As wedding season is upon us, we know you all are rolling up your sleeves and busting out the twine to attempt the hottest and newest DIY Pinterest craft. Providing favors for guests can be some of the most daunting of wedding details as the RSVPs trickle in. Fear no more! Our friends at Paperlust Australia have mapped out perhaps the most adorable of favors that will leave your guests feeling both charmed and craving biscuits. This favor is our jam ;) - T&H
Everyone loves a good handmade wedding favour, but when you’re the bride it can be overwhelming to try to think of something to give your guests. It needs to be simple enough to make some for all your guests without it taking too long or being too fiddly, affordable enough to fit into your budget, and easy enough to fit your crafting skill level (easier for some of us than others!).
Labelled jam jars are a perfect solution, making for cute souvenirs of the day without being overly difficult to put together.
You can create your own labels using anything from Photoshop or Illustrator to a free online tool like Canva. You can then print and cut them yourself. If you’re going to do this, there are two options:
- Print on a high quality card stock (please don’t print on regular printer paper!) to create tied-on labels
- Print on sticker paper to create stuck-on labels
Another option is to organise to have the labels provided for you. If you are ordering online wedding invites, ask what they would charge to add labels or stickers to your order. Not only does this remove a whole step of DIY to make things easy, it ensures a great quality product and allows you to match the design perfectly to the rest of your wedding stationery. You could also get extra embellishments like foil stamping, raised foil or letterpress if you’re feeling fancy.
Purchase small jars online or in a local shop. Don’t get too ambitious and buy jars that are too big. It’s easy to underestimate how much jam that will require you to make!
You absolutely MUST sterilise your jars right before filling them, to prevent bacteria growing in the jam and making all your guests sick. This is pretty easy with nothing more than an oven. Wash your jars in the dishwasher or in hot, soapy water before you do this. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and then line the shelves with a few layers of newspaper. Place your jars and lids in there, leaving a little space between each one, and bake for about half an hour. Alternatively, you can boil the jars and lids in a pot for 15 minutes.
Be very careful not to touch the inside of the jars or the lids after they have been sterilized! Keep those germs out.
You can use any recipe you like for this, but here’s a classic we recommend!
- 1kg (2lb) fruit - we recommend strawberries or apricots
- 1 kg (2lb) white sugar
- Juice of one lemon
Choose a mix of ripe and almost ripe fruit to ensure your jam sets with a good consistency. Unripe fruit has higher levels of pectin which is a necessary ingredient! Alternatively, you can buy pectin from the supermarket and add it to your mix as per the instructions.
- Mash together the fruit and sugar and let stand for 2 hours (the sugar will react with the juice to make the fruit soft and sweet). If you do this in the saucepan you plan to use, you can save on dishes.
- Add lemon juice to fruit and sugar mix and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring continuously.
- Allow to boil for 30-45 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent the jam sticking to the bottom of the pan. Foam will form on top of the mixture. Scoop this off and discard. You will need to do this a few times.
- When the jam is thicker and a deeper colour, it’s ready. It will still be quite a bit thinner than you expect jam to be: it needs time to set after cooking. To check if it’s ready, use a teaspoon that has been in the freezer to scoop out a little of the mix. Give it a few moments to cool, and check the consistency is the way you like it.
- Pour the jam into your jars. The jars should be freshly sterilized and still hot. Do not pour the jam into cold jars unless you want shattered glass ruining the batch!
- Screw the lids onto your jars tightly and flip them upside down. Let stand like this for ten minutes to seal, then pop the jars (right side up) into the fridge. Allow to cool.
Depending on the size of your jars, this will fill about ten (remember, smaller is best for this!). Jam is best made in small batches (something about the consistency and the even cooking!) so repeat as necessary to make the amount you require.
This jam will keep for about a month in the fridge (it must be kept refrigerated!) but you can store it in the freezer to buy yourself some time. Keep in mind that your guests will need time to store it and eat it too!
Putting It All Together
Once your jam is cooled and ready it’s time to put everything together. Punch a hole in your labels and use twine, string or ribbon to tie them to the jars, or stick them to the jars if you have opted for stickers. Voila! The perfect wedding favour, cute and handmade with love.
||This was a guest post by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust. Maddison is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional, postgrad student, part-time librarian, and occasional wedding photographer. She loves words and drinking cups of tea.
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