Put together a thoughtful and useful salad dressing gift basket full of garden fresh Italian herbs with this tutorial and printable recipes and labels. Perfect for weddings or showers, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and more! Check out other gift ideas on the handmade gift page.
Welcome to May’s Tuesdays In The Garden series. This month we’re bringing you DIY garden ideas which include things for the garden as well as gift ideas inspired by the garden (like mine). Be sure to check out all the great ideas from our Tuesdays in the Garden group at the end of this salad dressing gift basket idea.
You all know I love a good handmade gift. But not just any old thing – the best are both easy and useful. Gifts-in-a-jar like Cinnamon-Oat Pancake Mix, Red Beans & Rice, and Rosemary Focaccia fit into this category. Also Flaxseed Warming Pillows, Knitted Headbands, Handmade Gardener’s Hand Cream, and…well the list could go on (you can just check out the full Handmade Gifts Category to see them all!).
Suffice it to say, easy + useful = great handmade gift.
Based on that, this Italian herb garden salad dressing gift basket is a great handmade gift. But it’s also unique and a nice way to give a little garden love to someone special. Like classic jar gifts, this basket includes recipes and a mix – but it also includes the three fresh herbs that are called for in the recipes!
Whether your recipient is a gardener or not, everyone loves having fresh herbs to cook with. They can keep these inside on a window sill and use them in recipes until they’re gone or they can plant them in a pot or garden bed outside to grow all season long.
The basic gift basket is the herbs, spice mix and two yummy Italian salad dressing recipes to use the herbs in (a Creamy Italian Garden Herb Dressing and a classic Italian Garden Herb Vinaigrette). You can package them up any way you’d like – I used a salad bowl lined with a tea towel and included a set of salad servers. A basket would be nice and you could add a decorative bottle to mix the dressings in – it’s up to you.
I’ve got all the supplies and steps listed for you as well as printables for the recipes and labels for the herbs and spice mix. All you need to do is purchase the plants, gather your supplies, print out the recipes and put it together.
Make an Italian Herb Garden Salad Dressing Gift Basket
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- Salad bowl, basket, or other container to hold gift basket items
- Optional: tea towel (I love this one from the Hearth & Hand line at Target!) and salad servers
- Small spice bottle with lid
- Three live herb plants: basil, oregano, and parsley
- Bamboo skewers
- Tissue paper and jute or other type of wrap for herbs (Note: you may want to buy cute pots to put the herbs in if you know they will grow these indoors – this set is really cute and come three to a basket, so you could present the gift in this with just the recipes and spice mix)
- Italian Herb Salad Dressing Recipe Cards Printable and Salad Dressing Gift Basket Labels Printable (click links to to both PDFs to open in a new window and download to your computer and printing)
- Glue stick, scissors, plastic wrap
1. Prepare your herb plants.
- Cut out the herb labels from your gift basket labels printable: cut each herb label into a long strip and then fold over evenly so there’s a front and plain back. I notched the ends to look like pennants – you can do that or not.
- Use a glue stick to coat the inside of one and then wrap it around the top of a bamboo skewer, smoothing as needed.
- Wrap the bottom of each herb pot with a small piece of plastic (to keep moisture from draining out) and then wrap fulling with tissue paper, tying in place with jute twine.
- Place the prepared herb labels into the corresponding pot.
2. Make the salad dressing spice mix. In a small bowl, mix together:
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Transfer to the spice jar with a funnel. Cut out label from gifts basket labels printable and glue to jar. (I didn’t realize until I saw the photo that I had the wrong order for the label – “garden herb” instead of “herb garden.” Oops. The printable has the correct version!)
3. Prepare the salad bowl/container.
- Line the bowl with the tea towel.
- Optional: if you’re worried about the tissue paper bleeding onto the towel (like I was), lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the towel where the herb plants will be placed as a precaution.
4. Put together the Italian Herb Garden Salad Dressing Basket.
- Set the herb plants in place first.
- Add the spice mix in front of the plants.
- Place the salad servers on the right towards the back.
- Print the Italian Herb Dressings Gift Basket Cards, cut out each, and add them on the back left. Note: for easier transport, you may want to fully secure them inside the bowl.
And your gift is complete! How easy was that? Really, I love how adaptable this is, too, depending on the type of container you find.
I think this would make a great birthday gift, Mother’s Day – or Father’s Day for a foodie dad – wedding or hostess gift, don’t you? It’s a small way to spread a little garden goodness to everyone on your list!
Here are five more DIY garden ideas from my garden friends for you:
DIY Garden Gazing Ball @ Hearth & Vine
Mini Green Houses for Small Gardens @ Frugal Family Home
DIY Tomato Transplanting Tips @ SimplifyLiveLove
Add Visual Interest to Your Garden @ The Freckled Rose
DIY Strawberry Towers @ Homemade Food Junkie
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