All tied up in a pretty bow

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I know, I know, I promise two posts each week and then disappeare for a week.  And you know why?  Because I’ve been baking like a fiend.  A fiend I tell you.  Usually my goal is to have everything done by the second Monday after Thanksgiving.  However, this year, that second Monday will be my first day as Assistant Dean Wormer at a new university.  And, because I must have suffered a severe head trauma during the holiday baking planning process, I convinced myself that I could pull it all off a week early.  Well…I did.  But other stuff suffered a bit.  Like this blog.  Enough in the way of excuses though,  let’s talk about packaging.

I love packaging.  The end.

Seriously though, I do love to make things pretty.  We do, after all, eat with our eyes first.  However, with food, there are also practical considerations.  For instance, last post I discussed mixing and matching flavors as well as what to think about when you need to ship rather than hand deliver (or the opposite).  Other thoughts:

  • Unless you really do not like the person(s) on the receiving end of your goodies, make sure your packaging is food safe.  Some things, like colored tissue paper can bleed into items that have moisture.  While this probably won’t kill anyone, it does affect how the treats look…and probably taste.
  • Also think about what will help keep your treats fresh.  Zip lock bags are an easy think to use.  Cellophane bags, parchment and wax paper can also help keep things fresh.

In terms of the packaging itself, each year I like to do something a little different.  I’ve done take-out boxes.

And gable boxes.

And pastry boxes.

This year?  I did all of the above.

For packaging, my favorite supplier is Papermart. You can also find neat containers through the usual suspects like The Container Store, Michaels, Target and World Market.

Of course, people need to know who the treats come from and in the last couple of years the number of vendors who will make custom labels has exploded.  These and the red ones on the gable boxes came from MyOwnLabels.com.

Last year I ordered from a small vendor off of ETSY.com called AutumnLeah.  You can almost see our tree labels in the photo above with all of the white boxes.  This women was very easy to work with and had very reasonable prices.

This year I went through Erin Condren at erincondren.com.  I first discovered her through a sale at OneKingsLane.  It wasn’t until after I’d ordered labels that I discovered she is not only a UCLA grad but lives in my neck of the woods.  And? Our husbands know one another.

Super cute right?  Here is is again.

When I package, I like to do as much of it at once as possible.  This is where the planning spreadsheet keeps on giving.

With the spreadsheet close at hand, I like to organize a sort of treat assembly line where everything is out and ready to go.  I also like to make sure my assistants are geared-up.  If you can believe it, two hours after this picture was taken, we had a dinner party in this very spot.

Pretty cookies all in a row.

With a list of who gets what, everything where I can see it, and all packaging ready to go, it only take a couple of hours to put everything together.

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