A few years back, I was in the middle of planning a blog post about gift baskets when I decided to abandon the basket altogether. Gift baskets have been done to death, so I decided I would have to think outside of the box (or basket, in this case). After a while the answer came to me—use a glass jar instead of a basket!
I ended up finding an inexpensive lidded glass jar at Walmart that worked perfectly for my purposes. (They’re also available online—check them out here.) And thus the “gift in a jar” was born!
The jar isn’t only a container for gifts, because it’s also a pretty useful gift on its own! These glass jars are really versatile, and you can use them to store or display almost anything. All you have to do is pack that jar full of gifts, and you’ve got a beautiful and thoughtful homemade present that your recipient is sure to love. You can even buy gifts in bulk and make several gift jars at once!
How To Make Your Own Gift In A Jar
- Glass jar
- Shredded paper filler or tissue paper (optional)
- Ribbon or bows
- A gift theme (see below for ideas!)
10 Creative “Gift In A Jar” Ideas
1. Winter Survival Kit in a Jar
Put together a little “survival kit” for a loved one who’s always on the go, even when the weather outside is frightful! Fill the jar with things that will help them get through the day! I chose hand sanitizer, lip balm, pain relievers, hand warmers, tissues, instant coffee packets, a small notepad and pen, and more!
2. T.L.C. in a Jar
Getting together with family and friends during the holidays can turn into the perfect storm for catching a cold! Give the gift of “tender loving care” by packing a jar full of cold and flu supplies, like tissues, some comforting soup, and a few DVDs for entertainment.
3. Ice Cream Party in a Jar
It’s hard to think of anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive an ice cream party in a jar! Fill it up with ice cream cones, hot fudge, caramel sauce, sprinkles, and other ice cream fixings. Finish it off with a tag that says “Just Add Ice Cream!”
4. Cookie Decorating in a Jar
Have a family on your list? They’re sure to love receiving a ready-made family activity in a jar! Pack the jar up with store-bought cookies (or homemade, if you’re feeling ambitious!), tubes of colored frosting, small candies, and other cookie decorating supplies.
5. Guy Food in a Jar
The gift of food is an easy win with most guys. I added bottles of soda, a jar of queso dip, beef jerky, and a candy bar to this jar and called it a day! I know any of MY guys would love to get a gift like this!
6. Mani-Pedi in a Jar
Winter weather can wreak havoc on hands and feet! Give the gift of soft and pretty fingers and toes with a mani-pedi in a jar! You can fill the jar with nail polish, toe spacers, moisturizing lotions, and whatever else you think might be useful for a spa day at home.
7. Hot Cocoa Coziness in a Jar
This gift in a jar takes the standard hot cocoa gift to a whole new level! Fill the jar with hot cocoa supplies, a hot chocolate bomb or two, PLUS comfy sweats, soft socks, a cozy scarf, toasty warm gloves, or even a snuggly hat! It’s the perfect gift for that person on your list who always seems to be cold.
8. Caramel Apple Cider in a Jar
Caramel apple cider makes a great variation on the warm beverage gift. Fill the jar with apple cider, your favorite caramel sauce, some cinnamon sticks, and some insulated cups so they can share with friends!
9. “Orange” You Glad It’s Christmas?
Fill the jar with orange-colored gifts! Think pumpkin scented candles, orange flavored candies, orange soda, and books with orange covers. The only limit is your imagination (and the selection of orange items you’re able to find!)
10. “Orange” You Glad It’s Christmas? II
I couldn’t resist creating a more literal interpretation of the theme above. It doesn’t get much easier than dumping a bag of clementines into a jar and adding some twine! Clementines are delicious, and couldn’t everyone use more vitamin C this time of year? I certainly think so.