I was looking for some easy, inexpensive DIY teacher's gifts this Christmas. My son (4th grade) has two teachers and my daughter (7th grade) has seven teachers. Buying store bought gifts for 9 teachers can add up pretty quick, but we still wanted to say thanks for the holiday.
So I found a hot cocoa mix recipe on the web, made some modifications to it, and created these DIY hot cocoa gifts (a total of 12) for less than $3.00 each!
I found the recipe for the double hot chocolate cocoa here, but I made two modifications to it:
- I didn't add the cayenne pepper to it
- I only filled the jars with the cocoa mix to just below the 2 cup line, and added marshmallows to fill what was left. The reason for this was that this allowed me to stretch the original recipe (which filled 3 pint sized Mason jars) to fill 12 pint sized jars when made 3 times (versus the nine it would have made without the marshmallows).
Aside from the ingredients for the recipe linked above, you'll also need:
- Pinking shears
- A hole punch
- White card stock (and a printer, LOL)
- A paper cutter (which I had, but you could also use scissors instead)
- Fabric for the lids (I bought 1/3 yard at 50% off since it was so close to Christmas)
- Gift tags (you can make your own, but I scored a package of 12 Christmas themed ones from Hobby Lobby for $1)
Making the Hot Cocoa Mix and Filling the Jars
I started out making the mix per the recipe I linked above (she gave step by step instructions and pictures on how to do it). Once the recipe was complete, I started to fill the jars to just below the 2 cup line (if you have a canning funnel, this makes the process much easier):
Then I added in the marshmallows until the jars were full:
Next up, I cut the fabric with Pinking shears (so it had a nice edging) to fit the jar lids. How much you leave on the outside of the lid is up to you.
I chose to add two tags to each jar. One was just a general Christmas themed gift tag that I'd bought at Hobby Lobby (12 for $1). The second was the tag with the instructions for making the cocoa. The original recipe linked above provided tags, but I didn't have sticker paper to print them on and didn't want to buy any (plus, I wanted a little bit more of a country feel to the labels).
So, instead, I found these free, editable chalkboard canning labels from Lia Griffith here (note, instructions for changing font sizes, etc are in that post). I used the second set of labels in the editable 2 inch jar lid labels download. (Also, if you would prefer to print your own gift tags, she has a great, free, editable, printable chalkboard Christmas gift tags here).
After editing the labels to contain the instructions, I printed them out on card stock – but I printed them at 70% in the print options instead of 100% so that they wouldn't be a lot larger than the gift tags I was also using.
Then I cut them with my paper cutter. They came out looking really, really nice:
Now it was time to assemble the jars. First up, I added the fabric to the lid. Once all the jars were closed, I used a scissor to cut the edges of the instructions label to match the gift tag – and then I used a hole punch to make a hole in both tags to run some twine through. I put the twine through the tags, and wrapped the twine around the jar (being sure it was under the fabric) and double knotted it in the back. I cut off the excess twine (but leaving a bit so it could easily be untied after the cocoa mix is used). The end result was awesome.
I made 12 jars in all, allowing for the 9 teacher gifts and giving me 3 extras to have on hand in case I need an unexpected small gift!