Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Make Custom Gift Jars & Labels for Secret Recipes

Sometimes rather than giving recipes as gifts, you can give gifts that celebrate recipes. Making a family recipe book and giving it as a gift is a wonderful way to celebrate recipes. Another one of my favorite ways to celebrate recipes is to make beautiful custom labeled bottles to present to the chefs in my life. Giving them professional-looking packaging for their special recipes is a great way to show them how much I value their recipe, their cooking, and their place in my life.

Making custom labeled bottles and jars is easy to do. There are two components: the label and the jar. Both labels and jars are easy to order online. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Labels:

Creating a label for your special chef is fun! Be sure to think about their product and their personality when designing. For example, take a look at the labels I made for a friend who is a fun salsa chef, and my mom, whose taste is more classic:


I made salsa jars to give my friend James a.k.a. "The Salsa Man" for his birthday.



This label was made to celebrate one of my mother's favorite recipes, Peach Preserves!

In James' label, the design references his hometown in the Southwest as well as his current home in Seattle, and is as colorful and spicy as his salsa and his fun personality! My mother's design is a more elegant, traditional approach, and I included some special uses for her preserves on the label. Personal design touches like these make a really special present.

Once you've designed your label, it's time to print them! In labeling food products, a waterproof label is a must. I use a wonderful online company called Performance Labels and Graphics, which provides waterproof labels in small quantities at great prices. I like this company because not only are their products high-quality, but you don't have to order five hundred!

Jars:

Choosing the right jar is important for a successful gift. You need to make sure that your jar is both safe and appropriate for the food that it will contain. Glass jars with metal lids are usually universally suitable for canned foods, but be sure to ask the recipient what features the jars they use have, if you need to.

A good source for ordering jars is SKS, which carries a number of great jars for a variety of foods. Make sure that the jar you choose has enough room for your label design.

A tip for giving the gift:

When presenting the gift, assemble one jar and label, but keep the rest separate. In the canning process, jars are often boiled, and if you affix all the labels onto the jars, they'll only come off during the canning process. Give one finished example, and allow the recipient the fun of putting on the rest of the labels!

Be creative, and have fun!

Be sure to drop by the Secret Ingredients website to enter to win one of ten free customized cookbooks! Posted by Picasa

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