Holiday Giving: Prettifying Your Jars + Giveaway


Judging by Thanksgiving’s rapid approach and the number of Black Friday commercials playing on TV, we are now officially in the thick of the holiday season. This means that it’s time to start thinking seriously about gift giving.

In my household (and I suspect in many of yours as well), this means taking stock of the jams and pickles that are good enough to give and spending a little time trying to make them presentable (because my standard labeling method is a quick scrawl across the top of the lid).

Because my skills as a crafter and designer quite lousy (I have many other talents, but a visual artist I am not), I’ve taken to outsourcing my labels. Here are some folks that make lovely tags, labels, and stickers that will have you set for gift giving in no time.

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to check out the giveaway! 

Once Upon Supplies

This sweet online shop offers brown kraft paper labels, hang tags, and fun washi tape. If these tickle your fancy, shopkeeper Linda is offering all Food in Jars readers 15% off their orders. Just us the coupon code FIJ15OFF.

River Dog Prints

RiverDog Prints makes customizable canning jar toppers and labels, as well as printable recipe cards, gift tags and even really cute recipe dividers (for those cards that you ordered). Shop owner Cyn isn’t just a designer, she’s also a canner herself, so she understands what works on a jar and what doesn’t. Her Etsy shop can be found here.

Sew Love The Day

For a touch of whimsey, nothing tops the hand-sewn jar toppers from Sew Love the Day. You can get them themed for your particular preserve, or you can get ones for the holidays that feature bows, baubles, and peppermint candies. They are even more adorable in person.

Modern Harvest Home Canning Labels

First off, I apologize for the lousy picture. These labels are hard to photograph not on jars and I could not muster the energy to shrink one to a jar earlier today (I’m fighting a bit of a cold). The way they work is that you write the contents on the label, as well as the month and date when the product was made. Then, you slip it around the jar and dip the jar, label and all into hot water.

The temperature change causes the label snug up around the jar, in a style reminiscent of Shrinky Dinks. Once you’ve eaten everything in the jar, all you have to do is slip a knife under the label, make a little slit and it pulls right off. Because there’s no glue involved, you never have to scrape any sticky residue away. They come in a variety of different sizes and cost $5.49 for 36. It’s a seriously good deal. Click here to see all the size and design options.

Jigsaw Graphics

Finally, for those of you who are slightly more crafty than I, this kit that allows you to customize your fancy labels might be the thing for you. These are made by Jigsaw Graphics, a company based in Portland, Oregon (my home town!) and are pretty darn nifty. The labels can be used either with permanent markers or with dry erase ones (if you want to reuse them). Click here to check out all the buying options.

The giveaway goodies:
Once Upon Supplies: 20 mason jar labels, atching baker’s twine, and 20 gift tags.
RiverDog Prints: A collection of labels and tags.
Sew Love The Day: Your choice of three sets of six toppers.
Modern Harvest: A variety pack of labels.
Jigsaw Graphics: Jar kit with labels, tags, markers, and hemp string.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share how you label your jars for gifting.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, November 23, 2012. Winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
  3. Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I do not accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: These five vendors provided samples for review and photography, as well as units for giveaway. However, they did not pay to be included in this post and my opinions about their products were all my own. 

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492 Responses to Holiday Giving: Prettifying Your Jars + Giveaway

  1. 451
    Sarah says:

    I was just going to hand jars to friends, but I can see it would be much nicer to dress them up a bit!

  2. 452
    Brooke says:

    I use Enamel paint and decorate the whole jar!

  3. 453
    Lainey says:

    I write the date made, & what’s inside on the lid with a Sharpie. For gifts, I add a tag with ribbon or twine, but these items are really clever, & would spruce up any jar!

  4. 454
    Loretta says:

    Cover the jar lid with colorful fabric, tie with yarn and add a hanging tag, labeling the contents.

  5. 455
    Missy says:

    I’m afraid I also belong in the Sharpie user group. Sometimes I stick a bow on it!

  6. 456
    Kristina says:

    Sad but true…I just use my Sharpie.

  7. 457
    Beth H. says:

    I usually just use the labels that come with the jars. Not exceptionally pretty so these labels would surely be a huge step up!

  8. 458
    lynn m. says:

    I usually collect random bits of ribbon through the year and tie on tags I’ve bought on etsy or made. Try to recycle somethings to decorate them wtih too!

  9. 459
    LisaZ says:

    After the jars are sealed and cooled, I unscrew the bands and add a second lid (a used one that I won’t use for canning again), rubber-side up because this side is white, on which I’ve written the contents and date. Then I re-screw the band. This temporarily uses up some of the old lids that accumulate when one does a lot of canning.

  10. 460

    This is the first year I’m giving home-canned stuff away as gifts, so I’m still label shopping. There are some great contenders here!

  11. 461
    Connie says:

    Just a bow and maybe a tag (under the bow) telling what it is. I am a good cook, but clever I am not

  12. 462
    Maura says:

    I’ve been printing my own really horrible labels… I should probably look into a better presentation! These labels are awesome. Thanks for the giveaway and for showing us so many options in one post!

  13. 463
    Stevie says:

    We use simple blank mailing labels, and since I’m relatively artistic I use some of my many Sharpies to customize the label based on jam and whoever I’m giving it to.

  14. 464
    Amanda says:

    I have been using Washi tape to label my jars, but some of these are so cute!

  15. 465
    Leslie says:

    Right now, I just use the dissolvable labels from Ball. I really need to find some prettier labels.

  16. 466
    Leanne says:

    I’ve printed some of my own but I am in need of something cuter.

  17. 467
    Cate F says:

    I would LOVE to use these to dress up some of the jams I made this year so I can give them away as gifts. I’ve used the dissolvable ones but these are great options.

  18. 468
    Jimmy says:

    Great labels…

  19. 469
    Anita Jackson says:

    I am traditional in putting fabric with the ribbon. love the labels you are sharing!

  20. 470
    Abby says:

    Usually I’ll make some cute tags with colored sharpies.

  21. 471
    Rebecca says:

    I haven’t done anything great with them–a little bit of ribbon along with the sticky label on the side. I had never thought of things this clever!

  22. 472
    Margaret says:

    Cool. I want those shrinky jar labels. While chicken cooked in cinnamon apple butter turns out to be ok, chicken cooked in correctly labeled sweet-n-sour sauce is much better!

  23. 473
    Amanda Farris says:

    I usually paint a large piece of paper with water colors, cut it up in small pieces , write the labels and tape them on the jars.. Not efficient but kinda pretty?

  24. 474
    Jeanne says:

    I cover the lid with funky fabric and tie it up with a bow of my handspun yarn. Love all these labels! I’m going to be canning meyer lemon marmalade this weekend for gifts with the windfall of lemons we’ve got this year.

  25. 475
    Scrubber says:

    I’ve been using Avery labels and then designing my own labels. This year I plan to give concord grade jam to basically everyone I know (how did I manage to buy so many?)

  26. 476
    Cassie says:

    I usually use some scrapbooking paper with fancy pens! I would love some great labels though!

  27. 477
    Kelli says:

    I usually just make a sorta-cute tag and tie it around the neck with thin twine. This cute kit would be so much better!

  28. 478
    Lorraine says:

    I label my jars with a black sharpie for contents and date. This year I purchased brown craft paper hang tags and made them “vintage” by dipping them in brewed vanilla coffee with cinnamon and nutmeg(they smell amazing). Dried the tags in a warm oven and stamped them with the contents. I covered the top with a blue and tan checked pattern fabric (pinked edges) and tied the tags on with twine. Cute, cute, cute & oh so country! OH, for pickles I tied on olive/pickle forks and for jams, vintage jelly spoons. I am still looking for vintage serving spoons to tie on the jars of salsa. I just started canning this summer but once I got started I just couldn’t stop! Your book is my favorite Marisa and I am giving a copy to my sister in law for Christmas. I think she will love it. I’d love the labels to do a “modern” theme! 😉

  29. 479
    Stephanie says:

    I like to wrap mine with garden twine and give it a big bow (still with sharpie across the top). I have a friend who spray painted a bunch of puzzle pieces silver and wrote the jam name on the puzzle pieces in sharpie and put that on the jar, which I just might steal an idea similar to that. This post gave me lots of inspiration as jars of things are my primary holiday gifts that will be given.

  30. 480
    Elaine M says:

    I use the dissolveable labels.

  31. 481
    keapdx says:

    Sometimes I print out a label in a nice font… or more likely, cut an address label in half so it fits on the lid and hand write (badly). I’m hoping they are looking at the jar contents…

  32. 482
    Brandi Dee says:

    I use vintage looking stick-on labels.

  33. 483
    liz says:

    Very simple-I normally just use the labels that come with the jars!

  34. 484
    Lynnette says:

    The last label I made was to take a photo of the ingredients and then size down and print it out on the stickie label. It was a lot of effort, but looked really cute!

  35. 485
    Lindi says:

    Pretty, pretty, pretty! I love me some labels!

  36. 486
    Jennifer says:

    I’m with Loretta above, I usually use a circle of fabric with some twine and a homemade tag for my homemade gifts.

  37. 487
    Amber says:

    I’ve only given a few jars away, and not for the holidays yet, so I’d love a little something to make them look more special!

  38. 488
    kala says:

    Thanks for the chance to win, any of these beautiful options beats my current method: sharpie on the lid!

  39. 489
    Kim says:

    I’m strictly a Sharpie girl…

  40. 490

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