You guys, I love giving gifts, and gift baskets are my go-to for events like baby and bridal showers. I usually have a million things I want to give the lady of the hour and a gift basket helps you give a thoughtfully curated package with a variety of practical and pretty items.
1: Find your basket
Keep your budget and items you're leaning towards in mind. If you are adding a cookbook, make sure your basket is big enough to hold it as well as a few other goods. The same goes for the opposite, you don't want to buy a huge basket and not have enough to fill it, and go over budget just so the basket looks good. Great places to buy baskets are Marshalls/Home Goods, World Market, and Target. You can get creative with your vessel, it doesn't have to be an actual basket. Try a lidded box, a milk crate, a flower pot, etc.
2: Add texture and lift
You want your gifts to be seen in the basket, so don't sit them down in the bottom like you are packing for a move. Opt for shredded filler (the kraft color is always tasteful and doesn't take away from the gifts themselves), or something like dish towels. For baby showers I'd find a pretty swaddling blanket. I love using towels or blankets to sit other gifts on, and if you have them spilling out of the basket it adds visual interest. I can feel my husband rolling his eyes as I type this, but when you see a nicely styled gift basket, it looks even more luxurious and beautiful.
3: pick a color scheme and stick to it
With the basket shown, I chose a neutral template. This color scheme is great to keep in mind or you'll end up with a purple candle, blue cookbook, wood serving board, and yellow kitchen towels. If there's something particular you already have or know you want to include, build off of that. I found this basket and knew I wanted to add a serving board, so I decided to keep going with neutrals, with taupe towels, a cream candle and a neutral potted (fake) succulent. I love getting inspiration from both Marigold & Grey here in the DC area and Teak & Twine. Their gift basket combinations are amazing.
4. Add a personal touch
Yes, sometimes you choose to go the gift basket route when you've dropped the ball and need a gift at the last minute, but try to add something personalized or extremely thoughtful so that the recipient feels like you've been planning this gift for months. Think, embroidering the hand towels, maybe a personalized stationery set, or a hand-lettered cheese board.
5: Arrange & Style your basket
As mentioned before, use a gift or filler to prop up your individual components. That in and of itself will already have your basket looking great. Be sure to cushion anything fragile with the filler or towels/blankets so that it's not broken before you give it! Talk about heartbreaking. Then just arrange and rearrange until you are happy with how the basket looks. Try to keep things balanced, with taller items in the back and not all to one side. Don't forget to add a card! And if you're just still not 100% thrilled with your basket, add a fun name tag tied to the handle or tie a pretty ribbon around the basket itself for more interest.