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.
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.
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!