December 12, 2008

Handmade Holiday: Hostess Gift

'Tis the season for holiday parties and visits to friends and family, both near and far. It's not my nature to show up empty-handed at someone's holly-decked door, so I like to bring a little hostess gift to express my gratitude for the person's company and festivities. We have our first holiday party tomorrow evening, so I thought I'd bring my friend Kate and her family some homemade goodness.
I put together a little brown bag of kitchen goodies, including a hand-printed tea towel from Flying Rhymes, a great little shop with Scandanavian-inspired wares. Here are a few other examples of the printed tea towels. Quite charming!
I also embellished a jar of local jam with some scrapbooking paper and jute. All you need to do is cut a square a bit larger than the jar's lid,

fold it in half to make a triangle,

and fold in half again,

and yet again, so that it's folded into eighths.

Then you want to round the outer edge with scissors, forming a pie-shaped wedge.

Then you cut a few scallops or zigzags along the rounded edge. It's a little like those snowflakes you used to make as a kid, which would be equally nice on top of a jar of jam.
You just need to tie it on the top of the lid, which is easier said than done. It helps to have a second pair of hands to hold the paper in place.

I wish I could take credit for all of the hand-making here, but sadly, the only thing I had time to make was the jar of herbal tea, which was organically grown in my garden. It's a blend of peppermint and lemon balm, which I packaged in a recycled baby food jar.
The final touch was a flame-blackened spreader from Jonathan's Wild Cherry Wooden Spoons, a shop that I highly recommend for any handmade holiday gifts. The flame-blackened wood items are nice because they don't get "fuzzy" when they're wet, which wood naturally does.
I took a ride out to Jonathan's studio today and got to see where the spoons are made and shipped. I swooned over spoons, and all of the other wonderful items. I bought some Christmas gifts, and also a ladle for myself. I know I'll be headed out there to buy some more things very soon.

The final touch was a scrapbook paper flower to embellish the brown bag. I just made three more of the paper jar-toppers and punched two holes in the centers of them, then threaded some yarn through to secure them to the bag's handle. It's a step beyond the traditional red and green. I took a cue from the colors of the tea towel.
So that's it! I hope Kate likes it. It seems a little more interesting than a bottle of wine.


  1. Wow, aren't you Crafty! I'm sure she'll like it. But even more, she'll LOVE it!

  2. You are SO totally invited to any parties I may have in the future... this is more than a hostess gift, it's like a welcome to the neighborhood gift! You rock!

  3. YOu are clever and crafty! Would you like to come over for dinner? Everything looks wonderful and your ideas are brilliant. We have another party a week from Saturday and I have no idea what to bring. I wish I was crafty. You make everything look so easy.

    Organically grown tea rocks!

  4. You did Great! I luv kitchen towels, and am always picking one up here & there :)

  5. I love it. It's such a nice simple but beyond generous hostess gift!

  6. So simple and yet elegant ,any hostess would love

  7. Too cute! Hope the party was fun!


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