I mentioned on insta stories that I thrift jars year round to use for holiday gifts. I thought I would compile a list of what exactly I use those jars for as the holiday DIYing usually starts at the end of summer for me.  Although it’s fairly early to think about the holidays a lot of the items come from my garden or the farmers market so now’s the time.

Thrifting jars allows me to create less waste, as I’m not buying something new and keeps my costs down as jars usually cost about $0.50-$2. Plus, you can really make them look personalized with tags, ribbons, labels etc.  Here are a few of my personal favorite jar gifts.

Vanilla– This is my classic go-to gift. Everyone appreciates it even if they don’t bake, you can put vanilla in everything from oatmeal to coffee. As an added fun touch I like to name each batch I make, for example, a batch made from Madagascar vanilla beans became ‘Mad Vanilla’.

Mint extract – Both the mint and vanilla take a little bit of time to ‘extract’ the flavors, so start these early.

Toothpaste– It may seem silly to gift toothpaste but you could turn it into a nice gift with a bamboo toothbrush and a tag with the toothpaste recipe. This way the receiver could remake the toothpaste if they like it.  (I make this recipe without clay and stevia and really enjoy it.)

Dried herbs- If you grow herbs dry some as a gift if you don’t grow them see what options are available at a local farmers market. Mint and lemon balm are great for tea. Oregano, basil, and thyme are always welcome in any kitchen.

Laundry detergent– Make it a whole cleaning gift basket with some citrus cleaning spray or other DIY cleaning supplies. Print out the recipes and tuck them into the basket. It’s always nice to get something homemade even if it’s for cleaning.

Soap- You don’t have to DIY anything on this one, pick up some package free soap and load a couple bars into a jar or brown bag for a fantastic gift.

Canned salsa, applesauce, pickles, pickled onions, tomato sauce, peaches- The list goes on and on for this one. If you can your veggies consider doubling your batch to bring to friends houses this fall and winter.  Since most people don’t can it’s a unique gift that brings the flavors of summer with it.

Dates- Buy nice dates in bulk and gift them in pretty jars. You could even attach a recipe for salted almond butter dates to give an extra idea of what to do with the dates other than eating them straight out of the jar.

Fig squares or another bulk snack- My bulk section has these fig and coconut squares that are to die for, check out what bulk sweets your store has.

Loose leaf tea- Make your own mixture with your friend in mind, do they love lemon? Add in some lemon balm. Peppermint or hibiscus are both safe bets. Most places with a bulk section have loose leaf teas if you don’t grow any herbs for teas.

Spice mix- Do you have an awesome spice mix for tacos or an Indian mixture that’s always a winner? Buy bulk spices and make a personalized spice mix for someone. You can always make a hot coco mix with coco powder from the bulk section if you’re not really a taco mix person.

DIY citrus cleaning solution– The easiest DIY ever but always well appreciated. Start this a few weeks before you want to gift because the citrus peels need to steep for 2-3 weeks prior.

Coffee- Fill up a jar with local coffee beans, make it a ‘whole’ gift by thrifting a mug as well. This would also be great with the loose leaf tea to round out the gift.


These are just a few of the ideas I’ve made in the past. You can make anything into a gift basket by including other similar items and thrifting a nice little basket for them to sit in, bonus points for fun notes on each jar.

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