Preparing the Basket
Your completed basket should
display the contents clearly so the recipient can see what’s inside.
Many containers will need to be stuffed with “fill,” to raise your items
up and show them off to best advantage. Fill also provides a cushioning
“nest” for placing and securing items. And, of course, coordinating fill
adds a nice splash of color to your basket.
You will also want to keep in mind the balance of the basket—some
containers will require something heavy at the bottom of the container
to counterbalance the weight of the items on top. A plastic bag filled
with unpopped popcorn works well.
Deeper baskets will need two layers of fill: something inexpensive on
the bottom, covered up by something more attractive where the fill will
show on top.
Start off with a bottom layer of anything inexpensive. Professional
basket companies use newsprint (this is the unprinted paper that is used
to print newspapers), but you can use any kind of paper you have on
hand—brown craft paper, even newspaper in a pinch. You can also use foam
cut to the size of the container.
It is usually best to pack the first layer of fill tightly into the
bottom of the basket. This will give more support for holding the weight
of the items, and will prevent “sinkage” later on. If your container is
smooth you may need double-sided tape to prevent the fill from sliding
Now you can cover the bottom layer with a second layer of pretty fill.
(Or you might want to wait until you've inserted the items.) There are
many options here, including crinkle shred, wood excelsior, Easter
grass, fabric, straw, raffia, crumpled tissue paper, moss, yarn, or
fabric scraps. If you have access to a paper shredder, you can shred
tissue or any other pretty paper to make your own decorative shred. Make
sure you use enough so that the inexpensive fill doesn’t show.