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Planning Now for Frugal & Green Gifts of Jam

I have been having so much fun making jam this year.  I have made way more that my small family will be able to consume in a year!  So I plan to give some as gifts.  I might use them for hostess gifts, birthdays or even Christmas.  (Am I really planning ahead for Christmas already!??!)

I didn’t want to buy a large number of jars so I came up with the idea of using a large baby food jar. These 6 oz. jars are a great little gift size!  Fill them up, let the jam cool and set, screw on the lid tight and pop them in the freezer* until you need a small gift.

By planning ahead this summer and making an extra batch or two of jam, I’ve been able to stock my freezer full of frugal gifts. Plus add eco-friendly materials from around the house and I’ve got myself an adorable green gift!

How to Create Your Eco-Friendly Baby Food Jar Gift:

The supplies are very basic.

  • baby food jar filled with jam or other gift
  • newspaper or other scrap paper
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • Sharpie marker – Use this to label the lid before you cover it.

Step 1: Cut 4 paper squares measuring 4×4 inches.  If using newspaper, avoid color ink to give it a more classy look.

Step 2: Layer the squares to create a 16 pointed “star.”

Step 3: Lay the paper on top of the baby jar and smooth it down over the top.

Step 4: Firmly tie a ribbon around the top of the jar, just below the lid.  Trim the ends of the ribbon to make it look pretty.  Tip: Use a ribbon that matches the color of your jam!


Isn’t that pretty?

And it is green! The gift of jam is consumable, so it won’t add clutter or trash to someone’s home.  The jar is reusable or it can be recycled.  The ribbon can be reused and the newspaper can be recycled.

Feeling inspired?  Here are a more things you could “wrap” in a baby food jar:

  • cash – use small bills to make a nice big wad
  • love note
  • necklace
  • crayons – I had to remove the lid so they would fit.

If you don’t have baby food jars, ask friends and family to save them for you or consider requesting them online for free on Craigslist or Freecyle.

* Disclosure: Baby food companies do not suggest that you use their jars in the freezer.  They are intended for single use only and could crack in extreme temperatures.  I haven’t had any problems, but you’ll have to decide if you want to take that risk.

Do you plan ahead and create gifts throughout the year?  I’d love to hear your ideas!


  1. What a great idea Rebekah! It would also be pretty with leftover fabric pieces or tissue paper. I love the idea of using the baby food jars as gift containers too. I recycled all of mine because I hate having clutter in my house. I guess I shouldn’t be too OCD. Thanks again for the ideas!

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