It’s crunch time. There’s officially one week between now and Christmas. I did the last of my online shopping a night ago, and am now ready to turn my attention towards another arena: holiday baked goods. This year, I’ll be happily handing out treats to friends and family. Almost as important as the gift itself is, of course, its presentation — and so, here are a few fun ways to package homemade presents.
Clockwise from top left:
Containers. These windowed tins are a cute way to display your goods. Mason jars, in addition to being obviously adorable, are also great gifts in and of themselves. For a more personal touch, you can fill a mug, like Anthropologie’s monogrammed ones, and wrap it up in cellophane.
Wrapping supplies. Kraft paper might be done to death at this point, but it’s still my wrapping medium of choice. It’s cheap, classic, and when decorated with paint or garnished with pretty ribbons and tie-ons, can still look uniquely cute. Speaking of which, these pine-cone tie-ons can be recreated with real tree branches (taking a cue from my design-oriented friend C)… unless you want to adorn a gift with these felt polar bears, and I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
Finishing touches. I love using Yellow Owl Workshop’s gift tag stamp kit on plain paper packaging. A stamp, however, doesn’t always fit neatly onto all gifts — in which case, I love a sparkly tag. Ribbon can totally elevate your packaging, and this year I switched over from baker’s twine and picked up a few patterned rolls from World Market.
A note. The Container Store is currently running a 20% off sale on all gift packaging, courtesy of The Ellen Show. I might also recommend browsing through Cost Plus World Market, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma and Michael’s for more ideas and trinkets.
Now — with what should we fill these packages? I’ve certainly got cookies on the mind and am planning on baking up a storm, using the Splendid Table’s fantastic virtual cookie exchange for guidance. However, I’d like to put together something slightly different for take-home goodie bags. A few ideas:
- Truffles: these two chocolate versions from Sprouted Kitchen, made with almonds and dates or coconut flakes, look like guilt-free indulgences.
- Rice krispies: add-ins (perhaps with peanut butter, nutella or lavender) and cute packaging can class up these childhood treats.
- S’mores kits: if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can make each of the components yourself — in which case, why not opt for chocolate-dipped earl grey marshmallows?
- Prepared nuts: brown sugared or spiced and candied or chocolate covered, you can personalize these mixes however you like.
- Flavorings: a jar full of hot cocoa mix, popcorn toppings, or flavored salts would be a sweet and shelf-stable gift.
- Popcorn: make Butter & Scotch’s very adult dark and stormy version or opt for Jamie Oliver’s spiced sugar Christmas classic.
- Savory crackers: take a break from sugar and try making cheese or nut and seed crackers — perhaps even kale chips?
I personally believe, however, that short of causing food poisoning, you can’t go wrong with a gift from the heart and hearth. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts — and that’s especially true when it comes to something you make, bake, or create.