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Better Late Than Never

Okay, so I'm a little late on this one, but it's better late than never.

A few months ago, my mom had a birthday.  Yep, I know.  "A few months ago" was the way I started that last sentence.  But wait just one minute...don't go thinking that I completely forgot about her birthday, because that's certainly not the case...I did call to wish her a happy birthday...but I also fail to follow through on the statement that I made when I told her I would get her a gift.

Now before you assume I am a terrible person, to my defense my mom did use the phrase, "your phone call is all the gift that I need."  What's a girl to do? 

Well, last weekend when I was working on the grilling-themed gift basket for my dad's Father's Day gift, I decided it was about time to make things right with my birthday blunder, and here is what I came up with:

If you couldn't already tell, I'm obsessed with gift baskets!  I like them because they allow you to add your personal touch, as well as customize the gift specifically for a particular person or occasion.  I'm always anxious to see the reaction of the people who receive these homemade gifts.  It's a priceless moment when they realize that the gift was not manufactured in a factory, but instead was hand-crafted specifically with them in mind.

The theme for this gift basket officially started off when I found this amazingly cute baking dish, but I knew there was no turning back when I also found the Rachel Ray cookbook that featured a cover with the same exact color as the dish, accented by a bright green.  My thought literally was, "bingo!" when I saw the two items together!

And so was born the, "Rachel Ray Cookbook & Pretty-Aqua-Baking-Dish Pasta Dinner Gift Basket!"

Whew!  Say that 10 times fast!

I guess if you're having a hard time with the first title, you could just call it the "Pasta Dinner Gift Basket," but I'll let you make that call.

I started by determining the approximate placement I wanted for each of the items.  This helped me to know which items would fit, and which would not.  This is always a helpful step, since sometimes it is difficult to judge just how many goodies the basket will hold.

On that note, here's a small tip:  Always hold on to the receipt for the items when you are creating a gift basket.  Doing so will leave you with the opportunity to return any items that you don't wind up using.  Since this basket featured mostly food items, I wasn't too concerned with returning them.  Instead, I figured I would just make my own pasta dinner with anything left-over (yum)!

Finding the basket items was fairly easy, but finding ways to tie in the colors was a bit more challenging.  Luckily, I found some lovely beads at Wal-Mart, and a cute striped print table cloth at Ross, and they seemed to solve this problem fairly easily.

...and...combining the two of them together was an absolute winner!

I had several left-over jars from my dad's gift basket, so I used two of them to fill with different types of pasta.  Then, I cut one of those cheap plastic table cloths ($.94) into squares, and used some ties that I made with the jewelry beads to tie them off.

I really liked how the ties added just enough color, without being too flashy, but what do you think?  Here are some additional angles of the final project:

I'm pretty much in love with it, and I hope that my mom will be too!

If you try this idea at home, let me know how it goes.  You could easily make other adaptations of this idea too.  I think my next adaptation is going to have to be a lunch themed gift basket.  I've already given my parents a breakfast basket, this makes dinner, so I might as well feed them lunch too!

If you're looking for more gift ideas, check out the Idea Center to see other projects I've completed, or if you've got an idea for a themed basket you would like to see, leave a comment in the Suggestion Box!

Have a great night!

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Reader Comments (3)

Kelli I love this! What a great idea for a Christmas gift! I am going to keep my eyes open for baskets and books and see what I can come up with.

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Darbison

Thanks Jennifer! It's really simple to put together too. Let me know how it goes!

June 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterAHPCH

Very cute idea. I am a huge fan of creative gift baskets.

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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