Make a Year of Dates Gift Basket
Crafts | Gifts | Holiday | Seasonal

The Unique DIY Gift Basket that Will Make Every Girl Swoon

I always watched The Bachelor with my sisters.

I mean, we watched it at exactly the same time in three different houses on three different TVs and sent tons of group texts back and forth.

In fact, there were always so many group texts that we would have to pause to catch up on them, which completely threw off the synchronicity of watching “together.”

So, when my little sister was getting married, I knew I wanted to make some kind of creative gift involving dates.

When my best friend got married, I made a Year of Firsts Wedding Wine basket, which was a huge hit (free printables).

Yet, I wanted to do something different this time.

So, I took that idea and revamped it into a “Year of Dates” gift basket.

The Perfect Gift Idea

The “Year of Dates” gift basket would include a planned and paid date for every month of their first married year.

My sister and her fiancé were always looking for new things to do in their new city.

Plus, planning 12 dates would make me feel like Chris Harrison.

There would be date cards, roses, and lots of silly jokes!

DIY Wedding Gift Idea for Bride and Grooms - Make a Year of Dates gift basket with planned and paid for dates!!

This was the perfect opportunity to make a special DIY wedding gift and use my creativity.

12 Months of Preplanned and Paid for Dates

How to Make a Year of Dates Gift Basket

1. Set a Budget

I shared the idea with my mom and sisters and asked if they wanted to go in on it with me. That way we could plan some really nice dates for the Year of Dates wedding gift. I was happy to hear they loved the idea.

Variety is Key

You can make the dates as expensive or inexpensive as you’d like. Or, you could vary it as we did.

Some of the attractions we included were free, so we could make other dates more expensive.

Once you set your budget, divide by 12 so you know how much you can spend on each date.

2. Collect Materials – Free Year of Dates Printables

To make the Year of Dates gift basket, I used the following materials. The printables and templates are available as free downloads.

  • Organza pouches to hold money, tickets, and gift cards
  • Mini envelopes to hold the date cards & money pouches
  • Burlap ribbon
  • Tissue paper
  • Stickers or washi tape for decoration
  • Large basket
  • Items/trinkets to go with the dates (see below for explanation & ideas)
  • Free printables (available for free in our DIY resource library) – date cards, spreadsheet, month labels, and sign

Organizing the Dates

I made a spreadsheet to track all of the information for the Year of Dates wedding gift.

I am in love with spreadsheets, and this was the easiest way to organize everything.

On this Year of Dates spreadsheet, there’s a column for the date venue, date card poem, website, address, helpful hints, cost, item/trinket, and the months (so you don’t plan an ice skating date in the summer),

The item/trinket was my favorite part, but more on this later.

3. Research Date Ideas

The next thing I did was research things to do in their city. I found lots of great blogs and articles with plenty of ideas for date nights.

Before I finalized any of the 12 dates, I read the reviews of the places on Trip Advisor.

That’s the absolute best way to find out if a museum, restaurant, or attraction is worth the time.

Research & Review Tip

Before I had kids, I was a teacher, and my husband and I used to travel during all of the breaks.

We some amazing trips, and I would research our destinations for hours before I made our detailed itinerary. Trip Advisor always had the most accurate and detailed reviews.

So I channeled my traveling days and used Trip Advisor to plan out the dates.

I used the reviews to make a helpful hints list for each date. More on this later 🙂

Putting together a Year of Dates gift basket for bridal showers

If you are looking for date ideas, some general date ideas are:

  • ice cream dates
  • movie dates
  • ice skating dates
  • tree lighting dates
  • beach or lake day trips
  • concerts
  • festivals
  • picnic dates
  • swimming dates
  • gym dates
  • rock climbing dates
  • hiking dates
  • bike riding trips
  • cooking class dates
  • dessert dates
  • sports games
  • zoo dates

There are so many possibilities.

When researching the 12 dates, we stayed away from anything where we had to lock in a particular date because we had no idea what their work schedules are like.

So, any festivals, concerts, or games were out.

As soon as a date attraction/venue looked good, I added it to my Year of Dates Excel list.

Putting together a Year of Dates gift basket for bridal showers

4. Choose an Item/Trinket/Gift for Each Date

When putting together the 12 Months of Dates gift, we had another idea. We thought it would be super cute to put a small gift with each date.

So instead of just giving an envelope with the date card and money/tickets, there were trinkets that went along with the theme of the date.

So, we creatively found items for the 12 date ideas.

Little Gift Examples

Here are a few of the ones we used. As you can see, they’re super cute!

  • Beer cozies for the beer tour date
  • Colored pencils and a little sketchbook for the art museum trip
  • Easily-foldable blanket for their picnic
  • Cute mason jar cups and a mini bottle of champagne for their beach date
  • Hot cocoa and hand warmers for the Christmas tree lighting
  • Walkable map for their city tour
  • Chocolate bar sample to go with the chocolate tour
  • Star book to go with their observatory date

Other items we paired were a fancy wine cork, magnets, and a photo album with a map on the cover.

These little gifts can add up so I suggest going to Target’s Dollar Spot section or using a coupon at the craft stores.

I love the idea of trinkets because it really made for a nice gift basket.

Truly it made the gift so much more visually and creatively than giving envelopes of money.

However, you could make this gift basket without the little gifts. You could actually give the gift as a binder.

Year of Dates Gift Basket Wedding Gift

5. Make the Date Cards

For the date cards, I wrote simple poems for each of the 12 dates. To tie in the theme of the Bachelor, I tied in “should you accept this rose.”

On the front, the date card said:

A free outdoor pool that’s located by the Charles, a bike path, and a Trader Joe’s,
you’ll have a blast at this best kept secret if you accept this rose.

On the back, the date card said:

“Should you accept this rose, enjoy your date at:

<Helpful Hints>

Helpful Hints

We also included any helpful hints, such as the hours the pool was open or the availability of bathrooms/changing rooms/lockers.

We used the information in the reviews on Trip Advisor to compile the Helpful Hints for each of the 12 dates.

It’s the same research that I would have done if I were going.

And remember, I have the date card template that I created available for you in the free printables. 🙂

Year of Dates Gift Basket Date Cards
Making Date Cards for One Year of Dates Wedding Gift

6. Acquire gift cards or tickets (or cash)

For as many of the dates as could, we attained gift cards or tickets.

Being out of town, we couldn’t pick up everything we wanted – but lots of places were able to mail us these, or we were able to buy/print online.

Far-Off Dates

Keep in mind that since it is a year of dates, some of the dates won’t happen for several months.

For those far-off dates, we tended to include cash – just in case the place went out of business or went downhill before their scheduled date.

Unsure Dates

We also included cash if there were any places that we were unsure about. For example, we included a museum that we thought my sister would love; however, we weren’t sure if she’s been there before.

If she’s already been there several times, she might not want to return. So, we did cash for that one – and she could decide.

Making a Year of Dates Gift Basket for Significant Other

7. Put everything together!

I wasn’t sure how I was going to present the Year of Dates wedding gift. I was thinking maybe a cooler bag, and then they could use that for their picnic.

However, I felt that this wouldn’t be the best presentation because you wouldn’t be able to see everything. It would look like I was gifting just the cooler bag.

Going with the Gift Basket

I ultimately went with a gift basket and really thick burlap lace ribbon for the envelopes and items. This gave all the assorted trinkets a uniform look.

How to Make a Year of Dates Gift Basket

Also, I didn’t want the money or tickets to get lost. So, I bought these organza pouches. These pouches made it easy for the recipient to keep track of money or gift cards.

Then, I put the date card and the organza pouch in little colorful envelopes. I printed the month labels (free printables) and glued them on the cards. This also contributed to a uniform look.

Year of Dates Gift Basket

I found a nice basket at Michaels for the 12 Months of Dates wedding gift and got to work filling it up.

Then, I used the burlap lace ribbon to wrap around the items, and then I slipped the envelope in.

Between the monthly labels (free printable) and the burlap ribbon, it tied together all the “random” trinkets we picked up. I stuffed some tissue paper at the bottom to keep items in place.

I also printed off a Year of Dates poem and taped it to a little wooden skewer.

12 Months of Planned and Prepaid Dates Gift Basket

Bonus Date?

Last, when doing my research for the Year of Dates basket, I found out that you can get free or discounted passed to many places in their city through their library.

So I added a little “Bonus” date card and printed out the list of places they could go by reserving the tickets in advance at their local library.

Year of Dates - Gift Basket that will make every girl swoon!

All the Ooohhhs & Ahhhhsss

The Year of Dates wedding gift went over so well! Every girl at the shower was swooning over the creative gift basket.

So many gifts at showers are pretty boring – and right off the registry- so this gift gave life to those “ooohhhs” and “ahhhhs.”

Plus, who wouldn’t love all those planned (and paid for) adventures for the entire first year of marriage?!

It definitely topped my Year of Firsts Gift Basket. It might even be my most creative gift ever.

You don’t have to use this gift idea for a shower or a wedding – you can make it for anyone you love!

It’s perfect for girlfriends or even boyfriends – anyone who is looking for a fun, unique, and thoughtful gift!

It’s also perfect for those who have moved to a new city.

You could also make it for kids, and call it a Year of Adventures! Boy, my kids would love that.

Basically, you can’t go wrong!

Let me know if you make your own Year of Dates gift basket. I would love to hear about it!

Need the BEST wedding gift idea? Make a Year of Dates Gift Basket - filled with 12 months of planned dates! Lots of printables and tips here!
BEST WEDDING GIFT IDEA! Make a Year of Dates Gift Basket - perfect gift for weddings, showers, and couples. Free printables!


    1. Thanks so much Chelsea! We loved making it:)

    1. Thanks Amy! It was so fun to plan and make:)

    1. Thanks so much Amy! It was fun to put together!

    1. Thanks so much Angela! It was so fun to put together and my sister loved it!

  1. Nice idea. Thank you for sparking the mood to put some more fun into date night. I have a NEW BLOG PARTY and would love for you to join us. The Classy Flamingos on

    1. Aww you’re welcome Linda! So happy you liked it!

  2. Great post thanks for sharing useful information.

    1. You’re welcome Kiran! Thanks for reading:)

  3. What a fantastic wedding gift! I do love when people do things like this, and I’m sure your sister really appreciate all the thought and effort. The idea of adding a little trinket for each date is awesome.


    1. Thanks Lauren!! Yes she really did! And I’m looking forward to hearing about their dates since I did so much planning! Lol

  4. These are so much fun!! What a great gift idea! Pinning. 🙂

  5. What a sweet idea! And so many of those ideas will be good well beyond the first year, too. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Thanks Leslie!! It was so fun to put together 🙂

  6. Oh this is a lovely idea I’m going to give it a try! Stopping by from Blogger’s Pit Stop

    1. Thanks so much! So happy you’re going to try it:)

  7. This is the best wedding gift! Such a sweet idea too. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

    1. Thanks so much Teresa!! It went over quite well:)

  8. Love, Love, Love this. Already thinking of year of dates ideas for my husband and each of my grandchildren!

    1. Thank you!! So happy you love it!:)

  9. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle says:

    What a unique and wonderful idea, lucky sister. We will feature this post on the Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    Well done.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    1. Thanks Kathleen! And thank you for the feature!!

    1. Aww thank you so much, Maisy!! Hhaha I hope when there is a wedding in sight that someone makes it for you!! 🙂 It was so fun to make!! And probably even more fun to go on all the dates 🙂 Thanks so much for the feature!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing with #TriumphantTales!

  11. So lovely ideas…Thanks for helpful information…These really look so creative but are easy to make….

  12. This is an awesome idea! I came across it on pinterest today and am following your ideas to create a basket for my niece who is getting married next weekend. Having a blast putting it all together. Hoping she loves it as much as I do! Thanks for the ideas and detailed post!!

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! This is one of my favorite DIYs!! You get to be so creative and it’s such a fun present! Hope your niece loves it:)

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