DIY Custom Gift Baskets & Pallet Art

I've been creating some cute custom gifts lately that I thought I would lump into one blog post for you today!


I've been using my thrift store basket collection to create custom gift baskets for friends and family, and it's helping me create thoughtful gifts without breaking the budget. My local thrift store has a huge basket selection, so it's easy for me to find the perfect one for whatever gift basket I'm trying to create.

Back in July, the husband and I were preparing to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. We like to stick to the traditional gifts, and the 4th anniversary gift is fruit or flowers. That's a pretty easy one for him to buy for me, but it's not as easy to think of something fruit- or flower-related for a man! I thought about it for a long time, dreaming up (and eventually vetoing) options that were way out of our established anniversary budget. I finally decided to make him a custom fruit basket filled with fruit-y things I already know he loves.

What do you put in a fruit basket for a macho man who wouldn't normally enjoy receiving a fruit basket? Here's what I came up with:

• Fruity Dino Bites (It's the off-brand of the real thing – he prefers these to Fruity Pebbles.)
• Orange Crush soda
• Angry Orchard apple-flavored beer
• Fruity Gushers
• Skittles
• A bag of Cutie Oranges (his favorite fruit)
• Fruit-of-the-Loom undershirts
• Apple iTunes gift card
• Banana Republic gift card
• Mango scented lotion
• Cherry Merlot hand soap from Bath & Body Works (He has a thing for nice-smelling hand soaps.)
• Pineapple printed socks from Target
• Red Hot Chili Peppers greatest hits CD (which was a bust because apparently he already had that one – oops)
• Pear-themed gift card

I piled it all in a simple rectangular basket I found for $2 at the thrift store. Voila, instantly cute gift!

I think the best thing about gift baskets is that you can pile a bunch of stuff in there and suddenly a random gift (like my fruit basket) looks cohesive and thoughtfully considered. And if you choose a nice basket, that's a major bonus. We can all use more baskets or storage vessels!

The other gift basket I made was for a dear friend who is expecting her second child. I wanted to buy mostly practical things like diapers and wipes since she already had most of the items she needs, but I wanted it to be cuter than just wrapping up a box of diapers. Perfect time for a gift basket!

I found this dark round basket at my thrift store ($3) that I knew would match the rustic nursery she was planning for her baby boy. Then I made it so much more adorable (and added another useful gift to the mix) by lining the basket with this adorable pom pom throw blanket from Target. It's not technically a baby blanket, but it's soft and cuddly and that creamy color will work in any room in her house. I should know; I have the exact same one in my guest room!

Isn't it so cute with the pom poms hanging over the edge? The other bonus is that the blanket takes up the bottom of the basket, making my diapers and wipes perch perfectly inside the basket without having to add any tissue paper or other padding to the bottom of the basket.

The other part of this baby shower gift was a custom piece of art for her moose-themed baby nursery. Scott built this 3x3 wooden "canvas" for me out of cedar fence pickets. I stained it a darker brown color and then painted a moose silhouette on top using white acrylic craft paint. I'm so happy with how it came out, and it was a big hit at the baby shower.

So that's one of the things we've been doing lately – creating random gifts and checking small projects off our list. Have you ever thought about using those thrift store baskets to create your own custom creations? I'm thinking I will start a little basket collection in one of my storage closets and just shop from there whenever I want to create something special for someone!

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