How to Make a Christmas Hamper
Apart from the festive flowers, what’s the best part of Christmas? We’d wager that food is right at the top of the leader board. Especially when it comes in a big, bursting basket – yup we love a Christmas hamper.
But not all hampers are created equal (that’s why we have expert foodie buyers choose the goodies for our Christmas hampers). It takes know-how to get the perfect mix of treats, and make sure they look as good as they taste. That’s why we’ve put together this bumper guide to Christmas hampers to help you create your own. We’ll answer all the key questions: what is a Christmas hamper, what do you need to make one, and how on earth do you pack it?!
What is a Christmas hamper?
A Christmas hamper is a collection of festive treats, usually in a wicker basket or a pretty box. Usually these treats are edible and delicious although some people send non-edible gifts too. Hampers have a long history of being sent as presents (they were especially popular in Victorian times) and they’re usually sent to friends and family you won’t see at Christmas. They’ve even been sent to soldiers stationed overseas to give them a taste of Christmas while they’re away.
What you need to create a hamper
A medium or large sized wicker box or basket.
It’s up to you when it comes to size and material, but your container needs to be sturdy enough to hold and protect your treats on their travels.
You’ll want a mix of delicious treats to go in your hamper, have a think about who’s receiving it and their tastes, and if you’re not sure what they like get a good variety of items (that way they’re bound to like something!) You’ll find more advice on what to include below.
Packaging and filling
You don’t want to spend all that time choosing lovely treats for them to arrive in a sorry state, so make sure you get your hands on some good packaging. Shredded paper for the inside works well (use recycled scraps from your shredder if you can) and reuse bubble wrap from any of your own Christmas deliveries to wrap the outside of your hamper. And make sure you have a few lovely extra touches to style your hamper, like an extra-long ribbon or maybe a pom pom.
What to put in a Christmas hamper
It’s all about who’s receiving it, try and include their favourites – and if you’re not sure about those, go for variety.
Remember, choose carefully: these treats will need to last if your hamper is travelling by post so aim for things like jars of preserves, chutneys, crackers, chocolate and sweets, and tasty tipples. If you use fresh produce and cheese, you risk them melting or going bad. And remember to shop local if you can! It’s better for environment and you’ll usually get lovely local produce that’s been made with love and care.
If you’re stuck for ideas you might want to theme your hamper – it could be sweets for a sweet tooth, or goodies for a movie night, or festive favourites. Once you have a theme it’s usually easy to find food to suit it and you can even decorate it to match.
How to pack your hamper
1. Layer something soft at the bottom
You want to create a cushion so you don’t have any breakages. Fill the bottom of your basket with some shredded paper or eco-friendly foam peanuts (you can get some very clever ones made from starch that dissolve in water!)
2. Add any bottles
These are your fragile and heavy items, so wrap them generously in paper or bubble wrap.
3. Add another layer of shredder paper
Cover your bottles in more soft materials so your other goodies don’t clunk against them.
4. Nestle in your other goodies
Tuck your treats in the shredded paper, if it’s looking a bit too chaotic you could always cover it with some bright, festive tissue paper. You’re aim is to really fill the hamper so nothing can move about too much, so be generous with your packing materials.
5. Add any finishing touches
You could include a little Christmas note, or maybe recipe ideas for the treats, or even a map or menu detailing where your bits and pieces are from. You might also want to include some decorative elements, like baubles or decorations they can reuse. Once you’ve added any little extras, pop the lid on ready to finish it off in style.
How to decorate your hamper
If it’s going by post
If your hamper is travelling by post, don’t go too overboard with the decorations – they could easily get damaged on the way. Instead close up your hamper nice and snugly, if it has a lid make sure it’s on tight (you might want to secure it with string) and then take your lovely ribbon and tie a bow around it. To find out how to tie a perfect bow, check out this tutorial.
If you don’t have a lid, you could cover the hamper in festive fabric. Drape it over the top of your hamper and secure it tightly around the sides with string or ribbon, then you can tie a bow in the same way as above.
Then you’ll need to package it up ready for posting. Use lots of bubble wrap and recycled packaging and wrap your hamper in brown paper, before securing with lots of sturdy tape.
If you’re delivering your hamper
You can have a bit more decorating fun if you can keep an eye on the hamper in transit. You might want to glue some decorations to the outside, add extra ribbons or little notes, and of course finish it off with an extra big bow (or maybe even a pom pom!)
Voila! Christmas hamper joy
You’re now all ready to create some extra special Christmas magic for someone, we hope they love their hamper and appreciate all the work you put in.
Remember if you’d rather spend more time with mulled wine than packaging peanuts, we’d be glad to help with your Christmas pressies. Check out our lovely Christmas hampers, and tasty tipples – all specially selected by our experts.
Other Christmas gift and decoration inspiration
Looking for a helping hand with the rest of your festive to-do list? We’ve got you covered.
And for even more inspiration, check out our ultimate Christmas guide.