Creating the perfect Christmas hamper from scratch

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Struggling to buy for someone special this year? How about creating a super-personal Christmas hamper? If you plan a few weeks in advance and shop around, it’s likely that you’ll pick up some good bargains, too. You don’t have to be overly crafty to make the hamper look good either. Read on for my step-by-step guide to creating the perfect Christmas hamper:

Find your container

Central to any good Christmas hamper is the container you will house all of the festive treats in! The wicker basket is the traditional choice and these can be picked up from homeware stores, online sites and even charity shops. I gave an old wicker hamper a DIY makeover when I made a new baby bundle for my friend and her little one earlier this year. Alternatively, you can use a gift box to hold your items. Some hampers can be made on a tray, too (which can double up as a gift afterwards). Pile up the presents on the tray and wrap in cellophane to keep them together.Before purchasing, consider who your hamper is for and make your choice accordingly. A hamper can be a good gift for an individual, a couple, or a child. Also think about the colour scheme — a traditional rustic look is always effective in a brown wicker basket. However, if your recipient has a favourite colour, you could find a container suitable for them. Keep in mind what you’ll be adding to your container. If you’re planning on putting some bottles of wine in there, you should ensure that there’s plenty of room for other goodies, too!

Decide on what you’ll be filling it with

You have freedom over what you fill your hamper with — it’s completely up to you! This is also the opportunity for you to personalise the gifts to suit your loved one — something that you wouldn’t get from a ready-made hamper. Whether it’s beauty products, something to suit a newborn, or a gift that’ll keep the kids busy for hours, here are some ideas for filling your handmade hamper:

Adults

Food is a great option for creating a hamper for adults. For example, cheese and crackers are traditional items in a Christmas hamper. Many supermarkets sell mini cheese boards around Christmas time, or choose their favourite cheese and crackers and wrap them (e.g. in brown paper) to make them look more presentable.For a festive tipple, alcohol is a welcome addition to your hamper. Find out what their favourite wine or spirit is and add a bottle or two. In many supermarkets, mini bottles of wine and prosecco are available and these would fit nicely among other gifts. If the person is a cocktail fan, how about purchasing the ingredients for a popular cocktail?Don’t forget about their sweet tooth — chocolates and cookies are a must. If you make your own, you could make a batch of truffles — enough to add to a few hampers. Check out my recipe for meringue-filled dark chocolate cookies and get baking! Wrap them in cellophane with a bow to make them look presentable. Add mini mince pies or candy canes to make the hamper look more Christmassy, too. Chutneys and jams, packs of coffee or tea, and biscuits all work well in hampers. Find out what their favourites are and stock up!

Hobbyists

If they have a particular passion, a hamper is a good way to give a selection of smaller gifts around their favourite hobby. For a gardener for example, how about some seeds from Dobies that they might not have grown before? Or perhaps some new tools or plant supports for the windy and rainy months? Or if you’re creating a hamper for a fisherman, what about some fishing line and a pair of warm socks? In fact, warm socks (like the collection of funny designs at ChattyFeet.com above) are a great gift for most outdoor hobbies!

If they like crafting, how about a teddy bear pattern or make-your-own kit from Amazing Craft like the one above? Or for pet lovers, why not create a hamper that both the owner and the pet can enjoy?  This could include a framed photo of their pet, as well as some treats and toys for their furry friend to enjoy.

Little ones

Create a pre-Christmas hamper for your younger recipients to enjoy on Christmas Eve. You could add some carrots for Rudolph, a mince pie for Santa and some reindeer food so Rudolph can find his way to the house (glitter and oats). A lovely wooden puzzle like this one above from Hape will keep them busy (and quiet!) on the evening of the 24th. Add their favourite sweets and a Christmas-themed soft toy and you have the perfect hamper!

Add the finishing touches

Adding the perfect finishing touch to your hamper is easy. Putting presents on a bed of coloured crepe paper can look effective. You could use already shredded paper or you could shred your own gift wrap. Adding labels to some of your gifts can be a nice touch, too — you could say what the gift is and write a personalised comment for them. Add festive stamps on the labels for an extra special touch.Felt toppers can be added to your hamper too. You can find these in craft stores in the shape of Santa Claus, snowmen and other festive pieces. Finally, wrapping your hamper in cellophane will add a professional finish and keep everything in place. Finish with a red ribbon and you’re done!

Let me know your ideas for making personalised hampers in the comments below – I’d love to hear your suggestions and maybe get some inspiration for my own family and friends this year 🙂

Author: Cassiefairy

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle
promotion studies. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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