Thrifty Giving: DIY Kitchen Spice Gift Set

It just so happened that I had a friend who was having a birthday and I needed to get him a gift. Something unique, something fabulous, something… thrifty. I wasn’t going to let my tight budget hold me down, not even when it came to gift giving. Some of you might already be familiar with my massive spice drawer, but even if you’re not let me assure you: this photo was taken awhile ago and I have bought or grown so many more spices since then. I decided to share the pungent wealth and spread the spicy love by putting together a DIY Spice Set.

I did contact my friend first, to make sure he didn’t have a massive spice drawer, also, because giving him more spices might not have been appreciated. I always felt a little bad about my massive spice drawer, that is until about a year ago when I helped some friends move and discovered their dark secret: a whole box full of nothing but spices. Although this made me feel much better it did make be aware that others might have more spices than they need so check before you put one of these together.

Although I was thinking of hand making some fancier labels for the jars, I decided to go the practical route and use my (much beloved and adored) label-maker. I know from experience the labels are easy to remove so that once he’s done with these spices he can wash the jars and reuse them with different contents. Spices can be really expensive at the grocery store, so here’s a Thrifty Tip: look for the “ethnic” aisles and you can purchase the same spice in a packet (as opposed to a glass jar) and save yourself five bucks. This works for other items, too: sesame oil is much cheaper in the “Asian” aisle, as is tea and many other things.

My friend plays the piano, so I printed out a few sheets of piano keys that I found after a quick search and made one set into the card-and-information-sheet. I wrote down the name of each spice and then added a brief description of what it is and what it’s used for. Isobel decorated both sides with watercolors.

I used the other sheets to decorate the box itself. Another thrifty wrapping tip? Always save the original packaging if you are giving something delicate or breakable. You probably won’t be able to package it better than the manufacturers. Decorate that box and you know it will be cute and safe, especially if the person you are giving it to has to drive home with it.

I used this search to find the bottles and this search to find the piano clip art. All of the spices I owned already. The whole thing only took about 2o minutes to put together. Thrifty, easy, and fabulous!

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  1. Erica says

    I’d love to have this has a gift!!! I have about 20 spices but only use them when a recipie calls for it. I’m not brave enough yet to just throw stuff together. I have found tons of spices at the Dollar store!

    • Carrie Anne says

      As someone who thrives on experimentation, I’d like to encourage you to go for it! It really doesn’t take long to figure out what pairs together deliciously and what you’d rather not try again. :)

  2. says

    I needed some sesame seeds a few weeks ago but COULD NOT BELIEVE how expensive they were in the spice aisle. An employee was there and said, “There are more in the Asian aisle,” so I checked and yeah, they were like $4 cheaper for the same size jar! Ridiculous! But good to know!
    Cameron recently posted..SquinchyMy Profile

    • Carrie Anne says

      Isn’t that funny? They are even cheaper if you can find them in the plastic baggies–then you don’t have to pay for glass packaging.

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