Ever wondered if there is a way to make your white Christmas a little greener? As magical as Christmas is, it can lead to a serious amount of waste. From the piles of wrapping paper on the floor on Christmas Day to discarded packaging, it would be nice to think that we could still enjoy our Christmas treats without having to throw so much away.
Hampers offer a thoughtful, endlessly customisable Christmas gift alternative. Whatever age you are, there’s something magical about opening up a hamper to see what’s inside. You can relive the magic of a Christmas stocking, but without quite so much wrapping paper to throw away after.
Best of all, you can choose exactly what goes into the hamper, meaning that you can make the hamper very personal to the tastes of the recipient whilst also making responsible choices about what you select to go in.
If you’re lucky enough to receive a hamper, you can reuse and recycle the contents into useful and beautiful things. We’ve put together a few ideas to get you started on your upcycling adventure…
Turn your wicker basket into a planter
Wicker hampers can be used afterwards as a planter. Celebrate the end of Christmas by preparing for the joys of spring!
- Staple a plastic bag to the inside of the wicker basket.
- Poke holes in the bag for drainage.
- Add soil to the basket.
- Plant your flowers.
- Watch them bloom. Don’t forget to add water!
Make your home smell inviting with an empty jar
If your Christmas hamper includes a jar of festive chutney, you can always reuse the empty jar. With a few simple modifications, you can upcycle yourself a scented lantern:
- Clean out your used jar and dry it.
- Crush up some cinnamon sticks and place in the bottom of the jar.
- Place a vanilla scented tea light on top.
- Light the wick and enjoy your DIY aromatherapy.
Turn your fabric bag into a decorated gift pouch
Lots of gifts come in a little fabric bag – whether it’s biscuits or bath salts – which can be easily transformed into a gift pouch for someone else. If you like the results a little too much, you can also keep it for yourself and fill it with jewellery or accessories:
- Trim the bag to the perfect size.
- Cut out a heart shape into a cardboard stencil, which is then laid over the material.
- Fill the shape with fabric paint.
- Cut small holes in the neck of the pouch and then thread through a ribbon through to tie the pouch shut.
Turn your wine bottle into a beautiful vase
An elegant painted vase is extremely simple to create and makes for a very frugal but attractive home decoration.
- Clean out your wine bottle with detergent and allow to dry.
- Pour 80-100 ml of paint into a bowl. You can use anything from watercolours to normal household paint – which you should dilute with a little water.
- Transfer the paint into the wine bottle in a plastic syringe, which you can buy at a local chemist.
- Rotate the bottle so that the paint covers the inside surface.
- Let the bottles dry in an upside down position for a few hours and the clean off any excess paint from the outside of the bottle.
- If you’ve used a water-based paint, add a plastic vase liner into the bottle.
- Select a few flowers and arrange in your new vase!
Turn your wicker basket into a children’s toy box
Wicker hampers create great toy boxes. They’re spacious, easily customisable and don’t have sharp corners, so are child-friendly.
- Clean the hamper with a sponge and liquid detergent to remove any dust or dirt.
- Lay down some newspaper before spraying with enamel paint.
- You can either choose a bright colour or spray a base layer to add patterns on top.
- Once the paint is dry, you can spray on further patterns using cut out animal or flower prints.