Holiday crafting, Bulk gifts, Part 1: Food in a Jar

Every year I always make a bulk craft that I give to everyone, usually with some variation.  For anyone who has kept up with or looked back upon my blog, you might remember last years crafting, for which I made homemade mini pies, waterless snowglobes and gift bags.  Find the waterless snowglobes here!

This year, I decided to make a variety of different packages, and I won't go into more detail until after the holidays because I don't want to ruin the surprise.  I will, however, share some of the ideas here, but just not tell you what goes with what or whom it is going to. (Can't spoil everything!!)

My goal for crafting this year was that I wanted to make little packages, where everything was related and everything was homemade.  Thus, I thought instantly of my favorite holiday crocheting, Potholders!  They're quick, they're easy and everyone loves them.  (and honestly, who can't use another potholder?)  Then I got to thinking, why stop at just potholders?  I've been hanging on to these patterns for bath mitts, loofahs and washclothes, why not try out one or two of those? 

So now, I'm fleshing out my ideas and I start to search.  I found a total treasure trove at one of my favorite recipe websites,  Here are a couple of links that I loved from that website.

Cookies in a Jar
Soup in a Jar
Drink Mixes in a Jar

After devoting hours (and I mean hours) to finding the ones that sounded good to me, and then letting my daughter make the final decision, making the lists, I was finally ready to begin execution.  I already had the jars at home, along with the majority of the spices that I needed.  I went through all the recipes, calculated how much flour, sugar, and other things I would need, along with the special ingredients I would need to find or substitute for.  I gathered my jars, sanitized my lids and left them to dry while I went to the store.  I ended up spending around $75 getting all the items that I needed, which may sound like a lot, but just wait until you hear how many it made!

I ended up making 3 different soups in a jar, 3 different cookies in a jar, and 4 different drink mixes in a jar.
All said, I made 6 jars of soup mix, 6 jars of cookie mix and 12 jars of drink mixes.  All said, that works out to be about $3 per jar and I have lots of materials left over, either for another crafting venture or for myself.  (Speaking of... perhaps I should make some for myself for a rainy day!)

Of course, my daughter helped, and she had so much fun!  This is a great activity to do with small children, provided that you have a canning funnel (it just makes the job so much easier!)

There are only two things that I consider to be "Must Have" items for this crafting project:
Canning Jars and lids- you can use many different sizes, depending on the recipe.  I use 1 quart for my soups and often times smaller for drink mixes.
Canning Funnel- MUST HAVE!  It just makes everything way easier!

This is probably why my husband runs screaming every time that I say "It's time for holiday crafting!!"

The finished product!

Like I said, I don't want to ruin the surprise for everyone who will be getting one of these gifts, so I'm not going to mention what they are.  After the holiday gifts have been given out, then I will post what kinds I made and how I made them :)