Making Gift Hampers

Making Gift Hampers

I’m hugely into making gift hampers for Christmas (is it too early in the year to mention that word?) and birthdays. I personalise them and pick out a theme which suits the person I’m giving them to, a bit like the mobile phone gift hamper I mentioned last week or the Christmas Ever hampers I put together for children.

Lots of you dropped me a line to ask me how I put them together and what kind of planning goes into them. Well…they’re not the fastest gift to put together mainly because they are made up of small little bits so it takes longer to source each item, however I think they’re much better than A N Other gift set from a department store. If you want the items to mean something and for the recipient to think ‘wow, they really thought about me when they put this together’ you have to spend time hunting down the small bits and bobs rather than get to the supermarket two days before and hope for the best. Plus most of the things I buy are second hand or from auction sites so they take a while to hunt out and arrive.

For Christmas I start thinking around April time about who I want to make a hamper for and what kind of theme I’d like to put together. I then start an excel spreadsheet with a list of their names, the theme I’ve assigned for them, packaging ideas and the things I’ve bought for it (along with price and a running total) that way I don’t loose track and end up spending unnecessary amounts or doubling up and it keeps me on budget.

HOMEMADE GIFT HAMPER IDEAS

Baking Hamper
My friend the previously famous non-baker has fast become a baking fiend after becoming addicted to Cake Boss, so a small baking hamper seems to be the right fit.

Packaging:
Pop all of the items into a brownie tray, wrap up with cellophane and fill with tissue paper. I bought this brownie tray from ebay for £1.75.

Items you could include:
– A thrifted vintage recipe book – I picked one up from a bootsale for 50p
– Pretty patterned cupcake cases – Mine came from ebay, £1.79 from ebay
– A 1950s apron – I bought one from a charity shop for £2.50
– Brightly coloured silicone spatula. – You can pick these up almost anywhere these days, I bought mine for £1.45 from here.
– Sprinkles – These are the dinosaur sprinkles I featured in my ‘if you make these cookies your life will be better’ cookies.

Pet hamper
My cousin has fallen deeply in love with his dog, not in any kind of illegal way I hasten to add. He just thinks she is ace.

Packaging:
I’m yet to find the right thing but I’m keeping my eyes out for a well priced basket in the charity shops.

Items you could include: 
– Dog coat – I’m not really one for them myself but my cousin thinks it is hil-ari-ous to dress his dog up. I always see little dog coats in charity shops (presumably unwanted gifts) so I hope to pick one up on the cheap.
– Dog toys – I found a selection of funny shaped dog toys at my local market for £1, so I’ll be picking out a couple when I’m passing.
– Chuckit – Apparently these are all the rage (cor that phrase just aged me by 40 years) with dog owners, so I’ve picked one up brand new on ebay.
– Walk guide – I’m putting together a guide of best dog walks in his county and surrounding area.

Make up obsessed
My teen cousin is slowly getting more and more into make up, so I thought it would be fun to buy some basics and fun bits.

Packaging: I’m hoping to find a vintage vanity case a bit like my red one.

Items you could include
– A Manly eyeshadow palette – I have one and love it and I know a lot of beauty gurus rave about the colours especially for the amazing price point. 120 eyeshadows should keep her busy for a while.
– A few make up brushes – ELF have loads for £1.50.
– Mirror – I hope to pick up a vintage compact, so I’m hunting across ebay, charity shops, bootsales etc.

Silver
My friend is a huge fan of anything silver or silver coloured. I’m not even going to think about buying her expensive silver jewellery, but I’m pretty sure I can hunt down some themed bargains for her.

Packaging:
I’m going to track down a pretty silver coloured bag or make up case.

Items you could include: 
– Phone cover – A silver coloured phone cover, naturally.
– Silver ring – I come across beautiful silver jewellery in charity shops all the time and never pay more than £5.
– Silver necklace – I hope to find one at a bootsale or charity shop but I may turn to eBay and search the job lots. I’ve found so many lovely things in job lots in my time.
– Silver cutlery – Bootsales are a great place to track down some silver cutlery or even beautiful silver dishes.
– Sugar cube tongs – I picked up some silver tongs for £1 in a local charity shop, I know they’ll really make her smile

Tea
One of my old uni friends has an addiction to tea which knows no bounds, come Christmas I like to feed her addiction.

Packaging:
I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a tea chest or a small, vintage wooden box of some kind.

Items you could include:
– Teapot – I don’t think there’s a charity shop in this country without a teapot on its shelves. Track down one you know the recipient would love.

– Tea cup & saucer – I may delve into my own collection or find something pretty at a summer bootsale.
– A tea & cake voucher – I’m going to make up a little voucher for afternoon tea at my house which she can redeem whenever she likes.