A beautifully simple, yet lavishly appealing, box of goodies. When I finished the photo shoot at the office, I put the boxes on the tables in the staff room. Oh, the oohs and ahhs! It was just a collection of dried fruits and nuts, but there is somehow an appeal that speaks clearly. As people admired the boxed goodies and reached for a dried apricot or macadamia nut, I heard “…and they are so healthy, too!” “…ooh, these are so good for you!” There is nothing to it, really. Just put together good things for your loved ones and they love you for it.

Go to your local organic food store, and visit their bulk section. There you will find dried fruits and nuts and it is from these that you can create your personal favorite combination. Plan ahead of time so you can buy the ingredients while doing household shopping. Once all the ingredients are assembled, this project takes about an hour and a half total time to make and seal a dozen little boxes. People will love it.

You Will Need:
• A dozen 3 x 3 boxes (I chose the kraft style)
• Kraft card stock cut into 3” strips, or heavy kraft paper (from a paper bag) cut into 6” strips and folded to make 3” strips
• Wax paper cut into 3” strips
Custom food/craft labels (shape 23, 12, or 1 will work)
• 6 – 7 cups of your choice dried fruits and nuts, etc. – you can tailor this to the tastes of your people. Do they love macadamia nuts or do they hate them? Adjust accordingly.

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Ideas for dried fruit & nut boxes:
Nuts: peanuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, macadamias, pistachios
Dried fruits: pineapple, mango, cranberries, cherries, dates, apricots, goji berries, apples, figs, prunes

First prepare the boxes. Carefully place a strip of wax paper lengthwise in the box with the ends hanging over the edges. The ends will drape across the top of the goodies when the box has been filled. Next, carefully place another piece of wax paper widthwise in the box, with the edges hanging over. These wax paper strips will protect moisture or oils from staining the outside of the box.

Decide what items you want to put in the boxes and cut dividers to the correct length so that the items will fit neatly into little sections. This is what creates the appeal. There is something really inviting about neatly divided little compartments, each brimming with special little goodies.

Carefully place the goodies into the compartments. Fill one compartment at a time, and place the divider where needed and start filling the next section. This is where little hands can be very useful – perhaps your daughter or a grandson? Once the box is filled, test to see if the lid will close. If not, remove some of the contents. If the lid closes and it rattles when you shake it, add more. You want things to fit snugly. Close the lid, fasten with a strip of wax paper (tack it down with a small piece of tape) then cover the seam with your label.

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There you are! A little stack of gifts ready for giving.

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Jeanne Williamson (138 Posts)

Jeanne and her husband David launched My Own Labels in January of 2000. It was a spin-off of their successful graphic design firm, plus it allowed Jeanne to incorporate her love of baking, making, sewing and creating. Today David and Jeanne continue to be the heart of the operation both creatively and practically.


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