Homemade gift baskets can be personalized to suit the tastes of the recipient, making your gift extra special. All items in your gift basket should be part of a theme, giving your gift a pulled-together look. Gift baskets do not have to be expensive, but can still make really thoughtful gifts. A cocktail-themed gift basket can be filled with mini bottles of alcohol, allowing you to have an assortment of different types of alcohol without spending too much money.
Choose a container for your gift basket. Gift "baskets" can be the typical wicker basket with a handle, or you can choose something more unique, such as an ice bucket, pail or a small wooden crate.
Add filler to the bottom of your basket. You want your gifts to be close to the top of the container. Filler items can be shredded paper, tissue paper or old newspaper. Alternate filler items also can be used. Peanuts in the shell or popped popcorn would fit nicely in a cocktail-themed gift basket.
Place your largest item in the middle. A cocktail shaker, margarita glass or cocktail recipe book would make a fitting centerpiece item in your basket.
Arrange your other gift items around the center item. Cocktail stirrers, coaster, straws and beverage napkins are some possible ideas. You want your basket to look good from all angles, so arrange your items as symmetrically as you can around your center item.
Add the miniature bottles of alcohol to your basket, placing them in front of the larger items, and continuing to arrange your items in a symmetrical manner.
Fill empty spots in your basket using brightly-wrapped candies, such as caramels.
Wrap your basket in cellophane, and tie it at the top with a ribbon.
Packaging peanuts are not recommended for use as a filler material, they will cause your gifts to shift around in the basket.