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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Needing a small gift for a girlfriend's birthday

(another break from the grocery chatter)

Over the weekend, I found out that I have a girlfriend with a birthday this week. We generally don't do big gift exchanges, and often our gifts to each other are homemade.

I had thought to run out and pick up a small gift Saturday afternoon (to give on Sunday, after church). Then rethought that, and checked my gift stash. Nothing too appealing, so I checked my preserves from last summer.

I collect nice canning jars when I hit second-hand shops. With those, I use to put up some of my nicer preserves, to be gifted later in the year. Last summer I made cherry preserves, and spiced fig jam, both in some of the nicer canning jars that I've acquired. For my girlfriend, I chose a jar of Spiced Fig Jam.

Wanting to spiff this homemade gift up just a tad, I made a couple of labels, using a printable "frame" from Graphics Fairy, and adding customized lettering from the Pages application on my computer.

I printed out these labels onto regular printer paper. I cut them out, then reinforced and waterproofed the front of each label with a strip of clear packaging tape.

I adhered the labels to the front of the jar and the lid with a little glue stick, as well as the small amount of overhang from the clear tape (when cutting the tape, I allowed a narrow margin of clear tape all around the paper label, for extra adhesion).

A plastic bag and nice ribbon and my small gift is ready to give.

An update: I gave this to my friend on Sunday after church, as planned, and she loved it. I knew this would be the sort of thing she would like!



  1. Lovely gift! This has been a tricky gift-giving time for me, as several of my friends are hitting a milestone birthday (mine is yet to come!) and I want to do something special for them. For my college roommate, I made a Downton Abbey kit--I knitted slippers and a teabag holder with teabags included (sized for slipping into a purse--similar idea to a certain prize I won online awhile ago!) and I found some specialty cookies from Aldi in fancy packaging that were shaped like crumpets. I printed out a fun "Downton Abbey Kit" form in fancy font. It went over well. For a second friend's b-day, I bought candy that would have been popular when we were kids (I couldn't find Good N Plenty, but it was that sort of thing), put them in a basket wrapped in cellophane, and made a form along the lines of "sweeties for a sweet friend" and I included songs that were popular when we were younger which used the word "sweet" in the title or lyrics. Haven't heard back yet as to whether or not she liked it. I'm stuck on what to do for friend #3 ... sigh ... I don't have beautiful jarred preserves like you do ...

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you. Wow, your gifts to friends sound awesome, and like you gave a lot of thought to each friend's gift. I am sure they both really appreciated the gifts!
      It is tricky finding or doing just the right thing, on our end. But I do think it's just the doing that means a lot, not what you do/give.

      For friend #3, I don't know if she lives near you, but a gift of time together always means a lot to me, going to an event, public gardens/greenhouse, or museum together, that the other person would enjoy, and bringing a nice picnic "lunch" or tea and cookies to share. Just a thought. Good luck with this. I know you'll think of just the right thing!

    2. That's a great idea! Thanks!

  2. Wow...the finishing touches, the label and clear package with ribbon, really makes the gift stand out. How it all came together still amazes me...the harvest date printed on the label was especially thoughtful. Congratulations!!


    1. L...w is me. I use this anonymous name also. I should just have one name but worry about Google's search powers....maybe I'm just being silly. But years ago I couldn't remember the details on one of my comments in a forum and googled my moniker name and a few key words, the post came up and I was able to read the comment made so long ago.


  3. I especially like the harvest date on the label. Also, I'm getting some good ideas from both you and Kris for some gift giving.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thanks! It's fun to start making gifting plans!

  4. I love the idea of giving and receiving homemade jams and jellies. My cousin is getting married for the first time in June (She is just a couple of years younger than I am) and both she and her fiance' have full houses so there is nothing new to buy them. Instead I am making small lots of odd jellies, jams and pickles and plan to fill a case with them. I am trying to make only things that can be used as glazes or accompaniments for Texas BBq's.

    1. What a great idea, Anne! And your gift to them reflects your interests, using your culinary skills. Surely, they'll love it all!

  5. These are some great birthday present ideas. I love getting people gifts and I try to be creative when picking out stuff. The holiday season is soon approaching .

    important gift ideas


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