• A myriad of wonderfully-shaped jars, cruets, and bottles are readily available and relatively inexpensive to add to the presentation of your gift from the kitchen. For canning jars, cut out a circle of pretty paper or fabric 2 inches in circumference larger than your jar lid. Secure them with bright yarn or ribbon.
• Purchase pretty labels to clearly mark your gift with the contents, usage and recommended shelf life. Or, make your own labels. Adding a recipe for usage of the gift is an appreciated touch.
• Metal tins are available in many shapes, colors, patterns and sizes. Line with non-reactive colored tissue paper before loading in the goodies. Moist foods should also be wrapped in cellophane or plastic wrap.
• Gift bags abound and are very inexpensive. Most are plastic-coated, making them a good choice for moist foods. You can easily make a "peek" window in these pretty bags by cutting out a square or shape from the side of the bag and gluing or taping cellophane or plastic wrap to cover the opening. Staple bags shut, tack on a bow and voila! Or, line with pretty tissue paper, allowing the paper to peek out the top. You can also decorate your own gift bags for that added personal touch.
• Over-sized coffee mugs and soup mugs make good reusable containers for food gifts. Fill a bit overflowing the brim. Place on the center of a large piece of colored cellophane, gather the ends at the top and secure with a ribbon.
• Baskets are always a favorite, and some of the newer ones can even be placed in a low-heat oven for warming breads. You can decorate them with paint or line with a pretty linen napkin.
• Pick up orphan plates and platters at yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, or store bargain bins to use for giving cookies and cakes.
• Save empty potato chip cans (such as Pringles and Stax). Wash insides and let them dry thoroughly. Use decorative contact paper or glue on gift-wrapping paper to cover the outside of the can. Stack cookies or fill with spiced nuts or candies, seal, and top with a fancy bow.
• Miniature kitchen tools are cute, functional, and make great package decorations. Pick up some smidgen measuring spoons or mini egg whisks to dress up your kitchen gift.
• Lidded clear plastic containers are not quite a dime a dozen, but they are very inexpensive and even come in colors. Dress them up by gluing a fabric or paper skirt around the bottom and coordinating insert into the outer indentation of the lid. A bow on top completes the package.
More About Gifts from the Kitchen and Kitchen Gift Recipes• Homemade Food Gift Recipes
• No-Cook Food Gift Ideas
• Food Gift Mailing and Shipping Tips
Kitchen Gift Basket Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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