Looking to give a gift that makes a sentimental statement? Making the time and effort to put together a gift by hand is an added touch that rarely goes unnoticed. But putting together an entire gift from scratch can be daunting for those of us born without the Pinterest gene. We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide to building the perfect mason jar gift for your loved one.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, here are three quick prompts to get you started:
Why are you giving the gift?
Gift giving doesn’t always require an occasion, but it’s easier to know what to get someone when there’s a ‘why’ attached. Do you want the recipient of your homemade gift to feel relaxed? Inspired? Or are you just looking for a thoughtful way to say thank you?
What do you want the gift to accomplish?
Beyond the ‘why’, what purpose do you want your gift to serve? If you’re someone who’s drawn to trinkets with no particular function or meaning, ask yourself this question before getting started to ensure your homemade gift actually gets put to good use—whether that’s simplifying a post-dinner treat or encouraging a moment of ‘me time’ for your giftee.
How do you put it all together?
Mason jars. They’re cheap, reusable, and come in a variety of different sizes.
Now that you’ve honed in on what you want your gift to achieve, read on to find the perfect mason jar present for your giftee.
For the Food Lover
For the foodie (or person in your life who always seems short on time to cook): gourmet, premade mixes in cute mason jars are a great way to show you care. All you have to do is fill your jar with the ingredients, and fix your directions written on a small card to the jar. To personalize your recipe, pick the recipient’s favourite flavours, or include a date to make them together.
There’s no limit to this one. Simply look up a recipe for their go-to type of cookie and spoon in the dry ingredients in clean, measured layers, taking time to add something special (think candy bar pieces, pretzel chunks, pistachios, or caramel chips). Ensure that your recipe doesn’t require a ton of wet ingredients, as the best mason jar recipes only require a couple more add-ins before they’re ready to pop in the oven.
Minestrone, Potato Leek, or Chicken Noodle Soup
For the giftee who is under the weather, nothing is more thoughtful than a hearty homemade soup. Include a label with the ingredients, a best-by date, and instructions on how to serve. Go the extra mile by adding a little care package of cough drops, Kleenex, a DIY menthol vapor rub, and a prepaid download code for an online movie rental.
Pumpkin Spice Pancake Batter
A five-minute, shake-and-pour version of the fall staple, made with just a few simple ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk powder, and pumpkin spice mix (you can make your own using 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger), and a pinch of salt. Tie a small bottle of real maple syrup to the cap, and a note suggesting toppings like a dollop of whipped cream or sliced banana.
Deluxe Hot Chocolate
Perfect for chilly nights or cabin weekends. Fill your jar with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 cup powdered milk, and 1 cup chocolate chips (you can mix milk, dark, or white, depending on your giftee’s preferences), plus any other fun toppings you think they might like (hello, marshmallows). Tie a tiny bottle of Baileys to the top of the jar for good measure.
For the Workaholic
A Mini Terrarium
Make their desk a little more zen with a personalized terrarium, made by picking out plants, rocks, and even tiny ornaments you think your giftee would love. Terrariums are low maintenance and a beautiful way to cheer up a small space at work. Ready to get your hands dirty? There are some great YouTube tutorials on how to craft your mini-terrarium with layers of soil, pebbles, and reindeer moss.
A Calm-Down Kit
Show your giftee you care about their wellbeing with a custom ‘Calm Down Kit’. Collect items you know your friend finds relaxing–such as an essential oil roller, a bath bomb, affirmation cards, and a creamy single-use face mask—and tuck them in the jar. Tie twine around the top with a name card attached for a personal touch.
A Self-Date Night Jar
Having a date with yourself isn’t just a trend, it’s a legitimate self-care strategy in which you carve out the time to learn how to be—and enjoy being—alone. Cut tiny strips of paper and write a clever idea on each one. It can be anything from homemade dinner starring their favourite dish, to a book recommendation to read solo in the park. Be as specific as possible, and dare them to pick a weekly date and stick to it. If nothing else, it will give them permission to make time for themselves.
Customize your survival kit by adding a theme related to an event your giftee has on the horizon—like travel essentials for an upcoming vacation or wedding-guest staples for a friend’s nuptials. The key to this gift is to think of the things that you always need but never have on hand: Band-Aids, a to-go stain removal stick, a tiny sewing kit, cufflinks, earring backings, Chapstick, or a single-use coffee for a pick-me-up. Tuck in little notes of encouragement relating to the occasion to let them know you’re thinking of them.
For the Eco-Friendly Giftee
Homemade Coffee Scrub
Using coffee grounds as a scrub boasts all kinds of benefits—from improved skin texture to a temporary reduction in cellulite—all thanks to the coffee’s antioxidants and chlorogenic acid. There’s a variety of recipes you can use, but it comes down to mixing coffee grounds with coconut oil and a little bit of water. Personalize it from there with skin-safe essential oils.
Pressed Herb Candles
This DIY is as simple as it is beautiful, and there are plenty of online tutorials to show you how. Using a large mason jar, pressed herbs like rosemary or lavender, a clothespin, a candle wick, beeswax, and any essential oils you’d like, you can make all-natural scented candles with none of the harmful chemicals typically found in commercial versions.
Grow your own plant
This thoughtful gift is perfect your green-thumbed friends. According to EcoWatch, houseplants are known to improve productivity, relationships, air quality, and overall mood. Since mason jars don’t have any holes, you’ll need to put stones in the bottom to simulate “drainage” inside the jar. We recommend adding a centimeter or two of charcoal over the stones, to balance the pH levels and prevent bacteria buildup in the soil. All you have left to do is add moist soil, their favourite plant, and hand over happiness in a jar.
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