We thought it was going to be a nice, easy, waste-free option that would be done in no time at all. But 16 hours into our baking day, we knew things were going to be a little more difficult than that. Let me back up a little – this Christmas, we decided to make up Christmas hampers with baked goods in them for all of our extended family and friends.
We used old fabric from old clothes to line the hampers, the tops of the jars, and to wrap the scones in (all of the fabric was thoroughly washed of course) and we got the baskets from an op shop. The ribbon around the jars that you can see is not eco-friendly in any way, but we have been using this roll of ribbon for various things for the past 3 years, and it only finally ran out during this project.
Overall, I am really happy with how the hampers turned out, but next time, there are a few things I would do differently to make them a little more fun and make the process a little bit simpler. Not to mention, this was a lot cheaper than purchasing nick nacks or token gifts for all of these people.
Firstly, we really overdid it on the sheer amount of foods that we decided to bake for the hampers.
- Choc Chip Cookies
- Muesli Bar Bites
- Shortbread Biscuits
- Caramel Popcorn
- Cake Balls
While this looked amazing, next time, I would probably do 2 or 3 of these items, and either make smaller hampers or simply make larger batches of the items.
Also notice, when I was going through what we used for the hampers, I didn’t mention the jars, and this is because while this was a great idea, our levels of patience fell a few hours short of the work our exact plan required. We collected jars over the year, from sauces, pickled items, jams and the like, and we had more than enough to make up the hampers.
Where we fell down was that we did not wash off the labels when we got them, but rather we waited until the day of the baking to try to get them off. After 4 hours of trying to get labels off, and way too many minutes on Youtube for label removing hacks, we still couldn’t get the sticky part of the labels off, so we did something crafty – we made labels of our pwn and stuck them over the sticky residue that remained on the outside of the jars.
Next Christmas, we would definitely wash the labels off of the jars as we collected them, and I think this, along with the other changes I have suggested, we will have a much easier time making them.
But, I am really proud of what we achieved with this project. We created very little waste and saved a lot of money on wasteful novelty gifts. What did you do for your homemade gifts this holiday season? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.