Creative and Unique Homemade Sympathy Basket Ideas – Grieving gifts to make and send instead of flowers, fruit or a card to show your condolences in a personal, creative, unique and thoughtful way.
Below are pictures of homemade sympathy baskets I’ve made and my tips for making DIY comfort gift baskets for someone grieving the loss of a loved one. These are are all fairly cheap and easy grieving gifts you can make last minute or on a budget.
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Losing someone is never easy – and when someone I love or work with loses someone, I have to do SOMETHING. I think it’s so important to show my friends, co-workers and family members that I’m thinking of them with more than just words, don’t you?
Besides, sometimes when someone passes, I often feel at a loss for words and never feel like I’m saying, or DOING, the right thing.
If YOU feel that way, too – these 2 books below REALLY helped me to be able to comfort others in a way that truly helps:
But getting back to what to GET for someone grieving…
Naturally, sending flowers, food or a card as condolences are a kind gesture- and I’m sure it’s appreciated – but I prefer to send a sympathy gift basket that I made myself.
Something that truly says – I’m thinking about YOU.
I never used to really think about what to GET someone who lost a loved one – until THIS happened…
About 10 years ago, someone very close to me suffered a tragic loss – the kind that makes other people very uncomfortable and they didn’t know what to say or what to send.
Oddly, almost everyone who want to send their condolences sent FRUIT.
ORANGES, to be exact.
WHY oranges? I have no idea – but let me tell you, that house was FULL of ORANGES! It was so ridiculous that it was almost comical.
You know what was really odd?
No one in that house even LIKED oranges!
Sure, it’s the thought that counts – and it was obvious that NO ONE seemed to really THINK about the family they were sending oranges to.
At that very moment, I decided that anything I sent to a grieving person would be PERSONAL and show that I know them… and that I am truly thinking of THEM.
To make my homemade sympathy baskets, I start by thinking about the person who is suffering a loss and is grieving and what THEIR favorite things are.
Then, I try to put items in the bereavement basket that they can use immediately, items they can use in a few days and things that will last a long time.
Grief does not have a set timeline so I want the items in my sympathy basket to be present and available as they go through the painful process.
I’ve also made sympathy baskets for people I don’t know all that well.
For example, a co-worker recently lost her dog and was grieving horribly.
I’ve lost plenty of pets, and it’s HARD.
I didn’t know a lot about my co-worker from a deep personal level, but I DID know she loved two things: wine and chocolate.
So I got a cheap Dollar Tree basket, put in a bottle of Flirt wine with corkscrew opener and a wine glass. Then I filled the wine glass and the bottom of the basket with chocolate “Hugs” Hershey Kisses like in the picture below.
I added a note that said “You can never have too many hugs – Thinking of you…”
She loved it.
First off, she said it was so nice for someone to actually acknowledge her loss with something personal. Secondly, she told me the next month, that every time she grabbed a piece of chocolate from that basket, it DID feel like a hug.
(by the way, at that point, the wine was LONG gone lol!)
I’ve also used a color as a theme – like this Box Of Sunshine yellow color-themed care package.
Everything in the bright and cheerful yellow box just says “Cheer Up” – makes ME happy just looking at it.
I’ve also made “Sorry You’re Blue” care package baskets to cheer up a friend.
For $20 – $30 at your local Dollar Store, you can put together a really cute gift basket full of all blue color-themed items.
Bottom line – be sure the sympathy basket you’re making is truly about the person you are giving to to and not about YOU.
Meaning, if YOU are a deeply religious person, but the person you are making the bereavement basket for is NOT religious – don’t put religious-themed items IN the basket, ok?
I also do NOT recommend putting any grief “advice” in your basket either.
I’ve yet to see anyone in the early stages of grief receive a ‘How To Cope With Loss’ type of book be comforted by it.
Actually, I HAVE seen it anger many grieving people – it’s just too soon and they are NOT ready to even consider letting go of their grief YET.
(letting go of the grief FEELS like you’re letting go of the lost loved one, ya know?)
When THEY are ready, THEY will seek out advice as they feel fit – please don’t do that FOR them.
Here are two unique sympathy gift items I’ve added to my homemade comfort baskets lately…
Let me tell ya, that wind chime is VERY pretty and the recipient LOVES it.
I bought her my homemade comfort gift basket AND a big pan of my homemade funeral potatoes – then went and visited for a bit to lend an ear to just listen – and a shoulder to lean on.
She still has that wind chime up on her back patio years later – she says she drinks her coffee out there in the mornings and every time she hears the wind chime, she feels comfort.
One the best sympathy gifts EVER (her words, not mine lol!)
✅ Need comfort food ideas?
Here’s another unique sympathy gift basket idea to make – I loved the colors and theme!
It’s all about COMFORT!
More Grief Gift Ideas
Here’s a quick tutorial video showing you 4 easy DIY sympathy gift ideas you can make in under 5 minutes.
More Gift Basket Ideas
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