Think Outside the Box: DIY Food Gift Wrapping Guide

With the Occupy movement  really shifting focus to shopping local and boycotting large corporations this holiday season, I’ve had more requests then ever on good DIY foodie xmas pressies.  The number one most important thing when giving homemade gifts is the packaging.

Creative Packaging: Think Outside the Box

An Asian dumpling steamer makes a great cheap (and useful) container for this peppermint cheesecake via

Creating little packaged recipes with ingredient mixtures is a great idea but can really flop if you don’t create an appealing appearance.  Sometimes the best thing to do is start with a container, and find the right food/recipe to fit inside.  Here are six great ideas for packaging.


1)  Re-purpose A Useful Kitchen Item For A Creative wrapping:

Hit the thrift stores, vintage shops, or restaurant supply stores and explore the non-container container.  I love the idea of using an Asian steamer as a cake box as pictured above.  Vintage scotch glasses on a vintage platter make an excellent presentation for our Scotch Rosemary Biscuits.

Photo via

This vintage casserole makes a sweet container for Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal cookie mix.


And of course, an antique or thrifted tin is the classic container!


2)  Recycle old condiment jars or cans

Scrub off the paper label on an old mustard, spice or olive jar and replace with a hand made label.  Great for custom spice mixes, or marinated goat cheese or olives. Try to find jars with no writing or images on the lid.

Or camouflage jars with old pickle or jam jars with printed lids with cute fabric swatches or paper circles and attached with ribbon or string.

I love Martha’s idea to bake muffins in a washed out tin can and wrap top with decorative paper and string!

Hide the logo on this mixed nut container with decorative paper for these quick and delicious nut clusters.


3) Purchase cheap bulk jars

Pick up a few of these bulk spice jars ($4) to make this Fish Poaching kit (via

Substitute the tins in this suggestion from for homemade tea mixtures with this bulk spice jar ($1.95) from Crate and Barrel.

Of course canning jars make affordable containers at about $12-$15 for a dozen.  You can give away preserved food or just use the jar as a container (just make sure to tell the person when you give the gift if it is not preserved).  Make a custom label and wrap with a ribbon, or another decorative object.

Check out our list of preserved foods as gift suggestions!


4) Envelopes Make Great Containers

Purchase bulk plastic candy bags as cheap as 50 bags for $1.39 to wrap your cookies, candies or these cute cheddar herb bread mixture via

Follow this tutorial from Martha to make your own paper envelopes from cardstock.


Fill your own tea filters (100 for $4.99) with a custom tea blend.


5) Fill Up On Candy Boxes!

Another great tutorial from Martha shows you how to make this great slip out box!

You can also purchase cute pre-made fold-able boxes from Baley’s Boxes or Papersource.


6) Wax Paper Rolls:


Wrap rolls of frozen cookie dough in wax paper and tie off at ends.  Make your own creative labels to finish off the design.



Gift Idea slideshows:

Recipe ideas:

Gift wrapping:



Related posts:

  1. Last Minute Christmas Present Round-up
  2. Quickest, Easiest Christmas Candy: Choco-Butter Nut Clusters