I can't believe how fast this month is going! Christmas is just around the corner! You've already seen the gift basketI put together for my sister-in-law, Becca, and today I spent some time putting together the gift baskets I plan on giving to my mom and dad, as well as my sister and her husband. I thought I would share my adventure!
I apologize in advance for the terrible photos. Right now I'm using the camera on my phone since I'm still waiting for Santa to deliver my new digital camera, so hang in there...I promise the photos will get better in future posts.
For some reason I always have a difficult time thinking of something to give my parents for the holidays. It's not that they are picky, it's just that they already have everything they want. Sooo...I got the idea to make a breakfast-themed gift basket. I figured they would always need something to eat so I couldn't go wrong.
Since I was also needing a gift for my sister, Loni, and her husband, Brett, I just started picking up two of everything as I was shopping. Loni and Brett are living in an apartment right now, so they don't have a lot of space for gadgets--another perfect reason for a breakfast gift basket.
All-together I think I spent about $30.00 for each basket. I was able to find everything for pretty cheap, like these red buckets from Target, $2.50 each, and these jars from Ross, between $2-$4.00.
I also purchased some red and green washcloths to use as fillers, and some green ribbon and aluminum tag frames to use as accents. Since the buckets were not the "commercial" Christmas red, I chose a ribbon that was not "commercial" Christmas green. This way the baskets would look a bit more contemporary.
The packages of washcloths were each $2.99 from Ross, but one came with 6 washcloths and the other with 4. The ribbon was $3.99 for the entire spool and one set of aluminum tag frames was about $3.00. I found these items from Michaels craft store.
For Loni and Brett I also bought some coffee mugs with a monogram of their initials. Each mug was $1.99 so they worked perfectly with my budget. Unfortunately I was only able to find a mug with the letter K (for my mom, Karol Lyn) but I was unable to find anything with the letter E (for my dad, Eldon). Since I couldn't find both letters, I did not include mugs in the basket for my parents. Sorry mom and dad, I guess you'll just have to use one of the many mugs you already have.
Once I had all of the items I needed I ran to the grocery store to pick up some pancake mix, syrup, and hot chocolate mix. This was actually the most expensive part. Can you believe the price of syrup these days? It's crazy!
I couldn't decide if I wanted the basket to be the "standard" pancake breakfast or if I wanted to change it up a bit. Growing up, we always had pancakes with maple syrup, yet if we ever went out for breakfast everyone would try the alternative flavors. But, on the other hand, not everyone likes those alternative flavors. So...since I couldn't decide between one or the other, I bought both. I figured this would be the best way to cover everyone's preferences. I even made sure to include a sugar free option for my mom, since she is constantly watching her blood sugar levels.
Once I had everything I needed I went to work. First, I placed everything out on the dining table (my work zone) so that everything would be close at hand. I made sure to have some scissors, paper (regular and tissue), a spray-bottle filled with water, a damp washcloth, some needle-nosed pliers, a pencil, and a trash bag. (The tools of the crafter's trade).
Here's a tip: Always start with a clean container. Even though an item is fresh from the store there's no telling where it has been...so give it a wipe down. I started by removing the pricing labels (which are ridiculously sticky!) and then wiping down each container with a damp washcloth. Once everything was clean it was time to make the transfer!
Sorry there isn't a photo of the hot chocolate transfer. (Couldn't hold the camera and pour at the same time.) I didn't have a funnel, so I had to be creative. I actually just rolled up a piece up paper into a funnel shape, and poured the coco mix into the wider end of the paper.
It was a little messy to do it that way, so if you attempt this project on your own you may want to have an extra washcloth, or some paper-towels on hand. It might even be wise to cover your workspace with plastic before you start too.
Once all of the jars were filled the baskets were beginning to take shape!
Next came the embellishments...my favorite part! I started by taking the washcloths I had purchased and rolling them into tubes. Then I cut pieces of ribbon (about 5-6 inches) and tied one ribbon around the center of each washcloth. I didn't have enough length on the ribbon to tie a bow, so I just tied knots...but if you decide you want to tie a bow for your own project, just cut longer pieces of ribbon.
Next, I jumped on my laptop and typed up the labels I wanted for each of the bottles. The font size I chose was smaller than usual since I knew that there would be limited space available on the tags. For the labels for the mixes, I made sure to include directions. (For this I just copied the instructions from the box.)
Here's a tip: When you're printing out labels, be sure to leave plenty of blank space around the text so that you can cut out your label. I did this by using several text boxes and spacing them all over the page. Also, print your labels on a durable paper. I used cardstock for this very reason.
Included in the package of aluminum label frames were stencils to help you draw the different sizes of circles. This made determining the best size and cutting the labels a breeze!
Once the labels were cut and inserted into the frames, I used the pliers to press the aluminum and secure the edges. This made some dents in the aluminum frames, but this is normal. If you want to reduce the amount of dents placed in the aluminum you can use something thin (like poster board) to place between the teeth and the aluminum. Personally, I think the dents make the metal look aged, and I like it!
Next, I cut pieces of ribbon to tie around the top of each jar. Before I tied the bow or knot, I would hook the label so that the attachment would be covered by the bow. If you're wondering what type of wire I used, I actually just used some ornament hooks. They worked perfectly for what I needed because they were just the right length, and they were easy to bend.
When the labels were attached, the jars looked like this:
Finally, to create the finished look I simply took the washcloths which I had tied with a bow and tucked them into the gaps of the arrangement. When all was said and done, I ended up with this:
If you like this idea, try it out for your next event that requires a gift. The concept is extremely versatile since all you have to do is change up the basket to give it an entirely different look! Please be sure to share ideas for your own crafty projects by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project may be featured on my blog!