Homemade gifts in a jar are a fun, frugal, and easy holiday gift to share with loved ones. Over the years I’ve made several homemade Christmas gifts in a jar for friends, family, and neighbors.

There are endless possibilities with what can be placed in a jar. Soup mixes are super for those who like savory ingredients. Jars containing layered mixes for cookies, muffins, and brownies are yummy for those with a sweet tooth. I’ve also given quality chocolates, bulk candy, and nuts in decorated jars. (For more inexpensive gifts, click Holiday Gifts: 10 Frugal and Homemade Gift Ideas.)

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Gifts in a jar are easy to make. Just take a glass jar (canning jars, mason jars, or even recycled mustard jars), layer with ingredients, and then top with a gift tag. Combine a bunch of jars together to make your own gift baskets. How’s that for a frugal gift idea? To help you get your jar-on this holiday season, I’ve created several free printable gift tags for download. You supply the homemade goodness.

Here are 8 frugal holiday gift ideas (and recipes) in a jar:

1. S’mores in a Jar

Kids love to help make and eat S’mores in a Jar. If you’re into seasonal gift recipes, find some marshmallow Peeps to match your holiday.

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Or get fun and use teddy bear graham crackers to line the jar for decoration.

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Ingredients:

Layer in a large wide mouthed 1 quart mason jar:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve of crackers, crushed)
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows.
    • Or substitute with 8 Peeps and 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows for seasonal fun. Line the jar with Peeps facing out.
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or mini Hershey Kisses or M&M’s
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: S’mores in a Jar (PDF)



2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

This recipe makes about 36 cookies.

Ingredients:

Layer in a large wide mouthed 1 quart mason jar:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour mixture into a 1 quart (1 liter) mason jar and pack down. Mix oatmeal in a blender. Pack on top of flour in mason jar. Add white sugar and pack down. Add brown sugar and pack down. Layer chopped nuts on top of brown sugar. Finish layering jar with mini or regular chocolate chips.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (PDF)



3. Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix in a Jar

This recipe makes one pan of chocolate brownies.

Ingredients:

Layer in a large wide mouthed 1 quart mason jar:

  • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Any combination of: mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, junior mints, chocolate candy bar
  • 1/2 cup almonds

Layer ingredients in 1 quart mason jar. Tap gently on the counter after each layer before adding the next. Add additional mix-ins to fill any small gaps if necessary.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Chocolate Brownies (PDF)



4. Chocolate Chip Muffins in a Jar

This recipe makes a single batch of muffins.

Ingredients:

Layer in a large wide mouthed 1 quart mason jar:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, or substitute raisins, dried cranberries, or nut.

Combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder. Place in quart mason jar. Add chocolate chips.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Chocolate Chip Muffins (PDF)



5. Chai Tea Mix in a Jar

This recipe makes 2, 6 ounce jars.

Ingredients:

Layer in 2, 6 ounce jars:

  • 1 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup black tea leaves
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 4 2 inch pieces of cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp dried lemon peel

Divide all ingredients and layer equally between 2, 6 ounce jars.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Chai Tea Mix in a Jar (PDF)



6. Chicken Noodle Soup in a Jar

This recipe makes a pot of soup.

Ingredients:

Layer in a 1/2 quart (2 cup) glass jar:

  • 1/4 cup of red lentils
  • 2 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed or dill seed
  • 1/8 tsp each celery seed and garlic powder
  • 1 cup medium egg noodles
  • 1 bay leaf

In a 2 cup glass jar, layer from bottom in the order listed above.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Chicken Noodle Soup in a Jar (PDF)



7. Minestrone Soup in a Jar

This recipe makes a pot of soup.

Ingredients:

Layer in a 1/2 quart (2 cup) glass jar:

  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 cup green split peas
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1/3 cup beef bouillon powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 3 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1/3 tsp thyme
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 cup macaroni

In a 2 cup glass jar, layer from bottom in the order listed above.

Printable Gift Tags:

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Minestrone Soup in a Jar (PDF)



8. Bulk Candy, Nuts, or Chocolate in a Jar

Choose your favorite bulk candy, nuts, or chocolates and layer in a glass jar of any size! Use any recycled glass jar to contain any amount of bulk candy confection! Once filled, decorate and add a pretty gift tag!

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Free Printable Gift Tags: blank template

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Download Printable Gift Tags: Blank Printable Gift Tags (PDF)



There you have it, holiday gifts in a jar. I hope this gives you some gift ideas for the holidays. All of these recipes are good last minute gift ideas as well. So get creative and see what you can come up with. Jar’s the limits!

Looking for more holiday gift ideas?

Got any great jar ideas? Perhaps stuffing a glass jar with a toy or another gift? Go ahead, share your jarring gift secrets!