisp and golden; drain on paper towel. You can toss them in a paper bag right out of the oil and sprinkle them with salt and/or chili powder. Shake the bag to scatter the oil and coat the chips with the seasoning. Be sure to line your basket with parchment paper before adding the chips (no shredded paper basket-filler for this one). Any of our Casserole Baskets lend themselves well to use for a canned goods gift basket, or if you prefer a handled basket, consider one of our Oval or Rectangular Baskets with a woven handle.
- Any occasion Meat & Cheese Basket: Place An assortment of cheese, a roll of summer sausage, gourmet crackers, a bottle of wine, a corkscrew and/or small cheese board with knife in our stunning Market basket for an elegant gift basket. Even our Cracker Baskets with gourmet crackers and a block of Havarti or Baby Swiss cheese makes a nice gift.
- A Crowd Pleasing Basket: A Perfect Hostess gift for when friends gather for
watching the big game. A loaf of round artisan bread that you have hollowed
out, and filled with this amazing spinach/artichoke dip:
Combine 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese with 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese--set aside. Mix together 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayo, 3 cups of the cheese mixture (reserving 1/2 cup); I cup canned artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained & chopped; 1/2 cup chopped green chilies; 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze as much of the moisture out of the spinach as possible (too much liquid in this dip will ruin it); add 1-2 teaspoons of Season All seasoning salt. Pour into casserole dish, put the reserved cheese on top, and bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool before spooning the dip into your 'bread bowl'. Serve with white corn tortilla chips. surround the bread with tortilla chips on one of our Casserole Baskets and watch this tasty snack disappear.
(Hint: be sure to line your basket with parchment paper instead of shredded paper filler).
If you have Gift Basket suggestions, we would love to hear from you, please email us and we will post them here.