Monday, December 18, 2017

9 Christmas Gifts You Can Put in a Mason Jar


Courtesy of Keri Sanders
Photo by The Country Chic Cottage

Happy Holidays Friends,

Need a last-minute gift or the perfect way to present a gift card? These easy gifts in Mason jars should do the trick!

It's always smart to have a few gifts at the ready for last-minute parties or when that one person you weren't planning to swap presents with gives you an amazing (and unexpected) gift. Here are a few easy ideas you can wrap in something most people already have at home — the always-handy Mason jar.

Our featured present is a Less Traditional Fruit Basket - Fruit Basket in a Jar. Put a spin on the traditional holiday fruit basket by throwing all those delicious ingredients into a half-gallon Mason jar. Angie from The Country Chic Cottage recommends starting with apples and oranges. Add in mixed nuts, cranberries and other small fruits to fill in the gaps and add a pop of color. Add a tag and a festive ribbon, and you have a gift almost anyone can enjoy.

Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

Courtesy of Sam Henderson

Perfect for the cold days ahead, this simple hot cocoa mix features the delightful taste of hazelnut. It's so good, we wouldn't blame you if you kept a few. Here's the recipe...

Ingredients (for the hot cocoa mix)
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Yield: 12 jars

Materials Needed (for each jar)
  • 2 small plastic pouches or bags
  • 1/2 cup hot cocoa mix
  • 1 to-go packet of hazelnut spread
  • 4 chocolate-covered biscuit sticks
  • 1-pint-sized canning jars
  • 1 6" cloth circle
  • ribbon
Click here for printable cocoa instruction card

Assembly
For the cocoa mix:
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
For the jars:
  1. Place 1/2 cup cocoa mix in 12 pouches. Seal pouches with tape or tie with ribbon.
  2. Place 4 chocolate-covered biscuit sticks in 12 pouches. Seal pouches with tape or tie with ribbon.
  3. Place 1 cocoa-mix packet, 1 biscuit-stick packet, 1 hazelnut-spread packet and 1 instruction card in each of the 12 jars. Place flat lid on top and cover with cloth circle. Top with ring. Add ribbon around the ring.
Making Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
  1. Place cocoa mix in the jar. Add 3/4 of hazelnut spread (Image 1). Reserve the rest.
  2. Add 12 ounces of warm water (or milk) (Image 2). Stir to dissolve completely.
  3. Crush 2 biscuit sticks. Set aside.
  4. Top with whipped cream (Image 3) and crushed biscuit sticks.
  5. Add a swirl of the remaining hazelnut spread (Image 4). Garnish with remaining biscuit sticks (Image 5).


Glitter Snow Globes

Compliments of Camille Styles
Photo by Buff Strickland Photography

This gift is ideal for all the little ones in your life. And with only a few materials needed, you can make an entire zoo's worth of animal snow globes without breaking the bank. And don't get stuck on the animal theme. While adorable animals are universally loved, a little investigative work should help you find the perfect plastic figurine for all your favorite kiddos. Here's what you need to make these Glitter Snow Globes.

Materials
  • one-pint Mason jar
  • animal figurine
  • waterproof super glue or epoxy
  • glitter flakes
  • water
  • glycerin

Gift Card and Candy Holder

From Something Turquoise

Perfect for older kids or even adults, this cute double Mason jar from Something Turquoise is actually a candy/gift card holder with loads of style. Using four- and eight-ounce jars, simply glue the lids together for a double jar with two times the goodies. Here are the instructions to make this Double Mason Jar Gift Card & Candy Holder

SUPPLIES:
  • 4oz Ball Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars (regular mouth)
  • 8oz Ball Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars (regular mouth) fits a gift card perfectly!
  • Little B – 1 Inch (25mm) Decorative Foil Tape
  • Gift Cards & Candy
  • E6000 Glue
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Eyelets and Setter (optional)
Click here for free to-from printable tags or here for free blank printable tags...

The exact Little B – 1 inch (25mm) decorative foil tapes used are: Gold Hearts, Gold Chevron, Gold Black Honeycomb, Gold Moroccan Window, Gold Diagonal Stripe and Golden Floral.

Glue Two Rings Together

Using E6000 glue (which is incredibly strong and durable), glue two Ball jar rings together and let dry, 4oz and 8oz rings are the same size so no matter which ones you glue together, it’s all good.

NOTE: Drying time on this glue is 24 hours; so glue the lids together the night before you want to assemble your gift jars!

Print & Cut Your Gift Tags


Download and print onto 8.5 x 11 cardstock and trim around the circle. A blank circle download which is sized perfectly to cut out and place at the bottom of your gift card jar for added color! This step is optional as you can put gift shred or anything else you’d like into the gift card jar. Both tags are 2 inches round.

Hole Punch & Eyelet
To finish the look of your tag, punch a hole at the top and add a scrapbooking eyelet.

NOTE: The crapbooking eyelet is completely optional.

Assemble Your Gift Jars
  • Fill your 4oz jar with candy
  • Place the jar lid on top to hold the candy inside
  • Screw one side of the glued ring set onto the candy jar
  • Add a colored 2 inche circle or gift shred into the 8oz jar
  • Add your gift card
  • Place the jar lid on top
  • Screw the candy jar and opposite side of the glued ring set onto the gift card jar!
Embellish Your Gift Jars With Decorative Foil Tape

Using this adorable, 1 inch wide decorative foil tape (aka. washi tape) cover the seam of the glued jar rings. This size works PERFECTLY for this project!

NOTE: Not all washi tapes are created equal and some will loose their stickiness after a while as they are a “low tack” style tape. If the tape you use falls off, simply use a glue stick to glue it to itself.

Add Your Gift Tag


Adorable!

This is such a fun and unique way to give a gift card and little treat to anyone you love – for any reason...

Peppermint Jar

Compliments of Uncommon Designs

And speaking of candy, there's no need to make things complicated. A jar of sweet peppermints is a great way to spread a little cheer. They make especially cute host and hostess gifts!

Click here for the free "Have a Ball This Christmas" Printable Gift Tags from Uncommon Designs

Bulb Gift Set

Compliments of The Happier Homemaker

Do you have any plant lovers in your life? This adorable bulb gift set from The Happier Homemaker is a great way to show them just how well you know them. The best part? It takes less than five minutes to make! All you have to do is fill the bottom of your jar with pebbles and add your bulb on top.

Pickled Vegetables


Whether you're an avid gardener or know your way around the produce section of your local grocery store, it's easy to gift a delicious jar of pickled veggies. And while it may seem like summer fare, whoever is lucky enough to receive this gift isn't likely to complain. Here's the recipe...

Salt, oil and vinegar all prevent vegetables from decay by protecting them from the bacteria that could rot them. Salt draws out moisture and creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria, oil coats the produce to prevent contamination from the air and the acid in vinegar, known as acetic acid, inhibits bacterial growth. Pickling combines the preservative qualities of salt and vinegar, and it's an ideal way to preserve vegetables such as beans, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions and shallots. The pickling process also transforms the taste and texture of these fresh vegetables into more complex flavors, which taste delicious with a variety of different foods such as fish, game and cold meats. For best results, use the freshest, crispest produce.

Brining and Potting Up
The vegetables need "brining" in salt water first before being preserved in vinegar, to draw out the moisture that would otherwise seep into the vinegar and dilute it. The brining time varies — dense vegetables, such as shallots, need longer than beans or cucumbers. Use coarse salt, as it contains none of the anti-caking agents that are added to table salt.

For 3-1/4 pounds of vegetables, mix 4.5 liters of water and 1 pound of salt into a brine, add the veggies and leave for 12 hours with a plate on top to weigh them down and keep them submerged. If pickling shallots, skin them then cover with fresh brine for another 24 hours before placing them in sterilized preserving jars. Pour the spiced pickling vinegar over them so they are completely covered, and seal the jars.

Homemade Spiced Pickling Vinegar

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups malt vinegar
  • a few pieces of blade mace
  • 20 cloves
  • 20 whole allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
Steps:
  1. Boil all the ingredients together in a pan for a few minutes. Then cover and leave the liquid for 2 hours to cool completely. Strain into sterilized bottles until needed.
  2. Use preserving jars with vinegar-proof lids when you bottle the vegetables in pickling vinegar. Leave the pickles to mature for at least three months before using them.
Sugar Plum Fairy Jars

Compliments of Hostess with the Mostess

Step up your gifting game with this sweet jar topped with a silver ballerina and snowflake jewels by Hostess with the Mostess. To make this darling jar, spray paint a small plastic ballerina silver (a cake topper works perfectly!). Paint her dress with glue. Then sprinkle with a fine craft glitter in your favorite hue. Use hot glue to attach both parts of the Mason jar lid. Next, glue on your ballerina and add a bit of quilt batting for the snow. Embellish your jar with stickers and a tag for an even cuter look!

Tangy Citrus Marmalade

Compliments of Sam Henderson

This recipe for sweet citrus marmalade makes the perfect gift for family, friends, co-workers and basically anyone in your life with a penchant for delicious food which probably has everyone covered. It's so good you'll want to revisit this recipe year after year.

Tangy citrus marmalade is simple to make and, canned in jars, it is a thoughtful holiday gift. Pair your homemade marmalade with freshly baked croissants or scones for a treat they'll never forget.

Before you start:
The rest time is critical. Be sure to pick fruit with plenty of seeds. They hold the wizardry of pectin that makes the mixture gel. If you don't have enough pectin released due to the amount of seeds or time, you may need to use some pectin to get your solution to gel. Be sure to buy real fruit pectin.

This stores very well in the fridge or can be easily canned.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds oranges
  • 1 1/2 pounds grapefruit
  • 1/2 pound limes
  • 1/2 pound lemons
  • water to make up 7 cups liquid
  • 6 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pectin (if necessary)
Instructions
  1. Cut citrus in half horizontally then cut each half into quarters.
  2. Squeeze each piece over a mesh strainer. Remove but retain seeds. Membrane and pith should be discarded, but pulp should be added back to the liquid.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, start at the point of one of the peels, lay the peel flat and then peel the entire "skin" wiggling the peeler as necessary.
  4. Julienne the peels and then chop them into pieces no longer than half an inch. Mix them all together in a bowl.
  5. Place the seeds in a mesh tea ball or tie them up in a bit of cheesecloth.
  6. Place 3 cups of juice, 2 1/2 cups of zest and the seeds in a large saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until mixture reaches a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and pour into a measuring bowl. Add enough water to make the mixture 8 cups.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  9. Place mixture, sugar and salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a low boil and continue to heat until mixture reaches a temperature of 220° (gel stage) on a thermometer.
  10. About halfway through the cooking process, remove the seeds.
  11. Test your marmalade at this point by spooning a bit onto a plate and placing it in the freezer for 3 minutes. If it crinkles up and looks as though it is beginning to gel it is OK to remove the remainder from the heat. If not, you may consider adding the pectin gel at this point.
  12. Pour the marmalade into warm, clean jars. If you are going to be using it right away or giving away as gifts to be used right away, it can be kept in the refrigerator.
Now you're all set for your holiday gift giving...

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Live well,
Yvonne