Gifts in a jar typically include all the dry ingredients to make or bake something that are stored in jars and presented as gifts.
They can be mixes for cookies, cakes, bath & beauty products (like bath salts  and foot soaks ), hearty soups, bread, buns, pastry ingredients, seasonings, hot beverages (like hot cocoa, instant cappuccino, chai tea, etc.), anything that will keep well sealed in a container pretty much works.
Sometimes the ingredients are all layered and this can look quite appealing if there’s some contrast between the colors, other times the ingredients are fully blended before packaging.
You can also choose something other than dry mixes, try homemade jams, jellies, pickled peppers, infused olive oil…even homemade vanilla extract! (see the link “Ideas From The Kitchen” I added below for recipes).
If you’re not a baker or not comfortable with pickling or canning, you can go simple by filling jars with assorted nuts and candies. Anything that will keep well when sealed in a jar works just fine!
You can decorate the lids to look pretty and more festive, add a fancy label or tag and curling ribbon if you like. Make sure to include the list of ingredients and directions for cooking or baking and how to use it. I’ve added several resources below to give you some ideas.
First, here’s a collection of resources that share hundreds of free recipes for these lovely gifts (mainly dry mixes). I also added a few treats at the bottom for how to decorate the lids as well as some freebie printables (labels & tags).
- Baking & Dry Mixes, Seasonings & Salts : Over 100 goodies to browse through right here on Tipnut.
- Ideas From The Kitchen : (tags, labels, recipes, loaded page full of goodies)
- nikibone.com : Lots here to keep you busy! You’ll find assorted mixes for soups, cookies, muffins, even pancakes!
- craftbits.com : Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll find bubble baths, sugars, mug mixes and more.
- Mary Mae’s Massive Collection : So many to browse through! Seasonings, cocoa, granola, pancakes, soups, rice, and lots more.
Decorating Ideas: Cover lids with pretty scraps of fabric or heavy paper and tie with bits of ribbon, heavy string or raffia. Check out the links below for a few crafty tutorials…
- Quick Covers : Here’s an easy idea using cupcake wrappers which are available in many patterns and colors at the grocery store.
- Felt Topper : This has a strawberry design but you can change it to whatever you like.
- Directions to Sew Fabric Lid Covers : You just need some pretty fabric scraps, 1/4″ wide elastic, thread and some ribbon or narrow lace for edging (optional).
- Bias Tape Finished Edge : Cute topper with gathered elastic and trimmed with bias tape.
- Oilcloth Cover : Ideal for non-sewers, you just need to cut down a piece of oilcloth then hold it in place by tying a length of rick-rack around it.
- Scrappy Lids Tutorial : These are nice, scraps of fabric and batting are fit underneath the ring to make a “puffy”, decorative topper.
- Embroidered : Includes several holiday themed motifs to download.
- Decorated With Spray Paint, Decals & Clear Gloss Spray : These are really nice, especially pretty with decals.
- Embossed : Special supplies required but these are nice!
- Sweet Pot Covers : (crochet pattern) Ideal for using up bits of leftover yarn, ties closed around the lid.
And here are some tips if you’re new to making these: Giving Dessert Making Ingredients in Containers  (About.com).
I’ll be adding more goodies to this page as I find them so you may want to bookmark it for future reference.