a DIY holiday: Lindsy

so, Christmas is coming up faster than i'd like to admit. and i don't know about you, but i have a huge family, which means lots of gifts to buy. i love giving gifts, but some years are harder than others, you know? luckily, i like making things. and i like to think that people like receiving things from me that i've made. i could be wrong, but i'm just going with it. every Christmas i'll make a gift for at least one person on my list. a tight budget + a huge family + creative juices = handmade gifts. this year, i invited some of my friends to share their best "DIY holiday" gift ideas with you, for a little series that i'm calling:

i want you to meet Lindsy! she blogs over at Space for Joy and i love her writing so much. she has a beautiful heart, but she's also a crafty girl, so asked her to show you her idea for a DIY holiday today
[oh, and i'm writing over at her place today, too. just fyi]

First of all, thanks to Aly for inviting me to take over her blog today!  My name is Lindsy, and I write over at Space for Joy.  I'm a stay-at-home Mama of my two boys, Jude and Isaac.  Writing is my sanity, my outlet, and my hobby.  Stop by and say, "hello!" sometime!

I have a crafty streak in me, but that is something that my life has been seriously lacking ever since my youngest was born 5 months ago.  I love it, but when time is short, it is something that takes the back-burner for me.  I was thrilled when Aly told me about this series and gave me the opportunity to exercise some of my pent-up creativity.

There are so many things I love about this DIY gift I'm about to show you.  It incorporates two of my most favorite things.  Cookies and mason jars.

I have been smitten with mason jars ever since I realized they could be used for more than canning.  (Thank you, Pinterest.)  Mason jars act as a cute gift package and they can be used for so many things when your lucky gift recipient is done with it.  Take a mason jar and some ingredients to make Christmas cookies, and you have a thoughtful and tasty Christmas gift.  Win-win.

And just because I love cookies and I'm gluten intolerant, I made this batch gluten-free.  And I'm giving you the recipe!  You're welcome.

Here's the how-to.

First, put on some Christmas music.  Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, whatever gets you in the mood.  Maybe make a cup of tea.  And grab a large mixing bowl.

Second, mix together the following ingredients:

If you are gluten-free, you must know about Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Flour.  I use it for everything and will frequently use it in the place of flour in a regular recipe I want to make gluten-free.  The only thing is you must add xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour.

Also, if you don't need it to be gluten free, just use All-Purpose Flour and eliminate the xanthan gum.  

Third,  you get to start layering the ingredients in a quart-sized mason jar.  The order follows:

*Keep in mind, if you have a gluten sensitivity, you may need to use gluten-free rolled oats.  So far, I seem to do well with regular oats.

**I modified this recipe based on this one.

I used a wide mouth quart mason jar.  I like the wide mouth ones (as opposed to regular mouth) because it makes it a bit easier to pile in the ingredients.  If you have a funnel, that works well.  But if you don't (I don't) you can just create one out of paper to make sure you get everything in.

With each layer (especially the flour), and you need to make sure you pack it down well.  I used a spoon.  Pour and pack.  Pour and pack.  Until you have your jar filled to the brim.

Fourth - now for the fun part.  Time to fancy it up!  Obviously, these are for Christmas, so I used the traditional red and green m&ms and twine.  But if this is for a shower gift or another occasion, you can choose different colored m&ms.  You don't even have to use m&ms if you'd rather not.  You can pile in chopped pecans or crushed peppermint or peanut butter chips or anything else you can dream up.

For this project, I created labels for the top of the jar and directions for baking the cookies as a little card tied to the jar.  I chose to print it on kraft paper for a fun look.  Add some ribbon, twine, yarn, or washi tape, and you have a perfectly packaged gift!

By the way, it is your lucky day, because I created these labels and cooking directions as a printable, free for you!  Just go HERE to download it!

If you are in a pinch or don't want to go to the trouble of putting together a cookie jar, just fill a mason jar with some other goodies and it is still an excellent gift!  I filled one with almonds and dried cranberries, and another with hot cocoa, crushed peppermint, and marshmallows!

Fifth, you attempt to take photos of your cute DIY project to share with your friends while a certain one-and-a-half-year-old decides he'd like to try some of the goodies himself.

Sixth.  Decide that you must taste-test the cookies before actually handing them out to your family members.

I'm not going to lie to you.  These are possibly the best gluten-free cookies I've ever had.  They are chewy, and chocolatey, and too good for words.  I plan to keep this recipe to make for myself from time to time, mason jar or not!

So there you have it!  This is the perfect gift for those extended family members at the Christmas party.  Or your neighbors.  Or your kids teachers.  Or just bake the recipe for yourself. ;-)

Thanks for joining me today!  Hop on over to my blog for the entire condensed version of the recipe and let me know if you actually give this a try and how you like it!  Also - don't forget the free printable!


  1. this looks so cute and festive.... and now im craving cookies!

  2. i'm totally doing this for my gluten-free sister in law. she'll be so happy!! thanks lindsy.