Thursday, 17 November 2011


I know that home-made Christmas presents conjure up images of badly knitted jumpers and pictures made from pasta, but really, honestly, you can make something simple, frugal, and it can look professional!
Jars full of something gifts are an old idea, but we can bring them up to date. Take a look at online gift catalogues and check out the foody, cosmetic and bathing sections. I've done that this morning and found some already - actually it was a jar of salt from Jamie Oliver's cooking range- not a thrilling present!
But - if you think creatively and take inspiration from the packaging, the colours, the contents of gifts, you're starting off on the right lines. There are baking sets, cup-cake sets, coffee making sets, gardening sets - the list is endless.
Jars are not cheap- but unless you are completely penniless, I would try not to use an empty jam jar! Lakeland has some old-fashioned looking folksy style jars (very now) and they come in two sizes, 500ml (£15.99 for 6) and 1 litre (£17.99 for 6). Before you gasp at the price- that works out at £2.67 and £2.99 respectively and filling them can be as cheap or expensive as you like. If you think you won't be able to find cheap enough fillings for these jars, check out some ideas for jar gifts here and these here on the Organised Christmas site who have even give you free printable recipe labels to finish off your foodie jar gift!
You could fill your jars with your own home made sweets, or Christmas Chutney or just tailor your fillings to the recipient; nail polish, emery boards, cotton wool, nail polish remover for a girl who likes to paint her nails, bath bombs and pearls for ladies who like to soak, travel size bath goodies and socks for men, beads with instructions for little girls.
You can even make "jar" gifts without the jar - just use a suitable container that goes with the gift, for example, a flower pot containing seeds, gardening gloves and a small garden trowel for a keen gardener or a pretty cake tin with ingredients, cake paper cases and instructions for cupcakes for an aspiring cook (these are around £40 on some sites at the moment).
Happy frugal gifting!

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