Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dollar store baskets that look like a million bucks: Part 3

I am finally back with my own Purim Baskets! Purim is a FUN holiday (not only does giving of baskets to loved-ones, masquerading and revelry are big parts of the day). I knew I wanted to do something fun and to incorporate masks. I went with "S'mores Purim Fun!" It checks the box for the tradition of giving at least two types of food and what could be more fun than a basket of s'mores fixings?!

Sometimes the items I find at the dollar store guide the theme like with the baseball baskets in part one of this series. Since I already had a theme, however, I just needed a plain-jane basket to hold it. I thought it would be fun to let you in on some of my tricks to styling a perfect basket.

Step One: Find an appropriate sized basket for your items. If your vessel is too big, your items will appear too austere; you want to give the appearance of being plentiful. I got these cute little baskets in a 2 pack. Don't forget to buy filler. You will need tissue paper, crinkle paper, or even crushed newspaper to bolster your basket items. Here, I went with a multi-colored crinkle to add visual interest.

Step Two: Label your items. Of course my recipients know the parts of S'mores, but I made printed quick shipping labels with "s'more chocolate," "s'more graham crackers," and "s'more marshmallows" along with masks. I just think it completes the look. Begin placing your sturdiest items in the basket pointing in opposite directions. It balances the basket and shows off your cute labels.

Step Three: Add a cute sign that ties it all together. My big girl and I had a blast customizing masks for our signs with our saying "S'more Purim Fun." We made them on the Silhouette using the print and cut feature and then went to town with feather, glue, and gems. Each mask is a little work of art from our home. After they were finished, we affixed them to paper straws to mimic the stick on a real mask and help it stick in the basket.

Step Four: In-fill the basket with your squishy-est item (in this case the marshmallows), which will help hold it all in place. Add a cute gift tag if it wasn't already on your sign. I am a "more is more" kind of person, so I did both!

Step Five: Know your Audience! While I made sweet little family-sized baskets for some friends, I wanted to deliver baskets to the staff of some Jewish Philanthropic Organizations near to our hearts. Not only was it a must that the baskets be larger to feed the group, I needed these recipients to know that the items were kosher. I left their marshmallows in the packaging so they could see they were of the vegan, kosher variety. In addition to ensuring the kashrut, I knew I must also ensure that the chocolate in these baskets was organic and fair-traded due to the ethics of the group. Rather than leaving a sour taste in my friend's mouth, I wanted to make sure they got a sweet treat. Same goes for any preference of the recipient--make sure you think of what they would like!

In addition to the office staffs, we always pick just a few friends to give baskets. If gave to everyone we wanted, I would easily be delivering 60 baskets. Since no one has time for that madness, we limited ourselves to 8 one year. That was like a magic number and we have always stuck with it--rotating who gets them any given year. I ran out to deliver a few this morning to the offices, but I am going to let the kids of giving to their friends this afternoon!

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