There is nothing nicer to give―or receive―than a homemade gift of food. It's unmistakably personal, since it's the result of your time and talent. Browse our photo gallery for packaging and recipe ideas for this holiday season.
Use a variety of containers. Decorative bottles, cans with plastic lids, and beautiful boxes can all be used to package gifts. Basic canning jars for preserves are available at supermarkets and hardware stores. Antiques stores, flea markets, and yard sales are great sources of one-of-a-kind containers.
For a simple jar of jam, make sure the jar is colorfully labeled and wears a charming cap. Self-adhesive labels, available at office and hobby stores, are ideal. Also, include the recipe (in case recipients want to make it).
Homemade goodies lend themselves to complementary gifts. For example, present a cake on an attractive cake stand, or tuck bread into a pretty bread box. If you're giving an item as a hostess gift, package it with a nice dish so it can be served right away.
Wrap items properly. Baked goods should be tightly covered in plastic wrap and then put in decorative packaging, such as colorful wax paper, cellophane, or tissue paper. If you're sending items by mail, make your packages sturdy. Wrap glass containers in a layer of bubble wrap; ensure the lid has a tight seal to prevent leaks.
Preparing and packaging homemade treats is a wonderful way to spoil those you care for, but there’s something in it for you, too: While others struggle with long lists in overcrowded stores or last-minute, late-night e-shopping, you can enjoy the warmth and friendliness of your own kitchen while you prepare presents you know will please.