Gift Baskets - Step 2 - The fillers before the gifts

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Gift Baskets - Step 2 - The fillers before the gifts
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This is the second in a series on unusual gift containers.

What do we fill the container with before we arrange the gifts?

Some fillers are related to the intended contents. For example, in the earlier guide I mentioned the kids movie night using circus peanuts in their shells for the filler. Some containers also offer their own filler. A good example of that would be the table setting gift with fabric napkins, place mats or a table runner. A large wooden salad bowl would work well for the container and the napkins would make a perfect filler on top of which you can arrange the rest of the gift in a appealing display.     

For many decades shredded hardwood known as Excelsior was used in gift baskets. It is the sort of filler you will find when unpacking crates of fine china or glassware. Consider the several kinds of baskets that would have special appeal if filled with Excelsior as a base.

Colorful tissue paper, shredded cello and paper all of which come in dozens of colors have many opportunities to serve as fillers.

Crumpled kraft paper may be a good choice for some situations too. When lift is needed but the lifting agent should be hidden, the lowly packing peanut can fill the bill well and seem always to be available.

I recall the fun of flattening sheets of newspaper with strange writing in languages I did not know and thinking it was a mystical message from another per-teen prisoner in another world far away. Many gifts from other countries will be filled almost the the top with wads of yesterday's news. Today it would not be a choice I would be pleased to settle on. Newspaper is messy to work with and adds little to the special nature of any gift pack. Another member of the never use this club would be the plastic bags we bring home filled with groceries and stick in a draw for some future use.

So for a moment let us consider either real wood Excelsior or the newer paper shred which comes in a very realistic look as well as dozens of coordinating colors. If you select Excelsior your packs will instantly take on a special look. It is very appealing for many gifts and can easily be embellished for an added touch. For example add whole coffee beans to a gourmet food gift. Or small sea shells to a bath gift. How about potpourri for a scented soap and lotion gift.

Basic ideas are the building blocks for more new and exciting ideas. So just begin with one. Keep a pad and pen handy. Soon new ones will come tumbling along faster than you can use them. Write them all down. You will find a use for each one before you know it.

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