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Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, I'm a die hard fan of this fantastic state. I'm amazed at the incredible variety of awesome things this area has to offer... I just have to share!

 

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DIY Kentucky Made Gift Basket


Personalized gift baskets are a great way to create meaningful presents. The beauty of these unique gifts is that you are able to customize the contents to fit any occasion such as a birthday, house warming, thank you, bridesmaid treat, emotional support or just because. The basket is flexible in size, color and style. You can accessorize your wicker with colorful or earthen tones.

What I find most enjoyable is filling a basket with items specifically chosen for the recipient. You might select components to relax such as bath bombs, candles and soaps. Try something larger for your favorite cook, featuring gourmet pasta, sauces, oils and kitchen gadgets. And don’t forget the men in your life. Complete his basket with bourbon and rock glasses, assorted beers, socks and tees or classic shaving items. A smaller vessel carries a gift card or tickets to a show. Add a couple related goodies to transform your offering into something extra special!


Bottom up, left to right: Wixology- candle, Triple J Farm- salsa, Lexington Pasta- pasta, Boone Creek Creamery-cheese, Stuartos Olive Oil-infused oil, Harkness Edwards Vineyards- wine, Forever Lasered Memories- etched wine glasses, Martine's Pasteries- cookies.

I am a true believer in upcycling and recycling. We often buy new, rather than using what we have or easily obtained. I try to keep creative reuse in mind when shopping for ideas.

Start with the basket. Consider one you have, if appropriate. If not, I suggest your local Good Will. You will find a plethora of woven beauties for a couple dollars. Reuse packing materials like craft paper or bubble wrap. I find these at work or have friends who order on-line and donate to the cause. There’s no shame in helping to save our planet!


Curled craft paper leaving pockets for gift items.

Choose items of different heights for your basket so that arranged, all can be viewed. Begin at the back with the tallest pieces. Place medium-sized articles in the middle, saving the shortest or smallest prizes for the front. Heavier products may need a boost by adding some folded or crumpled paper underneath. Adjust to ensure everything is visible. Try to keep your basket balanced in appearance by placing same height or similar colored products on opposite sides. Fill in with small, lightweight items, such as the tasty treats from Martine’s Pastries.


Tallest items in the back.


Fill in the middle with medium height items

Once your basket is complete with gifts, it’s time to add color and texture with Easter grass. There are crinkle cut, paper, plastic and eco friendly varieties; all reusable! Of course, Easter is the easiest time to find them and I buy a little extra when they're on sale after the holiday to keep on hand.

It might appear that you’ll need a lot of grass. However, packing material and gifts will likely take up most of the room in your basket, depending on how much it's filled. For example, this container has just over half of a small bag. Now that you’ve added some pop with some frilly turf, take one more look at your basket from the front to assure everything can be seen. Maybe lean something back a little; adjust accordingly. Make certain your particulars are fairly stable so nothing tumbles easily when picked up or carried.


I purchased a roll of clear wrap for one dollar. Pull out a good amount of plastic and place the basket in the center. Hold the plastic straight up in the front and adjust it until you have approximately 6” above the highest item in the basket. Repeat the same process on the back wrap to determine where to cut your plastic. Gather it all together at the top and use a twist tie or string to secure. Trim if needed.


Tuck and fold the sides of the plastic into the basket or handle. You may want to fold and tape under the bottom. Tucking is the way to go with the sides as taping is too visible. If you have a card or tag, attach with twine, string or a ribbon.

Finally, add the bow. Tie a test bow for length before cutting as you may need a couple tries to get it right. You might slip a few silk flowers behind the bow or something else to add a nice touch.

Voila! You have designed a personalized gift basket your recipient will love and appreciate for all the thoughtful care you put into creating.

Please don’t forget to shop local, y’all. Everything in my gift baskets can be procured in our own community. Please click on the links under the first photo. Just for fun, challenge yourself to shop only local. I’ve included a list below with some stores where you'll find Kentucky proud items, as well as some resident makers and links. Feel free to message me for more ideas or suggestions on anything local.


Where can you get goodies to create your own Kentucky Proud baskets or purchase one already made? Below are several locations.

Click on any of these shop names for more ideas and information.

Completely Kentucky - Frankfort, KY. Everything in this store is made in Kentucky, so you can’t go wrong. They carry lovely artwork, kitchen ware, wood products, soft lines, totes, photography, soaps and plenty of tempting, Kentucky made edibles. The good folks at Completely Kentucky will also prepare a basket to your liking and ship it!

Boone Creek Creamery - Lexington, KY. They provide a multitude of fabulous cheeses, made in-house from the rich milk of grass-fed cows. There is a bounty of Kentucky proud products including sauces, honey, chips, pretzels, Wiesenberger Mill mixes and more. Stop by for a taste and a tour.

Tastefully Delicious - Lawrenceburg, KY. This is a Kentucky foodies' dream with most of the goods produced in the state. You’re sure to find what you need from cheeses, sauces, chips, candy, cakes, oils, pastas and beverages. They create nice, pre-made baskets as well. Visit them on Tasting Saturday for a ton of samples.

Miss Behaven - Georgetown, KY. With locally-fashioned goods, Miss Behaven carries an interesting variety of art, books, cards, accessories, coffee, candies and sauce. All make fabulous gifts!

A Taste of Kentucky - Louisville, KY. Shop with these locals for all things bourbon and Derby related. They stock delicious cakes and candies, art, books, home goods and music. They offer gift baskets ready to ship.

Artique Gallery - Lexington, KY. This unique gallery is home to Kentucky crafted artwork, jewelry, soap, pottery, stained glass, greeting cards and other fine products. Visit them to kick your gift basket up a notch!

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