Written by contributor Summer Robertson of House & Hold
Happy Autumn! Now that the long days of summertime are over a whole new season greets us. Autumn is filled with family gatherings, cozy dinner parties with friends and an amazing amount of yummy food. I always want to be the person who brings a fabulous hostess gift (rather than dashing out the door empty handed, semi-late? A-hem!). With a smidge of planning & prep, this Autumn inspired gift basket is the perfect hostess gift, housewarming or treat for a teacher or co-worker.
Please skip the cellophane and set aside any frightening granny gift basket ideas (yes, I think we’ve all been traumatized!). I have inspiration for you to make a stylish & relevant gift basket that will make you look like you bought it at a fancy market. The gratifying part of assembling a gift basket is that it’s casual enough to add in elements of surprise… and you. I like to keep the style of the basket & goodies simple, not outrageous leaving your recipient with something they don’t know what to do with. Don’t go there! My Autumn theme revolved around local pears & hazelnuts, natural tones and black & white.
How to create a DIY Autmn Gift Basket
This project is in several parts: painting the basket, gathering the goodies and making Caramel Hazelnut Pears.
Step 1: Add style to the basket
Using a simple basket from the Dollar Store (only $1!) and a can of black spray paint I instantly transformed a cheap basket. Of course, it’s not necessary to spray paint the basket, especially if you have a nice one. However, if you’ve ever used a can of spray paint you know just how satisfying this step is! Not to be missed! Spray the basket in several step as it takes several coats to make sure all the nooks and crannies are covered.
Step 2: Assemble the goodies. Here is what I gathered:
- mason jar filled with Hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are a family favorite and grow locally here in Portland, OR
- 2 kitchen towels which I got at the Dollar Store (washed & dried, tags removed) in a simple black & white pattern which would go well in any kitchen
- 2 little notebooks, for fun. These are from Field Notes. They come in packs and are great to have on hand to include in your gift giving.
- washi tape
- kraft paper basket filler
- linen string
- gift card with a mini-clothes pin
- stamp that says “hello” which I stamped onto the gift card
- wood sticks gathered from a nearby tree, roughly 6″ long (not pictured) for the caramel pears.
- … and Caramel Dipped Hazelnut Pears!
The caramel dipped hazelnut pears are majorly tasty & the main element of this gift basket. I was inspired by the abundance of pears in season and by this recipe. It looks fancy but literally takes less than 15 minutes to make a batch – so easy! Once cooled, I gently stuck the stick into the tops of each pear and wrapped in parchment paper, tying with a cotton string to hold it all in place.
Finally, assemble the basket with all your beautiful treats!
Layer pieces in for a more styled approach, using the crinkle kraft paper filler to boost the goodies toward the top. And with a beautiful presentation, the elements of a gift basket need not be expensive — in total I spent less than $10! And including the time it took to spray the basket & make the caramel pears, it only took around 30 minutes of active work.
No longer will I be the one to arrive at a dinner party empty handed! The concept of a creating simple gift basket focused around local produce and personal style has endless possibilites and will surely be well received.
Do you ever gift hostess gifts? Will you give these ideas a try?