Gift Guide 2013: Packages, Boxes, and Tins for DIY Gifts

by Maxwell Tielman


About two weeks ago, my fiancé made the rather unfortunate discovery that the entire series of TLC’s What Not To Wear is available to watch on Netflix. I say unfortunate, because since then, we have been entirely unable to peel our eyes away from the television, even for important things like eating, showering, or taking the dogs out. Everything, it seems, has taken a backseat to Stacy and Clinton’s ancient clothing wisdom and witty repartee. One of my favorite parts of the show is when CarmindyWhat Not To Wear’s resident makeup artist, takes the stage to dole out her own brand of knowledge. “We’re not going to teach you how to hide your true self,” she might say. “We’re going to teach you how to highlight your best features and make the outside you a reflection of who you are on the inside.” There is a great deal of truth to this idea—especially, as luck would have it, when it comes to gift giving.

We all know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But sometimes it’s nice to make the outside a reflection of that. One of my favorite gifts to give around the holidays is hand-baked cookies. Although these cookies are absolutely scrumptious and taste amazing (if I do say so myself), packaging them presents a little bit of a conundrum. I don’t, after all, want to throw them all into a ziplock bag! This is where pretty packages come into play. From glass jars to decorated paper bags, a little bit of nice packaging can go a long way when it comes to presenting your own handmade gifts. Above and below, you will find our own favorite assortment of packages and packaging tools so that you, too, can make your gifts a reflection of what they are on the inside. Thanks What Not To Wear! You always know best. —Max

Above: Paper Loaf Pans ($9.95 for 6)


1. Weck Jar  ($7.95) | 2. Snowflake Gable Box ($5) | 3. Nutscene Garden Twine ($15.95) | 4. Martha Stewart for Avery Blank Labels ($2.99) | 5. White Round Tins ($3.29—$5.99) | 6. Kraft Bakery Box ($3.75) | 7. Burlap Gift Bags ($32) | 8. Red Dot Gift Bags ($2.95—$8.50) | 9. Glass Canister ($12.99)


1. Orla Kiely Cake Tins  ($68) | 2. Midori Kraft Envelope ($8 for 6) | 3. Midori Brass Pen Case ($68) | 4. Silver Rectangular Tin ($5.29) | 5. Stripe Paper Bags ($5) | 6. IKEA Tripp Containers ($3.99) | 7. Ceramic Berry Box ($4.95) | 8. Montana Acacia and Glass Jars ($14.95—$19.95) | 9. Cake Tin ($39.95) | 10. Enamel Bread Tin ($39)

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  • I agree that the packing of a gift is really important. It not only can be a reflection of your own style but also enhances the gift-giving experience. A neutral package or wrapping can be a good way to go so that you can use pops of colour and pattern in ribbons and tissue to create really fun looks. And I find that when you take the time to wrap something beautifully, it really does make it so much more fun for the gift giver!

  • I love packaging! And these ideas all resonate with what I envision + I am already doing with my Christmas gifts!
    It’s all about giving a bit of our heart + love to the ones we cherish the most!
    Merry Christmas! HOHOHO!

  • Max I just want to say that your posts make me smile A LOT. You are such a great addition to D*S and write exceptionally well.

    Hope you manage to peel yourself from the screen to bake & wrap.

    xx oo

  • A little embarrassed to say that I’ve already made my way through those What Not To Wear episodes on Netflix. :D

    Packaging of edible gifts is so important! I really love those Orla Kiely boxes and the glass cannisters. You can also find lovely antique tins on Etsy and Ebay.

  • I love this site for bulk ordering – good quality and very good pricing for boxes, etc. Great for parties, wedding favors, etc. http://www.papermart.com/ – it also has good filler, like crinkle cut or other cushioning.

  • Also a big fan of your pieces for Design Sponge, Max. You guys make a great team!

    Now about that “absolutely scrumptious” cookie recipe… any chance of you sharing the recipe with us?