DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comHow was your weekend? Between snow and holiday parties, it was pretty festive & fun over here. I know I’ve shared a lot of gift guides, links, and ideas for gift giving this holiday season (hopefully they’ve been helpful), but in my opinion- there is nothing more heartfelt and appreciated than something homemade. I love making holiday treats, whipping up baked goods in my kitchen, and packing up favorites for friends, family, neighbors, and service workers to enjoy. It’s a special and inexpensive way to spread holiday cheer… and I think the presentation can be really beautiful! Clearly I had too much fun in the kitchen last week and over the weekend. I was in the mood to put on music and get festive, so this blog post quickly came to fruition. If you’re behind on shopping this year, are saving money, or just want to get creative at home- click through for lots of DIY food gifts & packaging ideas. These are also ideal (and delicious) for holiday parties, cookie exchanges, favorite things, and secret Santa swaps!

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comI like baking (and eating) cupcakes during the holiday season- and they make an easy gift. Three fit perfectly into this kraft paper box, and it includes a clear lid… making it one of the easier food gifts to transport. I used bakery tulip-style cupcake liners and tied it with a festive velvet ribbon. If you’re already sick of cookies this time of year, cupcakes are a great option!

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comIn addition to festive sweets, I enjoy making my dear friend Jacqueline’s chex mix recipe this time of year- it’s an old one, but so good. It’s also easy to adapt to your liking. It’s perfect for parties, game night, and also makes a cute and delicious gift! These small bakery bags ended up being the perfect vessel for Jackie’s coveted chex snack mix!

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comBlack & white cookies are a holiday staple in our house. I made an assortment of cookies for neighbor gifts this year. After having just addressed our holiday cards, it occurred to me that I should try making some chocolate seals with my wax stamp. It worked perfectly and they turned out so elegant looking. Freeze the metal stamp, melt some chocolate, pipe it into a circle, press, then allow it to set. It doesn’t get easier. These would making a thoughtful and impressive personalized gift!

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comClick directly on the packaging items to be redirected to the source, or use the numbered links below the collage to shop… 

01: bakery bags // 02: tulip cupcake liners // 03: grosgrain ribbon // 04: navy blue velvet ribbon // 05: striped cotton ribbon // 06: baking loaf pans // 07: silk ribbon // 08: bakery box // 09: kraft paper box with clear lid

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comAnother well received food gift I like to make during the winter months is coffee cake. I bought these easy non-stick mini loaf pans and ended up with 4-5 coffee cakes to distribute over the weekend. I took a few along to the holiday party we attended, so my friends could enjoy them for breakfast the following morning. There is nothing better than pre-made breakfast after a long night or before an early ski morning. I packaged them with cling wrap, tied them with a ribbon, added a dehydrated orange slice, and I think the presentation ended up looking really festive.

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comI love a good cookie exchange! This year I made an assortment of cookies & treats and boxed them up as gifts. These are ideal for neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, or even as a thoughtful thank you for delivery drivers. I like that these bakery boxes have a clear window to give the recipient a peek inside.

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comDon’t forget about gifts & treats for the pups! I grabbed these dog cookies from the bakery, but you could definitely make your own. I have these on hand to take along to holiday parties with us- the host is always impressed we remembered their pets. It’s a fun surprise! Plus, I just like making our furry friends happy.

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comIt never feels quite like Christmas until I make my classic butter sugar cookies! It’s a recipe that has always been a gifting staple in my family. My Nan used to bake these by the hundreds- every year she’d make at least 400-500. We would form an assembly line in her tiny kitchen, rolling the dough, pressing the cookies, baking, sprinkling them with sugar, and sorting them into tins for friends, family, and neighbors. Every family member received a tin of her cookies and it was always my favorite gift. She continued the tradition and would mail me my tin, even after I went off to college and moved out-of-state. She’s no longer able to make her famous cookies, so I enjoy carrying on her tradition. I mail her a tin each Christmas. They are very special and nostalgic for me.

DIY Food Gifts & Packaging Ideas - roomfortuesday.comDon’t forget holiday candies for gifting, as well! Think peppermint bark, homemade toffee, chocolates, and fudge! These sweet treats are sure to be enjoyed during the holiday season. Please let me know if you’d like any of my recipes and I’d be happy to point you in the appropriate direction. Do you ever give homemade or food gifts during the holidays? It’s something I’ve always loved doing. Here’s to a lovely week ahead!

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  1. Good morning! Baking and cooking for folks tops my list of favorite activities! I will sadly admit that my presentation skills are below par. Goodies generally just get plopped in a plastic container. *shame* In my defense, I’m usually just making treats for a single person. Having a stock of simple, attractive packaging on hand seems smart…now that I think of it. I love consumable gifts! They bring joy without the burden of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I like stuff! Lol. Sometimes we enter a phase though where we don’t need or want objects, but we all need food! I also think people enjoy an annual tradition. Every year we look forward to one friend’s homemade kahlua and another’s Finnish bread. Like your Nan’s cookies, they mark the season! And now you’ve given me the idea of treats for my furry friends! Why have I never thought of this?! Seriously, all of my friends have dogs. (Who’s about to be the best friends’ best friend? This girl.) But here’s what we really need to discuss…the chocolate stamp!!! Genius! Gorgeous! Obsessed! I’m envisioning all the cookies and cakes I can cover with embossed coins. Such fun inspiration this morning, Sarah! Thank you, as always. Cheers to kitchen time and a wonderful week!💜
    (Also, now I’m craving peppermint bark…)

    1. Hi Peggi! I’m totally with you in agreement.. baking & cooking for others is the best for many reasons. I love being able to share treats from my kitchen with friends & family. We all need (and appreciate) food, indeed! I appreciate a good holiday tradition for the nostalgia. All of my friends also have dogs, so I’m also taking little packages of dog cookies with me. It’s fun! I’m definitely the favorite doggie aunt. Ha! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start. Here’s to more fun in the kitchen ahead :)

  2. Good morning! Sadly, I have only made homemade treats one year as neighbor gifts. It was such a fun activity to do with my little baker- but my skills are extremely low when it comes to baking, treat making, etc. One thing I always struggle with is how much to give. Things like breads seem easy to determine, but when it comes to cookies I’m lost. We have several large families we’re close with in the neighborhood, and that one detail usually stops me in my tracks. I have a request from one little cutie to bake with her this coming weekend- so it looks like I’ll need all the advice! Your baked goodies look so delightful- and your presentation is lovely! I have always wanted to make this part of my Christmas traditions but am usually too unprepared or unorganized to bring it to fruition. This year feels like the perfect year to try my hand- 90% of the wrapping is done, the house is more festive than its ever been, and I’m just having the best time this holiday season. How smart to think of the fur babies Sarah! I’m going to have to remember that. Thanks for sharing all your tips and beautiful packaging. Cheers to a wonderful and festive week ahead.

    1. Homemade neighbor treats are my favorite… just because I love baking and it gives me a good excuse to have fun in the kitchen. Ha! Great question on how much. For me, it depends on the family and how much I’m baking. We have four homes / families in our cul-de-sac, so I usually split my batches into fourths and make a variety of things to include in each box (so they get a sampling of treats). Have so much fun baking with your little this weekend! Those are what the best holiday memories are made of. Way to go on knocking out your to-do list! I hope you’re feeling better and are back to 100. Have a great week, friend!

  3. Melanie T says:

    What gorgeous presentation options! Any one of those would cause me to leave it unopened for a day or two just to admire the package. I agree with Peggi that your repurposing the stamp is genius. I’m wondering what your source of chocolate for the bark and dipping is. And what is the trick for cutting perfect squares for the layered bark?? I would love the recipe for the molasses or gingerbread sandwich cookies. This was definitely an inspirational post!

    1. Thank you, Melanie! The chocolate seals were so much fun. I can’t believe I hadn’t given those a try sooner. They were incredibly easy! I cheated and bought the bark at a bakery, but you can find the gingerbread sandwich cookie recipe here. Enjoy!!

  4. Oh yum! Your edibles gifts and ideas are the sweetest Sarah, I especially love the chocolate wax seal AMAZING 😍 And I’m craving cookies fiercely this morning 😋
    All the packing tips are fabulous too, so very clever. I mentioned before on the blog I send Christmas care packages to family members every year and I call it the 4 C’s of consumable gifts which includes cookies, chocolates, coffee and candles. My family members look forward in receiving this package every year, I switch up the coffee brand and candle selection each year but the cookies and chocolate are essentially the same. BTW My nephew texted me yesterday and the woodland candle from your shop I gifted last year they were burning yesterday while tree decorating and they are loving it so much 💖 There house smelled amazing! Yay!
    My daughter and I traditionally make cookies and a gingerbread house every year for ourselves to enjoy and that annual tradition will be next weekend. I’ve been doing this with her since she was 3 and she is a big baker as a result. She enjoys baking way more than I so she also makes a tin of goodies for friends. Usually a combo of similar items you illustrated today, her friends always await her yummy Christmas tin. It is a beautiful gift they all appreciate. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to bake this past week and weekend, I know you really love it and your treats are beautiful and look scrumptious. Your family/friends and neighbors are the luckiest 🥰 Cheers to beautiful smells, enjoying treats and mostly sharing them. Happy Monday! Xoxo

    1. Thanks, Colleen! The chocolate seals were SO much fun to do. I can’t believe I hadn’t tried those before now. They were really easy and look so festive. I love your 4 C’s… cookies, chocolate, coffee, and candles- all my favorite things :) What an amazing care package! I like hearing that your nephew has been enjoying his candle. Day made! It was also fun to read about your tradition of baking cookies & making gingerbread houses with your daughter. That’s so special! I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

  5. What lucky friends and neighbors you have, Sarah and to remember their furry family members is the sweetest. The thought and care you put into your gifts is truly the icing on the (cup)cake, too. The chocolate stamp is absolutely brilliant and immediately has me thinking of ways to incorporate them into cookies! Happiest of holidays, S&E+C&C!!

    1. Thanks, Anne! I love keeping up with your cookies- especially this time of year. If you figure out how to incorporate the seal with your cookies, definitely share! I can’t wait to see what you do. Happy holidays!! xo

  6. Your baked goods look so beautiful and delicious! I am teary-eyed every time I see your Nan’s cookies. Such a special memory of baking them especially with the cut glass bowl you use. Sarah, you always have such great presentation too! I always have good intentions of trying to bake something but end up buying gifts instead. You are so thoughtful to remember the dogs. Those would make great additions to neighbor or family gifts. Love your chocolate stamp to the cookies. Brilliant!
    Interesting enough, both my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother made huge amounts of divinity at Christmas. We all would bring a tin to get ours for enjoying at home. We miss it. It is a temperamental (I think that’s the best word to describe them) type of candy to make. There needs to be low to no humidity in the air. What I wouldn’t give to spend one day in the kitchen with my grandmother having her teach me. I know yours appreciates you sending her some.
    Hope your Monday is going well. I had a busy morning. Just now catching up on emails and posts. Crossing fingers I have everyone’s Christmas purchased. Now to wrap them all up! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Danna! I just love baking her cookies… we spent so many years doing those together, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve divided up batches and shared them with loved ones. Believe it or not- none of our neighbors have dogs! All of our friends do, but as far as neighbor gifts go- no dog treats needed (though I would gladly pass them out). The chocolate stamps were the most fun to make- I’ll definitely be making more of those. I think they’d be fun cupcake toppers, too! Divinity is another favorite in our household (Nan used to make that, too!). I haven’t had it in years though. I hope you’re feeling caught up after your busy morning and your week is off to a wonderful start! Happy gift wrapping :) xo

  7. I made your classic butter sugar cookies today. They are absolutely delicious. Mine were no where near as pretty as yours😉 but no one minded how they looked. Thank you for sharing your recipe and treasured memories you have with your Nan. I too am a Nan to Drake’s son Mako 😀

    1. I love hearing that, Shannon! I’m so happy I can pass them from our family to yours. Enjoy all those moments with Mako :)