Read time: 6 mins.
With almost 1 in 100 people worldwide now believed to have coeliac disease, it’s more than likely you know or have met someone with the condition.
When a special occasion arises, it can be tempting to play it safe and avoid food gifts completely but we’re here to show that it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Choosing to build your own gluten free hamper gift is a thoughtful and personal way to show your appreciation to a loved one and there are plenty of delicious gluten free and coeliac-safe items to choose from.
… And we should know, our director Liz is coeliac, so we’ve tried a lot of the brilliant gluten free products the UK has to offer (and some that didn’t quite make the cut!).
Whether you’re creating gluten free hampers for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries or another special occasion, here’s our guide to creating your own coeliac hamper.
1. Choose your homemade hamper packaging
First up, it’s time to select the packaging for your build your own hamper. You could choose:
- A wicker basket – Wicker hampers are very popular due to their charming appearance, quality feel and because they can be reused over and over again. Choose from smaller baskets trays which can be wrapped in cellophane or larger baskets with lids and straps to keep the element of surprise.
- A gift box – Gift boxes are often cheaper than wicker baskets and also come in a whole host of designs and sizes, go for something festive if creating a gluten free Christmas hamper or go for a wooden gift box which you can draw or paint your own designs onto.
- A gift bag – Hampers can come in all shapes and sizes, even in gift bags. Choose a bag that will be big enough to fit your items and to keep them secure.
The first step to building your gluten free luxury hamper at home is to find the perfect hamper packaging.
Before deciding on your gluten free hamper packaging, you should also consider:
- Will you be gifting the coeliac hamper in person or sending this out for delivery? If sending a hamper via post, the packaging must be able to keep the items totally secure, in which case you may want to opt for a lidded basket rather than a hamper tray.
- Will the items be fresh or ambient? If including fresh items, you’ll need packaging that can fit ice packs or cool bags (without these damaging the packaging itself).
- How many items do you want to include in the homemade hamper? If you’re looking at bigger, bulkier items or including alcohol, opt for larger and more secure packaging.
- What is your budget? If you’re on a lower budget consider reusing an old shoe box or gift bag and decorating these at home.
2. Select your gluten free hamper filling
Next, it’s time to choose your hamper filling material. The filling is important not only for keeping your items secure, but also for the overall look of the hamper – it adds to the gift opening experience.
You can use most materials for this, but we recommend:
- SizzlePak. This comes in a variety of colours, can support heavy bottles and jars, keeps its shape and can be reused and recycled.
- Wood wool. This provides good value for money, has no harsh chemicals and is recyclable and compostable.
- Shredded paper. This comes in a variety of colours and is recyclable. You can buy shredded paper or tissue paper, or simply shred any paper or old newspapers you have at home.
3. Choose your gluten free hamper items
Now it’s the fun part – choosing their favourite items to include in your homemade hamper!
The best gluten free hampers are those that don’t compromise on taste so when looking for items, make sure to include those with good reviews or those you’ve tried and always check the label to ensure the items are gluten free.
Think about what they like. For example, our entire gluten free hamper UK range is focused on artisan British produce, but if you know they love American sweets, French pastries or Spanish wine, fill your hampers with these items instead.
If they’re a savoury lover, how about:
- A selection of cheeses, gluten free crackers and chutney – a great gift for cheese lovers
- Crisps. You could choose a multipack of their favourite flavours or try an artisan producer such as Yorkshire Crisps
- Tea or coffee. Treat them to some different flavours of tea and coffee in between scoffing all the treats
- Nuts. Smoked and roasted nuts come in all sorts of flavours and are perfect for snacking
If they prefer things sweet, try:
- Chocolate truffles or a selection box for chocolate lovers
- Gluten free cookies or biscuits. A selection of biscuits, like those by the brilliant Kent and Fraser or Sweet FA are sure to go down a treat
If you’re looking at gluten free hampers with alcohol opt for their favourite tipple or introduce them to something new, just make sure it’s gluten free.
In our gluten free hamper range, we’ve gone for a mixture of sweet, savoury and booze to appeal to all tastebuds.
Be extra careful when looking at the following items for your make your own hamper, make sure the packaging clearly states that the items are gluten free and if in doubt look for the Coeliac UK crossed grain symbol.
4. Pack your homemade hamper
Next it’s time to pack your hamper!
If you’re creating a gluten free hamper with wine, champagne or glass jars, make sure to include an extra layer of packaging and lay these items near to the bottom of the hamper to prevent damage to the other goods.
Once you’ve placed any heavy items at the bottom, add a layer of your filling to secure the items.
Then add another layer and repeat, placing lighter items closer to the top (especially those with air inside, such as crisps, as these may pop under the weight of other items).
Once all your items are in the hamper, add a final layer of filling so that all your items are disguised – make your own hampers are all about the element of surprise!
5. Finish your homemade hamper
Finally, it’s time for those finishing touches.
Close any lids, fasten any buckles, if required, wrap the homemade hamper in cellophane and finish with a bow or ribbon if you so choose.
If you’re going to include a card or gift card with your gluten free hamper, now is the time to attach this to your wicker hamper, gift box or gift bag, either by tucking this into the straps or ribbon or by sticking the card to the packaging.
If you’re gifting the hamper in person, you’re ready to go!
If you’re sending the hamper to your recipient, read on…
You’ll now need to place your build your own hamper inside a shipping box to ensure it’s delivered safely and securely.
Your homemade coeliac food hamper is now ready to be sent off to your recipient.
Then, it’s time to look at some delivery options.
For UK delivery, there are plenty of choices, you’ll just need to know the delivery address and weight of your parcel:
- EVRI – Prices from £2.69
- DHL – Prices from £2.79
- Parcelforce – Prices from £8.95 for 48 hour delivery
Be sure to select a 24 hour service if your hamper contains any fresh items.
Sending hampers abroad is more of a challenge, you’ll need to make sure the contents comply with the customs regulations for that country and fill out any relevant paperwork. Consult that country’s government website for more details.
Those are our top tips for how to make your own gluten free hamper at home.
It’s your turn to give it a go! Let us know how you get on via our social channels - we’d love to see your efforts!