Hampers filled with a variety of different gifts make a lovely alternative to buying one big present. They can be customised for any occasion and recipient and to suit all budget levels. When you have many gift ideas and would like to give them all, or if you are having trouble coming up with any good ideas at all, consider compiling a hamper filled with items pertaining to an appropriate theme.
Choose an appropriate theme for your gift hamper. Choosing a special theme narrows down the options for potential gift items and makes shopping easier. Sometimes the theme for a gift hamper will be obvious, for example, when the recipient is a new mother or a high school graduate heading to college. For a birthday, choose a theme with special significance to the recipient, such as a golf-themed hamper for a golfer or a movie theme for a film buff. If you struggle to think of a theme, go with a gourmet food hamper.
Make a list of possible gift ideas matching the chosen theme for the gift hamper. You will probably come up with other ideas while shopping, but a list of ideas is a good starting point. Try to think of one or two “main” gifts, a few smaller, less-expensive ones and some cheap novelty items for fun. For a movie theme, the main gifts could be DVDs. For novelty appeal include some popcorn and candy. Consider whether you are able to hand make any gifts or embellish purchased items for a personal touch. If you are assembling a spa-themed hamper, for example, you could make some bath salts or embroider a monogram onto a washcloth. For a gourmet gift hamper, make some chocolate truffles or cookies.
Purchase a selection of appropriate gift items. The price of numerous individual items can quickly add up, so budget carefully while you are shopping. Make some of the less-expensive items you have chosen more special by repackaging them. A 99-cent plastic bottle of lotion becomes a much nicer gift when you squeeze it into a pretty glass jar and tie a ribbon around the top. Likewise, a small bag of pistachio nuts is instantly “gourmet” when transferred into a little organza bag.
Select a hamper or other container for your gift items. Assemble all your items together to assess the size hamper you need. Wicker and plastic baskets are widely available in craft stores in a variety of shapes and sizes. Alternatively, choose a different kind of container that matches the theme and is a nice gift item itself, such as a large salad bowl or a vase. For a food-themed basket, consider using a wok as a hamper, or perhaps tape your items to a wooden chopping board.
Line your hamper/container with tissue paper and arrange your items inside. Cushion delicate items with additional scrunched-up tissue paper. You can wrap the items in paper individually or cover the finished arrangement with gift wrap or tissue paper. Add some ribbons and bows.
Smaller versions of gift hampers are ideal when you are giving out multiple gifts to coworkers or as party favours. Choose three or four items and use paper gift bags lined with tissue paper as hampers. Make each one identical. Including handmade items in a gift hamper takes a little more time and effort than just including purchased items, but it can save you money and is a thoughtful touch.