Use paint, labels, stencils, decoupage, and embellishments to make your jars look special. Match the gifts and decorations on the jars to the person receiving the gift. Then attach a matching gift card to your jar.
Use glass canning jars, glass bottles, old wire jars, recycled jars, old jars, or plastic storage jars. Jars should have tight-fitting lids.
Sterilize jars for food gifts
The jars you use to package food gifts should be made of glass and sterilized before use.
- Check all jars for chips and cracks. If it is chipped or cracked, do not use it for food. Use new caps.
- Wash with hot soapy water; then rinse.
- To sterilize the jars, place them on a rack in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from boiling water and allow to dry. The jars and lids can also be sterilized in the dishwasher.
Methods to decorate your jars
decorate with paint
Always wash the pitcher with hot soapy water to remove any grease or residue.
Select a paint designed for use on the surface you are decorating. Read the label on the paint container to determine the paint’s compatibility with your surface. This rule applies to painting on glass, metal lids, or plastic jars and lids.
Acrylic craft paints are not permanent and can be rubbed off or washed off.
- acrylic glass paints they are better for glass jars. They come in a wide variety of pre-mixed colors in convenient squeeze bottles to decorate your gift jars. These types of paints can be baked in a home oven to make them more durable and washable. (Read the label) To bake, let the paint dry in the jar for 48 hours. Place the glass jar in a conventional oven (not preheated) and heat to 325 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the jar cool in the oven before removing. After baking, the painted jars can be washed by hand. Dishwasher is not recommended.
- Air drying enamel paints for glass are opaque glass paints that are applied by brush and air dry to a high gloss waterproof finish. Choose a brand that is water-based and non-toxic.
- Paints for Plastic are brush-on paints specially formulated to adhere to plastic and dry to a durable, waterproof finish. Water-based types allow you to clean brushes and spills with soap and water.
- paint pens They are available at craft stores and come in a wide selection of colors. They are ideal for details and simple decoration of jars.
- FabricPaintings can be used for special effects such as words or facial features. It can also be used to decorate lids. They squeeze directly from the bottle.
Paint a design on the jar using store-bought pre-cut stencils or a design you cut yourself from freezer paper. You can also paint your jar design freehand. Draw the outline with a Sharpie Fine Point permanent marker or paint freehand. Be careful as the Sharpie marker will stain the glass.
Decorate with labels
Create paper labels created on your computer and then print them, or draw labels on the paper of your choice.
To give your labels an aged look, splash with brown acrylic paint diluted in water. Use an old toothbrush to sprinkle.
Lightly fluff the edges of the label with a dense foam sponge and the splash mix.
Allow labels to dry; then glue or decoupage to the jar.
Decorate with Decoupage
Spent Sparkly Glitter Mod Podge decoupage medium for your jars.
Decoupage is done in three basic steps: cut, paste and seal.
- Trim the excess paper from the picture or image you want to use.
- Using a foam brush, lightly cover the back of the image with decoupage medium. Place the image on the surface and smooth it with your fingers, removing wrinkles and air bubbles. Let dry.
- Apply two to three coats of decoupage medium over the image with a foam brush to seal the paper. The image appears cloudy when wet, but will dry clear.
Decoupage jars can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but cannot be washed in a
dishwasher or submerged in water.
You can create a paper collage jar using decoupage. A collage is a group of photos or images layered and superimposed to form a display. Use printed photos, interesting paper, stamps, and stickers. Arrange images by layering them for a decorative display. Attach and seal with two to three layers of decoupage medium.
Decorate with fabric
If you prefer not to decorate the outside of the glass or plastic jar, add decoration to the lid.
Cover the top of the jar lid with fabric or a small lace fabric or paper doily. Use cut gingham or holiday fabric with pink sheers. Add three to four inches to the diameter dimension of the jar lid for covering and decorating. A circular piece of batting can be used under the fabric for a stuffed look. A counted cross stitch design can also be used on the top of the jar. Drape the fabric over the jar lid or place it over the lid seal, then add the screw-on band. Lace or braid can be glued around the band.
A variety of items can be used to embellish your decorated jar. Make your decoration complement the content. If your gift jar contains gingerbread cookie mix, enclose a gingerbread man cookie cutter. Add a Christmas cookie cutter to a sugar cookie mix. Place a tea ball or infuser in a pitcher of tea. Add a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or wire whisk to other mixtures.
Make a label or card to coordinate with the decorations or contents of the jar and secure it with ribbon or raffia.
Embellishments include ribbons, Christmas garlands, gold braids or cords, raffia, lace, buttons, beads, charms, tassels, or scarves.
To stick items to jars, silicone based glue for glass it works better. It also works well for bonding wood to glass, metal to glass, or plastic to glass. It can also be used to attach items to metal or wood tops. Silicone-based glue dries slowly, so you’ll need to hold the bottle gently until it dries.
HAS glue gun It can be used to attach lightweight objects, such as ribbons, to the jar for instant attachment.
white craft glue used to glue unbaked polymer pieces to a jar or lid before baking in the oven.
Gift jar contents
Use your imagination and consider who the gift is for when deciding on the content. Feed mixes are very popular. Gift jars can also hold sewing notions, store sake, games, snacks such as trail mix, nuts and bolts or chex mix, candied nuts, candied popcorn, holiday candy or gummies, coffee, tea, flavored vinegars and oils in glass bottles, potpourri or fragrance gel, bath salts, and a cake baked in a jar.
If you plan to feed a mix of foods, first choose the recipe and ingredients. Food mixes often look best when the mix ingredients are layered in the jar. The recipient can mix the ingredients before use.
If you plan to give a mixture you will need:
- A small bottle to tamp down the ingredients as you layer or place them in the jar.
- A canning funnel or a piece of construction paper to make a simple funnel for filling jars.
- Paper towels to clean the powdered ingredients from the inside of the jar.
Tips for packing food ingredients
- Layer the ingredients in the jar in the order listed in the recipe.
- Wipe down the sides of the jar with a clean paper towel after adding powdered ingredients like sugar, cocoa, or flour before adding the next ingredient for a better look.
- Pack all ingredients tightly as they are added. If you don’t, you won’t have enough space to fit all the ingredients. Generally, a quarter contains 6 cups of packaged ingredients; a pint jar contains 3 cups of packed ingredients.
- If the ingredients don’t make it to the top of the jar, fill the gap with crumpled plastic wrap or wax paper to keep the ingredients from shifting and mixing.
- After packing the ingredients into the jar, seal it with the lid. Enclose a card with the recipe, instructions, a list of additional ingredients, and a holiday greeting.
baked cake in jar
Use a pint-sized wide-mouth mason jar with a two-part lid (flat seal and screw band) when baking a cake in a jar. The wide mouth allows the cake to slide out of the jar. Choose a cake in a jar recipe or adjust your favorite cake recipe to make it in jars. Place one cup of prepared cake mix in a pint jar. Bake according to instructions. Jars and lids must be sterilized before use. (Use new lids) Bake the cake and add the lid as soon as you take it out of the oven. Carefully place the flat seal on top of the jar and then the screw band. The jar is very hot, so don’t burn yourself. Let the jar cool, then test to make sure it’s sealed. If cake does not seal properly, eat cake, refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat. Sealed cake jars can be stored without refrigeration for up to two months. Attach a label with the name of the cake and that says: “Best eaten earlier (two months from the date the cake was baked).”
Give yourself plenty of time to decorate your gift jars and plan the contents for each person on your Christmas list. Fill the jars, then sit back and relax. Have a cup of hot spiced cider and enjoy the holidays.