Now that you know the most important questions to ask yourself before mailing an edible gift, it's time to tackle the part when you actually box them up.
I have learned that there are very specific ways to wrap all types of food gifts to ensure they land in one piece with family and friends. Here's what you need to know.
Before you start packing: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Putting That Edible Gift in the Mail
How to Mail Liquids and Foods in Glass
- Seal the jars: Jars of marmalade or bottles of syrup should be sealed tightly. If you're shipping a glass jar or liquid-filled bottle that's not canned (preserved), add an extra layer of tape around the entire seal of the lid to hold it in place.
- Bubble wrap! Wrap these items with several pieces of bubble wrap before placing them in a larger box that's been lined with cushioning material.
- Pack jars upright: Position the items so that they're upright — as if you were placing them on a table — and make sure there is ample padding between items. Gently shake your box to see whether your gifts are secure; add more padding if you feel things moving around. Don't forget to add extra padding on top of the items before closing the box.
Make sure to write "This Side Up" on the outside of the box to indicate that the box should be handled in a certain orientation.
How to Mail Light Food Gifts
- Yes, they need padding too: Contrary to what you may think, lighter food gifts need padding. Bags filled with spices or boxes filled with popcorn seem light and unbreakable, but they do need a little cushion when shipped via mail.
- Fill the space around them: It's important to fill up the space in the box to hold the item in place and prevent jostling, which may damage your gift or cause it to open up during its journey.
- Again with the bubble wrap: Wrap lighter items with a single piece of bubble wrap before placing in a larger box that's been lined with cushioning material like shredded newspaper or torn-up grocery bags. Gently shake your box to see whether your gift is secure; add more padding if you feel or hear things moving around.
How to Mail Heavy Food Gifts
- Use lots of padding: Heavier items — like sealed plastic containers filled with cookies or large boxes filled with granola — are best shipped via mail with lots and lots of padding. Wrap heavier items with several pieces of bubble wrap before placing them in a larger box that's been lined with several inches of cushioning material.
- Always shake gently first: Gently shake your box to see whether your gift is secure; add more bubble wrap if you feel things moving around. Keep adding cushioning material until there's no more jostling when you shake it.
Obviously, if you're shipping a mix of lighter and heavier items in one box, put the heavier items on the bottom. Unfortunately, you can't guarantee the box will be right-side up the entire time, so add padding between items and always line the box.
Just know that I'll be rooting for you, with the hopes that all your food gifts arrive in pristine condition and just as delicious as when you tasted them — because, if you're anything like me, you snagged a few cookies from the pile before sending them on their merry way. Just a few ... like, 10.
Get cooking: 40 Homemade Gifts from Kitchn