Affordable, Hand-Made Hostess Gifts
Every year, I find myself rushing to the store on my way to a holiday party to pick up a bottle of wine or flowers for the host or hostess. This year, I decided to make a personalized, cost-effective hostess gift that can be created months, or even a day in advance of an event.
For 2010, I created holiday candy jars with personalized labels for just under $10 each (and in some cases, that’s less than flowers, or a bottle of wine!). Making the jars is fun and you can get your creative juices flowing if you allow time to sit down and enjoy the process. I knew I would be going to a couple holiday get-togethers, so I purchased enough supplies to make five jars and headed to my local FedEx Office to print the labels. This eliminated multiple (and last-minute!) trips to craft and grocery stores.
Step One: Find the right jars
Step Two: Design your label
When you’re choosing a label, you can browse through multiple types of loose sheets at a local craft store or you can design your own to personalize it. Best yet, it’s easy to design the label by using the templates from a word processing application such as Microsoft Word. You can also take a look at my template here to see an example. Here are the quick steps I used to design my custom label:
- Open a new file in Microsoft Word.
- Insert clip art and choose “Search For.” Within the search function, there are thousands of different designs. I searched for “borders” and found some fun, modern-looking themes.
- Insert the clip art and then adjust the formatting so that the paper matches the color of the candy. If you get stuck, don’t forget that you can always use the help feature on the menu bar.
- After I came up with a concept I liked, I created this label below for the front of the jar and top of the jar.
Step three: Attach the label
A few essential tools I use for my crafts are a label maker, circle cutter and over-sized paper cutter. There’s no need to purchase all these items at once, but if you plan to make a lot of hand-made paper crafts in the future, you may want to add them to the top of your holiday wish list! Also, many scrapbook stores have a workroom with high-quality scrapbooking tools and you can work on projects for as little as $1.00 per hour.
For the label, get creative with your paper, ribbon and any holiday stickers or scrapbooking pieces you have in your craft stash. I cut the paper into a square and fed it through the label maker to have a smooth surface on the jar. Before placing the label on the jar, wrap the ribbon around and use your printed label to hold up the ribbon. I used the circle cutter to match up with the label on the top of the jar.
Step Four: Fill the jars with candy
Step Five (the easiest of them all): HAVE FUN!
The joy of doing a craft comes in the creative design and ability to personalize it for your friend. The holiday candy jar is an affordable, thoughtful and yummy gift! You can even involve your kids or friends for a gift-making party. Happy holidays!
Related FedEx Office Solutions: Copy and Printing Services