Doing your Christmas shopping in October eliminates the chances of wading your way into a sea of shoppers, enduring the heat that even industrial air conditioners cannot suppress (several hundreds of warm bodies carrying 5-pound shopping bags, remember?) and ending up with items that are so ordinary, to say the least, your recipients will be wont to say, “well, it’s another coffee mug” (there’s also the possibility that some of them might think you have just been “recycling” your gifts).
Make this Christmas different by making your gifts instead of buying them. I found this incredible site called “Lil’ Luna (All Things Good)” that has this great Cupcake Gift Jar idea which, while not exactly a novelty, is a refreshing change from all those boxed goodies you have an excess of during the holidays. If you think October is way too early for this idea, think again.
You will have to “test” whether or not your cupcake recipe will be delicious, you have to do some heavy duty window shopping for unique-looking jars to put the cupcakes in and you have to experiment on a lot of artwork required for the jar lids and personalizing your gift tags. Doing something easy is not exactly the same as doing it quickly, capish?
Lil’ Luna is an organized, detailed homemaker and, I might add, an exceptional renovator, notwithstanding that she loves Martha Stewart and, unless you bought some ImClone Systems stocks, I’m sure you love Martha Stewart’s great homemaking and arts and crafts ideas.
Lil’ Luna takes her readers to a step-by-step procedure in the production of the Cupcake Gift Jar, complete with a list of supplies and several tips on where you can get them.
Of course, being a Martha Stewart fan, the site lists several items from Martha Stewart merchandise such as paint, stencils and Dauber Set. The other requirements include printable tags, ribbon, twine or jute and cupcakes.
Although there were no specifics on the kind of cupcakes to use, I suggest the flourless kind, preferably chocolate, to cover recipients who are gluten-intolerant. And I also suggest doing a cream cheese frosting on the cupcakes using dairy-free butter, again, in consideration of recipients of your Cupcake Gift Jar who might be lactose-intolerant.
Lil’ Luna chose a snowflake design stencil for this particular post, so that’s totally in keeping with my idea of giving the cupcakes for the holidays. You can choose other designs that might suit your fancy, but you just have to make sure that the design, or designs, you choose will be Christmas-themed. Lil’ Luna includes a no-brainer gift tag with complete, easy-to-follow instructions:
“Save your printable tag by clicking on the image above, and then right-clicking and saving. Open up in a program like Word and size it to however big you need it. Print and cut out.” That’s how you do it, straight from Lil’ Luna, verbatim, as it appears on her website.
What makes Lil’ Luna’s gift jar, as you will find out from her website, quite interesting is that you place the cupcake on the lid of the jar and then the jar itself comes on.
The effect is a little upside down jar with your cupcake sitting prettily inside, with your gift tag tied around the jar’s rim with the ribbon or twine. It looks like an edible snow globe, if you ask me, without the snow. Visit http://lilluna.com/cupcake-gift-jar/ for other great gift ideas which you could also make for your own home like stenciled glassware, silk-screened candy dishes, glitter plates and tribal-inspired placemats.