How To Choose the Right Fill For Your Gift Hampers

Several factors need to be considered when packing and shipping orders. Even the seemingly simple task of choosing void fill or packing tape can pose pitfalls. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to key packaging supplies so you can confidently select the right ones for your organisation.

1. Wood Wool, Tissue or Shredded Paper?

Shredded paper is a reliable all-rounder, appropriate for most hamper-making needs. Our most popular packaging fill offers almost no limitations for packaging or display. There are two styles available, straight and crinkle cut, in a wide variety of colours for seasonally themed gifts and brand matching. The FSC certified shred is available in wholesale 5kg or 20kg bales. There will be some gentle teasing required to separate the straight cut shred but the crinkle cut is ready to use. A little paper shred goes a long way making it a very cost-effective option.

FSC-certified wood wool is a timber-based packaging solution for wicker hampers, gift boxes and wooden crates. It looks and feels very natural and is lovely and bouncy too. Wood wool is undyed, so we only have the one colour available, but it's this natural aesthetic that works so well to complement natural and organic products. Aside from being 100% natural and having a pleasing appearance, wood wool has long been known for its protective properties. Originally designed to transport pottery, this lightweight filler is an excellent choice for fragile bottles, jars, ceramics, and other items. The loose wood wool is available in 3kg bags and is virtually dust-free. Again there's lots of volume and a little goes a long way.

In smaller gift boxes tissue paper is an excellent choice. Neatly folded tissue paper can be laid along the bottom of the hamper box and then wrapped around the gift to conceal it, taking up very little space. It works especially well to wrap those extra special gifts, be it gourmet food, handmade candles, or designer jewellery. You can also use tissue paper to wrap clothing and finish with a sticker, ribbon or bow. With a rainbow of colours to choose from it's easy to switch up the look of your packaging depending on the season or recipient.

For businesses seeking greener options, it's worth noting that all our void fill options are FSC-certified, 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable. In addition, our wood wool can be recycled, reused, composted, or incinerated. Learn more about our sustainability pledge.

Shredded Paper - Gift Packaging

2. New Online Fill Calculator

We often get asked 'How much void fill do I need in my hampers? So, as part of our website relaunch in October 2021 we included the highly requested shred calculator and it's a doddle to use. Any time you add a wicker basket, gift box, or gift tray to your basket our hamper packing calculator does the math for you, working out how many bales of shred or wood wool you will need.

Our calculations are an estimation based on half-filling the gift hamper, tray or box as this allows plenty of space for your gifts. The exact volume of packaging fill you will end up using will depend on individual preferences and the size of your products, but it's a pretty good guide to work on.

3. Packing Fragile Bottles Inside Hampers The Right Way

Any retailer who has ever attempted to mail order bottles knows that it's not without it's headaches, especially at busy times when couriers, pushed for time, can easily miss that fragile tape! If you want extra reassurance when shipping hampers containing wine bottles and other fragile items our corrugated card bottle sleeves have got your back.

Our protective bottle sleeves are extremely versatile and suitable for protecting a wide range of products, particularly glass bottles but also jars, ceramics, homewares, cosmetics, and more. Made from recyclable card, it's a brilliant eco-friendly alternative to plastic and polystyrene.

The bottle sleeve is suitable for 75cl bottles or cylindrical objects measuring 7 to 9 cm in diameter and up to 30 cm in height. If you want to protect smaller items like jams, chutneys, or candles, the cardboard sleeve can be cut down to size.

Simply insert the bottle or fragile item into the protective sleeve and fold along the perforated line at the base. A snug fit prevents the sleeves from slipping off. Packed into gift hampers, bottles and fragile items will have extra protection from bumps and knocks.

To enhance the presentation of your bottles, you can wrap them in coloured tissue paper and fix them with a clear sticker or ribbon.

4. Choosing The Right Size Transit Box

This seems simple enough on the surface. Just make sure you use a box with the correct dimensions and you'll be good to go, right? However, there are a few golden rules to be aware of.

Let's start with the easiest. If you're shipping one of our wicker hampers or card hamper boxes then we've already done the hard work for you. Every size has its own cardboard transit box. Compared to single-wall, double-wall cardboard boxes provide twice the protection and strength and can be counted on to keep your hampers safe. As the transit boxes are just slightly larger than our wicker and cardboard hampers there are no voids to fill, saving you time and money.

For any other product, choose a box that is just large enough to fit your item, and maybe some void fill, but not too much larger. If you purchase an excessively large box, you will have to spend more on packaging and shipping, plus your service will be less eco-friendly.

The only exception to the rule is if your product is particularly breakable. It should be well protected within the hamper so long as it is safely nestled in shred or wood wool, but it might be worth adding a layer of bubble wrap around the hamper before putting it inside the outer box. This will prevent any movement and cushion any impact.

5. Selecting The Right Packaging Tape

Picking the right tape for your parcels can leave you in a bit of a sticky situation! Let's take a look at the different options available.

Most people are familiar with brown parcel tape. Suitable for everyday use in warehouses and storerooms, it seals light to medium weight parcels well.

If you are looking for inconspicuous packing tape to use with your branded boxes then clear packing tape is probably your best option. This tape can be used on cardboard and most packaging surfaces, making it a reliable all-rounder. We offer clear tape in bulk packs of 6 rolls and 36 rolls to keep your despatch department running smoothly.

Kraft Paper Eco Tape is a great eco-friendly alternative to polypropylene tape, offering a reliable seal without impacting the environment. Our self-adhesive paper tape product has an adhesive backing and works like traditional polypropylene tapes but without the plastic. This easy-tear paper tape sticks firmly to transit boxes and other packaging materials for light to medium parcels.

Lastly, for hamper gifts containing easily breakable items seal your consignments with either Fragile Packing Tape or the eco-friendly option Kraft Fragile Tape. Both printed with bold red lettering, your parcels will be easily spotted by depot employees and delivery drivers.

Read our next article - 4 Easy Sustainable Packaging Swaps For Christmas or browse the other guides in our Hamper & Gifting E-Learning Hub.