diy {craft jar gift}

Yesterday I got a bunch of spam comments from someone called “underwear”.  My spam filter caught them, but it made me smile thinking how much my 4 year old loves the word “underwear”….what is it about underwear that is so funny to little boys? Anyway….

After I did this post on Design*Sponge I got a few emails asking me what I use Heinz Chili Sauce to make. So I thought I’d share a recipe. Initially I was going to do a whole post on the recipe with pictures of the meal, but that didn’t happen. The night I made it for dinner my kids were out of control. So when it came out of the oven I didn’t waste time getting pictures…just fed the them. The recipe is from my mom. It is one of our favorite twists on traditional spaghetti & meatballs. My mom calls it “Cocktail Meatballs”. Since I didn’t post what it looks like after it is made I threw together another little way to use those glass bottles. I never throw away glass…or take it to the recycling center.

Cocktail Meatballs:

Make meatballs however you like (turkey, beef, veggie…whatever) and place in a baking dish. Before cooking the meatballs in the oven you will make this sauce to pour on top.

Combine 1 can jellied cranberry sauce, 1 jar of chili sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar & 2 tablespooons lemon juice. You will need to preheat the sauce to melt the cranberry sauce. You can do this on the stove or microwave. Once it is not too lumpy you will pour it over the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes at 350.

Serve with your favorite spaghetti, salad & bread.


Now for the fun part. While your sauce is preheating spray some Goo Gone all over the jar. I recommend peeling as much paper off as you can before spraying with Goo Gone. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe all the sticky stuff off. I recommend washing it by hand or in the dishwasher next.

Sidenote: if I were to list ‘must haves’ for crafters Goo Gone would be on that list.

Once my jar was all clean I began thinking of something to do with it. My first thought was to cover it in cute masking tape because everything looks better covered in cute masking tape. I did a Google Search to see if anyone else had posted a tutorial for a “tape vase” on the web. I clicked on the first non-store link that popped up. Sure enough someone had…it would be nice if my memory wasn’t left in the labor and delivery wing.

Since my masking tape idea had already been used I started brainstorming again. Then I remembered Ashlee’s sewing kit. I thought it would be fun to fill my little jar with little crafting goodies. I put this together with a girl in mind. I think it would be such a fun gift for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, an Easter basket or just to surprise a crafty girl you know.

I just rummaged through things I had on hand that would fit through the opening of the jar. I had all this on hand.

Then I began filling my jar and spray painted the lid. When you make a gift like this I recommend picking a few keys colors and filling your jar with things in that color scheme. It will make it look more pulled together than just a random mess of stuff.

On the outside of the jar I created a stack of cut cardstock paper and attached it as a card with a paper clamp and baker’s twine.

Some of you might be thinking, “Cute, but what would you make with that stuff?” That is the point. There is no tutorial or step by step instructions for what to make. This type of gift isn’t for everyone, but for the right person they would love it. It is simply a small collection of things to spark creativity.


For me, this was very fast and easy to assemble because I had so much on hand. If you don’t keep craft supplies on hand, you could buy several of these items and then divide them up into several jars. Maybe create 10 at one time and then you have gifts ready to go. You could use bigger jars, but anything smaller would be difficult to fit things in the opening.
1.18.11-07I wonder if I could work out a deal with The Pioneer Woman. She loves to take pictures of the cooking process…I obviously do not. Maybe she could come cook for me and I’ll create something for her out of her trash. Sounds like a plan to me.

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