How to make the perfect DIY Christmas hamper

Who doesn’t love getting a Christmas hamper on the big day? It’s like getting lots of presents in one, wondering what delights you’re going to find in it next. There’s nothing wrong with giving a ready-made one of course, especially if you know the lucky opener is going to love everything inside – and we’ve got lots of treat-filled ones to choose from on our website. But we think taking the time to put together a DIY hamper to give a loved one is a really thoughtful way of saying merry Christmas and just that little bit extra-special

DIY vs ready-made hampers

As we’ve already mentioned, getting a ready-made hamper is a lovely present, but there are lots of benefits to making your own. And although it does take a bit more time and needs a bit more thinking about, the smiles and whoops of delight on Christmas morning will definitely be worth it?

The cost of giving

There’s no getting around it, some ready-made hampers are expensive and may be out of reach if you’re on a strict budget and have lots of people to buy for. The beauty of a DIY hamper is it can cost as little or as much as you want it to, be as big or small as you like, and be presented in anything you have in the house – from a shoebox you can decorate to a wicker basket you’re reusing from the previous Christmas. And there’s no need to spend a fortune on the contents either – remember, it’s the thought you put into what you’re giving that counts the most.

Whatever they like

Home-made hampers are easy to theme – know someone who loves chocolate? Fill it with chocolatey gifts. Biscuit lover? What could be better than making your own and filling a decorated shoe box with a selection? Fill a tote bag with a few baking essentials for someone who loves to get floured up. Pizza fanatic? What about a few pizza-themed accessories to give them a slice of the good life? And choosing the contents and decorating the bags, boxes and totes is a great way to get the kids involved too.

This time it’s personal

It’s easy to make your hamper more personal by adding little things you know they’ll love alongside the other treats. A photo or two. A book they haven’t read by their favourite author (new or second-hand) – you can make a personalised bookmark to go with it. A hand-written recipe for the home-made biscuits you’ve included. A miniature of their favourite spirit, or a bottle of wine. Or one or two Christmas ornaments. You could even decorate the box you’re filling in their favourite colours.

A home-made hamper you’ve taken care to put together will always be gratefully received, but if you don’t have time, it doesn’t matter – a thoughtfully chosen pre-made hamper is equally fine.

How to make a DIY hamper

So you’ve decided to make your own hamper – now you just need to work out what you’re going to put everything in, what you’re putting at the bottom to protect the contents and, most importantly, what gifts you’re putting in it.

Bag or basket or box?

Well it all depends on how big you want to make your hamper. A shoebox is ideal for a selection of smaller items. A tote bag (old or new) is great for less delicate gifts. If you’ve got a basket from a hamper you’ve received for a Christmas past or as an early gift, you can reuse that. Or you could even make your own little bespoke crate if you’re handy with a saw and a screwdriver.

What to put at the bottom

Basically anything that stops your gifts from getting squashed or damaged is ideal. Scrunched up tissue paper is perfect. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably got some saved from last year. Less eco-friendly but useful are those polystyrene ‘wotsits’ that often come with electrical appliances to bulk out the box – at least you’ll be reusing them rather than throwing them away. If you’ve got a shredder, you can make good use of junk mail or catalogues you’ve finished with – not the latest Lakeland catalogue, of course. You’ll be needing that.

What goes in?

This is where Lakeland comes in. Whether your hamper is chocolate-themed, cheese-themed, baking-themed or not themed at all, you’ll find loads of inspiring ideas for gifts to put into your DIY hampers on our website. We’ve outlined a few ideas below to get you started.

For chocolate lovers

A selection of our luxurious, marshmallow-filled hot chocolate gifts is sure to make their Christmas. Or perhaps some scrumptious treats from the makers of the best marzipan, Niederegger, might be more their thing? You can find all our chocolatey ideas here. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, including some boozy chocolate liqueurs for those who like a tot with their choc.

It’s beginning to look a lot like gingerbread

If you’re making a hamper for a gingerbread lover, you’re going to love our small but perfectly formed collection. From gingerbread people cutters to reusable cake toppers, and house kits to mini biscuits, add in a few baking essentials like nozzles and piping bags and you’ve got the perfect gingery gift to pop under the tree.

Festive fun & games

Bingo, charades, trivia, movie-themed quizzes and more – how about putting together a hamper full of fun & games? It can be brought out year after year for festive family fun after the Christmas dinner table’s been cleared.

Food, glorious food

If our ready-made food hampers aren’t tickling your fancy, we’ve got lots of individual sweet and savoury ideas so you can choose exactly what goes in to tantalise their taste buds. Everything from Opie’s Black Cherries with Luxardo Kirsch, and Opie’s Peach Halves in Courvoisier Syrup, to Lakeland Black Garlic Pickle. And if there’s a vegan on your list who usually misses out, fill a box or basket with some of our vegan treats, including Nideregger’s Vegan Dark Chocolate Loaves, Enjoy Salted Caramel thins, and JM Posner’s Vegan Luxury Waffle Mix – you can find all our vegan-friendly food and drink here.

How to make your hamper look good

Once you’re done filling your hamper, a few finishing touches will make it extra-special. Cover it in fabric and colourful ribbons and bows, add personal messages and tags, a sprig of holly or some cinnamon sticks tied up with string to make it smell Christmassy. Anything goes!

We hope that’s given you some ideas on how to make a Christmas hamper if you have the time. You can be as creative as you like and include anything you want – the only limit is your imagination… and your budget.