Gift basket tower

Have you ever wanted to put together a beautifully wrapped gift basket but just didn’t know how to wrap it or where to even start?

Maybe it’s your first time making a gift basket? It can be overwhelming especially when we really want it to look amazing, right?

Well in this post we’re going to show you, step by step, how easy it can be wrap up a gift basket like a pro!

Step #1 – Your Supplies

gift baskets
The supplies you’ll need to wrap up your gift basket

To create a good gift basket you’re going to need some basic supplies: a gift box with removable lid, clear cello basket bag (instead of the cello wrap on a roll), newsprint packing paper, some tinsel cord, a pull bow and some colored basket shred.

Step #2 -Your Container

gift baskets
Use these durable and reusable boxes as your gift basket containers

The container that you chose for your gift basket is very important. It needs to be sturdy, attractive and easy to work with.

For this gift basket, instead of using a boring wicker basket (as is so typical for gift baskets!) we decided to use one of our 2 piece gift boxes that measures 7″x7″x4″. These boxes are quite rigid and not only make great gift basket containers but they’re also reusable as storage boxes after.

TIP: You can either place the lid under the box or behind it. We chose to go with the lid behind for this example.

Step #3 – Your Base

gift baskets
Newsprint makes a good base for you gift basket. Just add your colorful basket shred on top of the newsprint

For a good base, we like to use unprinted newsprint packing paper. The newsprint is stiff, inexpensive and helps to fill the bottom of your container so you use less of the colorful basket shred.

The packing paper also helps to keep heavy things (like jars and bottles) in place so they don’t get damaged and prevents them from sinking down to the bottom of the box (you want to see the products!)

TIP: Don’t use actual newspaper! The ink comes off and can mess up the inside of your container as well as the contents inside your gift basket.

Step #4 – Your Filler

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Use colorful basket shred to enhance the products in your gift basket

Once you’ve got your newsprint packing paper in place, sprinkle some colorful basket shred on top. The color choice is yours but we usually recommend using a complimentary color (that matches the ribbon or bow) or a neutral color so your products stand out.

TIP: Try to stick with just 1 color for your filler. Combining 2 or more colors can be distracting and take away focus from the products in the gift basket.

Step #5 Your Products

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Be sure to consider the placement of the products in your gift baskets

When placing your products in the gift basket, keep in mind a few things:

  • How is your basket going to be viewed? Just from the front or all the way around? In our sample gift basket, we decided to make the basket viewed just from the front, which is why we put the lid at the back of the box. You then want to “layer” products smallest to largest, from front to back (this way, small items can lean against the tall items in the back)
  • If your gift basket is to be viewed all around, you would then put your lid under the box with the taller products in the center and the smaller items around the edge.

TIP: Consider the shapes and sizes of the products when you’re purchasing them. Try to vary them as much as possible which will make it easier to fit into the gift basket.

Step #6 – Your Basket Bag

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Using a clear cello basket bag will make wrapping up your gift basket so much easier!

Once you’ve placed all your products in the box, it’s time to put the box into a clear cello basket bag. These bags make wrapping up a gift basket quick and easy! Though not all baskets or containers will fit into a preformed basket bag, if yours can then do use one as they are much easier to then the traditional cello wrap on a roll.

Secure the top of the cello basket bag with a length of tinsel cord or twine. We usually like to tie at the top of your tallest item in the gift basket. This helps keep everything secure inside and the cello wrap looking nice and crisp (and not looking like someone sat on it!!)

TIP: Basket bags aren’t just for gift baskets! You can use them for hard to wrap items such as blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, stuffies and more.

Step #7 – Your Corners

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Remember to tape down your basket bag corners!

You’ll notice in the previous photo in Step #6 that the corners of the basket bag are sticking out on the sides of the box.

You MUST tape those under the box, yes, it’s a MUST! It’s the quickest way to make an average looking basket look amazing!

It also helps keep all those products in their place. The last thing you want to do, after all this effort, is give a gift basket that looks like it’s been rolling around in your car trunk!

TIP: Use clear tape instead of frosted tape…it looks so much better!

Step # 8 – Your Bow

gift baskets
The finishing touch – the bow on top!
gift baskets
Try adding some custom printed ribbon for a corporate or special event gift basket

Ok now you’re almost done, you just need a bow for that finishing touch! The bow is an important part of the overall presentation of the gift basket so it needs to look really good.

Above, we’ve shown an example of a black pull bow (top photo) which is easy to use especially if you’re not good with tying bows. In the bottom photo, we used a custom printed satin ribbon bow, which is hand tied.

Here’s a super easy tutorial on how to make these perfect bows. These look amazing, especially on corporate or special event gift baskets.

So, there you have it. Simply follow these 8 easy steps and you’ll become a gift basket making pro in no time!

Looking for more gift basket making ideas? Click here to learn how to put together an awesome wine gift basket!

gift basket

We’ve now created a video on how to put together a gift basket using the easy steps in this post!

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Anna is Vice President and Director of Marketing at Essential Packaging Inc. For the past 24 years, along with her husband of 25 years, David, she has helped to grow the company from a home based business into a thriving retail and online enterprise. Her love of creative packaging, marketing and small business life has lead her to the wonderful world of blogging. Now she writes on her 2 blogs, A Beautifully Wrapped Life and A Small Business Life. She enjoys kayaking with her son Matt, hikes with her constantly shedding Yellow Lab Soda and her 5 backyard chickens. Connect with her by CLICKING HERE Find out more about Essential Packaging at