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Making a Homemade Christmas Hamper

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 17 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Christmas Food Gift Hamper Budget

This Christmas, spend time instead of money on your gifts. Homemade food gifts are always well-received, particularly if you make the effort to customise them to the recipient. And your homemade hamper needn’t be entirely homemade – nor need it be entirely food-related. We hope our ideas will help you to put together some imaginative gifts for children and adults!

Spend Time, Not Cash

Yes, our ideas will help with your Christmas budget, but don’t think of this as a way to cut back. It’s also a way to give even more. Your friends and family will undoubtedly appreciate the time and thought that you’ve put in.

Don’t spend money on expensive baskets and tins – source second-hand ones from charity shops and auctions. You may even have containers in your house that could be transformed into hampers with a little shredded tissue or newspaper and ribbon. For cookies and homemade cupcakes, you can buy boxes and cellophane bags at high-street cookery stores.

For Children

  • A Homemade Dressing-Up Hamper! This requires time and imagination – and a dressing-up kit will be thoroughly enjoyed by inventive children of any age. (We bet Mum and Dad will try on some of the hats, too!) Tailor this hamper to suit the recipients and your budget. Charity shops are an excellent place to begin. In just one shop we found a Sombrero, angel wings, Spy Glasses, and a plastic Pirate Hook! Add to the hamper a set of face-paint crayons and some wigs (which are available cheaply online). If you’re handy with a needle, adapt some of your old clothes (especially posh frocks and jackets) to fit the recipients.
  • A “Make Your Own Cookies” Hamper! Put the ingredients for your favourite cookies into a large, plastic mixing bowl. Add a wooden spoon (we found one at the supermarket for a few pence), some shaped cutters, and ‘drawing’ icing (look in the supermarket for a set of coloured tubes). All the recipients need to add (for most cookie recipes) is softened butter.

For Adults

  • A Tipsy Hot Chocolate Hamper. Look for a set of two pretty cups – for example, you could get mismatched antique china at a charity shop, or search out a local potter and buy a pair of rustic mugs.
  • To this, add two miniature bars of excellent dark chocolate (like Green & Black’s) and two miniature bottles of the recipients’ favourite tipple (Tia Maria or dark rum are good). You could also add hand-crocheted coasters, antique silver spoons, and mini marshmallows.
  • Cocoon in chocolate-coloured tissue and wrap lavishly with gold ribbon to decorate.
  • A Leisurely Breakfast Hamper. Make a jar of homemade lemon curd, strawberry jam or apricot conserves (using whatever fruit you can easily get hold of). To this add a toast rack, some vintage or hand-embroidered napkins, and a box of unusual tea.
  • A Pet Biscuit Hamper. Make your own pet biscuits and pack them tightly into a tin or an airtight jar. Add to this any accessories that you think would be appreciated: a sparkly new collar, a pocket hand-warmer for winter walks, a bone-shaped biscuit cutter, and the recipe for your dog biscuits (find it in the money-saving section on the left).

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