Saving a bit of money is always a welcome thought towards the end of the year, and making your own Christmas gifts can be a very thoughtful way of saving some pennies and offering something completely different and unique. The Kilner jar lends itself brilliantly to home made Christmas gifts, as it is so versatile, not to mention available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Even standing alone and empty, its traditional, rustic looks are a charming sight and a worthy gift for anyone’s home.
1. Kilner Sweet Jar
Probably the easiest of the home made Kilner Christmas gifts, and a very versatile one. We probably don’t need to explain, but all you have to do is choose your favourite shape of Kilner Jar, choose a sweet to suit whoever your gift is for, and decorate with ribbons or bows, and a gift tag.
2. Kilner Painted Flower Vase
These Kilner Jars are painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which we absolutely love. The colours on offer are stunning and the soft texture is lovely to the touch and gives a unique matt finish. You can choose your favourite Kilner Jar, but we find the Kilner 1 Litre Preserve Jar is a great size and shape, and the embossed Kilner logo looks lovely. Finish with a bunch of fresh flowers for the perfect, heartfelt gift, that can be used again and again.
3. Kilner Body Scrub
This is ridiculously easy, and makes a lovely gift. All you need is sugar, oil and essential oil, and possibly food colouring if you want to brighten up your mixture. You could either simply make the body scrub in a Kilner Jar, and decorate it with a ribbon, or you could make your Kilner Body Scrub as part of a gift set, and add a body brush, loofah or bath mitts.
To make the scrub, you will need sugar or salt. Salt is a little coarser so if you want a scrub that is more gentle on the skin, use sugar. If your Kilner Body Scrub gift is for someone with particularly sensitive skin, use a darker brown sugar as this is softer still.
Next you need to choose your oil. Baby oil works fine, or you can use olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or whatever oil you prefer. You need to be mixing two parts sugar or salt to one part oil, however much you decide to make. So you could make a nice big Kilner jar full, as a main present, or use a tiny 125ml Kilner jar as a stocking filler. Mix the sugar and oil well, but don’t be alarmed if the sugar or salt settles to the bottom, with the oil at the top. This is normal as the two parts usually never stay mixed.
Once mixed in, if you want your scrub to smell heavenly, or even offer therapeutic properties, you can add a few drops of your preferred essential oil. We found a list of essential oils and their therapeutic properties here.
Your scrub is now ready to use, but if you wanted to make it a coloured variety you could add a few drops of food colouring, although we probably should note this will work best with a sugar and baby oil mix, as it will start off a nice clear/white so it will colour well. Dark brown sugar and vegetable oil mixed with food colouring could be disastrous.
4. Kilner Candle Jars
This is another super easy, versatile home made gift that can be extremely cost effective, especially if you make home made Kilner candles in bulk. You can choose from a massive variety of colourants and essential oils, and decorate the jar however you see fit.
All you need to do is carefully melt your wax in a glass bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water. Never ever leave melting wax unattended. Once your wax is fully melted, you will need to let it cool a little before adding your fragrances or colourants. Some fragrances can lose their scent in high temperature liquids. Most craft store bought waxes come with a guide to tell you what temperature you can add fragrance and colour, so have a food thermometer handy.
While waiting for your wax to melt and cool a little, you can prepare your wick. to do this, wrap one end of the wick around a straight stick or a pen, making sure there is enough wick hanging down to just touch the bottom of the Kilner jar when the stick or pen is rested across the top. This makes sure your wick is nice and straight and does not move while the wax dries around it.
Once you have added the desired amount of scents and colour, mix well and pour your wax into the Kilner Jar and leave to cool and set. Your candle is now ready. If you want to go that extra mile, you could also decorate your jar in whatever manner you choose to make it that little bit extra special.
You can buy candle supplies for your Kilner Jar Candles in any good craft store. We found Hobby Craft had some great stuff.
5. Kilner Infused Olive Oil
Infused olive oil is a fantastic present for someone who enjoys cooking and eating and experimenting with good food. The safest way to infuse oil, especially if you don’t want to inflict sickness on your friends and family for Christmas, is to use dried herbs. Fresh herbs contain water which causes bacteria growth in the oil, so if using fresh herbs, you will have to dry them first.
Dried herbs that work well are thyme, rosemary, sage, basil or oregano. These work well on their own, but if you want to get creative, you can blend more than one herb.
The simplest way to infuse your oil is to put the herbs in the bottom of a Kilner bottle and pour your olive oil over the top. Obviously the quality of the oil you choose to use will determine the quality of your finished gift.
If you wanted to infuse the flavours faster, you can heat the oil and herbs on a stove top. This will not only bring out the flavour of the herbs more quickly, but also prevent bacteria growth. Strain the herbs if you want a clear mixture. Store in a cool, dry place for one week.The flavour will intensify over time. Your oil should then be stored in a refrigerator and with dried herbs, should last for anywhere between a few weeks and several months. If the mixture should spoil however, discard it immediately. If you have been brave enough to make your Kilner Infused Oil with fresh herbs, you should store in a refrigerator and use within one week.
6. Kilner Toiletry Kit For Her
The introduction of Kilner’s coloured clip top jars has made it very easy to put together his and hers gift sets. Choose a pink clip top 0.5 litre or 1 litre jar and fill it with girlie trinkets. You could do a nail kit including nail clippers, file, cuticle sticks, hand cream polish and remover pads. Or you could do a mini facial kit with miniature cleaner, toner, moisturiser, cotton pads and a facial scrub, or anything of your choice really. simply fill it with goodies, tie a pretty ribbon round it, and voila. The perfect gift for her.
7. Kilner Toiletry Kit For Him
Do exactly the same as the above but with a blue Kilner jar and a shaving kit. Or he may want a mini men’s facial kit. That’s up to you.
8. Kilner Jar Wall Mounted Planter
A great home made gift for someone who likes to grow their own herbs, or this can even be used to store utensils up and out of the way. You could give it as an empty planter, or fill it with ready planted herbs to make it extra special. All you need is a decent piece of reclaimed wood, flush mounts for hanging on the wall, clamps, screws and Kilner Jars. If you are anything like me, you’ll be looking for the most rustic piece of wood you can lay your mitts on, but if not, you can easily go to your local hardware store and buy a piece the size you want. And while you’re there, don’t forget to pick up the clamps and screws.
The first thing you will need to do is screw some flush mounts into the back of the wood at either side. Make sure they are level or whoever you give your gift to may have problems with wonky plants!
Next, simply drill holes in the clamps and secure them to the wood with one screw. Lower your jars into the clamps and tighten them snugly around the jar.
If you are planning on planting herbs before you gift your planter, put some stones in the bottom of each jar, as there is no drainage in the preserve jars.
Again a very simple idea, but one that can be versatile and looks really creative when done properly. All you need is a little fabric of your choice, some stuffing, a Kilner Preserve Jar and some glue.
Separate the lid of the Kilner Preserve Jar so you have a metal ring and a disc. Draw around the metal ring on the fabric, then cut it out leaving an extra inch or so around where you have drawn. Place your cut out circle of fabric in the palm of your hand then a chunk of stuffing. Push the fabric and stuffing half way through the metal ring, leaving some spare fabric on the inside of the metal ring to catch and trap the disc. Push the disc on to secure your fabric, making sure it is smooth and raised on the top side of the ring, and hopefully starting to look like a pin cushion. Use a little glue to secure the disc in place, and hold your fabric and stuffing in place behind the disc.
Fill the jar with essential bits of sewing kit, pop your fabric pin cushion lid back on, and you’re done.
10. Kilner Jar Lamp
These are super simple and very impressive gifts. All you need is a drill with a hole cutter, a lantern cord kit, and a large Kilner Jar with a screw top lid.
Find the centre of the lid, drill a hole to mark the middle, then place on a gripping surface like an old piece of carpet, so the lid does not spin, and cut a hole with the hole cutter, big enough for the end of the lantern cord. Neaten any sharp edges with a file, then fit the bulb end of the lantern cord kit through the hole and secure in place by screwing the other half on inside the lid. Fit the bulb, replace the lid and you’re away!
So, whether you want to be frugal, or just fancy getting creative with your gifts this Christmas, make sure the Kilner Jar is on your shopping list!