Festive Packaging Ideas for Food Gifts
Mama always said that a homemade gift is so much more meaningful than anything you could buy at the store—and we agree, especially when it comes to homemade food. We firmly believe that baking is the ultimate act of love (not to mention that it has real psychological benefits), so a homemade loaf of pumpkin bread or box of cookies can be much more meaningful than any store-bought gift. When you’re looking to gift something thoughtful that doesn’t break the bank, homemade treats are a lovely solution. Food gifts are the ideal present to show your gratitude for teachers, holiday hostesses, neighbors, and of course, friends and family. And when it comes to food gifts, the packaging is almost as important as the treats themselves. Dressing those cookies up with ribbons or tissue paper and presenting them in a cute vintage tin, a mason jar, or a burlap bundle will turn your treats from a nice offering to a wow-worthy gift. All it takes is a few simple supplies to make a gift that your friends will be talking about for years to come.
Here Are Some Adorable Packaging Ideas for Your Holiday Treats
Mug of Fun
Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake
If you’re going for style and substance, this mug cake kit hits all the right notes. Include all the ingredients they’ll need to make the cake, conveniently packaged in the mug that they can reuse for all purposes! You can download the free printable tag that includes cooking instructions here.
Lift the holiday spirits with this craft cocktail set. Sort all of the cocktail ingredients—lime salt, pineapple juice, and tequila—into individual glass bottles and package them up in a basket with festive ribbons.
Keep the Dish
When we bring glass or wooden serving dishes to a potluck, we don’t typically expect to see them again. But you can make a gift out of your holiday treats by giving them in a lovely serving bowl that your hostess can keep—complete with a pretty linen, of course.
Repurpose those old jewelry boxes as miniature chocolate boxes. They’ll perfectly fit 4 homemade truffles and they’re much more special and personalized than a store-bought sampler! We're filling our boxes with Bourbon-Chocolate Truffles, but feel free to change up the flavors.
Signature Southern Snacks
Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws
Recipe: Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straws
No Southern party is complete without a dish of cheese straws. Turn your signature recipe into a gift-worthy treat by cutting the various flavors of cheese straws into different shapes and packaging them in a fabric-lined box. Make dividers out of lightweight cardboard and feel free to fill the box with mix-and-match flavors or other snacks.
Vintage Cookie Tin
Recipe: Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Show off those stunning bakes in a sleek silver tin. The look of this wrapping replicates Grandma's hard candies, but the recipient will be surprised to find that they're actually homemade cookies. If you don’t already have these containers around the house, you can find them for low prices at most craft stores.
Recipe: Pear Preserves
One of our favorite food gift strategies is to include all the ingredients someone will need to host a lovely party without the hassle. This cheese-and-preserves set, packaged together with ribbon, does just that. You can change up the flavors to your taste, but fig and brie is our go-to combination.
Recipe: Apple Muffins
Recipe: Caramelized Apple Toffee Muffins
Recipe: Sugar-and-Spice Apple Muffins
Recipe: Apple Crumb Muffins
Line your muffins in a variety of fun-colored wrappers and package them together in an equally festive tin box. If you’re feeling adventurous, try baking more than one muffin flavor and providing a sampler.
Recipe: Potato Candy
When it comes to candy, there are endless packaging possibilities. Present the potato candies like truffles in their own paper liners and pile the citrus mints high in a decorative bowl. Serve it all up on a silver platter. You can’t go wrong with this homemade gift.
Sweet and Snug
Recipe: Peppermint Divinity
Recycle an old tin as a container to hold your homemade divinities. Line the inside with patterned paper to add extra creative flair.
Jars of Joy
Recipe: Pulled Candy
Wrap your pulled candies in wax paper and store them in a cute burlap-lined mason jar for an easy homemade gift.
Recipe: Banana Bread
Use decorative mini loaf containers to create a perfect personal gift. You can buy the wooden crates at the craft store or repurpose old farmers’ market containers. Add high style for low cost by wrapping the loaves with fabric scraps. You can adapt any of our breakfast bread recipes to fit the smaller loaves.
An Elegant Treat
Recipe: Cornbread Madeleines
Use a sliding box to present homemade cornbread madeleines like their French cousin, the macaron. Tie a fabric bow to add extra elegance.
Recipe: Pumpkin Bread
Turn a homemade bread loaf into a gift-worthy treat by bundling it up in a seasonal tea towel. Wrap the whole thing in twine to keep it nice and snug.
Recipe: Apple Pie-Infused Bourbon
We can guarantee you’ll find myriad uses for this Apple-Pie Infused Bourbon. Not only is it great gift material, but you’ll want to keep a batch for yourself at home to make some signature cocktails. Store the bourbon in a glass bottle or a mason jar.
All Knotted Up
Recipe: Chewy Ambrosia Biscotti
Recipe: No-Bake Granola Bars
Recipe: Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Recipe: Georgia Style Boiled Peanuts
Recipe: Barbecue Roasted Nuts
A good Southerner doesn't let guests leave empty-handed. Recycled cardboard drink containers make perfect car carriers for the ride home—just stash a cellophane-wrapped snack in each slot. We gave our container a coat of white spray paint, glued on scrap fabric, and affixed a custom "Happy Trails!" label to the front.
Back to Basics
Making your own vanilla extract is one way to seriously up your baking game—all you need is a glass bottle, one vanilla bean, and a base of vodka or bourbon. Let it soak for a couple of months before you gift it. Give this thoughtful gift to any baker in your life.
These reimagined takeout boxes are the perfect vehicle to carry candies as a hostess gift. Over the holidays, we're filling our containers with peppermints and candy canes.
New Year's Resolutions
Gift Box Goodies
Recipe: Pecan Pralines
Wrap your pecan pralines like a present because, honestly, this is the best gift we’ve received in years. Use tissue paper and a colorful box to complete the effect.
Poised and Polished
Recipe: Cracker Toffee
Present your treats on a cake stand that the hostess can keep to display all of her holiday bakes.
Recipe: Salty-Sweet Nut Brittle
Nut brittle can be enjoyed on-the-go with these handy paper cones.
Recipe: Butter-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Recipe: Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe: Lemony Sandwich Cookies
If you’re looking to make an impression, this shortbread sampler is sure to wow any lucky recipient this holiday season. Fill a larger box with smaller gift boxes and bake various cookie flavors to fill the slots. It's like your own personal holiday cookie swap.