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Homemade Food Gifts - Christmas and Hanukkah, 2015 -


ElsieD
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I want to send some pickled peppers  and pickled  sour grapes …do you think I could vacuum seal instead of jarring them? thinking  of the space they wouldn't take up! and less glass in the box? it sure would look terrible opening a package and finding a sealed bag of peppers but I could put more stuff in the boxes if I do that with the pickles ..then maybe put them in a sealed flat  container ? OY I DONT KNOW THIS ALL LOOKS LIKE CRAP NOW :( 

I have 6 "care packages" on the table trying to fill them with a Puget Sound tasting party in a box  for folks I will not get to see during the holidays… I have a bunch of jarred and dry things in there that I made and I purchased a few local products ..am adding dessert wine and roasted coffee  and before the package goes I will put a loaf of homemade bread… a savory and a sweet homemade something in there (biscotti or Italian  pepper cookies for the wine and coffee  ) …they are large boxes but are filling up fast…my problem is tit all looks so terrible … just like I tossed crap in with no thought ..not happy with this and there is no "wow" factor ….presentation matters when you open a gift package I think … ..I am sure they will be appreciated …but I wanted them to be prettier ..the folks receiving these boxes ..I adore them and want them to feel it when the box is opened ….now it just looks like  a box of food… ..oh well I am probably the only one who will care ..but shoot …argh these look awful ..guess it is what it is ..a box of food …maybe when I get the baked and freshly  things in it will be nicer to open 

 

 

not thinking the pickled peppers in a sealed bag are going to make this look any better argh 

 

 

I love sending boxes …just hate how these look right now and am having kind of a fit over it ..any advice on perking up the look of a mailed box would be appreciated for sure 

There are more sizes, but something like these??

http://www.containerstore.com/s/nalgene-wide-mouth-leakproof-bottles/d?productId=10000247&q=nalgene

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It is challenging to combine shippable, protective packaging and lovely presentation.  

You could wrap the vacuum sealed pouches in tissue paper and tie with a ribbon, or with brown paper and string with little hangtags identifying the contents.  If they are the right size, you could drop them into brown or white paper lunch bags, fold over the tops and close them with a pretty sticker or piece of bright colored tape.

Or keep everything functional but print out a pretty "tasting menu" that describes the contents and place that on top of everything so it's the first thing your friends will see when they open up the box.

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I would put the pickles in mylar bags. They are shiny and could be festive/classy looking (and you can get some of them in nice colours). You can use larger ones and cut them down or you can find mini-ones that may be the right size already - or you can get ones with ziplock type tops (seal above the zip part) which means they can be easily reclosed. Check out Sorbent Systems for ideas (http://www.sorbentsystems.com/minipouches.html). Stick a label on the outside and you are done. (Note: since these are not heat processed in the bags - i.e. not retort sealed, etc. - be sure to tell your friends to refrigerate them as soon as possible and probably don't delay too long in eating them either).

Perhaps you can find some kind of filler to set all your goodies on in the box - like that rough wood shavings stuff, plain or coloured - to add some cohesiveness and padding? Or perhaps even old newspapers cut up or crumpled would do?

Are you mailing these 'tasting boxes' or delivering them by hand? I just wonder whether the addition of a fresh loaf of bread could be problematic and/or is necessary - since it won't keep anywhere as long as the rest of the box contents. Will all your recipients realize that they need to open the box as soon as it arrives?

Edited by Deryn (log)
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wow i had a melt down over that didn't I ? sorry :( 

 

thanks for the great ideas I am going to repack the boxes this weekend it may have been my frame of mind …you think? 

 

they do look crappy but I think they looked crappier when I posted and I felt so distraught …

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Look around, even discount stores have decorative boxes this time of year. And, The Container Store always has tons of options. You could put the vacuum sealed items into decorative boxes and make a tower out of them by attaching them to each other and putting a big ribbon on it..

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  • 1 year later...

Re: packaging - when I gave homemade gifts more often, I found a well-made label made a huge difference in perception. I spent some time on them and had an assortment of sizes so the proportions were right, and often I put some kind of note on the label in addition to the name of the item - ingredients, use suggestions, whatever made sense for the product and size of label and keeping everything readable. It's actually easier than you'd think with all the desktop publishing options today. With a color printer I sometimes added clip art, but if I just had black and white I'd maybe get some nice festive stickers instead and add those for some sparkle and color.

 

i also found colorful cellophane to be useful - awkward or less attractive packaging can be wrapped up in the cellophane and as long as you are neat about it, it looks nicer and since it is somewhat see through it still hints at the contents, which IMO looks more 'food packaging' than solid paper.

 

eta: An example I just remembered of using colorful cellophane - I got someone some really good steaks, which of course had to stay cold but I didn't want them to be spotted in the freezer before the day. They were vacuum sealed from the butcher, so I wrapped that in foil (for extra cold protection, plus to hide the contents a bit more) and then made a little parcel out of the whole thing with some green cellophane and some red butcher's twine so it was festively colored. The cellophane handled being in the fridge just fine, where paper would've gone soggy from humidity, and the foil peeking through actually looked pretty. Recipient knew there was something there, but didn't guess what it was. :)

 

Another time I made Christmas puddings for everyone in inexpensive plastic pudding tubs, with lids. They were nice enough tubs for making pudding in, but looked pretty drab on the whole. Plunked the tub in the middle of a square of cellophane, drew it up around the tub and gathered it up and folded it over on top, stuck the folded stuff down with a label, and people actually asked if I'd purchased them somewhere, they looked nice enough to be on display in a shop.

Edited by quiet1 (log)
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