I love buying sets of items that go together and making a gift basket. It is just how my brain works. For our babysitter's graduation party this weekend, I made her a laundry basket. You know doing laundry in the dorm basement calls for some fun colors and cute stuff! When putting together a basket, I recommend having your items with you when you pick out the container. I searched all over Wal-Mart for a tub that wasn't too big where the gift would look chinzy, but also not too small where it would look like everything was just crammed into a cheap container.
Look for 1 or 2 big items that don't cost much. I used detergent and stain spray as my big items. Those will determine your container size. From there, I added the medium and small items including a lint roller, monogrammed laundry bag, and dryer sheets. I also recommend one fun or colorful item in the front and center. I used clothespins in a clear bag and added curly ribbon.
Keep your colors in mind. The color of the detergent and stain spray set my whole color palette. You want each item to look like part of the set and not mismatched.Think outside the box- the tubs in the cleaning aisle were boring! I found this one in the summer section, likely for holding cold drinks. You can also find colorful tubs in the garden section, metal pails in hardware/paint or colorful organizers in closet/kitchen organization.
Keep odd numbers in mind- odd numbers help with making it look more random. You don't want full symmetry. Balance the size of your items in your bucket.
I added layers of tissue between each item. It makes it more fun to dig in and see what is inside, but also helps with the decor and filling of the container. My items looked a little short, so I covered a box of Bisquick mix in tissue on the bottom. It added weight since my detergent was so heavy and could tip the bucket over, but also added height.
Have fun bucket shopping next time you need a gift!