Better Budgeting: Fragrance Holiday Basket

Fragrance Holiday Basket

Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts (featured column)
Submitted by Heather Cook 

Fragrance holiday basket

Ever needed to give a gift to a person who already has just about everything? This sweet smelling basket can easily fill this need. It is pretty, easy to make, and won’t break your budget. Not only is it nice to look at, but it also serves a practical purpose as well. The elements inside this basket, coupled with the warmth from the lights, will create a subtle fragrance in your home or office.

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Items you will need:

- A basket no more than 12 inches across (plastic is not recommended)
- A strand of 10-50 twinkle lights (any color, depending on basket size)
- A piece of tulle measuring twice the size of the basket (any color)
- A bottle of liquid fragrance or potpourri
- A filler (can be anything depending on the fragrance you choose)

Directions: 

Your first step is to find a basket. The basket should not be any bigger than 12 inches across, as it would need an unreasonable amount of lights to sufficiently permeate the fragrance. If you have any baskets lying around, use them! Plastic is not recommended, as it tends to have it’s own odor. If you don’t have any baskets at home, your local thrift store is likely to have plenty. Just about any basket made from wood will do. You can decorate the basket as much or as little as you want. You don’t have to put anything on it, but decorating it will add to the beauty of this unique idea. I recommend you at least tie small bows on the sides of the baskets or on the handle if there is one.

Next, add fragrance. Take your piece of tulle and saturate it with the liquid fragrance you have chosen. If you have a bottle of oil fragrance, just sit the tulle in it for a minute or two. If you have a spray bottle of fragrance, make sure to spray the tulle generously and evenly. The tulle needs to be hung up for at least 24 hours to dry. If you choose to use potpourri, then it is not necessary to put fragrance into the tulle.

When you have all items ready to go, take the strand of twinkle lights and throw them in the basket. The number of twinkle lights you will need depends on the size of the basket. If your basket has a width or diameter of more than 8 inches, fifty twinkle lights are recommended. Anything smaller than 8 inches will work with twenty-five twinkle lights. If the basket is smaller than 4 inches, a strand of 10 twinkle lights will suffice. Make sure the lights are spread throughout the bottom of the basket and not clumped together in one spot. If you can push the plug from the light strand through the slats in the basket, then do so. If you cannot, just hang the plug and cord outside the basket. Once the tulle is in the basket, it will hide the cord from view.

Take your piece of tulle and set it in the basket on top of the twinkle lights. The filler you have chosen needs to sit on top of the tulle. A filler can be anything. If you have chosen to use potpourri instead of liquid fragrance, dump it into the basket at this time. Depending upon the fragrance you have chosen, you can also put various items in the basket. If apple is your chosen scent, then put some dried apple slices in the basket or even some faux apples. If you have chosen an ocean related scent, then fill the basket with seashells or starfish. It is a good idea to relate the filler to the chosen fragrance. If the tulle hangs too far over the edges of the basket, trim it back. Be sure not to trim it back too far as you may need it to hide the cord attached to the twinkle lights.

As the twinkle lights get warm, so will the interior of the basket. The warmth will cause the fragrance to rise from the basket and permeate a small room or office. It will not permeate large areas, so this project is ideal for an end table or an office. As with any twinkle lights, you should not leave them on for more than eight hours.

The possibilities are endless, here are a few ideas:

Ocean Fragrant Basket

- Use a white basket and blue twinkle lights
- Use a shiny silver or white tulle
- Glue seashells on the sides of the basket
- Fill the basket with seashells
- Use “Ocean mist” type scent

Christmas Fragrant Basket

- Use a green or red basket
- Twinkle lights can be any color, even multicolor
- Use shiny gold tulle
- Adorn the basket with small ornaments or bows
- Fill the basket with small wrapped packages, pinecones, garland, holly, etc
- Use Cinnamon, Pine, or Mulberry fragrance

Fall or Thanksgiving Fragrant Basket

- Use a brown basket
- Use clear twinkle lights, or orange if you can find them
- Use orange or burgundy tulle
- Glue silk leaves to the basket
- Fill the basket with a variety of gourds and silk leaves
- Use Pumpkin Pie fragrance

Valentine's Day Fragrant Basket

- Use a white or red basket
- Use white or red twinkle lights (the opposite color of the  basket)
- Use red, pink, or white tulle
- Add lace to the basket and glue little red foam hearts to the basket
- Fill the basket with rose petals
- Use Rose fragrance

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Copyright © 2005 by Heather Cook. All rights reserved.

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