BIG List of Tips for Making Gifts in a Jar…

I received the following question from frugal friend Molly…

“I would like to give some pre-made recipe mixes as gifts this year.  Can someone please help?  We’re doing a ‘sweets’ exchange for Christmas this year.  Thank you!”

In addition to the BIG List of Gifts in a Jar Recipes… let’s help Molly out, and share even more ideas on how to make pre-made mixes and ‘Gifts in a Jar‘!

Do you have any recipes or tips for making pre-made mixes or other Gifts in a Jar??

Leave a comment and share!


  1. says

    I’m wondering the same thing about making gift in a jar, but most recipes call for quart size and I only have pint size jars. I’m also wondering about pre-made mixes for cookie recipes in a pint size jar. I can’t seem to find a recipe on the internet.

    • Laurie Dement says

      Use what recipe you like the most. I always try them first. Some are not that great. You can make these in regular or decorated Zip lock bags. If you have a vacuum sealer, that works great then you can put either of them in a muslin bags with the instructions. Good luck.

        • Laurie Dement says

          You can make a good spice cake mix and pour in jars 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 until it springs back. place the lids on the jars and let seal. Pint and 1/2 pint jars are great for this and my family and friends love them. You can also do red velvet cake the same way. Cool completely, then use frosting. Add the lid and a spoon and you’re good to go.

  2. Dani Dyess says

    I have a good hot chocolate recipe that looks really cute in those snowman and santa jars you find at Dollar General – the lids seal separately and you put the mini marsh mallows in the lid. Tie on the mixing instructions on a cute holiday card and ribbon to make a special gift.

    Hot Chocolate Mix

    1 8 quart box of Carnation Powdered Milk
    1 1.5 lb box of Nestle’s Quik (I use a little more)
    1 12 oz. jar of CoffeeMate
    1 1 lb. box of powdered sugar (can use a little less)

    Mix, stir or shake together all ingredients very well. (I use a sifter). Store in an air-tight container.

    To give as a gift, include an instruction tag:

    To make 1 cup, fill a mug 1/4 to 1/3 full of mix, stirring in 6 – 8 oz of very hot water. Stir well and add mini-marshmallows if desired.

    Use the name brands when possible – it really makes a difference!

  3. kathy says

    Gifts in a jar!
    last year I made pint size jars with a layer of powdered valilla creamer, a large layer of instant hot chocolate, then a layer of marshmellows.
    Dipped plastic spoons in flavored cocolate and let dry. Tied the spoon and a candy cane to the jars and it was super cute!

  4. Susan Baker says

    French Vanilla Cocoa Mix

    12 cups nonfat dry powdered milk
    4 cups powdered sugar
    2 (8oz.) jars french vanilla flavor non dairy powdered coffee creamer
    3 1/2 cups Nesquick (or similar)
    2 (6 oz.) boxes instant french vaniila pudding mix

    Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mixing thoroughly. Spoon into pint size “gift” jars. This will make approximately 8 pt size gift jars of mix for gifts.

    Attach this to the jar:
    French Vanilla Cocoa Mix
    Combine 3 heaping Tablespoons mix into 1 cups hot water or boiling water. Stir til thoroughly dissolved. Delicious!!!!

  5. says


    Most (if not all) drink mixes can be done in pint sized jars. And if you are willing to look outside the proverbial box… er jar in this case… and do something not edible, I love putting bath salts or other homemade bath goodies in pints as well :)

    Hope this helps!

  6. johann says

    cut the recipes in half , I have done this when I need to make just a little bit, or yes to fit in smaller jars and just fill out on a separate card the half recipe.

  7. says

    A good cream of chicken dry mix is a great little gift in a mason jar! This also makes a welcomed hostess gift as well…I use the recipe from the “Miserly Mom” book. I suggest using low sodium flavorings; it can be a bit salty for some, or you could use more dry milk in the ratio.

    This is a nice and highly usable gift because it’s something that can be a real lifesaver in a pinch when cooking! : )

  8. Theresa Moss-Currier says

    After finding the recipe you want to use, many of them are online, make sure to pack down brown sugar etc. For the top of the jar I always cut a larger than the top circle out of holiday material. I use pinking shears to give it a more decorative look. Put on the top of the lid using a drop of hot glue. Then tie ribbon, raffia, or other such things around the top with the recipe instructions. I usually print the instructions on the computer and cut out with pinking shears, use a hole punch to make a hole to put the ribbon etc through. I have made bean soup mixes and homemade muffin mixes and put them in a bag together as a complete dinner kind of thing. Good luck and have fun!

  9. says

    Here is the Instant Cream of Soup Mix I use, hope this will be helpful. : )

    2 cups instant milk
    3/4 cups cornstarch
    1/4 cups instant chicken bouillon (I suggest low sodium?)
    1 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1/2 tsp. dried basil
    1/4 tsp. pepper

    May be used for any recipe calling for a can of cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup. Replace with 1/3 cup of mix and 1 1/4 cup water. Boil for a few minutes stirring often.

    I recently used the mixture without boiling just adding straight into a sauce recipe and let it simmer into the mixture already simmering. It worked and was a bit quicker plus saved a pot to wash. : )

    When giving as a gift I post the directions on the jar or bag. I keep the entire recipe glued on my jar I keep here at home for easy future reference.

    Enjoy & Blessings to All!

    • Deb says

      I also have cooked this in a bowl (or the casserole dish you’re going to use for the recipe!) in the microwave, on high, 1 min at a time, stirring after every minute, until it was thickened! Only takes a few minutes and you can do other little tasks around the kitchen as it’s cooking 1 min at a time. :-)

      I have found, the times I’ve used this by merely adding it dry, didn’t have the good effect as cooking it first, but glad it worked for you, Amelia!

      Blessings and glad eating and gifting to you all!

    • angie says

      This is GREAT for those of us who eat gluten free! An awesome replacement for all those recipes that call for canned cream soups. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Cleone says

    I came across this recipe for a meat rub and it looks really neat when layered in the jar.

    The Only Rub You’ll Ever Need
    1/4 cup Firmly packed brown sugar
    1 Tbs. Kosher Salt
    1 Tbs. Chili Powder
    1 Tbs. Paprika
    2 tsp. Garlic powder
    2 tsp. Onion powder
    1 tsp. Cumin
    1 tsp. Oregano

    Direction: Mix together all ingresiens, making sure to not have big clumps of bown sugar.
    Coat meat and let sit for 30 min.
    Grill, roast, or bake till meat is done and enjoy.

  11. Sharon Ward says

    My mouth is watering after reading all these food ideas. Just wanted to say that when I’ve received these gifts in a jar, I was happy to receive them and always enjoyed them. Now, which one to choose for me to make? Hmmmm…..

    • Kathy Viera says

      Ultimate Chippers Mix
      1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 chopped nuts (pecans,walnuts,macadamia nuts )your choice of nuts pick one or mixed nuts
      1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
      1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
      1/2 cup white chocolate chips
      1. Layer ingredients into a 1-quart food jar with a tight fitting lid. Pack ingredients down slightly before adding another layer
      2. cover top of jar with fabric: attach a gift tag with raffia or ribbon ( make gift tag with the directions that follow) makes 1-quart jar

      ENJOY !!!!!:O)~

  12. Aileen says

    Last year I made chicken soup in quart jars and pint size jars. I cut the recipe in half for the pint jars. I also purchased a Chicken soup for the Soul book which applied to the particular person I was giving the gift to… for example, Chicken soup for the sport lover’s soul, for the dog lover’s soul, etc. Amazon has an unbelievable list of Chicken soup for the soul books and they are quick to deliver and usually ship at no cost!

  13. Laura says

    I would like to know if anyone has recipes for dinner stacked in a jar. I recently bought turkey bowtie skillet mix and it was so good. You have to add 1 lb of ground turkey and a 14 oz can of stewed tomaties and 3 cups of water. I would love to know all that was in the jar!! This woman also sold skillet lasagna in a jar.

  14. Dana says

    In the past, I made peppermint bath salts in a jar. Tied pretty red or green ribbon on the top (with a piece of Christmas fabric on the lid) and attached a candy cane. The bath salts were red and white and everyone said how much they enjoyed them.

  15. Debbie says

    I am going to make some sugar scrubs this year, if I find enough time!

    Sugar scrub:
    2 1/2 cups of sugar
    1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    4 tablespoons of Essential Oil
    Fills a 12 oz. jar, but I am going to put them in smaller jars. They wrap a ribbon around top of jar and add a spoon. I am going to make Peppermint and add a candy cane with it too!
    You just mix it up good and you might have to stir it after it has sat for awhile.

  16. Heidi Sims says

    Ultimate Chippers Mix

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

    1/2 cup white chocolate chips

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Layer ingredients attractively in any order into 1-quart food storage jar with tight-fitting lid. Pack ingredients down slightly before adding another layer.

    2. Cover top of jar with fabric: attach gift tag with raffia or ribbon.

    makes 1-quart jar

    1/2 cup butter, softened

    1 egg

    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    1 jar ultimate chippers mix

    1. preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

    2. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. (mixture may appear curdled.) Add cookie mix to butter mixture; stir until well blended.

    3. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

    Makes 4 dozen cookies.

  17. Danielle says

    Does anyone have suggestions for finding the jars on a good deal? Where do you have the best luck finding the jars?

    • Heidi says

      Hi Danielle ~ I’ve found a good variety of jars at my local Wal-Mart. I’ve also heard of several others who have been able to pick up entire cases of jars at garage sales for a great deal!

      ~ Heidi

  18. Maddygearl says

    Goodwill is a great place to find mason jars and other pretty jars for cheap. Especially on their half priced Saturdays! If you will not be canning with them, you just need to wash everything with hot, soapy water.

    If you are short on funds for jars, but have extra fabric sitting around, you can put some mixes in bags, then wrap in a circle of fabric and tie with ribbon. Here is a mix that doesn’t have to be layered.

    Chocolate Pudding Mix:
    2 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
    5 cups sugar
    3 cups cornstarch
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa

    To Use: Make sure you wisk the mix in a bowl to get out any lumps before using. Measure out 2/3 cup of mix in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups milk, one teaspoon vanilla, and one tablespoon butter. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *