Preparing a gift basket for shipping isn't difficult, but it does take a little time and effort. A few extra steps are involved when you're packing something with multiple pieces to keep in place, but if you take a few careful steps with the packing, your gift basket will arrive at its destination looking just as it did when you put it in the box.
Cut the sheets of foam rubber into pieces and wedge them between the items in the gift basket so they don't move and hit one another, particularly if the items are breakable.
Place the shrink-wrap bag over the top of the gift basket, folding and taping down the bag's open end on the underside of the basket. Use a hair dryer to shrink the wrap to fit, following the recommendations on the shrink-wrap package.
Pour a 1-inch layer of packing peanuts into the bottom of the cardboard box. Put the gift basket in the box on top of this layer.
Cut sheets of Styrofoam in pieces that are the right size to wedge between the basket and the sides of the box to keep the basket from moving. Place wedges on all four sides of the basket.
Fill the rest of the space inside the box with more packing peanuts or crumpled paper. Close the box and tape it securely with packing tape.
Write "This Side Up" on the top of the box, and write "Fragile" and "Handle with Care" on the sides of the box and on the top.
Susan Miller has been a professional journalist since 1990. She edited two weeklies for a chain of suburban newspapers and has written for the "Indianapolis Star," the "Indianapolis Business Journal" and several magazines, among other publications and websites. Miller studied design, photography and technology at Purdue University and Central Piedmont Community College.