Besides looking spectacular, a personalised gift hamper is a great way of making a gift really unique and showing the person you’ve actually thought about them. Hampers (yes, there’s a hamper for everyone!) can make fabulous Christmas gifts as well as clever hostess gifts too.
To top it all, personalised hampers can be loads of fun to make!
Here are some tips:
Begin with a theme Consider who the basket is for, what their interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes are and whether you have a specific item that you can start with – it may even be the container itself!
Get creative with the receptacle “Think outside of the box!” says blogger Janie from Stuff for You. “If you’re making a basket for a beach-lover, put it all in a bucket. If it’s a frequent traveller let a monogrammed toiletries bag be the ‘basket’. The sky’s the limit, and the more creative you are, the more fun it will be to unwrap.”
Make it personal “Of course, the whole point of putting together a gift basket is to individualize it for the person you’re giving it to. If they’re a coffee-lover, add some monogrammed mugs, a Starbucks gift card and some homemade cookies. If they’re entertainers, fill the basket with wine, cocktail coasters, a hostess towel and a themed movie.” Janie adds.
Think laterally It’s fun to have a theme, but don’t stress about staying with it for the whole gift. Have a few things that are theme-y, and then just get whatever you think the person would like. For a gardener’s gift, soap, nail scrub and an after-gardening sundowner aren’t directly gardening-related, but the recipient would no doubt use them.
Add something homemade Where possible throw in something you’ve made yourself – it adds another layer of ‘I’m thinking about you’ to the gift. It could be your secret spice mix, your killer pickles, or weight-watchers-out-the-window fudge.
Photo from Findgift.com
Baskets often end up gathering dust after the party. Try these containers (and ideas) for gift hampers instead:
Kitchen: baking pan or tray, mixing bowl, colander, wok, fruit bowl, reusable shopping bag (recipe, gloves, utensils, dishcloths, cookie cutters, kitchen scale)
Garden: pot, planter, watering can, metal bucket, wheel barrow (seeds, seedlings, spade, fork, cutters, gloves, compost, rooting hormone, garden twine, hosepipe)
Home: bucket (with car wash kit for that young man), Tupperware, fishing box, tool box, wooden create/box, wine, first aid box (make up, toiletries, soaps, fishing tackle, art and craft accessories, tools, toys)
Relax: Magazine box/rack (with magazine, newspaper, magazine/newspaper subscription, choc, pamper products)
Food: tray, cooler bag (cheeses, beer, wine, chocolate, biscuits, braai goodies, speciality teas, coffees, salts, oils. dressings)
All wrapped up
The most popular wrapping paper for hampers is cellophane because it’s see-through. Alternatively use something related to the theme – a tea towel, a fabric table runner, a beach throw. Finish off with a ribbon or bow and a gift card.
Image source Lisa & Sarah
Image source: Wendy
Let’s be honest, things can get quite hectic around Christmas … so if you find yourself short on time, let Fournos be your little helper this festive season! It has an unbelievable selection of gift baskets for your guests – from cookie jars, to ginger Christmas biscuits, each one will add the perfect finishing touch to your shindig. Even better, as Joburg’s fave continental deli, Fournos is sure to please every palate with the dishes they have on offer (think beef, lamb, chicken, fish, veg … you name it, they have it!). What more could you need? Details: www.fournos.co.za
Speaking of divine delis, another spot that’s certainly worth a try is Westcliff Deli. It has a range of dishes on the menu that are so good (we’re talking pasta, salads, quiche and soups, pastries and desserts), you might find yourself going there for New Year’s, Easter and pretty much every other holiday too! Just a hint … its gourmet ‘chicnic’ menu is amazing, so be sure to check it out! Details: www.westcliffdeli.co.za
Hostess Gifts 101!
The festive season brings with it a load of extra home entertainment. Instead of chocs, flowers or wine, next time you’re invited out, take something a little different with you (okay, take the wine too!). You’ll not only delight your hostess, you may even score another invite!
Photo One Kings lane
Jam or cheese gift package
This small, thoughtful gift is a good way to thank a hostess. Wrap two loaves of your favourite crusty bread (we like French baguettes) in a linen dish towel, and top with a jar of homemade jam. Tie them together with a colourful ribbon to match the towel, securing a wooden spreader or cheese knife in the knot of the bow.
From Martha Stewart Living
Biscuits, sweets or chocs in a canister
Not only do you give your hostess some treats to serve over the festive season, but she can use the canister for storage afterwards.
Got a sweet tooth? Honestly, who doesn’t? For the frosting on top of an unforgettable Christmas, pick up a few treats from Belle’s Patisserie. Cakes, cupcakes, biscuits – they have an assortment that’s to-die-for. Yes, we’re clearly big fans of Belle’s! Let’s just say if you’re looking to create the perfect hostess gift for your friends and family, there’s no better place to start than at the best patisserie in town! Details: www.bellespatisserie.co.za
Box of handmade gift cards
Get crafting, or get your kids to get crafting. All shapes, all sizes, all occasions, we always need gift cards and tags – delight your next hostess with a box full that she can use this year and next.
Photo Habit of Art
Champagne soaked strawberries
Here’s a recipe that your hostess can use for dessert a day or two later. Be sure to make them fresh and advise her to use within a week
Wash strawberries and pat dry.
Fill a glass jar with strawberries, and pour champagne over them, making sure they are fully submerged.
Photo Ministry of Alcohol
Mason jar magic
Almost anything works in a mason jar. And they can be used in so many ways afterwards. Here’s a hot cocoa + marshmallow mix (with Bailey’s thrown in) from Good n U, but what about popping the ingredients for a homemade choc or caramel sauce in a jar, tie a tot of a suitable spirit to the outside and your hostess has a child friendly/adult friendly sauce at her finger tips for her next party.
This gorgeous steel planter is loaded with soil, strawberry seeds and growing instructions. With a little water and TLC it’ll produce its own berry patch right outside the kitchen window. If strawbs aren’t her thing, create your own windowsill planter with a herb or small edible.
For the hostess who has it all, try a gift that gives back to the planet. A shrub for her garden, a lemon or lime tree that can be planted in a pot, or best of all an indigenous sapling that can be planted out somewhere (anywhere!) suitable – be it a nearby verge, park, garden or roadside.
Photo by Ralph Smith
Game, set, match
Take your A game – inspire a little friendly after-dinner competition, and take a favourite board game. Sure to provide hours of entertainment even if not that particular evening.
Photo by Ralph Smith
Tie it up
Try a bow with a difference this festive season. This little number, from Evelyn of thebottomsupblog can be used on male and female pressies, and adapted to suit almost any waste paper you have lying around.
Brown paper bag bow
To make this bow, you’ll need 5 paper bags and floral/craft wire.
Arrange the bags in a stack, so that the jagged and straight edges are alternating.
Fold the stack of paper bags as if you’re making a paper fan
The stack’s rather thick so you don’t have to make many folds:
Secure the centre of the stack with some wire. Then start pulling the layers apart.
Once you’re done, you’ve got a bow:
Use paper or lace to hide the wire, and stick your bow onto your gift.
Pic and words: thebottomsupblog.com
What’s creativity without the right materials? For all the bits, bobs and trimmings you could want, visit Sandton City! There’s a reason it’s the best shopping mall in the city – it’s huge and you could practically get lost in all the stunning stores. Adding that ‘wow’ element to your Christmas doesn’t have to be a mission when you can find everything you’re looking for in one place, right? Right! We’ll see you there. Details: sandtoncity.com