Monday, December 07, 2020

Festive packaging for kitchen gifts

I'm sure it's pretty clear by now how much I enjoy making and giving gifts from the kitchen.  I love wrapping them festively, also.  For me, this has always been one of the most fun aspects of giving kitchen gifts, especially at Christmas.  It's fun to devise packaging out of what I have on hand, but it's also fun to watch those after-Christmas sales for specialty items that will make our kitchen gifts even more special.

To be honest, many of my favorite wrapping items come from the Dollar Tree, so they are inexpensive enough to start with. They have some great plastic jars, tubs, and canisters, along with tins, with fun and festive motifs.

Oh, and cookie bags to put plates of cookies in may also be found at the Dollar Tree.  For most of my cookie trays to neighbors or friends, I will put the cookies on a foam plate and tuck it into a gallon size plastic bag.  The assortment of cookies is so pretty that no embellishment (other than possibly a ribbon and/or a sprig of evergreen) is needed.  

The bags from Dollar Tree are usually printed with a small design like holly or snowflakes, and the packages of three also include a bit of ribbon and a gift tag, if you choose to use them.  I often do.

But I also give out two special cookie plates each year to folks who enjoy a particular cookie.  For them, I like to find a special plate to include with the cookies as part of the gift.  These cookies -- Eggnog Log Cookies for one person, and Sacher Torte Cookies for the other -- are still pretty, but not colorful, one being cream-colored and the other chocolate.  I usually look for plates at after-Christmas sales the year before.  The Gooseberry Patch plate was found at one of their great  online sales.  The clear tree-shaped plate looks like glass, but is plastic and I found it at our supermarket after Christmas a couple of years ago.

The Dollar Tree always has festive jars or canisters that are perfect for hot chocolate or other drink mixes, or for jar mixes for cookies, etc.

Pretty printed plastic snack bags are great for things like Chex Mix or flavored pretzels.

Mugs like the one above are perfect for mug cake mixes.  I got that one at our local supermarket after Christmas one year.  The gift bag below holds a mug cake mix and accompanying marshmallows.

The pretty tin below came from Jo-Ann Fabrics, I think.  Love it.  Smaller square tins like this are perfect for packaging fudge.

Speaking of tins -- I shared this tip last year on my Christmas blog, but it bears repeating: Any tin you buy to use for gifting or storing your kitchen gifts, whether you buy it at a thrift store, yard sale, or regular store, needs to be washed and thoroughly dried before packaging anything in it.  Wash it like any dish, but to dry it place both tin and cover in the oven and set the oven temp at 290º or so.  Less than 300º, anyway.  When the oven reaches temperature, turn it off.  Leave the tin, or tins, there until the oven cools down.  It is now ready to use.  (If the tin seems to have rust spots or other discolorations, line it with waxed paper before adding your baked goods.)

I love giving small loaves of quick breads or fruitcake for Christmas! These make nice gifts for family, friends, or neighbors, and are a nice little thing to have on hand when someone drops by at holiday time and you’d like to give them a small remembrance. They also work exceeding well in care packages to send to faraway family and friends, because they are sturdy and keep well.

I have a way of packaging these little loaves that is so much fun for me. First, of course, when they are cool I wrap them in plastic wrap and then in foil. I almost always bake these ahead and freeze them, so I want to be sure they are well wrapped.

Next, I wrap them in something else -- either plain brown kraft paper, or -- my favorite -- a cut-apart paper bag. A country shop in our area uses bags which are brown with black print and which look just like an old-time newspaper. I always make some purchases at this shop around Christmas time, and I always save the bags. Regular newspaper might look neat, too.

Then I tie something around the loaf, just as you would tie ribbon around a gift package. I might use red ribbon, or colored raffia, or jute. I stick on a label indicating the contents of the package -- “Chocolate Banana Bread” or “Eggnog Fruit Bread” or whatever. And then, under the bow, I’ll often tuck something decorative, like a sprig of fir, or some silk holly, or I’ll glue on a couple of tiny pine cones.

(And of course, if your tastes run more to the sparkly and elegant, you can wrap your loaves in gold or colored foil paper and use pretty ribbons and shiny trims like mini Christmas balls or charms.)


 The brown paper bags in the photo above hold mulled cider mixes.  I package the spices in coffee filters tied with kitchen string, then in small brown paper lunch bags.  I sew the labels on (and the bags shut) with my sewing machine, using red thread.

Hope these ideas will spark some inspiration for your own kitchen gifting this Christmas!


  1. Your post is just brimming over with lots of wonderful ideas for gift giving. One of my favourite things used to be wrapping the gifts. Thank you for sharing such great ideas at my party. Hugs...Sandi

  2. Love Dollar Tree for these kinds of containers, etc. Look at all your wonderful baked goods packages. What a great tip on washing tins and drying them. Thank you!

  3. Very good ideas for how to wrap Christmas gifts of food. I may try a couple of your ideas this year. Thanks!

  4. I'm sure the recipients will love your gifts!

    I'm also a fan of the Dollar Tree's seasonal containers and packaging.

    Thanks for the tip on heating the tins in the oven so they dry properly. I can apply this to my tea tins!

  5. The Dollar Tree just can’t be beat for fun packaging and do many other things! I was just there today. Thank you for all your packaging tips!

  6. The Dollar Tree is indeed the place to go to get some cute things to pack those goodies in. It makes me hungry just thinking about all the goodies you have been baking. I have a few things I want to do to. I always look forward to Christmas baking.

  7. Your beautiful tins makes me wish I had saved more of them over the years. It's never too late though, right?!

  8. OH how wonderful! I would love to receive a Kitchen Gift from you! And yes, you are giving me to figure out what and who and so this! Thank you.

  9. I just love all your wonderful ideas for Christmas packaging! You have certainly been very busy the last few days cooking up all kinds of good things! What a blessing it will be to those who are the recipients! Many blessings to you dear friend!


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