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18 Ideas for Budget-Friendly Handmade Gifts in Jars

Jamie loves writing about DIY projects, decorating on a budget, craft ideas, and creative ways to reuse and upcycle products.

DIY "Gift in a Jar"

DIY "Gift in a Jar"

What Is a Gift in a Jar?

Do you need ideas for a gift that is both inexpensive and homemade? Consider putting together a gift in a jar! This entails a jar filled with the dry ingredients your recipient would need to easily prepare a dish. You'll be sure to bring a smile to anyone who receives this thoughtful and handmade gift!

A few foods you can make using this gift idea are:

  • Cookie mix
  • Soup mix
  • Jams
  • Salsa

All you have to do is fill the jars, decorate them to fit the person's style, and give them away! You can buy new mason jars in bulk or use jars you've been saving and meaning to use. I've rounded up a few ideas to inspire your gift-in-a-jar creations. This truly is a budget-friendly way to make homemade gifts for those you love. Enjoy making your gifts in a jar!

Painted Desert Chili Mix in a Jar

Painted Desert Chili Mix in a Jar

1. Painted Desert Chili Mix

Try this painted desert chili mix in a jar! I think it looks like a piece of art because of the way the colors are layered in the jar. You could decorate the package with a raffia bow around the lid with a chili pepper tied in the middle for a special touch.

Cowgirl Cookies in a Jar

Cowgirl Cookies in a Jar

2. Cowgirl Cookies

I love how Bakerella decorated these jars! You can find the full recipe, tutorial, and free printable labels you can use to add personality to your cookie jars!

Organic Minestrone Soup Mix in a Jar

Organic Minestrone Soup Mix in a Jar

3. Organic Minestrone Soup

Do you have friends and family who only eat organic foods? Use a recipe for organic minestrone soup mix and decorate the jar. Consider tying a spoon to the lid so your recipient can easily eat their final product!

S'mores in a Jar

S'mores in a Jar

4. S'mores

S'mores in a jar is a thoughtful gift for any friends who have a serious sweet tooth! You can find free printable labels to use in the recipe to make it elevate the final look.

9-Bean Soup Mix in a Jar

9-Bean Soup Mix in a Jar

5. 9-Bean Soup

I love bean soup, and I found some great bean soup mixes in a jar! The colors are so festive, and the gift proves you don't need to spend a fortune to show your love.

Chunky Chocolate Cookies in a Jar

Chunky Chocolate Cookies in a Jar

Food Network has five great ideas for gifts in a jar. The chunky chocolate cookie mix sounds fantastic, but you can also find their cocoa and even cornbread mix recipe for any food lover in your life.

Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

7. Friendship Soup Mix

Thriftyfun has a fun recipe for friendship soup mix. I've never heard of this soup before, but it looks and sounds delicious. Don't you think your close friends would love to receive this and feel touched by the soup's name? Make sure to try out this recipe!

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars

8. Peppermint Fudge Cupcakes

Our Best Bites dreamed up a festive and cute peppermint fudge cupcakes recipe! You can find the recipe and adorable labels to impress your loved ones with this homemade gift.

Alphabet Soup Mix in a Jar

Alphabet Soup Mix in a Jar

9. Alphabet Soup

Alphabet soup in a jar is a thoughtful gift idea for someone who's feeling under the weather or for any teacher in your life. This jar idea can let people know you're thinking of them and is simple to prepare.

Italian Tomato and Pasta Soup in a Jar

Italian Tomato and Pasta Soup in a Jar

10. Italian Tomato and Pasta Soup

This Italian tomato and pasta soup sounds scrumptious. You basically layer all of the dry ingredients in the jar and attach a note specifying what else they need to add (a can of crushed tomatoes and bacon) to make the dish.

Halloween Cookies in a Jar

Halloween Cookies in a Jar

11. Halloween Cookies

The Crafty Nest came up with this clever Halloween cookie mix in a jar recipe. I love how they decorated the jars and feel they make a nice and thoughtful gift. They even included free printable labels for the outside!

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

12. Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love receiving instant hot cocoa mix in a jar. You can package this in the wintertime to fight the chill of the cool days. I love the shape of the jar with the red bow tied to it. The gingham fabric on top of the left one is darling!

Chocolate Praline Cake

Chocolate Praline Cake

13. Chocolate-Praline Cake

This delicious chocolate-praline cake can be made beforehand instead of putting just the dry ingredients. Just place the finished cake inside and add the topping over it. Once everything is cooled, attach the lid and decorate to have a sweet gift! The finished cakes will keep up to four days at room temperature, but they're so delicious I bet they won't last even a day!

Chili and Cornbread in a Jar

Chili and Cornbread in a Jar

14. Chili and Cornbread

Life On Grand Avenue came up with the idea to combine a perfect pair: chili and cornbread. Instead of putting all dry ingredients inside, you make the chili in advance and put it in the jar. Then, you put a few spoonfuls of cornbread mix (already mixed in) on top and bake the jar in the oven. The cornbread cooks on top of the chili, and I think it looks so delicious! This would make a wonderful gift. Make sure to have the recipient store it in the fridge.

Candy Gift Jar

Candy Gift Jar

15. M&M Candy Jar

Doesn't this jar filled with M&M's look adorable? This chocolate gift in a jar is very simple compared to some of the other options on this list, but it's a classic idea that any child or adult would love. You can adapt it for any holiday or occasion because M&M's come in many colors. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can even get them personalized with words and photos!

Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar

Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar

16. Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you have anyone who loves red velvet anything, these red velvet cupcakes in a jar will make them drool! You bake them right in the container and add the frosting with a few sprinkles. Decorate the glass if you want, and then put on the lid. Perfection!

Homemade Pumpkin Butter in a Jar

Homemade Pumpkin Butter in a Jar

17. Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin butter is the perfect gift to give when fall comes around! You do need to make the dish beforehand, and your recipient can use it on pancakes, toast, or anything else that strikes their fancy. It looks easy to make and sounds delicious.

Pumpkin Spice Granola and/or Gingerbread Granola in a Jar

Pumpkin Spice Granola and/or Gingerbread Granola in a Jar

18. Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread Granola offers two variations of a granola recipe: pumpkin spice and gingerbread. These gifts would be the ideal complement to yogurt or even as a dry snack when on a trip. The raffia bow detailing brings the whole thing together, and you know the jar's contents are something anyone would love!


Top Gifts on January 01, 2017:

These are super cute ideas. Thanks for sharing them!

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on November 04, 2016:

Hi, all of your gifts in a jar, I have bookmarked this hub! Thanks!

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on October 23, 2016:

Terrific ideas for gifts in a jar. I like to make my own gifts and you have given me some wonderful ideas.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 27, 2014:

pstraubie48- Thank you so much for dropping by and for the pin and the vote up!! Happy Holidays!!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 07, 2014:

I posted this comment and it did not show so you may get it twice :D

great ideas.....I have received and given many of these. They are so nice since so much of the prep has been done for us.

Pinning and voted up++++

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 18, 2012:

Monis Mas- Thank you for dropping by... I am glad that you found this useful! I agree about the chocolate-praline cake.. it sounds divine!

Agnes on December 18, 2012:

Very cool ideas. Awesome for coworkers, especially if you have a lot of them! I love the idea of the Chocolate-Praline Cake !

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 10, 2012:

Better Yourself- You are welcome.. I'm glad you have found these ideas useful!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on December 08, 2012:

Love these ideas! Cannot wait to try some of them out for gifts - Thanks for sharing!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 07, 2012:

stricktlydating- Thank you so much.. .I'm glad you enjoyed the hub! These are perfect for gift giving.. I hope you get a chance to make one or a few :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 07, 2012:

FreezeFrame34-Thank you :) I'm really glad you enjoyed the hub!

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on December 07, 2012:

Wow! These are awesome! I'd never heard of this idea before, I will have to keep it in mind as I think they would make very sweet little gifts. Fantastic!

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on December 06, 2012:

Great informative hub!

I love all of these ideas; I might have to make them all!

Thanks for sharing!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 30, 2012:

tlpoague- I agree.. I think handmade gifts are not only better on the pocketbook but they really show the recipient they are special because of the time and effort put into it. I bet your crocheted gifts will be very well received :) Now I am wondering what you are making... I sure wish I could learn how to crochet... my grandmother has made some of the most beautiful blankets. I know how to crochet a single chain but that's it.... I guess it's just a matter of weaving that stitch when doing the next row. You have me curious.. I have to look up crocheting now! Thanks so much for dropping back by..and so glad you found this useful :)

Tammy on November 30, 2012:

I look forward to reading that one, too! I would rather go homemade, then spend a fortune on a gift. It just means more to me. Right now I am crocheting gifts as I get time.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 27, 2012:

tlpoague- I'm so glad you found this hub useful! I'm thinking about doing some of these this year as well.. I also have a hub somewhere (unless it isn't "featured" anymore-I'm about to go check) about homemade bath and beauty recipes that you could put in jars that would be good for gifts too. Thank you so much for dropping by :)

Tammy on November 26, 2012:

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon your hub today. I was brainstorming for some ideas to do as simple homemade gifts for my family this year. Your hub gave me tons of ideas. Thanks for sharing it.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on September 23, 2012:

daisydayz- Thank you for dropping by.... glad you enjoyed the hub : 0)

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on September 22, 2012:

Wow lots of awesome ideas there. I pinned that cowgirl cookies months ago, as it is too cute! but lots more ideas for me there!

Melissa on March 27, 2012:

What a great compilation of Gifts in a Jar you've put together here! Thankyou so much for sharing. My favorites are definitely the cowboy cookies.

If you aren't as frugal you can always buy the jar gifts online at

I just found that site yesterday via facebook. I will share your hubpage around as well. -Melissa

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 26, 2012:

moonlake, thank you! I've done some of the dry ones but I'm anxious to try some of those that the food is already baked in. Thank you so much for the vote and for dropping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 26, 2012:

RTalloni, I used to write hub ideas that came to mind on random sheets of paper and of course, when I needed an idea, none of random sheets of paper could be found! I finally opened notepad on both my laptop and desktop and started a Hub ideas list so now when an idea comes to mind I type it and save it and I know right where to go to look for ideas :) Hope you have a great week as well!

moonlake from America on March 26, 2012:

Love this hub. What great ideas. I knew a few of them and have done some but not all that you have listed. Voted Up.

RTalloni on March 25, 2012:

Wouldn't be nice to have the time to write about all the neat ideas that come to mind? I reserve a few for myself in hopes of writing about them sometime, but your gifts in a jar hub is tops and the special diet idea is one that a lot of people might benefit from. Have wonderful week!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 25, 2012:

Hi RTalloni- The cowgirl cookies are one of my favorites too. These would be great to make someone with dietary restrictions. As much as they have available in the food stores today, I'm sure it would be easy to put together some special ones like glutten free, low fat or really anything like that. You always bring the best ideas when you comment! Thank you for dropping in. Great to 'see' you :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 25, 2012:

Hi Kris, I'm so glad that you have found these useful! I love doing these.. they are inexpensive and easy to make too :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 25, 2012:

Hello Ardie, I didn't know you could bake the food in the jar first either until I started researching for this hub. Isn't that amazing?! I haven't tried those yet but I have made a few of the others. Thank you so much for dropping by.. and I'm very happy to meet you!!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 25, 2012:

Victoria Lynn, Thank you! Yes, I think the possibilities are endless with this one :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 25, 2012:

Deborah, I love giving these as gifts... they are easy to do and inexpensive. You can use any glass jar and they really are fun to put together :)

RTalloni on March 25, 2012:

What a great collection you've put together! Designing one of these for a person with serious dietary needs would be a great way to let them know that you are thinking of them. There is no way I can pick a favorite out of your collection in this post--well, okay, I think the cowgirl cookies are really extra special. :)

Kris Heeter from Indiana on March 25, 2012:

I love these ideas! Thanks for providing the links out for them. I'll definitely put some of these to use:)

Sondra from Neverland on March 25, 2012:

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my offer of best friendship in return for one of these gifts in a jar for every tiny holiday :D

I LOVE this Hub. The jar idea can be prettied up in so many ways. I especially love the recipes already baked or ready to bake right in the jar. I've never seen that.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on March 25, 2012:

What a great idea! With some thought, we could make up our own! Great hub. Well put together!

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on March 25, 2012:

I love these ideas. With Easter and Mother's Day coming up, these will make great gifts.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on January 30, 2012:

sunbun143, Thank you so much for stopping by! I am glad you like these. I didn't know that you could bake stuff right in the jar either. Sorry you missed it before Christmas but there is always next year :o) Take care!

sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on January 29, 2012:

Darn why didn't I see this post in time for handmade Christmas gifts?? (I wasn't on hubs then, that's why) But how great these are for any occasion. I especially love cupcakes in a jar (didn't know you can bake the jar) and cornbread/chili combo. Thanks for researching and posting this!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 16, 2011:

heavenbound: Thank you! Yes, I hope you get to make some of these sometime. They are really easy and fun too. I'm thinking of doing some for Christmas this year for my family. Glad you stopped by, Heaven.. Many Blessings to you :)

heavenbound5511 from Under the shadow of the Almighty God! on November 15, 2011:

Hi Jamie!

This page is awesome and I would love to get a chance to make some of these up! They are so cute looking and adding the right décor makes it look like a thoughtful present!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 26, 2011:

Brian, I bet your wife will LOVE these :) I agree with you that they look so good they could almost be just for decoration in the kitchen! Thanks for visiting :)

Brian Burton on October 26, 2011:

Fantastic gift idea Jamie. Going to suggest this one to the wife. Nice job. Never heard of Cow Girl Cookies either, but it is cute. My favorite is the organic minestrone soup, although I might just leave it sitting as it looks so neat.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 14, 2011:

Thank you, habee! So glad to be able to inspire you with a few new ideas :)

Holle Abee from Georgia on October 14, 2011:

I love these! I've made a few gifts in a jar before, but you've given me some new ideas. Thanks! Voted up!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 05, 2011:

Thanks rwelton.. Yes, I agree. There's nothing like a nice handmade gift. The time and effort put into it really shows the love. I appreciate you stopping by and so glad that you like these! Take Care :0)

rwelton from Sacramento CA on October 04, 2011:

Jamie- just as I thought I had my Christmas ideas locked up...this hub pops up. Fantastic ideas and super easy for families with kids to make around the kitchen table..which show love more that a gift card to the big box store...


Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on October 03, 2011:

Thank you for reading Delores! I made some of these one year by layering different beans in the jars and gave them as Christmas presents. They turned out great and everyone really loved them. Take Care!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on October 03, 2011:

In a time when we are all trying to save money, these gift jars are a great idea. Not only that, but don't we have enough junk laying around? It's great to offer a gift that can be used. Plus, they are so pretty! And putting together gift jars really shows that you care, taking some time and effort to create a gift.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on September 30, 2011:

Sunshine: Thank you! Yes, I love all of these.. aren't they great! The cowgirl cookies sound good too and LOVE how they decorated the jars. I think that one was one that had free printable tags to match too. Thanks for reading! Take care :)

missolive: It did take a little time but I love to search and see what I can discover. I have some great ideas for some new hubs coming soon.. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. God Bless :)

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on September 29, 2011:

These jars and ideas are adorable! Thank you for posting, I know this list tok some time!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 29, 2011:

Outstanding Jamie! I could always count on you to do all the research and turn it into a hub! These are all fantastic ideas...I'm going to look into the cowgirl cookies! Thank you!!