Make a Christmas Hamper

Making up your own hampers both saves money and ensures that you give things you know people like.

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for someone you know pretty well, a personalised Christmas hamper shows you’ve put some thought into your gift-buying — and can also save you money.

cat in a basket

Creating a hamper

Hampers don’t have to be filled just with food and drink – you can include anything you think the recipient will genuinely like and use. And while an old wicker basket makes the perfect hamper, few of us have one to hand – so you can just as easily use a cardboard box covered in Christmas wrapping paper. For padding between items, you can add your own shredded paper or, if you have a bigger budget, you could buy some biodegradable coloured filling or wood wool from a supplier such as Shredhouse which also sells new willow hampers.

Themed hampers

One option for filling your hamper is to choose a theme that’s relevant to your recipient. For a keen female gardener, for example, you could include some hand scrub and moisturiser, some packets of seeds, a few bulbs for next Spring, a new pair of gardening gloves and a gardening magazine.

The only risk with a theme is that you will buy the person a lot of stuff they already have – but you can avoid this by trying to find unusual items. For someone whose passion is cooking, for example, you could put together a hamper containing unusual ingredients relating to a particular cuisine such as the Middle East, which they wouldn’t ordinarily have in their cupboards — alongside a recipe book of dishes that use them.

Children’s christmas hampers

Even though high-tech toys feature at the top of many children’s Christmas lists, a mixed hamper of goodies will really appeal because they’re packed with so many little things for them to discover.

Children’s hampers are incredibly easy to fill with timeless nick knacks such as crayons, sweets, puzzles, joke books, chocolate coins, key rings, and small toys such as a skipping rope or a soft toy.

Mixed hampers

For a mixed hamper, the contents will obviously depend on the particular recipient, but a few ideas for things to include are:

  • a few select food items such as a jar of homemade marmalade or jam, some chocolate-covered nuts, a box of Turkish Delight, or a gourmet food they are particularly partial to
  • a hobby magazine, whether they’re into gardening, travel, digital cameras, general aviation, fashion, cats, or just about any other topic covered by consumer magazines
  • a framed photo of something or someone special to them, such as their pet or a loved one
  • a bottle of wine, or organic beer, ale or cider
  • a small item that you painted, built, knitted, sewed, or sculpted yourself to suit the recipient
  • a bag containing a mix of spices to make festive mulled wine (cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon)
  • a bag of relaxing bath salts, a bar of their favourite body soap, or another bath or shower treat
  • Split perfume coffret sets to give someone a chance to try a new fragrance
  • some fruit to add colour, such as a couple of Clementines, which will also give it a festive scent

With all of these hampers you only need to use your imagination and you can have fun creating a personalised gift that won’t break the bank but will show you have put time and effort into your present.