Whether you live hours or states (or maybe even several countries) away from your family and friends, annual events and holidays remind us just how important spending time with loved ones can be. This year, things are even more complicated. While you may not be able to enjoy the traditions of Easter with extended family and friends due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are still ways to treat the people who are most important to you to a special gift. Whether you choose to send your Easter basket out through USPS, UPS, or FedEx, it's important to make sure your package is delivered in a timely manner. "Be sure to send your gift through a mail carrier that provides a tracking number so you can ensure it is delivered to the recipient as planned," advises Jason Wing, director of merchandising at 1-800-Baskets.com. "You can avoid any rush delivery charges by giving ample time for the package delivery."
Easter baskets, especially, are as equally beautiful to display as they are to unwrap. So, how do you go about properly sending one so that it arrives looking as lovely as its contents? Here are some important thoughts to consider before sending an Easter basket through the mail.
Get creative with your gift basket.
When selecting the container and materials for your gift basket, there are some important factors to keep in mind. "Get creative! Think outside the traditional basket look—you can consider totes, bowls, buckets, and more reusable items," says Wing. "Any reusable containers are great for the recipient to be able to enjoy for future use." Additionally, he recommends considering the weight and size of all items you will include in the gift basket to ensure the base of your basket is supportive enough.
Pack it securely.
You can also keep the contents of your basket secure while ensuring a thoughtful display. First, place a pad at the bottom of your basket, then add any bulky items, such as fruit. Wrap the items individually in festive tissue paper for a little more protection and decoration. "Packaging materials, such as bubble wrap, can also help keep fragile products in place," says Wing.
Place another protective pad on top of the items, then prop up cardboard in the back of the basket to display a box of candies. Add mounds of decorative filler—like crinkled paper, hay, or excelsior—to protect, decorate, and display the rest of the items, working from the tallest items in the back to the shortest in the front. "Try to avoid stacking products directly on top of each other in the basket," notes Wing. "Gift-givers can use cushioning such as crinkled paper, tissue paper, or bubble wrap to keep all items elevated in the container." Use the filler for balance, digging the items into the material and tucking everything close together to keep them straight. "You can secure anything fragile with glue dots or skewers to ensure these items do not shift in the basket," says Wing. Finally, wrap your entire basket in cellophane.
Shrink-wrapping the basket is a great way to secure your gift basket even more without losing its allure. The clear film will still display its contents while allowing your arrangement to remain intact. "If you plan to wrap the gift basket," Wing suggests, "you can use cellophane and a brightly colored ribbon to top it off."
Choose the right box.
You'll want to use a box package that is big enough for your gift basket to fit in. Make sure it's tall enough so as not to squish the tied ribbon, while ensuring you leave between two to four inches of space between the basket and the box for cushioning. Unusually shaped items help give more texture and variety to the basket. "When packaging your basket, place any tall, unusually shaped items in the back to create more depth," advises Wing.
Stuff the box with craft paper.
Create a cushion between the basket and the box using craft paper: Tear off sections of the paper, crumple them up, and place them into the box until the bottom is full. Place your gift basket on top of the craft paper, then proceed to crumple up more of the paper and cushion all sides of the basket as well the front of it. Just be sure to leave the bow unpacked.
Sign, seal, and deliver.
Now that your gift basket is properly secured in its box, you can fold up the edges of the box and tape it securely with packing tape. Before shipping, make sure you write "this side up" on the top of the box and "fragile" and "handle with care" on the top and sides of the box. This will ensure that your gift will arrive intact when delivered right to their door.