Photo Credit: Flora Queen
A DIY Christmas hamper tailored perfectly to your recipient makes for a thoughtful gift. It needn’t be expensive, there’s no risk of buying one big present only to get it wrong, and you save on an awful lot of non-recyclable wrapping paper. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to make one, followed by ten hamper themes for inspiration!
Step 1: Decisions
Who are you buying for? Pick a theme they would enjoy from the handy list below, or think of all the small things your recipient likes, to make it extra personal. If you decide on the latter, it may be helpful to keep a note in your phone to discretely add their favourite things as they come up in conversation.
Are you making hampers for multiple people? It helps to know this in advance to make the most of multi-buy offers and bulk buying. If you’re making two cosy hampers, there’s nothing wrong with buying a set of two fluffy socks and splitting them up. If you’re making a sweet treat hamper for three different people, it’s definitely worth buying a big tub of chocolates to add a handful to each.
What’s your budget? There are cheaper versions of most items, or you can change the number of items to suit your budget. Once you’ve decided, plan the contents carefully to make the most of your money.
Step 2: Buy the contents
It’s important to buy the contents first, then look for an appropriately sized hamper. It would be a shame not to buy a physically large item because your hamper is too small, or end up going over budget to fill a huge one.
Step 3: Choose your hamper
Purchase a purpose-made hamper from a craft or charity shop, or get creative with it. Most home décor shops will sell pretty boxes and wicker baskets which can be used again for storage. If you can fit your contents inside, it doesn’t even need to be a basket. For example, if the biggest thing you’re buying is a pair of slippers or a mug, you can easily place other gifts inside them. If you’re struggling for ideas, have a scroll through Pinterest.
Step 4: Embellishments
For embellishments, you will need crepe paper or shredded tissue to raise smaller objects to the top of the hamper and fill the gaps. Optional are cellophane wrap, ribbons, Christmas decorations, festive potpourri, gift tags or anything else you like!
Step 5: Putting it together
Lay your hamper (or hamper equivalent) on a table, along with all the contents out in front of you. For hampers with a lid or gift boxes, first, place some crepe paper, and start with larger items before filling in the gaps with smaller items. You will probably need to move things around as you go along, just rearrange until it looks pretty.
For open hampers, place items standing upright and front-facing with the largest at the back, and smallest at the front atop some crepe paper so everything is visible. If you can easily transport the hamper without items falling out, I suggest skipping the cellophane wrap to save on plastic waste. If cellophane is needed, place the hamper on top of a large sheet before gathering it up to rest upon the tallest item, then tie it together with ribbon.
10 Hamper Ideas
A pamper hamper includes all you need to have a relaxing bath or shower, with plenty of pleasant-smelling items. It should include bathing products such as bubble bath, bath bombs, bath salts, shower gels, soaps and exfoliants. You could also include luxurious moisturisers, face masks, a scented candle, or even a soft towel to line the bottom of the hamper instead of tissue. This one is perfect for anyone who is into skincare, or someone who deserves a relaxing half-hour to themselves. Try to tailor this to their favourite scents if you know them, and it’s easy to pick and choose items and brands to fit any budget.
Everything you need for a cosy night in, this hamper could include pyjamas, loungewear, slippers, fluffy socks, candles, a blanket, a book, magazines, and a big mug paired with some hot chocolate and marshmallows. An alcoholic beverage, chocolates, or a few items from the pamper hamper would not be out of place here.
This one is primarily for those who have just moved house and may need a few items. If you are close enough to the recipient to know their tastes and what they need, you could include picture frames, vases, flowers (fresh, dried or faux), plants and trinkets amongst endless possibilities. It may be a good idea to use a storage box for the actual hamper as they’re likely to need one, and perhaps blankets or towels instead of tissue.
Sweet Treats Hamper
For those with a sweet tooth, you simply arrange sweets or chocolates found on the weekly shop or make it high-end with more expensive brands. It’s easy to find festive items for a distinctly Christmassy theme, or you can theme it around a favourite colour.
If your recipient enjoys the gym or a certain sport, think of everything they may need for it and create a hamper. A decent reusable water bottle will always come in handy, along with other small items such as golf or tennis balls, or merchandise of a team they support. If your budget is slightly higher, you could pick up more expensive but useful items such as football boots and kits.
Start with a pretty pencil case or notebook as the main gift, then surround it with pens, pencils, highlighters, a planner for next year, and whatever else you may find. To elevate this hamper, consider including a fountain pen or art and scrapbooking supplies.
For this hamper, you’ll need cooking supplies, baking supplies, or both, depending on the person. In addition to kitchen staples such as a high-quality non-stick pan, consider adding smaller non-perishable items such as cupcake sprinkles, herbs, spices, or slightly more expensive pasta than your recipient may buy for themself. Some new tea towels could be placed at the bottom of this hamper instead of paper.
Cheese and Wine Hamper
Simple enough, for this hamper you buy some wine and a variety of cheeses, as affordable or expensive as you like. A cheeseboard, a couple of wine glasses, a bottle opener and a few other savoury snacks complete this one for a rather classy gift.
Find out their favourite alcohol and mixers and make sure you include them along with some drinking glasses and snacks. For lovers of gin and prosecco, consider buying edible glitter for drinks. For those who like to make their own cocktails, include a little recipe book with herbs or dried flowers for presentation.
For a regular shopping buddy, notice what they like and create an entire look for them, or add a few surprises to something they have already chosen. This could include any clothing item as well as shoes, jewellery, makeup or a fashion book to display on their bookshelves or coffee table.