Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Decorated Mason Cookie Jars & Hand-Stitched Thank You Cards

Nearly two months ago I entertained the thought of making cards and stationary to list on my Homemade is Love's Etsy shop.  For practice, my finance Chris offered that I make five thank you cards, which he needed by the end of the semester for the professors who wrote letters of recommendation for him.  Of course I enthusiastically said yes. (I can't turn down a crafting opportunity) 
For the next couple of days, I worked on several different card designs, but I wasn't completely happy with any of them .  Eventually, the excitement and motivation to keep working on the project faded away.  Luckily, I had time to take a break from it for several weeks.
A while later, Chris mentioned that he would be making cookies to give along with the cards.  Obviously this is when I took it as my responsibility to create some fun packaging for them. (you can't give thank you cookies in plain old bags.  What's the fun in that?)
Nearly a week before the cards and cookies were to be given, I finally made up my mind on a card design.  While surfing the web, I came across a paper embroidery template and instantly knew it was perfect for the project.  I really don't want to know how many hours I randomly searched the web for inspiration, but after saving about 30 "maybe if I have to" ideas, one click unknowingly led me to a "yes! this is it!" idea.  Excitement and motivation started flowing through my veins once again.  After many hours of hand stitching (some of which were during my classes, oops) and creating handmade envelopes for each, I had finally completed one half of the project:

The five finished hand-stitched thank you cards.  I stitched the design on a semi-stiff brown paper, then glued it to card-stock paper.  Hint: Elmer's Craft Bond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive is the way to go when glueing paper projects.  It easily covers the entire surface and does not bubble or crinkle the paper.

Homemade envelopes to go along with the cards.  I used a template from ziggityzoom.com on scrapbook paper and/or newspaper.  I top-stitched around the sides and top edges to add an extra homemade look.

Close up of one of the thank you cards and homemade envelope.
Although I had the cards finished, (and they looked amazing, if I do say so myself), I still needed to come up with a fun and unique way to package the cookies, and by this point, I only had two days left.  While randomly walking down an aisle at Wal-mart, I spotted the cutest miniature glass cookie jar, perfect for six cookies.  Within seconds, my mind started rolling out all kinds of ideas.  I texted Chris for permission to purchase, but was declined.  Then I got the idea of mason jars.  They are cheaper, yet have the same feel as the cookie jars, plus they are purchased in 12 packs, so I would be able to keep the extras for organizing my craft supplies.  At first, Chris declined this idea too, but after he saw the disappointment in my face, he caved.  :) 
That night I spent several hours searching for inspiration on all of my favorite craft blogs and finally decided to use a set a free label templates from hip Hooray.  Along with the printed labels, I made my own "enjoy" stickers and fabric covered buttons, and used some fabric and ribbon to tie everything together.  Lastly, I used this tutorial from Sweet Spot Card Shop to mod podge an image of piled cookies to the lid of the jar. (I found the image on google and printed it on regular printer paper.)  The finished project turned out great.  I'm extremely pleased with what I created:
I used wide-mouthed, quart sized Ball jars to make sure the cookies would fit through the opening.

I sewed fabric bands that were inserted through slits I cut on each side of the label.   The bands could then be slid on and off the jars.

I love lace and satin ribbon and I think they went well with the theme of this project.  I hope to try out some different themes in the future.  These could be cute center pieces for a birthday party, bridal shower, or baby shower.
Although a lot of time and effort went into this project, and at times frustration levels were high, the satisfaction gained from the finished project was and is so worth it.  I think there is no better way to thank someone for their time and effort than by giving them some of your own.  


  1. Kim I believe that you are very gifted and that the love and inspiration you have for crafting is unbelievable. You are very gifted and your work is amazing. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you because you are truly blessed. Keep up the great work and continue striving for your dream.
    Also, thanks for my gift! The cookies were amazing! ;-)

  2. Way to push through, Kimberly! The final product is fantastic--and I'm sure the cookies were delicious too.