Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

If you’ve taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place a combination of these items in a large gift basket, over a dish or tea towel, or other fabric. Tie a bow on, and add a tag.

You can add to this gift if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. (My sister makes me a couple of these each year, and I just love them.) A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were used, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you’ve been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.

This would be an easy project for children to put together, as they aren’t really preparing any of the foods themselves.


  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.

What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.


Note: I know sweets and many baked goods are not healthy, and that we really shouldn’t be eating them, but I have family members who don’t limit such things. So yes, I give these items at the holidays. Also, I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

Kitchen Craft: Holiday Herb Garland or Swag

The scent of fresh herbs will be evident for a while once these are put together, adding a homey feel to any room in the house. These are easy to make, and will not take too much time. These make great decorations for autumn the autumn and winter sabbats and holidays.

Items Needed:

Grapevine or pine imitation garland or swag.



Craft wire

Fresh herbs

Holiday bows

Nails and hammer or tacks

  1. Tie the fresh herbs together in bundles with twine.
  2. Attach the herb bundles to the garland or swag using craft wire, in whatever arrangement you would like.
  3. Attach a couple of holiday bows with the craft wire.
  4. Hang the garland or swag and enjoy the aroma while the herbs are drying.

Here are some tips:

  • Hang and allow to dry to give as gifts.
  • When giving as gifts, find boxes that these will fit nicely into.
  • The herbs can later be removed from the swag or garland and crumbled into canning jars to use when cooking.


Candy-Filled Ornaments or Gift Tags

Whether celebrating Yule or Christmas, these ornaments will make good gifts hung from branches on the tree on Christmas Eve, as well as a nice decoration. They might also be added to a wrapped gift. The candy can be eaten once the sabbat or holiday has passed, and the ornaments refilled the next year.

I know candy is not healthy, and that we really shouldn’t be eating it, but I have family members who don’t limit such things. So yes, I give sweets at the holidays. Also, I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

The ornaments are so easy to create that children can make them.


Clear plastic ornaments


Candies – small enough to fit through the neck of the ornaments

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014.

  1. Wash the ornaments in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Allow to dry completely.
  2. Take the tops off the ornaments carefully, so as not to bend them out of shape.
  3. Fill each ornament about 1/8 to 1/4 of the way. You don’t want them ornaments to be too heavy to hang from branches on the tree. (Note: Smaller ornaments may need to be filled all the way.)
  4. Tie ribbons to the ornament tops for hanging.
  5. Put the tops back on the ornaments.
  6. The ornaments are ready.

This simple craft will take little time to complete, and will make little ones very happy when they find them on the tree.


  • Reuse ornaments year-after-year to save money.
  • Buy dollar candies for filling.
  • Write recipients names on the ornaments in green or red permanent marker, and use them as tags on gifts. Attach them to the gifts with curly ribbon.
  • Fill with small pieces of gum for something different.
  • Use gold ribbon to use these as place markers for your New Years Eve celebration.

You may also enjoy:

Food Gifts for Christmas and Yule

Share your simple food crafts in the comments below, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Happy Holidays!