25 Festive Packaging Ideas For Food Gifts This Holiday

Pecan Pralines
Photo: Jennifer Davick

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. 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 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.

01 of 25

Signature Southern Snacks

Cheese Straw Sampler
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

Recipe: Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straws

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Shortbread Crackers

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.

02 of 25

Craving Coffee

Craving Coffee
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Christmas Fudge

Place a coffee filter inside a mug to achieve a tissue-paper effect and fill it with your choice of homemade candies. We can't resist going on-theme with homemade fudge, but you can also fill your mugs with Pecan Pralines.

03 of 25

Ready-Made Appetizer

Pear Preserves
Jennifer Davick

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. If you want to mix it up, go for fig preserves and goat cheese.

04 of 25

Muffin Madness

Sugar-and-Spice Apple Muffins
Photo: Stephen Devries; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Apple 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.

05 of 25

Mini Treats

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Decorate glass jars with festive holiday ribbons and accent with red doilies to create the ideal vehicle for miniature treats. You can also fill these jars with a sampling of our mini pies, like Mini Apple Pies or Mini Pumpkin Pies.

06 of 25

Candy Shop

Citrus Mints
Photo: Alison Miksch

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 serve with citrus mints piled high in a decorative bowl, and other complimentary confections. Serve it all up on a silver platter. You can't go wrong with this homemade gift.

07 of 25

Here Are Some Adorable Packaging Ideas for Your Holiday Treats

08 of 25

Sweet and Snug

Peppermint Divinity
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

09 of 25

Jars of Joy

Pulled Candy
Southern Living

Recipe: Pulled Candy

Ahh, taffy. Delicious to eat, and pretty fun to make too. Wrap your pulled candies in wax paper and store them in a cute burlap-lined mason jar for an easy homemade gift.

10 of 25

Personal Loaves

Personal Loaves
Photo: Erin Adams

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.

11 of 25

Rustic Wrapping

Pumpkin Bread
Jennifer Davick

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.

12 of 25

Slow-Cooked Magic

Slow-Cooker Cranberry-Pear Butter
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Cranberry Pear Butter

Give jars of this jewel-toned spread as a Christmas gift, and friends will think you spent the day stirring at the stove. Surprise—hands-off prep in a slow-cooker makes it easy to make a big batch.

13 of 25

Special Spirits

Apple-Pie Infused Bourbon
Photo: Jennifer Davick

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.

Download the Infused Bourbon Labels

14 of 25

Cheerful Candies

Christmas Buttermints
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Christmas Buttermints

Whipping up these melt-in-your-mouth candies is a snap thanks to this simplified recipe: there's no cooking required, but you do need to give the candies 24 hours to dry after shaping. Gift the buttermints in dainty candy dishes.

15 of 25

All Knotted Up

Benne Seed Soft Pretzel
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Recipe: Benne Seed Soft Pretzel

Accent these unique homemade pretzels with a decorative linen-lined box, and serve with all the cute condiments.

Download the pretzel gift tag

16 of 25

Sweet Sendoff

Sweet Sendoff
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Bourbon Orange Biscotti

Recipe: No-Bake Granola Bars

Recipe: Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

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.

17 of 25

Back to Basics

Bottomless Vanilla Extract
Photo: Hector Sanchez

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.

Download the Custom Labels

18 of 25

Takeout Treats

Takeout Treats
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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.

19 of 25

New Year's Resolutions

3 Fresh Spring Vinaigrettes
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Red Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

If you know your hostess will already be inundated with lots of sweet treats, lighten things up with these homemade salad dressings. They can also serve as sauces or marinades.

Download the Custom Labels

20 of 25

Teacup Treats

Teacup Treats
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

Recipe: Spritz Cookies

Attending a holiday high tea? Bring your hostess a gift of cookies, truffles, or bourbon balls in cute teacups.

21 of 25

Poised and Polished

Pecan Toffee Recipes
Southern Living

Recipe: Cracker Toffee

Present your treats on a cake stand that the hostess can keep to display all of her holiday bakes.

22 of 25

Colorful Cones

Salty-Sweet Nut Brittle
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Salty-Sweet Nut Brittle

Nut brittle can be enjoyed on-the-go with these handy paper cones.

23 of 25

Shortbread Sampler

Shortbread Cookie Sampler
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Salted Butter Shortbread Cookies

Recipe: Cream Cheese Christmas Cookies

Recipe: Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies

Recipe: Easy Sugar 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.

24 of 25

Hot Honey

hot honey
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley

Recipe: Hot Honey

What's the hot condiment now? Hot honey. Drizzled on cheese, chicken wings, cornbread—it gives everything a sweet zing. Gift in mason jars, and be sure to keep one for yourself.

25 of 25

Gift Box Goodies

Pecan Pralines
Jennifer Davick

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.

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