Thursday, December 15, 2011

homemade teacher & hostess gift ideas (a bunch of our favorites)

'Tis the season. And this year, between my two children we have 39 gifts to make. That's if we didn't forget anyone, which is always my fear as the kids excitedly rattle off their teachers and coaches, and I scramble to write them all down... I know that many of you are in the same boat, so I thought a round-up of homemade gift ideas would be appreciated. I've tried to include a variety of price ranges and levels of simplicity in this list of my favorites. If you have other ideas that you'd like to share, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so in the comment section. This is the sort of post I-- and many others-- will bookmark for future year's ideas as well. My plan to peruse this list with the kids tonight, then I'll shop for packaging tomorrow, and at some point this weekend, the kids and I will make one of these gifts en mass for all of the people who tirelessly brighten & enrich my children's lives.

Savory Gift Ideas
For packaging dried soup mixes, I like to put the beans in a clear jar and let the kids layer the various types (we tied the seasoning on to the lid in a separate cellophane bag). If making a spice rub or harissa, I would use a pretty, small glass jar. The Container Store has tons to choose from, and some hardware stores also stock these sorts of jars, so it might be worth checking to see if your local mom & pop store carries them.

Homemade Cookies
Cookies can be packaged in tins, cellophane bags or boxes. In addition to local kitchen shops, I find that The Container Store usually has a good selection of holiday packaging this time of year. Another way of getting kids involved in the project is to give them a plain tin and letting them decorate it with permanent markers if they're not into helping with the baking...

Candies, Hot Fudge, Cocoa Mix & More...
See above for various packaging ideas, as I'd probably pop candies into a parchment-lined cardboard box, hot fudge into a medium-sized mason jar, and granola or hot cocoa mix into a cellophane bag or glass jar. The bread pudding can easily be baked in the sort of tin you pick up at your local supermarket, then wrapped in parchment with a bow to make it look pretty.

Other Homemade Gift Ideas Good for Little Hands
Hopefully this list provides you with some inspiration. I can't wait to hear what you all made/are making for your teachers. Feel free to leave a comment here, or over on the full plate/meals in a snap facebook page...


  1. One year I was desperately short on time, 3 kids wanting to make homemade gifts etc. We made vanilla sugar. Easy (though a bit pricier than many homemade gifts). Take an empty jar, fill about 2/3 with granulated white sugar, insert a whole vanilla bean or two. Cover jar. Done. Voila, homemade gift.

  2. loving these packaging ideas too:

  3. Sort of like the vanilla sugar mentioned above, this year we are doing homemade vanilla extract. So easy! We're doing pretty child-decorated labels and a nice card, and leaving it at that. Here's a link:

  4. So many fab ideas! Thanks for sharing them all.


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