If you know me, you know I love crafting of all sorts. One thing that I love about crafting is it gives me the ability to make personalized, unique gifts that I don’t just grab off a shelf. Especially if I am gifting to someone I am close to, I want it to be more than a gift. I like to pour my heart into them and make it special. With that in mind, I try really hard not to give something I like or am into but something that the gift receiver would love. I could make lace doilies but maybe they don’t like that look so they end up in a box. They feel obligated to keep it and then I feel bad if I don’t see it used in their home. No one wins there. So, whether you’re buying a gift or making one, keep yourself out of it and truly channel the receiver. If you don’t know, ASK! You can ask simple questions or more detailed if it’s not a big surprise.
This week I made a gift basket for my sister and her new husband. They had a destination wedding earlier in the summer and they had a big family celebration this weekend. I started by checking out their registry, which didn’t have a lot on it. I did grab a couple thing off the registry. There was a beautiful basket and a cheese grater so, I grabbed those. I love doing gift baskets and using a useful basket to hold everything that can also be a part of the gift.
Now, I actually had a completely different idea for their gift than what I went with. But, I was shopping and looking for small items to add to the basket and I came across this gorgeous giant charcuterie board. I went ahead and grabbed it even though it wasn’t my plan. My sister loves to host and make charcuterie boards for her gatherings. It’s quite large for the basket but, I’ll make it work. I also came across this cute little mini cutting board I grabbed to make a gift tag. And some wooden coasters and two stemless wine glasses I grabbed as a smaller items to fill the basket. Each of these small items will be personalized.
To personalize these gifts, I used my Cricut Air. I love this thing and have had it for over 5 years. I made a lot of items for my wedding using it and many gifts and things since then. You can get different versions of the Cricut. I think there are 4 new versions since mine. But it still works great! You can do the personalization without a Cricut but it certainly makes it easier and cleaner. I do not have the best handwriting or painting skills. But you could buy sticker stencils, you are just a lot more limited to the style and sizing than you are with a vinyl cutter like a Cricut. I planned my designs and put them into the Cricut software on the computer. I cut all the vinyl I was going to need at once and weeded it (this is just peeling off the vinyl in the empty space of the design). Keeping in mind, some would be stencils and some would be the vinyl directly on the item.
The first project I did was etching their initial into the wine glasses. This is so easy and inexpensive, and you come out with a high end product. I have done initials on glasses long before having my machine by using stencils. You can do all sorts of designs using this simple Armour Etch cream. I’ve done more detailed designs but my sister is into a more minimalist design. So, I did a simple W for their last name.
To do this, there are just five simple steps.
-cut the stencil or use one already made
-clean the glass with rubbing alcohol, and
-place your stencil,
-apply the etching cream (you do not need a lot but make sure all the stencil is filled in), and let it sit 15-20 min.
-rinse the cream off in the sink, pull off the stencil, and wash the cups
Next, I added vinyl to the mini cutting board and the coasters. It’s important to clean the surface so the vinyl can adhere well. Once I had the vinyl where I wanted it, put some heat on it using a heat gun, you could also use a hair dryer. This isn’t necessary but, I find it really helps with wood projects to warm up the adhesive vinyl to get a better adhesion.
Now that the projects are done, it’s time to put the basket together! This basket is a little deep for the small items so I ran to the store and grabbed a throw blanket to fill the bottom. You could also use filler but, I felt a blanket would tie it together well. The blanket fits nicely in the bottom and then I just arranged the items to make a nice presentation. How cute is the mini cutting board as a gift tag?? Throw in a card and that’s it, a simple and personalized wedding gift basket!
I’ve done baskets like this for housewarming, baby showers, holidays, and so many celebrations. For baby showers, I have used a kids wagon or those metal 3 tier carts, always a purpose for the “basket”. It makes for a fun gift that I know will used rather than gift wrap or bags that will get thrown away. Unless you’re like me and hoard all gift bags! I hope this blog inspires you to make a gift basket from the heart for someone you love.
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