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Any unique/clever ideas for themed baskets?

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

ETA: Not Easter baskets!

I've gotten a few ideas searching online, but thought I'd toss out the question here since there are so many creative types in this group. I need to collect ideas for themed baskets for a silent auction fundraiser to be held later this year. We have quite a few groups that will be putting these together, and some of them may struggle for new ideas. I've been asked to come up with a list of things that they can choose from, should they need some spark. Please let me know if you've seen anything (or put together a basket) that you thought was unique.


Comments (27)

  • MtnRdRedux
    7 years ago

    Spa, sportsteam, weekend away, oenophile, breakfast, italian dinner, kids games and activities, art projects, makeover.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    7 years ago

    What's the fundraiser for and is there a budget to aim for?

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  • hhireno
    7 years ago

    My community center has a basket raffle going on right now, let me see how many baskets I can remember:

    passes to a local water & amusement park, water bottles, towels

    lottery tickets

    tickets to the Rachel Ray show and one of her pans

    gift cards to a local beer distributor and two beer glasses

    gift card to local BYOB restaurant and gift card for the liquor store

    basket absolutely filled with Crayola products (which are locally made and were donated by the company)

    a small outdoor fire pit, filled with s'more ingredients

    a pair of oddly patterned leggings from one of the multi-level marketing scheme companies (all I can imagine is they get your name and you'll be hounded for life, the gift that keeps on annoying)

    little kids things like sidewalk chalk, jump rope, bubbles, maybe a book or two

    There were many others but that's all I can recall at the moment. I threw my ticket in for 5 of them but can't remember one, so it will be a real treat and surprise if I win it. It was not the leggings!

  • tinam61
    7 years ago

    We've done this as part of a fund-raising auction. The baskets sell well. We've done a car-wash basket, ladies basket of lotions, bath products, etc. a movie themed basked (popcorn, snacks, a dvd or a gift certificate, etc.), a cooking/kitchen basket, some kid themed baskets (can't remember exactly what was in those), a garden theme (small hand shovel, seeds, gloves, bulbs, you could even do live plants if in season, the pad you kneel on, flower pots, etc.).

  • User
    7 years ago

    movie night basket: theater gift cards or DVDs, candy, light blanket

    wine basket-different wines and glasses, maybe cheese and crackers etc

    mojito basket (I did this one-was a hit-2 bottles of rum, mint plant, muddler, 2 tall glasses, limes and a mojito recipe book)

    gardener's basket: garden tools, spring plants or bulbs

    grilling basket:spices, tools, cookbook

    picnic basket

    american flag/veteran themed: (I did this for a vet at christmas-flag themed t shirt, book about canine heroes in war, baseball hat,

    amusement park or local attraction basket with thickets and merchandise

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Wonderful ideas! Thanks so much -- I'm adding them to my list!

    rhizo, the silent auction is held at our church's annual fall festival and all proceeds go to local and international missions. There's no set budget, but of course participants are encouraged to be creative and try to minimize their costs as much as possible.

  • User
    7 years ago

    i forgot kid ones...

    girl princess basket

    boy or girl superhero basket

    boy or girl sports

    outdoor games basket

    lego basket for boy or girl

    Dr Seuss basket with games, books etc

    any cartoon themed kid show basket-I won a Doc McStuffins basket for my son that had a light blanket, card game, markers, activity book etc all in the theme.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    7 years ago

    What goes well at our raffles are baskets with pet supplies and baskets with needlework supplies.

  • OutsidePlaying
    7 years ago

    How much later in the year?

    For car trips, a road-trip basket with packaged snacks, water bottles, miniature board games, gas gift card

    Beach items - sunscreen, beach towel, drink holders, hats/visors, etc

    Tickets to local events or attractions are always great and can include dinner gift cards and appropriate items for the attraction

  • bpath
    7 years ago

    I won a raffle basket that I loved: Longaberger-type basket held a nice cutting board and bread knife, tea towel, and a "bread for a year" card from Panera. It was really a loaf a month, but Panera was new to our town and it got me going there and got us hooked on Asiago bread. It was a simple basket but nothing I don't use.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    OP - it's going to be held in early November.

    You all are GOOD! I'm loving these suggestions!

  • chickadee2_gw
    7 years ago

    Your participants don't all have to spend money. At my daughter's school auction there was a woman who would put up for bid a certain number of peonies from her garden when they would come into bloom months later. Get the gardeners to think about other things to share such as heirloom tomatoes and divisions of bulbs and plants from their gardens, etc. People who appreciate those things are willing to wait for them. Another woman offered to play the piano at a party.

    I'd love to bid on a basket of homemade jams, jellies, pickles and chutneys.

    If someone has a reputation for being a good baker, they could offer to do pies for the holidays or cookies for Christmas. Same thing if someone makes a favored dish at your church suppers. They could put up a gift certificate for that. I'm not usually a fan of German potato salad, but there was an old woman who used to bring a bowl of it every year to a friend's neighborhood picnic and it was delicious. People would race to get some before it disappeared. I should have asked her for her recipe at the time. Years later I asked my friend about it and was disappointed that the recipe went with her to the great beyond.

    Speaking of recipes, years ago our local Planned Parenthood held a series of lectures about antiques. After the lectures they would serve cookies and tea/coffee. They had printed their cookie recipes on index cards, maybe ten cards in all, and bound them up with pretty ribbon and sold the little packs for $5.00 each.

    I wish the money I paid to have my garden weeded, gutters cleaned and other services went to charity.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Excellent ideas, chickadee! We do have some folks who have historically contributed items such as you mention, but I'll try to expand on ideas with some of your suggestions. We have some older folks in our congregation who don't have need of a lot of "stuff" like some of the younger folks among us might, thus the thought of flowers or tomatoes from a garden, homebaked goodies at Christmas, or something along those lines would probably hold much greater appeal for them.


  • Fun2BHere
    7 years ago

    Don't forget about pet themed baskets with toys, treats, and grooming certificate or grooming supplies.

  • tuesday_2008
    7 years ago

    I once did a baking basket for my boss at Christmas who was a single dad of a six year old daughter. HE was always looking for different things to do with his daughter when he had her on weekends. He was the typical "throw a steak on the grill or deep-fry a turkey guy". I got him a nice cookie sheet, a good non-stick cake pan, muffin pan, a cake mix with frosting, sugar cookie mix, brownie mix, cute cup-cake liners, sprinkles, etc to have baking days with his daughter. IT wasn't verymgourmet, but he said it was a hit with his daughter.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I'm still adding ideas, but here's what I have thus far (and this is probably more than I need, actually - but I figure better to have too much too chose from than too little):

    2017 Harvest
    Festival Silent Auction

    Basket Ideas

    • Water
      Park Outing
      : Passes to NRH2O (or
      other water park), water bottles, colorful beach towels, sunscreen, novelty
    • Crayola Fun: A basket brimming over with Crayola products
      such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, kid and adult coloring books,
      sidewalk chalk, sidewalk neon paint and sidewalk paint sprayer
    • Car Wash: Bucket, sponge, scrub brush, Armor-All,
      Turtle Wax products, chamois, car duster, latest issue of Car & Driver or
      similar magazine(s), gift card for local auto detailing
    • Family Game
      : A large basket filled with
      board games (Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee, Hedbanz, Twister, Jenga, Scrabble, deck
      of cards, Clue, Checkers, Sorry, Pie Face, Barrel of Monkeys), box of microwave
      popcorn, assortment of boxed candy
    • Lego Fun: A plastic tub filled full of various Lego
      sets – the more the merrier!
    • Dr. Seuss: Classic Dr. Seuss books, Dr. Seuss themed items
      such as ceramic mugs or plastic cups, games, Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts, Cat
      in the Hat top hat, plush toys, DVDs
    • Man’s
      Best Friend
      : Basket filled with
      products for dogs, including bath/grooming items, collar and leash, “poop”
      bags, dog bed, treats, toys, gift card to local pet store
    • Here,
      : Basket filled with
      products for cats, including brush, cat bed, treats, hairball remedy, Nature’s
      Remedy stain remover, feeding bowl and water dish, scratching post, litter box
      scooper, toys, gift card to local pet store
    • Grilled
      To Perfection
      : Cuisinart Griddler
      (indoor grill), indoor grill recipe book, grilling utensils, grilling spices,
      rubs, and/or marinades, BBQ sauce, kitchen towel
    • Chocolate
      : Basket filled with
      high-end/gourmet chocolate candies/truffles, novelty chocolate items in unique
      shapes, chocolate lollipops, jars of Nutella, gourmet brownie mix, gourmet hot
      chocolate, chocolate sauce, chocolate-scented candle(s) (Yankee Candle makes a
      couple), chocolate-colored tea towel, Chocolat DVD
    • Road Trip: Basket filled with individual packaged
      snacks, water bottles, packages of chewing gum and mints, miniature board
      games, activity books, washable markers, packets of Wet Wipes, small packs of
      Kleenex, aspirin, lip balm, ear plugs, inflatable neck pillows, road atlas, gasoline
      gift card(s)
    • American
      : Basket filled with
      USA-themed items, such as baseball cap, flag-themed t-shirt, flag mug, book on
      canine war heroes, military history books/DVDs, flag and flagpole set, monetary
      donation ($25? $50?) made in winner’s name to Disabled American Veterans
    • Bread of
      : Longaberger-type basket
      containing a nice cutting board and bread knife, pretty tea towels, gourmet
      jam, “Our Daily Bread” devotional book, “Bread for a Year” (1 loaf per month) gift
      card from Panera
    • Inspirational
      : Basket filled with
      devotional/Christian living books geared towards men, women, or teens; clip-on
      book light, Bible concordance, new Bible, pretty bookmarks, gift card to
      Christian bookstore
    • Spring
      : Basket filled with bags of
      flower bulbs (daffodil, tulip, lily, etc.), hand shovel, kneeling pad, small
      flower pots, small bulb vases, small watering can
    • Tea for
      : Basket containing antique/vintage
      teapot, pair of antique/vintage cups and saucers (don’t have to match); pair of
      silver-plated spoons, assorted teas (loose and tea bags), tea strainer, scone
      mix, gourmet jam, lemon curd, British-made cookies, afternoon tea recipe book, pretty
      napkins and table runner, gift certificate to The British Emporium in Grapevine
    • Man Cave: Ice chest filled with items geared towards
      men, such as funny baseball cap, salsa and chips, assorted nuts, beef jerky,
      beer glasses, poker set, dartboard and darts set, Domino’s Pizza gift card
    • Pretty
      : Basket filled with
      manicure/pedicure items such as nail files, clippers, buffer, pumice stone, nail
      polish remover, cotton balls, a wide assortment of nail polish (all colors from
      sedate to vivid!), hand cream, foot lotion, sugar scrub, foot massager roller, gift
      certificate to local spa for manicure and/or pedicure
    • Superhero: Basket for a younger child, including
      dress-up costumes of satin capes and felt masks (Captain America, Batman,
      Superman, Spiderman - sold on, $19); superhero t-shirt, different
      sets of action figures, action figure plush toy, toy lightsaber, superhero
      cartoon DVDs, superhero comic book

    • Princess: Basket for younger child, including tiara,
      princess dress-up costume(s), magic wand, sparkly costume jewelry, My Little
      Pony toys, Disney princess DVDs, princess-themed books (including classic fairy
      tales), princess activity books and stickers, Disney princess doll(s), Barbie
      princess doll(s), sparkly nail polish, little girl’s makeup set

    • Nostalgic
      Family Movie Night
      : Basket filled
      with comedy DVDs rarely seen today (Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges,
      Shirley Temple, The Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy); boxes of Barnum’s
      Animal Crackers, assortment of old-time candy (Sugar Babies, Tootsie Pops, Red
      Hots, Swedish Fish, Lemonheads, saltwater taffy, pinwheel lollipops, etc.); microwave
      popcorn with traditional red/white striped popcorn boxes, Domino’s Pizza gift
    • Preserved
      With Love
      : Basket full of homemade
      jams, jellies, chutneys made by Sunday School class members

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Other Ideas

    • Fresh From the Garden: A certificate for fresh-cut roses or peonies, or heirloom tomatoes from a Sunday School member’s garden
    • Homemade Christmas Goodies: A member with a reputation as a good baker would provide the winning bidder with a set number of cookies, pies, and/or cakes during the holiday season
    • Our Favorite Christmas Cookies: Each Sunday School class member contributes her/his favorite homemade cookie recipe (best if it’s an old family recipe). We print these on colorful index cards (need about a dozen cards in all), tie together with pretty ribbon, and sell the packs for $5 each.
  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    That baking basket is a great idea too. I'm amazed at how quickly baking sheets and pans start to look grubby, and imagine folks would appreciate a nice new set.

  • smiling
    7 years ago

    One of the most popular baskets I've seen, and it's now repeated annually, is one that especially appeals to teenage boys. It's a big bunch of boxes of cereal! Remember how much your teenagers went through cereal, well, they still do, and this simple basket/tub is such a hit every year. It usually has at least 10 boxes of the well known cereals, and is hotly auctioned.

  • smiling
    7 years ago

    Ha! Love it!

  • Nothing Left to Say
    7 years ago

    Wine baskets have been very common at events I have been to.

    A local themed basket with local wine, chocolate, gift cards to local coffee shop, etc.

    Dinner at your house basket. We bought a basket that was a home made gumbo meal delivered to our house at a mutually convenient time.

    Ski vacation basket, weekend at a ski condo with some snow toys, gloves and warm socks

    fitness basket with jump rope, fit bit, gift card for sessions with a trainer

    bike safety basket with helmet, yellow vest, and bike lights and bell

    You don't have to cook basket with gift cards for restaurants that deliver

  • lascatx
    7 years ago

    We had some baskets that got rather large -- like an outdoor grill and the grilling things to go with it, a gift wrap station with paper, bags, scissors, tape, ribbon and gift tags all in one place and some other outdoor fishing/camping things. If kids are in the mix, any kind of electronic game or reader was always bvery popular. Themed dinners -- both a basket with items to make a Mexican or Italian meal ( such as pasta, jarred sauce, breadsticks, things to make a salad, cookies for dessert and such).

    If these are silent auction baskets, a variation was to have someone host a dinner for a certain number of people or couples and the top bidders in that number (usually 8 or 10) or the first of that number to sign up automatically won -- so a dinner for 10 people paying $25 or $50 per person will have a set yield of $250 or $500. The cook may be the donor or a pro. At the elementary school, the princiap or a favorite teacher might be the cook or honored guest. You'de be amazed how excited kids could get to have ice cream, pizza, donuts or a burger with someone they only see at school. Those were very popular and you can adapt the idea to your group.

    I would try to think about the upcoming holidays since you are in November. What can you put together than makes Thanksgiving or Christmas easier or that would make for good gifts. If you did the wrapping basket, do more holiday themed tthan birthday and all-occasion. Wreaths, candles, or other decorations might do well. Or holiday themed entertaining.

  • MtnRdRedux
    7 years ago

    BTW the way I have typically seen baskets work for fundraisers is that first, you solicit donations from the community and local businesses. Sometimes the local business will do up a basket for you themselves. Sometimes an individual donor will gather things into a basket. In other cases, the organizers made up baskets by grouping items, or even supplementing. For example, someone donates show tickets, and someone else has donated a gift crtf to a local restaurant. You might group them together along with a make over gift certificate for a special night on the town, or somesuch.

  • Fun2BHere
    7 years ago

    "Apple" basket - iPod touch, Ear Pods, iTunes card

    "May the Force be with You" - Star Wars collectibles that would appeal to teens and adults rather than children.

    "Sports Night" basket - Tickets to a professional sporting event plus stadium pillows and team foam hand, hat, etc.

  • bpath
    7 years ago

    Our church had a live auction and the biggest seller (and most fun to watch the bidding) was a pie a month from one of our congregants! Other items for silent auctions have included special cakes or meals from our talented folks. Another popular item is reserved parking and seating for holiday services.

    A school auctions "packages" for events, like a prom package including a salon visit, a certificate for flowers, certificate for a tux or spray tan (!), parking, and other things specific to our school's prom, or for graduation it might have parking, reserved seats, certificate for cheese and crackers from a local shop, and flowers and balloons.

    Another item I've seen is an artist or architect in the group will make a drawing of your home.

  • lascatx
    7 years ago

    If this is related to your church, then the wine and alcohol may be forbidden. We had the same issue wiith school events, but we had things like margarita glasses, mixer and rimming stuff in a basket with chips and salsa -- everything but the tequila. Harder to do that with wine, but the BYOB idea might be something to keep in mind.

    If you can add things that are unique -- whether items or experiences, they help push up values because someone who loses out on them can't just go shopping the next day and pick up another. With your trip this summer, you have an opportunity to do truly unique. Even fingerpainting by the kids od fingerprint art would be especially meaningful.