Top Tips for Great-Looking Mason Jar Mix Gifts

Media sources are reporting that more people are planning to give homemade gifts this holiday season. Between the economy and a trend towards more meaningful living, DIY Christmas presents are enjoying a resurgence. That’s good news all around, because it means that not only can you make a serious cut in your holiday budget, but you can be assured that more people are coming to appreciate the time and effort that you put into the homemade presents you give.

Mason Jar Mix Gifts

Easy Classic Homemade Gift: Mason Jar Mixes

One easy classic and always appreciated (and useful!) gift is the pre-made mason jar mix. It’s a win all around because with just a few economical groceries you can make many mix jars to give as presents, and it’s something anyone can always use. There are a variety of mixes well-suited, tried and true for just this purpose, so you can easily find something (or a few somethings) to work up in short time for a number of recipients.

Making Your Mason Jar Gifts Stand Out

Finding good mason jar gift recipes isn’t hard. You can search online, or there are some very good books that have done the work for you. There are a few tips, though, that will help ensure your gifts are instant attractions and go over in a big way:

Keeping it Simple: choose recipes that are both easy for you to prepare (so that you don’t get stressed out over it) and also for your gift receiver. The idea is to give something useful and yummy and make your gift recipient’s life easier. Consider that people have all different levels of cooking skill. Choose a recipe that is easy to follow and prepare so you don’t have to spend a lot of time guessing who might be able to prepare what mix. Make it Appealing: as in, the idea of the recipe; as in, something anyone can recognize as something good. Classics like sugar cookies and brownies that everyone loves are good candidates.

Make Ahead Mix DayFill the Jar: the best presentations are recipes that fill the jar nearly to the top, without a lot of empty space. This just plain looks better when giving premade mixes as gifts, but it also helps to keep things in their places if you are going for something with a layered “sand art” effect. Keep in mind that mason jar and canning jar sizes are standard: quart jars (the most common size for mason jar gift mixes) hold four cups; pints hold two). So look for recipes that are close to two- or four-cup increments.

For example, in Make-Ahead Mix Day these recipes will fill the jar up as written: Oatmeal Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Double Batch Sugar Cookies, Brownies, Chocolate Chip Muffins, White Cake, and Chocolate Cake. Just know that often the fit will be tight (as it should be) and you may have to tap the jar and help things settle.

Added Extras: when you have a good recipe that is just a little shy topping up the jar for a good, full fit, try adding in some extras. Most recipes will benefit from additions like chocolate chips, raisins, dried fruit, or perhaps a small bag of confectioner’s sugar settled into the top for topping or glaze mix. This is a good way to make that mix “just right”. Make-Ahead’s Cappuccino Muffins and Gingerbread are good examples here.

Make it Pretty: Once your mixes are made, a pretty presentation is all that is needed to make it just right. A Round of festive cloth, an upside-down printed muffin paper, some ribbon or some twine are all you’ll need to top up your jars and make them the gift that everyone will love to receive.

Guest blogger Mary Ellen Ward is the author of Make-Ahead Mix Day: Complete Recipes and Instructions for On-Hand Homemade Quick Mixes. Her book is available via Amazon for Kindle eReader and also through her website, http://thehomemadehomestead.com/

by
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When sheโ€™s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, sheโ€™s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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Comments

    • Grace
    • November 23, 2013
    Reply

    These look lovely and I would rather have a home made gift than one purchased at the store. To me it means that the individual thought enough about me to spend their time to makes something for me. These would also look great on my counter to further enhance my ‘country kitchen look’.

    • Mary Ellen Ward
    • November 23, 2013
    Reply

    That’s exactly what homemade/handmade means to me, Grace. And yes, these mixes do go far to work the functional kitchen decor ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Melanie
    • November 24, 2013
    Reply

    I love these Mason Jar gifts; they are super easy, affordable and a fun gift to give and get… Thanks for a great review, I had no idea that there is an entire book with ideas.. SOOOO need to check it out; I’m totally looking for some great ideas for Gift giving this year

    • Mary Ellen Ward
    • November 25, 2013
    Reply

    Totally agree, Melanie. And…you’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Pam
    • November 25, 2013
    Reply

    I agree that the beauty of these gifts is that they are easy to prepare. If you don’t know the recipient’s cooking ability, always go for easy recipes!

    • Mary Ellen Ward
    • November 25, 2013
    Reply

    Thanks, Pam! I figure you can’t lose either way – because even if you DO know that the person can cook, who doesn’t appreciate something simple and yummy every now and again? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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