PTA Silent Auction Basket Themes

Updated on January 09, 2013
S.B. asks from Keller, TX
16 answers

The PTA has asked each room rep to come up with a basket for auction for a PTA fundraiser. And as room rep, it's my job to come up with t his. I HATE asking parents for money. But I am having a very difficult time coming up with a unique basket, that won't be terribly expensive to get things for. The "easy" ideas have already be taken - books, beach, game night, movie night, date night, spa night, Spaghetti night etc. I have already asked around and our class doesn't have anyone with things to donate (no one sells Avon, Mary Kay, Scentsy, etc. and no one works anywhere that would be able to donate anything...hope that makes sense). So anyone have any ideas that would make a great basket, but not too costly for the families?

**I make cakes and I am happy to donate a cake to the cause, but with everyone so into themed parties, I am not sure how I could package this up into a basket.

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answers from Philadelphia on

how about a car wash basket? Place all items in a bucket. Soap, wax, rags, windex, air freshner?

Mani/Pedi basket

snow day basket...hat, gloves, scarf, snowball maker, hand warmers, hot chocolate, snowman kit (buttons, etc)

exercise basket - yoga mat, weights, dvd (lots of stuff at 5 below)

baker's basket - cake mix, cookie mix, cookie cutters, cupcake papers, decorating tools, sprinkles, etc

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I went around to local businesses with a donation request letter and got donations for mini-golf, bowling, go-carting, the YMCA, fast food, the zoo and the museum and put together and activities basket. I also canvassed local politicians who were willing to donate. I recently won a wine basket with three bottles of wine, two wine glasses, a corkscrew, some bruschetta, good chocolate and crackers.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Macon on

Chili fixings basket (chili seasoning kit, cornbread mix, line it with a red bandana)

Sewing basket filled with sewing supplies

School and office basket (pens, post-its, notepads, magnets, thumbtacks, cool paper clips - personally, I would bid on that in a heartbeat!)

Lemonade basket with good lemonade mix, cute plastic cups and pitcher, napkins, etc.

Here's another thought: a beauty basket, different from the spa/bath basket. Many of us have a stash of beauty products that we got as free samples or bonus gifts and have never touched — nail polish, lotion, lipstick, etc. Maybe people would be willing to donate them, and you could add some extras from the beauty supply store.

Check Pinterest, there are lots of cute ideas on there.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You could make it a gift certificate for the cake, and put it with solid colored plates, etc. Things people could use even if their theme is different.

You could also do a craft basket. Maybe one for kids with crayons, markers, stickers, paper, glue...or a scrapbooking basket with things for scrapbooking.

Or a get outdoors basket with a list of parks nearby, some water bottles for the family, a picnic basket...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Our PTA did this and I thought it was really clever. The ones that caught my eye and had really high bids were a BBQ basket with sauce, rubs, tongs, oven mitts, paper plates and other picnic stuff. It was packed in a big picnic basket I think.

Another cute one was a dog basket, it had brushes, chew toys, treats and was packed in a dog bed. Someone had a local groomer donate a gift certificate.

Another good idea was a craft basket - scissors, scrapbook paper, stickers, markers, etc in a plastic tub.

The room mom sent home a note with each kid asking for donations for the basket. They didn't have to be high $ items - if you're doing a cake basket you can ask people to send in items like a wisk, spatula, mixing bowl, sprinkles, canned frosting, cake mix, etc. As far as the 'basket' take a box and cover it with paper to pretty it up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Baking basket - just put cookie cutters, baking sheets, sprinkles, cooling racks, etc. You can throw in some of your homemade cakes or cupcakes.

Pamper yourself basket - massage GC, cozy socks, peppermint foot cream, nail polish, foot scrub, chocolates

Antipasto basket - garlic stuffed olives, yummy cheeses, crackers, wine

Picnic basket - picnic plaid blanket, an actual picnic basket if it will fit!, snacks, plates, cups, frisbee, moist towlettes

Fun in the sun basket - kite, frisbee, sunscreen, beach toys/ball, bucket and toys for sand play, a cute beach bag, beach towels (not sure this is different than the beach basket)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I worked on this for our raffle night last year. Why not something like a birthday basket? You could donate a certificate for a cake (make sure you put a dollar limit on it). I was able to get party certificates from local vendors for a cheer party and a trampoline jump party. I was surprised (pleasantly) how many great things local businesses were willing to donate. Maybe a gift certificate to a party store for decorations, invitations etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

"Girl" and "Boy" baskets always go well at our auction.

Girl Basket Stuff:
coloring books
hair stuff
lip gloss/chapstick
sidewalk chalk
"girl" movie

Boy Basket:
crayons, markers, coloring books
matchbox cars
"boy" movie

You could also do a baby basket. You can make it girl, boy, or gender neutral. You can fill it with diapers, baby wash, baby books, gift card to babies r us or target, onesies, baby socks, baby blanket/towel, wipes, etc. Many of these items are very inexpensive! And, if parents just wanted to send in a couple of dollars, you could put that towards the gift card.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

we do this each year for a function. here are some of the more popular baskets we have had

cooking/kitchen basket. (measuring cups and spoons, bowls, cookbooks, gadgets, wooden spoons, plastic untencils, cutting boards etc.

cleaning basket - any and everything you need to do a spring cleaning. windex, dust wax, garbage bags both big and small, dusting wipes, 409, toilet bowl cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dust pan and hand broom etc.....

party / holiday in a basket (this is a great time of year for this one) everything and anything you could need to wrap gifts. wrapping paper, tape, labels, bows ribbons, boxes, bags etc. paper plates, napkins, placemats , tablecloth, potholders, cups. (with christmas and new years just past you can get all of those things for about 70% off right now. I won one of these last year and loved it

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Since you bake cakes, I love the idea of a birthday basket with a gift card for your cake!

You could also do a Summer Fun basket with beach towels, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, pool/beach toys.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A gardening themed basket is always a hit, especially since the auctions are typically held in the spring. Lots of great ways to fill it at various price points.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

What if you go to the dollar store and pick up generic happy birthday plates, napkins, cups, balloons, streamers...etc. You could even put together some lute bags if you had the money to do so. Then add a gift certificate for you to make a birthday cake.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

My kids; school did this and it was a big success. I believe they have each grade do a basket and they asked parents and teachers to donate whatever items they wanted toward the baskets. Here are some of the themes we had:
Baking basket (think bread/cookie/muffin mixes, spatulas, whisks, wooden spoons, oven mits or potholders)
Breakfast basket (muffin mix, pancake mix, good syrup or jam, muffin liners, cereal, coffee or hot cocoa)
The birthday basket could be a certificate for a free cake, gift card to party supply store, maybe some gender neutral party hats and wrapping paper
Superbowl basket (think paper plates, cups, soda, snacks and candy, the dollar store might have some other fun stuff to go along with this theme)
Valentine basket (conversation hearts, sparkling cider, chocolates or a certificate to a good candy store, romantic movie, etc)
Spring cleaning basket (assorted cleaners and paper towels, scented candle, nice dish towels, good hand soap)
Picnic Basket (napkins, paper cups and plates, table cloth, plastic silverware, capri suns or other "kiddie" drink, picnic food that stores well such as raisins or other dried fruit, crackers, chips, etc, frisbee or other outdoor game)
Think of items and themes that people already might have on their "to buy" list and you will be more likely to successfully auction them off.

If I think of more I will add.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

One of the great things about these types of basket fundraisers is that people can contribute things that cost $1 or $20, so it fits every type of budget. Don't ask for just money, ask for items for the basket, or $$ to be added to purchase a larger item. Give people a choice.

I'm guessing this is for an elementary school? So what about a basket for kids...
arts and crafts - markers, craft kit, washable paints, coloring books
disney theme

2 baskets that I've seen in the past that go over well are
lottery tickets - make sure this is ok with the school board

If you're willing to bake a cake, do a baked goods basket, and you could include a recipe book, measuring cups, cake mix, wooden spoons.

Other ideas...
family game night - card games, maybe a board game or two, a puzzle
coffee basket

I once won a "pink" bag - everything pink. I wish I could remember everything in it - it was a reusable pink shopping bag, note paper, shower gel, candle.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If you want to do something with a cake, it could be a general "celebration" type basket, a pretty but generic cake, some sparkling cider (or something alcoholic if someone wants to donate) with pretty (you can get some nice-looking ones cheap) champagne flutes, that sort of thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You shouldn't have to do this all on your own.

Each grade level does a basket at our school. Everyone donates to the theme. Most of the good themes are taken in your case here.

While its very generous of you to donate a specific cake, others should help fill this basket too.

Does anyone have season tickets to Mavericks, Stars, Rangers? We used to donate a set of our tickets for the cause.

The Michael Johnson performance center donated $1000 worth of training for upcoming athletes. A lot of local paid athletes go there as well and it was a huge treat for someone to get this training.

Can anyone donate hand made jewelry, autographed memorabilia?

At the last silent auction for our football team, I got a $300 package for jazzercise for $40 and a cool clock radio/ iPhone dock/ CD player for $60.

Massages and spas go over well. Your cake sounds like a great idea, maybe see if it can be packaged with a party donation from a gymnastics center, jump street or someplace like that.

Good luck to you!!!

1 mom found this helpful
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