Easy Homemade Upcycled Packaging for Edible Gifts

When you are making gifts, especially edible ones, often the easy bit is making the gift, and the hardest bit is finding a way of packaging it so that it looks good without resorting to lots of plastic packaging (I think that actual proper cellophane is supposed to be biodegradable, but I’m not sure how many of the ‘cellophane’ bags you can buy are actually cellophane).

My criteria on my search of the web, was that they needed to be made from things you might have lying around at home (or in the recycling bin!) and that they are pretty quick and easy to make-it’s frustrating to have to spend longer on making the packaging than you might have done on the gift itself!
Here’s a round up of the results of my Pinterest trawling that might be useful if you have any delicious edible morsels awaiting gifting!

Homemade Packaging-P

Jam Jars

Brownie jars1

This is totally my default packaging of choice.
I religiously save up old jam jars of all sizes and have a box of them patiently awaiting filling.
Mason/Kilner jars can be expensive to buy new (although Ikea is a good place to get them for a reasonable place if you don’t have any objections to buying new), so I am always on the look-out in charity shops, and snap them up whenever I see them.
My mother in law also drinks Dowe Egberts coffee, and their jars make brilliant receptacles for squares of fudge or rocky road.
With standard size jam jars, it can sometimes be difficult to fit things in, so a good trick is to ‘brand’ the things as ‘bites’ or ‘morsels’ and cut them up small (eg brownie bites, rocky road morsels), or make mini cookies/biscuits,  and then it looks sweet and intentional…!
A circle of wrapping paper, or even just plain paper glued onto the lid will cover up any labelling, or you can use fabric, or even crochet some covers if you are feeling uber keen.
Tie around some ribbon/yarn/twine, add a label and you’re good to gift!

Origami Paper Bags


I love these little bags-you can make them using a normal sheet of A4 paper, or brown kraft paper, or I have even been known to make them using the wrapper from a bar of chocolate!
My favourite, slightly anal zero waste geek bit about them is that no glue or tape is required..!
I did a blog post with all the instructions here. Apologies for the quality of the pictures-turns out it is quite difficult to get decent pictures of paper folding…! It has occurred to me that this would make an ideal You Tube video, but I have yet to pluck up the courage to attempt this.

Plastic Bottles

Look at this fab way of packaging macaroons!

And it also works for cupcakes:

This is another twist on the same theme. It’s made as a ribbon dispenser, but I think it would work for a stack of cookies:

Cereal boxes

This post has a template that you can print off and use to make these cute looking boxes:

And there’s another version here:

Or you can turn them into gift bags:

Pringles Cans!

Wrap them in pretty paper, and you have a ready made gift packet (just remember to wash it out really well first. No one wants cheesy brownies…)

Egg Boxes

These are  the perfect packaging for truffles!

Upcycled egg box gift packaging

From: Jane Means This post has more fab upcycled gift ideas too-take a look!

Tin Cans

If you are sneaky about how you open your cans, you can make a surprise package from them-check out this great tutorial!

There are even more ideas on my Upcycled Gift Wrapping Pinterest board!

Do share you favourite ways of packaging up your edible loveliness-I’d love to hear of some new ways that work well for you.



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  • Reply Cathy December 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Always looking for ways to re use mis prints – the photos you print out that aren’t quite right, borders, colours etc.. I keep them for collages or to decorate already made boxes. This post has inspired me to make my own gift bags with them. Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Rae Hodgetts December 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Fab post! I’ve been using jam jars (choc hazelnut spread jars actually- a plentiful supply) and tea light/votive jars to package ‘bites’ and ‘morsels’ this morning, along with some sellophane bags. But I love these ideas and shall be sure to try some out! ????

    • Reply Jen December 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Sounds fab Rae!

  • Reply Clare Davis Etheridge December 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Some great ideas here, my favourites are the egg boxes, bottles – perfect for cupcakes and of course jars. I also keep all my jars and use them to store everything from soup to cookies.

    • Reply Jen December 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Jars are totally the best aren’t they?!

  • Reply Angela Williams December 19, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Fantastic ideas! Will definitely try a few of these 🙂

    • Reply Jen December 19, 2015 at 6:52 pm


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