Make your own mulling spices in a jar to give as homemade Christmas gifts to co-workers, friends and family. These also make lovely hostess gifts and favors as you can make up several jars at one time.
To get started you’ll need a clean empty spice jar or a small mason jar, paint chip samples or decorative papers, washi tape, bakers twine or ribbon, mulling spice ingredients (below), markers (optional), your printer, scissors and a blank sticker label sheet. For this project I recycled an empty spice jar by removing the labels and then washing off the glue with hot water, dish soap and some steel wool. I also used organic spices from Mountain Rose Herbs for my ingredients for this project.
Mulling Spice Mix Jar Ingredients:
(Makes one jar)
six whole sweet (true) cinnamon sticks (cut to fit inside your jar if applicable)
one teaspoon whole black peppercorns
twelve whole cardamon (anise star) pods
twelve whole allspice
one teaspoon whole cloves
Directions: Start by combining all ingredients in your spice jar. If your cinnamon sticks are too tall for the jar, cut to fit and fill the jar with them first. Then add remaining spices to the jar. Cap tightly.
Now print your mulling spice jar labels out onto a blank sticker label sheet. These labels are in black and white so you don’t have to waste color toner. You can leave the labels black and white or color them with permanent non-toxic markers. Cut out labels by cutting just inside the gray line. Set labels aside if you’d like to decorate your jars further. Otherwise, simply label your jars. The labels contain instructions for using the jar of mulling spices to scent one’s home as well as to make spiced cider! (Download mulling spice jar labels here.)
You can decorate your jar however you like. What I did was cut two paint chips into sizes that would fit the front of the jar. (I happened to have these on hand as I’m painting the bathroom.) However, you could also use decorative scrapbooking papers or colored card stock. I placed the largest paint chip on the front of the jar and then wrapped washi tape over the chip and around the jar. I repeated with a second, smaller sized paint chip and a different patterned washi tape. Once I had finished wrapping the washi tape around the jar, I then applied the instruction label to the back of the jar over the tape where it overlapped on the back side.
Finally I added some pink and white baker’s twine to the top of the jar. I tied the ends of the twine into knots so they would not unravel, wrapped it around the mouth of the jar several time, then tied it into a bow and double knotted it. Finally place the jar in a small box with several fresh oranges – of which the peels will be used with the spices for cider or a home fragrance – and gift!
Directions for a Home Fragrance: Place spices and rinds from one orange in 8 cups of water on stove top, bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer 3-4 hours.
Directions for Spiced Cider: Bring one Gallon apple cider, two quarts cranberry juice cocktail, rinds from one orange and spices to a boil in a dutch oven. Partially cover and reduce heat to a simmer for a half hour.
For more great Christmas gift ideas, be sure to check out my Handmade Holiday Gift Guides! I also have a collection of DIY Gift Ideas, DIY Christmas Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas and DIY Gift Wrap Ideas to keep you covered this holiday season!