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Crafty ways to pack your own CNY hampers

If you’re the sort of Chinese New Year guest to customise hampers for the people you’re visiting, get crafty and have some fun packing them up!

First off: Pick your gifts

Popular food gifts that go into Chinese New Year hampers often include a combination of nourishing Chinese herbs, high-end ingredients (think premium mushrooms, oysters, dried scallops and abalone), canned goods, tea, ginseng, fruit, CNY goodies like biscuits and cookies, and wine. Gather up a selection of your favourites, making sure to check that you have an assortment in various heights, packaging types, shapes, and sizes. This will give you the right heft for crafting your hamper!

Another important part about building your CNY hamper is the base you select. Whether it’s a basket or an artsy plate or a fruit bowl, you want to make sure that it’s stable, large enough, and fits the aesthetic of your hamper tower.

A major drawback of storebought CNY hampers is that they’re often packed together with sticky tape, and that makes for quite an unpleasant unpacking at the end of the day. Instead of that, try using thread, which is biodegradable and can be reused with ease. And instead of shiny glossy plastic sheets, try using fabric, which can be reused as placemats, kitchen towels, or scraps, or even recycled paper, or gunnysack fabric.

The last part about packing your hampers is the most fun part: decorations! Plastic ribbons and plastic flowers are traditional; change it around and use live flowers instead! You can also incorporate herbs (ginger torch is beautiful!), velvet flowers and hand-made flowers, branches, and green fillers.