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Those who willingly volunteer to be the host or hostess of a holiday party are nothing short of awesome. Why, you ask? Anyone crazy enough to invite my personal party of 6, which includes triplet toddler boys, into their home deserves a medal! I’m not apt to giving out medals, but I do try to present those who open their home to us with a token of our appreciation. For an upcoming holiday party, I decided to assemble an apple themed gift basket for our hostess.
Do you struggle with the gift basket assembly? I used to have this problem! I could pick out lots of items to go into the basket, but placing it all in there attractively was a challenge. I’ve been working on my art of basket assembly, and I am here to share my tips and tricks with you today. Read on to see how to assemble a gift basket, as well as how to choose items to create a coordinating themed basket.
Try to choose a basket as close to the size of the items filling it as possible. If you choose one too large, then you will have extra space that has to be filled with basket filler or foam. If the basket is too small, then you’ll have to remove items or try to secure them on top of one another (which doesn’t always work). I try to purchase my basket and my items together at the same time at a store like Walmart. This way, I can choose a basket that I like and walk around the store filling it as I go. This gives me a good idea if I have chosen an appropriate sized basket.
Basket filler provides a cushion for the items, and it builds up shorter items that will fall down or get lost in the basket. Don’t have basket filler? I always have card stock handy. One trick that I use regularly is to run card stock through a paper shredder for instant basket filler!
I like to chose items with a central theme. For this particular recipient, I know that she adores apples. Therefore, I’m creating an apple themed hostess gift basket.
Once you have your theme, try to pick out items with a range of sizes. Choose one or two larger “anchor pieces” and fill in the basket with smaller items.
This Apple Cinnamon Cider fragrance from American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand caught my eye on the Walmart store shelf. I chose it for one of my anchor items.
I liked the seasonal selection of the American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand products so much that I picked up a few more items. The Sweet and Salty Caramel American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand fragrance beads were a nice smaller addition to the basket, and I picked up the Shades of Fall fragrance for me!
I also chose a bottle of apple cider for an anchor item.
For smaller items, I went with a few apples.
But I also went with an extra special addition- homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter!
Can you say, “Yum!”
The recipe is super simple. If you’ve never had homemade apple butter on a piece of toast for breakfast, then you don’t know what you’re missing!
- 5.5 lbs gala apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 cups white sugar
- Dash of salt
- 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
- Place all the above ingredients in a slow cooker and stir completely.
- Cook on high for two hours.
- Remove the apples from the slow cooker and puree in a food processor.
- Return the mixture to the slow cooker and cook on high until the apple butter reaches the desired consistency, about four hours.
This recipe will make 4 pint jars, but for gift giving I like to use these cute half pint jars! If you know how to can traditionally, then you can can this apple butter for an expiration date of about a year. If you are like me and you do not know how to can, then the apple butter will last in the refrigerator for approximately a month.
Now, it’s time to assemble the gift basket!
- Place your basket on top of a large piece of cellophane or tulle (tulle makes a great, inexpensive basket wrapping!).
- Insert your large anchor items in the center of the basket. Place basket filler underneath or around the items if necessary. For my basket, the apple cider did not need any basket filler underneath it for support, but the Apple Cinnamon Cider fragrance from American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand product did.
- Fill the basket with filler as needed to support the rest of the items.
- Insert the remaining items in the basket. You can use the anchor items as supports for the smaller items.
- Pull the cellophane or tulle up around the basket. Use bow wire and a bow to secure.
Are you a visual learner? See me back this basket in the video below:
Fragrances from the American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand make great additions to a hostess gift basket or a nice gift on their own! The price point for a large 19 0z. tumbler American Home™ by Yankee Candle® brand fragrance at Walmart is $14.93, and the smaller fragrances are reasonably priced, as well. These products are found in the home fragrance section at Walmart, but they are also available on Walmart.com on the Walmart Assortment Page.
Are you a pro at assembling a gift basket? What tips and tricks do you have?