How To Make A Gift Basket For Birthdays, Christmas, & More!

by Jasmine Savery

Gift baskets are the perfect gift to give during any special occasion, you can fill them with your loved ones' favourite treats and show that you’ve taken time to think about them. But where do you start when creating a gift basket? You may have plenty of ideas or have no idea where even to start, either way, we’re here to help you make the ultimate gift hamper. From what baskets you can use, to what you can put in them to wrapping and decorating them. We’re going to give you our top tips for making a gift basket that anyone is sure to love. 

So, what is a gift basket? A gift basket is a gift given for a special occasion, whether a birthday, anniversary or Christmas. It is a collection of treats, typically displayed in a wicker hamper so the recipients have a range of delicacies to enjoy. A gift basket can include items such as chocolates, wine, candles and anything else the recipient may like.

And how do you make a gift basket? Start by compiling a collection of gifts you know the recipient will enjoy, opting for a theme such as a self-care night, nibbles, or the arrival of a new baby. Fill your hamper with shredded paper and arrange the gifts in the basket with the largest items at the back to smaller items at the front. Once arranged, wrap your gift hamper with cellophane and secure it with ribbon and a gift tag.

Read on to discover our top tips for creating the perfect gift basket, what you can put in it and our tips on making your gift basket look stunning...

Jump to...

What Do You Put in a Beauty Hamper?

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Mum?

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Him?

What Do You Put in a Baby Hamper?

What Do You Put in a Christmas Hamper?

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Couples?

What Do You Put in a Halloween Hamper?

What Do You Put in a Coffee Gift Hamper?


What are Good Items For a Gift Basket?

This all depends on the person and occasion that you are creating the gift basket for, there's no point filling a gift basket full of chocolate who might be watching their waistline! It’s important to try and think about putting a couple of special items in that are unique to what that person enjoys, as this shows that you’ve dedicated time and attention to the gift. Once you have those special ideas, what else can you put in the gift basket to fill that space? We’ve highlighted some of the most common gift baskets below, and outlined our favourite items to add to each.

What Do You Put in a Beauty Hamper?

Have a person in your life that is obsessed with all things skincare, makeup and just generally taking care of themselves? Then a beauty hamper is a perfect gift! For items in this type of hamper, you want to focus on products that can be used to pamper and preen on a dedicated self-care day. Some ideas that are perfect for a beauty hamper include;

  • Face masks or hair masks
  • Moisturisers and body lotions 
  • A top-up of their favourite perfume
  • High-end makeup products, something they wouldn’t usually buy themselves 
  • Facial toners and cleaners, and other skincare products
  • Bath products such as bath bombs 
  • Body oils and serums (we love buying oils with a touch of shimmer at Christmas time)
  • Makeup brushes and sponges 
  • A treatment voucher for a nearby spa

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Mum?

The best gift for mum is one that will make her smile and show that you’ve thought about her. Mum's life can be extremely busy and they are often thinking about other people, so choose items that allow her to pamper and focus on herself, this could include things like;

  • A bottle of wine (a sparkling fruit drink is a great alternative for those who may not drink)
  • Their favourite chocolates or sweets 
  • Candles or wax melts 
  • A fuzzy pair of slippers 
  • Face masks or luxury skincare products
  • A gift card for their favourite shop or restaurant
  • Books 
  • Bath oil or bubble bath 
  • Fluffy pyjamas
  • Manicure set 

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Him?

Presents for the men in your life can be difficult to think of. A hamper however is a great choice, whether it be a brother, boyfriend, husband or dad, you can fill it with lots of goodies for them to enjoy, no matter how fussy they may come across. Here are just a few examples of the treats you could put in a hamper for him;

  • Socks (perhaps splashing out on a high-end brand)
  • Aftershave or skincare
  • Their favourite sweets and chocolates, and other favourite snacks 
  • Beer or wine (sparkling non-alcoholic drinks work great as well)
  • A new watch
  • Electric razor
  • Tickets for their favourite event (think sports games, shows, cinema)
  • Games (the men in our lives love lego, as well as classic board games)
  • A nice set of pyjamas or loungewear
  • A top-up of their favourite fragrance

If you're about to create a hamper for your Dad, why not get inspiration from one of our recent blog posts? We discuss 5 Father's Day gift basket ideas made to suit a range of hobbies.

What Do You Put in a Baby Hamper?

A newborn baby is such an exciting time in someone's life, but it is also a very stressful and hectic one. That's why a baby hamper is a great gift for a new, you can fill it with all the essentials a new parent may need to give them that extra bit of support that is often very much appreciated. Some examples of products you could include in a baby hamper are;

  • Nappies 
  • A selection of soft cuddly toys
  • Wet wipes (baby-sensitive ones that are also eco-friendly are a great choice!)
  • Dummies 
  • Baby grows and socks 
  • Nappy cream 
  • Baby nail clippers 
  • A selection of bibs 
  • Bath wash, moisturisers and nipple creams (perfect especially for breastfeeding mums)
  • Thermometer 
  • Cotton wool and buds (these never go unused!)

Don’t forget about mum too. You could include some lovely options for her to enjoy when she gets some alone time including non-alcoholic beverages, bath products, or new skincare. If you have a bigger budget, why not include vouchers for meal delivery services or a gift card to her favourite coffee shop?

One of our customers recently sent in a picture of a hamper that she'd gifted to her new niece: 

What Do You Put in a Christmas Hamper?

Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year so it’s only right that the presents you give reflect this. Christmas is a great time to gift a hamper as you can fill it with festive treats which are unique to the festive period. A great theme for a Christmas hamper is food - this is a time when everyone likes to indulge in lots of delicious treats (and wine)! Some of the items you could include in your Christmas hamper are;

  • Festive-themed chocolates 
  • Mulled Wine (A hot chocolate set is also a great alternative for younger people)
  • Mince Pies 
  • Chutney, handmade if you want to go the extra mile
  • Champagne (Sparkling apple juice is also a good choice)
  • A selection of cheese and crackers 
  • A Christmas pudding 
  • Crackers to pull on the big day 
  • Festive nuts, such as caramel-coated or festive spiced
  • A box of fancy tea or coffee 

What Do You Put in a Hamper For Couples?

Joint presents for a couple are a great way to give them a tailored gift they can enjoy together and an excellent way to save money. For a couple, it's great to focus on items that allow the recipients some quality time together. If you’re looking for couples hamper ideas, we’ve got you! Some hamper ideas for couples are;

  • Bottle of wine (sparkling fruit juice is a great alternative)
  • A selection of crackers, chutney and cheese for an easy-assemble cheeseboard
  • A puzzle or game that they could play together 
  • A pair of socks or other cosy items for each person 
  • Facemasks & pamper products
  • A gift card for their favourite restaurant so they can enjoy a romantic dinner
  • Matching mugs 
  • A candle to add some luxury aromas to the home 
  • A fluffy blanket for them to cuddle up in 
  • A framed picture of a special memory

What Do You Put in a Halloween Hamper?

Halloween is such a fun and creative time so a hamper filled with a bunch of spooky treats is a great item to bring to a party or to gift a loved one at this time of year. Halloween hampers are suitable for all ages, simply tailor the items in each accordingly. Some Halloween hamper ideas include items such as; 

  • A scary movie for them to enjoy 
  • Halloween-themed sweets and treats
  • Halloween decorations that can use around their home (cobwebs and spiders are a great choice for this!)
  • A blood-red wine so they can live their vampire fantasies! (cherry aid works as a tasty non-alcoholic alternative)
  • Halloween scented candles or room diffusers
  • Coffee gift card- a pumpkin spiced latte is the staple Halloween drink 
  • A spooky-themed cup or glasses
  • For younger children add a cuddly toy, such as a black cat
  • Halloween-themed blanket
  • carved pumpkin or squash

How to Make a Coffee Gift Basket

We all have that one person in our lives who loves coffee, whether it be artistic oat milk lattes or regular black coffee - there's something for everyone. There are so many great coffee-themed presents available nowadays that a coffee hamper is a perfect gift for any caffeine lover. We’ve highlighted a few ideas below to create the perfect coffee hamper:

  • Luxury coffee beans - we love the selection available from Fortnum & Mason
  • A cute mug for their morning coffee 
  • A coffee-scented candle 
  • A cute basket to stylishly store all their varieties of coffee
  • A gift voucher for their favourite coffee house 
  • Coffee-flavoured sweets or chocolates 
  • Delicious biscuits to enjoy with their coffee 
  • Latte art stencils so they can practice their coffee art 
  • Flavoured coffee syrups 
  • A stylish travel mug for their coffees on the go 

Family Night in Hamper UK

There's nothing more special than some quality family time together, so why not make it extra special with a family night in a hamper to elevate this time together? We’ve highlighted some fabulous ideas below to encourage quality family time:

  • Family-friendly movies that everyone will enjoy 
  • A matching set of PJs for all of the family to cuddle up in
  • A homemade pick N’ mix - extra large of course
  • A board or card game for all the family to enjoy
  • Popcorn and a selection of family-favourite snacks
  • Exciting wine for the adults to enjoy or sparkling apple juice for all the family
  • A hot chocolate kit for those late-night refreshments 
  • A big fluffy blanket for everyone to snuggle under
  • Blow up microphones for karaoke

How To Wrap a Gift Basket

Now that you’ve filled your gift basket with all your treats it's now time to wrap it. We want to try and make the basket look as good as the treats inside, to impress our loved ones. A quick and easy way to do this is by placing it in a stylish, handmade basket such as the ones we offer at Northern Willow. This is not only practical for fitting in all your items and stylishly displaying them but it can also fit in with the theme of the present.

If you are making a gardening hamper, for example, you may choose to use a flower basket so then the recipient can repurpose the basket afterwards. A food and drinks hamper would look stunning in a wicker picnic basket and it can be used long after all the food and drinks have been enjoyed. 

To finish your basket, you could optionally wrap it with cellophane, and secure it with a coloured ribbon of your choice. We love to finish our basket by adding a gift tag, along with festive decorations (think dried oranges, clay stars, or small baubles) at Christmas time. 

Quality Gift Baskets & Hampers from Northern Willow

At Northern Willow, we offer a range of stylish, practical baskets and hampers perfect for any area of the house and perfect to add a touch of elegance to any gift basket. Each of our stunning baskets is handmade from the finest materials and is made to last a lifetime so they'll be a gift your loved one will never forget.

From our traditional hampers perfect for any occasion to our wine carriers perfect for the wine lover in your life, we have everything you need to create the perfect gift baskets. 

Gift Hamper FAQs

How Much Shredded Paper Should You Use to Fill a Hamper?

It's best to fill your hamper with between 40-50% of shredded paper, as not only does this help to decorate the hamper and make it look even better but it also helps to fill any space. This ensures that you don't have to fill the gift hamper with as many items whilst also helping to lift the products to eye level, so they are generally displayed better. A bonus is that paper also helps protect fragile items such as wine or chutney jars!

How Many Items Should a Gift Basket Contain?

This depends on the size of the hamper and the size of the items themselves, alongside your budget. However, as an estimation aim for small to medium hampers to have 4-7 items and for a large hamper aim for at least ten items. Remember, choose quality over quantity always. 

How Do You Make a Gift Basket Look Expensive?

To make your hamper look more expensive, aim to choose a high-quality basket, such as the gorgeous hamper baskets that we have available on Northern Willow. Also, a good tip is to colour-coordinate the items inside this will look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and feel more professional. We stock a range of colours in our hamper baskets, including classic wicker, white, and black