One dark and rainy winter evening I was suddenly at a loss for something to bring to our friends’ dinner party as a hostess gift. I had just collected the day’s eggs from my hens, and it was time to go! I looked at the eggs and remembered when our friend Steve arrived at our house with a small handful of eggs, and how much we had loved getting them, fresh-laid, from Steve’s happy hens. That’s how this idea began.
You can use a little homemade basket like this for more than just eggs. Put little fruits from your garden or tree if it is that time of year. Or put in cookies, a small loaf of sweet bread, or small soaps. Your options are endless. Your friends will find it adorable!
When I give hostess gifts, I like to make up a store of them so that, for a period of time, I give everyone we visit the same gift. Makes life easy for a while. So I made up a batch of these little paper bag baskets and have them on a shelf to fill and bring to dinner parties for the next six months or so. When they run out, it’s on to something new!
Paper Bag Basket
• Paper lunch sacks
• Filler of hay, or shredded paper, or dried pine needles, or other natural, soft, fluffy material
• Large diamond tags
• Stapler and/or hole punch (optional)
Cut the top off the paper bag and set it aside for the handle. Fold down the sides of the bag (careful with the first fold so it doesn’t tear) two or three times just like rolling your sleeves up, until you arrive at the right shape for what you are packing.
Fill with the hay or shredded paper. It takes more than you think. The purpose of filler is for the gift object to be in just the right position, not sunk too deep in the basket to be out of sight, not so high that it will topple out.
Make the leftover paper into a handle: fold it in half lengthwise, then in half again, until it is the shape you want. Tuck it under one side of the bag cuff and staple, cut it to the length you want, then staple the other side.
Punch a hole in the cuff of the bag, and thread a string through with a tag.
Guidelines for Simple Gifts:
• Plan ahead. Think about and decide what you want to do well in advance so you can do the shopping portion of the giftmaking along with other errands. Have all materials and ingredients on hand when it is time to make the gift.
• Packaging. Pretty packaging makes any gift special. Arm yourself with a supply of small boxes or cellophane bags and ribbon. We also recommend having your own personalized tags or labels on hand. Use generic wording so they can be used on a multitude of items. For example, mom’s tags and labels say “with love from Grammie.” With no reference to what the item is, they can be used on anything!
• It is not the item itself that is special; it is the idea that you think enough about a person to prepare something personally for them. Sometimes your gift doesn’t even have to be handmade; but hand-assembled. Follow this monthly series and you will see examples of both.
- Diamond Tags • I chose the “Faj” style in Soft Adobe and Soft Blue.
More Simple Gift Ideas:
Savory Herb Rub for Chicken Tea Favors Valentine Kids Candy Jelly Bean Treat Bags