20+ Special Items to Put in a DIY Fruit Basket

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A fruit basket is a kind way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. They’re also perfect for events like holidays, weddings, and even funerals. They’re a visually pleasing way to make someone’s day no matter the occasion. 

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From sympathy gift baskets to holiday surprises, a fruit basket is always a great gift idea. Better yet, they’re affordable and easy to make yourself. While there are a number of stunning fruit baskets for purchase at local grocery stores and online, you’ll be surprised by just how simple they are to make yourself, no matter your DIY skills. 

In this guide, we’ll share 20+ special items to put in a DIY fruit basket. No matter the recipient, there are a variety of fruits and extras that make the perfect addition to brighten someone’s day. 

Types of Fruit to Put in Your Basket

The best part about choosing to gift a fruit basket is that you don’t have to search far to find everything you need. As long as you have a basket and access to a grocery store, you’re ready to assemble your creation. Here are the best types of fruits to put in your basket. 

1. Apples

Because apples are firm and durable, they make an excellent base for your fruit basket. They don’t spoil quickly, and there are a variety of flavors and colors to choose from to add to the rainbow of your basket. 

2. Oranges

Like apples, oranges offer a lot of durability. They’re a strong base for any basket, and these fruits come with their own natural wrapper, so they’re easy to grab-and-go. 

3. Bananas

Bananas are a favorite fruit amongst many, but you’ll need to assemble them carefully into the basket. Not only do you want to choose bananas that aren’t yet ripe, but you want to ensure they’re on top, so they don’t get bruised in transit. 

4. Grapes

There are few fruits as sophisticated looking as grapes. Again, look for a variety that’s not yet ripe so they’re long-lasting. Aside from this, store them on the top or to the side of the basket to prevent them from breaking open. It might be worth packaging them to prevent liquid from spilling. 

5. Kiwis

If they’re in season, kiwis are also a great addition to any fruit basket. They’re a unique texture, and they’re also durable. Ensure you take care when selecting your kiwi from the store to be sure they’re ready to be eaten. 

6. Pineapple

Another elegant fruit is the pineapple. Perfect for a summer-themed basket, pineapples are a unique symbol of wealth and prosperity. They’re perfect towards the back or the sides of your fruit basket as a way to offer more support. 

7. Strawberries

While it might not be practical to put an entire container of strawberries, you can place individual ones in between holes created from other fruits. They’re a way to turn your basket into a fuller, cohesive shape, and they’re a beautiful pop of color. 

8. Dates

Dates are a fruit that many people don’t think of adding to a DIY fruit basket, but they’re a perfect addition.

These are super high in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, and they last a long time without going bad. You can use these like strawberries to fill holes in your basket. 

9. Mango

Another summer-themed favorite is the mango. Mango trees are a symbol of love and immortality. They’re commonly used in some wedding ceremonies as a way to bring good luck, so it’s no wonder they’re perfect for your DIY basket. 

10. Avocado

Last but not least, who doesn’t love avocado? Though often forgotten from fruit baskets, this fruit is full of healthy fats and much-needed carbohydrates. It’s also a versatile choice that can be used by the recipient in an unlimited number of ways, from toast to tacos. 

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Other Fun Items to Put in Your DIY Fruit Basket

Your DIY fruit basket doesn’t only need to contain fruit. There are other fun things that add on to the experience to help create a truly memorable gift. 

11. Card or message

Of course, no gift basket is complete without a card or handwritten message. If they’re under the weather, a get well soon message could go a long way. For holidays, remind them that you’re always thinking of them. It’s your kind words that set your gift apart. 

12. Chocolate

Another sweet treat that always pairs well with fruit is chocolate. Whether you give chocolate bars, chocolate pieces, or even melting chocolate for dipping the fruit, this is sure to be a welcome addition. 

13. Cheese

A cheeseboard wouldn’t be complete without fruit. Cheese and fruit go together like two peas in a pod, so select some local favorites for ongoing snacking and grazing. 

14. Meats

Fine meats are also a great addition to any DIY fruit basket. Things that you’d normally find on a charcuterie board pair perfectly with your fruit selection. To take things up a level, include a serving board so they can share their finds with friends. 

15. Jam and jelly

While fruit is always good on its own, it’s also delicious when enjoyed with jam or jelly. A high-quality, all-natural jam or jelly not only lasts a long time, but it’s perfect for dipping the fruit to add even more flavor. 

16. Bread

For the ultimate picnic, include fine loaves of bread in your fruit basket. There are no limits to what goes with your fruit, but a good place to start is French bread, Cuban bread, or sourdough. This is sure to be a favorite treat!

17. Tea

Another common gift to pair with your DIY fruit basket is tea. Tea is typically made of herbs and other dried fruits, so there are a lot of complementing blends to choose from. There are few things as soothing as a warm cup of tea. 

18. Honey

Honey is a kitchen staple that’s often used as a fruit topping. It’s all-natural, matching with your fruity theme. Whether it’s used on a cheeseboard or in tea, it’s sure to be put to good use. 

19. Granola

Something commonly added to fruit salad is granola. The perfect crunchy addition to any fruit mixture, granola is a welcome surprise addition to any DIY fruit basket. It’s also easy to find fruit-friendly flavor combinations. 

20. Baked goods

Last but not least, if you have a knack for baking, including some baked goods always goes a long way. Things like cookies, brownies, or cake are always enjoyed, especially when paired with delicious fruit. 

How to Create a Fruit Basket

Now that you understand what goes into a fruit basket, how do you put it all together? These baskets always seem so effortless in the store, but how do they get that way? Luckily, it’s easier than it looks. Follow these simple DIY steps to make your own impressive creation:

  • Find your base: Your fruit basket is only as strong as its base. Finding a strong basket or container is a must. This doesn’t have to be a basket, it can also be a reusable bowl, cooking pan, or serving tray. 
  • Pad your container: You’ll want some kind of padding to keep your fruit from getting damaged at the bottom of the container. You could use paper, plastic wrap, or a small towel. 
  • Largest fruits first: From there, place the largest, heaviest fruits first at the bottom of the basket. These should be fruits that aren’t easily damaged. 
  • Pile it high: Don’t be afraid to pile your fruit high. Put larger pieces in the middle and smaller fruits around the sizes to keep everything secure. 
  • Wrap or cover: To prevent flies or damage, cover your basket with a lid or wrapper. 
  • Add extras: Add any extra items like chocolate, cheese, and so on. Use these to fill any gaps that might be left in the fruit. 
  • Decorate: Finally, don’t be afraid to decorate the basket with flowers, vines, or cooking materials. 

Like all gifts, it truly is the thought that counts. As long as you’re putting your heart into your DIY fruit basket, it’s sure to be appreciated.

Gift Something Tasty and Sweet

When choosing the right gift, you want to make sure this is something your recipient will actually use. You can’t go wrong with food, especially if you choose a fruit basket. These are a classic that never fails to impress no matter the occasion. 

Because fruit is affordable and easy to find, this is a great last-minute gift idea or sympathy basket. It’s easy to prepare a DIY basket for someone special, letting them know you’re thinking of them. Have you ever gifted a fruit basket? 

If you're looking for more ways to show you care, read our guide on the best get well gifts and the best small gifts for friends.

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