"GIFT CONTAINERS FOR COOKIES"

PACKAGING YOUR COOKIES!

3 or 4 batches of cookies will go a very long way. Keep your containers small, unless you're giving cookies to a family of 10. What matters is the cookies look great and the packaging appealing.

Almost anything, from a plastic bag to a fancy paper plate, even an antique platter can become a container for cookies. Save these things. One of the easiest ways to package cookies to to cut a piece of cardboard into the size and shape that will fit intothe bottom of a one-gallon plastic food storage bag. Cover the cardboard with aluminum or coloured foil and place it in the bottom of the bag. Arrange the cookies on top of it, filling the bag with as many as you wish, then gather the bag togethere and tie it closed with a large, colourful ribbon. Very inexpensive this way too.

Label your gift with a card, perhaps one recycled from a Christmas past. Open the card, cuti it in half, and discard the part with the printed message. Use the illustrated part of the card for your git label, writing your greeting on either side of it. :-)

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THESE ITEMS ARE RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE AND LOOK GREAT FILLED WITH COOKIES:

Pretty paper or plastic plates. Fill them with cookies, slip a plastic food storage bag over the plate and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Bakery boxes... You can try asking your local bakery or to sell you a few of these boxes but my suggestion is to just go to a baking supply store and pick them up there. You can get a variety of sizes there and they are not too expensive. All you have to do with these is a quick assemble and line them with inexpensive decorative tissue paper.

Decorative paper bags... Line them with coloured tissue paper, tuck cookies inside and tie closed. Put a gift tag on them.

Baskets.. All sizes and shapes! I pick these up throughout the year when I see great deals. You can often find inexpensive small baskets which are perfect for cookies. Check out flea markets, yard sales, discount stores and end of season sales. You would be amazed how cheap you can sometimes find incredible baskets. Once I found this incredible wicker basket, painted red, it was a valentines left over sale. This basket was literally big enough to put a baby in. I got it for $6.00! Come Christmas this was perfect for a family size basket I filled with breads, baked goodies and cookies and small gifts for a family! Btw, they loved the basket too and used it as a magazine holder in the den :-)

Straw paper plate holders.. those you can get inexpensively at discount stores for about 4 for a dollar or two.

China or glass plates... Check out thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales and such places for single plates. Garage sales are great because usually someone is getting rid of holiday stuff they can no longer store or have only one or two of and no use for. Put them to use! A lot of times you can get these for a quarter or .50 cents! These one of a kind plates 'nobody' wants make great and ideal gift platters.

Plastic flower pots!! Yes.. those green plastic pots you plant your bulbs in to force or houseplants in. These are inexpensive also. Just line them with red or white tissue paper and tie them with a pretty ribbon and voila! They look really Christmassy and if the people you are giving them to love houseplants they have a usable pot after they have eaten the goodies.

Cloth napkins or dish towels... with Christmas motifs or colours. Here is another gem you can get very cheap after the holiday season when everything is being sold off at discounts. Put them away for next year or check out discount stores prior to the holidays if you want some now. Place a plastic food storage bag filled with cookies in the center, draw up the ends, and tie with ribbons.

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THESE CONTAINERS ARE GIFTS IN THEMSELVES...

- Cookie jars
- Wide mouth canisters
- Metal canisters (these are great for the guy with the workshop to use to hold small items later)
- Decorative tins, those made for tea, crackers, fruits, candies, etc. Great finds at flea markets and home garage sales.
- Glass or pottery bowls
- Bakeware! Yes! Springform pans, bundt pans, muffin tins and even baking sheets can be filled with cookies!
- Old tinware molds, bread pans, sifters, colanders and so on and so forth for a friends kitchen as decorative use or buy a new one and fill it if they need such an item for their own use. Dual gift again.

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COOKIES IN A PAINT CAN...

You will need:

A gallon-sized paint can (these are available empty in gift shops and houseware stores.)
Paper confetti, tissue paper or cellophane streamers
Sugar cookies
Toppings such as chocolate sprinkles and colored sugars
Decorative icing in tubes
Various icing tips
Pint-sized paint cans (optional)
Wide ribbon
To make the festive container:

- Fill the gallon-sized paint can with paper confetti, tissue paper or cellophane streamers. Place cookies in can. Lay decorating supplies in gently, placing them around (not on) the cookies. Or put some of the items, such as tubes of frosting and candy sprinkles, in pint-sized paint cans and place them inside the larger can. It's fun to choose the color of the toppings based on the time of year -- red and green for Christmas.

- Put the lid in place.

- Wrap the wide ribbon around the can and tie it on top in a large festive bow.

If all else fails, use other people's gift packaging. If you're a last minute baker by the time you've completed your holiday baking, you may be the happy recipient of other people's baked goods, sent to you in attractive packages that may be just right for your cookies! Don't hesitate to use these and recycle them. Just be careful you don't send them back to the original sender. :-)

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