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A bigger bang for your gift basket

School, sports and after-school activities have resumed. For families across the region, the daily dose of frantic has ensued. A donation request for a basket raffle or silent auction can’t be far behind.

No need for a hasty trip to the Dollar Store for some vaguely-related items to throw into a basket; we’ve got some ideas. And since the better the basket, the more money raised and, in turn, the more funds that can be donated to the worthy cause, it literally pays to produce great, eye-catching baskets. Here’s how to merchandise it. If it sounds like a lot of work, relax … these tips will make it easy and doable:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

An eye-catching theme elevates a “bunch of things” to a thoughtful collection people will covet. For endless inspiration, browse Pinterest or Google “theme basket ideas.”

Be prepared.

Collect “anchor” items to build a theme around before you need them. To save money and time when the deadline to donate looms, purchase better-label or popular items when they’re on sale, discontinued for the season or eligible for coupon savings…and then stockpile.

Give ‘em what you’ve got.

For a charitable twist on regifting, use presents you’ve received that didn’t exactly work.

Double down.

For twice the “feel-good,” shop local and donate items crafted by Buffalo-area artisans and entrepreneurs. Search “Buffalo Etsy team” for vendors.

Dress for success.

Have a supply of interesting containers at the ready. Anything that can hold items and point to a theme can work…try kid’s toys, gardening pots, metallic buckets, bird cages, etc.

Elevate the conversation.

Get people talking about your basket! Use lots of crumpled tissue or craft paper as filler to keep the contents visible above the rim of the container.

In the clear.

Cellophane adds sparkle as long as you can still see what’s up. Use a “bunny ear” presentation — where the extra cello is tied off on each side of the package — to show off the contents. Avoid color or printed cello as it makes items hard to see.

Embellish a little.

Pick up theme-related items from the Dollar Store or dollar bins at Target to fill out the basket or incorporate in the wrapping to bump the presentation up a notch. n

Theme baskets

Buffalo Night In
Hand-burned wood cutting board/salad bowl/mixing spatula from Christine Kelman of Christine’s Wild Imagination.
Buffalo-embossed Buffalo-check tea towels from Cindy Young of Sew Buffalo.

Natural Beauty
Buffalo Gal Organics Plant-based goodness for face, body and soul, created by Kasia Cummings.

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