Photo: Taste of Home
We all have creative friends and loved ones—a bestie that’s taken up calligraphy, a sister who scrapbooks like a pro or a work pal who crochets over lunches. Why not treat them to a gift basket tailored just for them for their birthday or upcoming holiday? Even if you’re not a crafter yourself, we’ll make it easy to put together a pretty and practical gift basket they’ll adore.
Step 1: Find your crafty items
If you’re building this basket for a creative friend, you surely know exactly what sort of crafts they enjoy most. In this case, it’s always a good idea to treat them to their favorite materials and tools but elevated just a bit. So if your BFF crochets, treat her to an plush yarn that she wouldn’t normally splurge on or a pretty tote to store all those works in progress. Of course, there are items that are always welcome, like extra scissors, thread, washi tape and the like that crafters of all kinds can put to good use.
However, you don’t always have to stick with what your pals know! Creative minds often love a new challenge. In your gift basket, try to incorporate a few new-to-them crafts, like an embroidery kit or book about paper flowers. You never know if you’ll inspire a secondary passion! For more ideas, check out these fun giftables below.
Cricut Explore Air 2
The Cricut is surely the item on the top of every crafter's wishlist; it's like the KitchenAid mixer of the crafting world. This amazing machine can cut letters and shapes into paper, vinyl and fabric for unlimited creative possibilities. The Cricut Explore Air 2 ($300) will be the gift every crafter will be raving about.
What crafter out there doesn't love pretty and fun washi tape? This decorative paper tape comes in hundreds of patterns. Why not grab a few rolls ($16 for a set of 16) as a fun add-on gift for a crafty pal?
Hand Lettering Workbook
Encourage crafty friends to try another creative endeavor with Hand Lettering 101 ($18). This workbook outlines how to start hand lettering (an updated take on calligraphy) and gives you prompts for fun projects to show off your skills.
Avid knitters and crocheters are always working on a handful of projects. With lots of scarves, sweaters and socks in the works, keeping that yarn organized can be tricky. That's where this handy yarn tote ($33) comes in. It keeps several skeins separated and tangle-free. Plus it has handy pockets for needles, scissors and other extras.
Glue Gun with Auto-Off Function
A good glue gun is a must for any crafter, however, most standard glue guns aren't equipped with a convenient safety feature: an auto-off setting. Upgrade your favorite crafter's glue gun with this option ($14). It seems so simple but it will be surely appreciated.
Jiffy Dress Book
Beginner and experienced sewists alike will love Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses ($20). This book is full of vintage-inspired dresses (patterns included!) that are simple enough to make in a single day and gorgeous enough that you'll want to wear them all the time.
Speaking of fabric crafts, have you seen some of the beautiful and original embroidery kits out there lately? This one from Hoffelt & Hooper Co. ($32+) comes with a lovely floral pattern and everything you need to create a unique piece for your home.
Magnetic Pin Cushion
Know a seamstress? Be sure to add this magnetic pin cushion ($13) to your gift shopping list. The extra-strong magnet inside this pin dish keeps pins conveniently on hand and safely in the dish (and not on the floor).
Know a calligrapher, artist or scrapbooker? Treat them to a brand new set of dual brush pens. These pastels ($16) have a fine and brush tip perfect for embellishing cards, journals and so much more.
Help your maker friends keep all their good ideas in one place with this big ideas sketchbook ($17). Beautiful, high-quality paper is bound inside this extra-thick sketchbook. Good ideas deserve such a wonderful canvas.
Cutting Mat Set
Paper and fabric crafters alike will appreciate a cutting mat set ($30). This self-healing mat protects your tabletops from slices from your rotary cutter, utility knife or scissors. Plus, this Fiskars set comes with a clear acrylic ruler and rotary cutter for straight, clean cuts.
Unwind with this upgraded version of an adult coloring book. Watercolor with Me ($15) is printed on premium paper and filled with adorable forest and nature scenes. Watercolors are a great way to unwind and just might inspire creative friends to try another hobby.
Give handmade projects that finishing touch with these handmade labels ($6). These fabric labels are easy to stitch into homemade aprons, onto hand-pieced quilts, crocheted hats and much more. These are a must for any regular maker.
Knitters, needlepointers, sewists, weavers—all kinds of crafters are always in need of a good pair of scissors (just like bakers can always use dish towels and gardeners can always use gloves). Invest in a good sharp pair—this one ($10) from Fiskars is perfect for folks who work with fabrics, threads and other textiles—for yourself or crafty loved ones.
This is a gadget your crafty friends just might not have already but they'll surely love. The Xyron Create-a-Sticker ($16) takes your favorite photos, graphics and scrapbooking die-cuts and turns them into custom stickers. This is such a fun tool to have on hand and will get plenty of use, so be sure to stock up on a few refills.
Crochet Hook and Knitting Needle Case
If you knit or crochet, you know how important it is to keep all your needles and hooks organized. This adorable needle roll ($11) keeps everything in place and your tools protected.
Custom Sewing or Craft Box
Whether your sew, scrap, stitch or sketch, keeping small crafty odds and ends organized is imperative. Customize a pretty wooden box ($35) for your crafting needs. You can even customize the text and turn this into a recipe box (we know you cook and bake, too!).
Step 2: Pack it up practically
As a crafter, I know that it’s always a struggle to organize all your odds and ends—is it just me or are there never enough space for fabric? When you wrap up this amazing gift basket, be sure to wrap it in a practical storage container. Whether it’s a pretty but modular box like we used above or even just a classic plastic bin, be sure that your gift basket’s “basket” can be easily repurposed.
Step 3: Get crafting yourself!
If you’re a crafter like me, there’s nothing better than getting together with friends to work on your projects. Send this gift basket with a note saying that you’d love to have your pals (or sister or mom) over for a night of crafts, snacks and wine (might we recommend one of these?). Is there anything better?
1 date ball: 109 calories, 7g fat.
My daughter and I came across this easy low-calorie snack when she was learning about ancient Egypt. We changed some of the spices and nuts to suit our taste. —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia
1 each: 38 calories, 1g fat.
These quick, versatile wontons are great for a savory snack or paired with a bowl of soothing soup on a cold day. I usually make a large batch, freeze half on a floured baking sheet, then store in an airtight container. —Brianna Shade, Beaverton, Oregon
Find more healthy baked snacks to make at home.
1 pretzel: 193 calories, 1g fat.
My husband and our friends and family love these soft, chewy pretzels. It's one of our favorite salty snacks! Let the bread machine mix the dough, then all you have to do is shape and bake these fun low-calorie snacks. —Sherry Peterson, Fort Collins, Colorado
1 pop: 72 calories, 0 fat.
These cool, creamy pops are a deliciously different way to use up the bounty from your rhubarb patch. —Donna Linihan, Moncton, New Brunswick
Get more healthy late-night snacks that'll make you forget about that tub of ice cream.
2 tablespoons dip: 58 calories, 4g fat.
When entertaining, I often rely on my pepper tapenade as a low-calorie snack recipe because it takes only 15 minutes to whip up and pop in the fridge. Sometimes I swap out the almonds for walnuts or pecans. —Donna Magliaro, Denville, New Jersey
1 muffin: 188 calories, 7g fat.
I wanted to put a new spin on muffins, so I mixed in some granola that contained lots of nuts, pumpkin seeds and shredded coconut. Then I brought a batch to work the next morning—success!—Megan Weiss, Menomonie, Wisconsin
3/4 cup: 68 calories, 0 fat.
Whip up this creamy concoction as a refreshing and nutritious snack or a quick chilled breakfast. Because you can use frozen fruit, you don't have to wait until peaches are in season to enjoy this delicious smoothie as one of your healthy low-calorie snacks. —Martha Polasek, Markham, Texas
1 cracker: 23 calories, 1g fat.
These homemade crackers are decidedly light and crispy. An addictive snack on their own, they also pair well with a sharp white cheddar. —Jessica Wirth, Charlotte, North Carolina
1/4 cup (without vegetables): 139 calories, 10g fat.
We love hummus, and this version is really amazing. If you have a pressure cooker, this is an easy, tasty reason to pull it out! We pair hummus with fresh veggies for a meal or healthy low-calorie snack. —Monica and David Eichler, Lawrence, Kansas
Hummus is classic healthy go-to for lunch, and you can pair it with rice crackers for a gluten-free option.
1 serving: 52 calories, 2g fat.
Edamame (pronounced ay-duh-MAH-may) are young soybeans in their pods. In our Test Kitchen, we boiled and seasoned them with salt, ginger, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1/4 cup: 176 calories, 11g fat.
A close friend once gave me a jar of trail mix that was absolutely delicious. My re-creation comes pretty close to the original and is truly one of my favorite low-calorie snacks! —Nancy Johnson, Laverne, Oklahoma
1 breadstick: 66 calories, 4g fat.
These grain-free, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks are made with vegetables instead of flour. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
1 muffin: 63 calories, 3g fat.
These bite-sized peanut butter, banana and chocolate chip muffins will be a favorite with your family and friends. It's also a good way to use up overripe bananas! —Amie Longstaff, Painesville Township, Ohio
1 cup: 98 calories, 8g fat.
My husband and I like to munch on this while watching TV. The nacho flavoring is a zesty alternative to butter and salt. —Linda Boehme, Fairmont, Minnesota
2 tablespoons dip (without crackers): 44 calories, 3g fat.
While my children were always very willing eaters, I came up with this recipe to get them to eat more veggies and enjoy it. The dip doesn't last long in our house. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
1 tablespoon: 111 calories, 9g fat.
We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. When I compared the cost of my own to store-bought, homemade was much cheaper. Plus it's a whole lot tastier, and you know what goes into it! —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska
Is PB good for you? Absolutely. Get the skinny on the health benefits of peanut butter.
1 appetizer: 40 calories, 1g fat.
These colorful veggie cups are not only tasty, but they also pack in a surprising amount of nutrition! The addition of mozzarella and Parmesan is the perfect Italian touch. —Cathy Horvath, Surrey, British Columbia
1/4 cup: 90 calories, 8g fat.
Ever wondered how to make guacamole? Just whip together this delicious blend of your favorite fresh ingredients.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
1/4 cup: 189 calories, 16g fat.
Spice up a holiday party with these well-seasoned nuts or keep a batch in the freezer to give as last-minute presents. — Rene Dalrymple, Hansville, Washington
2 tablespoons: 56 calories, 4g fat.
Spread this vegan cashew cheese on crackers, over a toasted bagel or serve with fresh vegetables. It also makes a great sandwich topper! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Find more healthy vegan snacks that'll keep the hunger pangs away.
1 muffin: 174 calories, 5g fat.
This wonderful recipe has been in my files for years. The chunks of fresh pear make each bite moist and delicious. —Lorraine Caland, Thunder Bay, Ontario
Pair one of these pear muffins with a healthy slow-cooker meal for a sweet and savory sensation.
1/4 cup: 142 calories, 10g fat.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a classic fall snack. Kick them up a notch with instant coffee and cocoa powder for a mix that’s mocha genius at any time of year. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
1 bar: 142 calories, 7g fat.
Classic bar meets good-for-you ingredients in this updated recipe. If you have the patience, after the bars are cool, store them in a tin for a day to allow the flavors to meld...I think they taste even better the next day.— Heidi Lindsey, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
1 appetizer: 29 calories, 2g fat.
This simple snack recipe is the perfect, low-carb way to satisfy your pizza cravings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
3/4 cup: 97 calories, 0 fat.
This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1/4 cup: 145 calories, 10g fat.
Kick up parties and get-togethers with this well-seasoned snack. The cashews are sweet, salty, crunchy...and oh, so munchable. —Martha Fehl, Brookville, Indiana
1 pot sticker with 3/4 teaspoon sauce: 52 calories, 1g fat
Twisting these wonton wrappers like little candies makes them fuss-free, and the dipping sauce is packed with sweet heat. —Taylor Marsh, Algona, Iowa
1 bar: 178 calories, 5g fat.
There's sweetness from the honey, chewiness from the raisins, a hint of chocolate and cinnamon, and a bit of crunch. These granola bars freeze beautifully, so you can snack anytime. —Tasha Lehman, Williston, Vermont
1/2 cup: 140 calories, 9g fat.
My two little guys can't get enough of this sweet-and-salty snack, which uses just three ingredients and is ready to eat in 15 minutes. The boys like to drizzle on the melted chocolate, too. Sometimes we replace the potato chips with apple slices. —Jami Geittmann, Greendale, Wisconsin
1/2 cup: 89 calories, 2g fat.
Not only are these a perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack at work, they're perfect for hungry kids just home from school. Plus, they make for fantastic party food! —Carrie Shaub, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
1 mini scone: 109 calories, 7g fat.
Cheese and sage go well with apples, so why not put them all in scones? These mini ones make a fall brunch, tailgate or party even more fun. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
1 pop: 129 calories, 5g fat.
Once I had my little girl I quickly became really creative in the kitchen, needing to have healthy low-calorie snacks on hand. These frozen treats turned out to be a favorite and are a staple in our home. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
1 cookie: 52 calories, 2g fat.
My mom taught me to bake, and I use lots of recipes from her abundant collection, including this one for lemon cookies. —Pauline Piraino, Bay Shore, New York
1 bar: 90 calories, 4g fat.
If you're looking for a fun low-calorie snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They're easy to stir up and can be pressed into a pan to form bars or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin