Tis the season to start crafting! Are you making any homemade gifts this year? I’ve finally got round to posting about some DIY homemade jams and preserves that we made for family last year.
The other half took the lead on the jam-making, while I went to work on the labels. I have to say, the labels make such a difference, making this DIY look way more professional than it actually is!
Making jam (instructions courtesy of Jack):
To make the jam, use 50% fruit, 50% sugar, a splash of lemon juice (as the pectin in it helps the jam to set), and a small knob of butter. In terms of equipment, you will need:
- Cooking thermometer
- Set of glass preserve jars (my hexagonal jars are from Hobbycraft)
- Reduced fruit (whatever you fancy / is on offer)
Stew the fruit in a saucepan before adding the sugar, and then slowly, using a thermometer, bring the temperature up to 80°C to a slow simmer, stirring continuously.
Once all the sugar has dissolved, slowly increase the temperature to 104°C (for approximately 5 minutes). Allow the jam to cool and then pour the liquid into sterilised jars.
After a couple of hours (or once cool) the jam will set, and is ready to enjoy! You can pick any fruit you like – we made raspberry, apricot, and plum jam, plus some homemade chipotle.
Making the labels:
I used InkScape to make the labels, and decided on a hexagonal design to match the shape of the jars. I used the font Revolution from DaFont.com, as it was the most legible despite the small size.
We also made Jelly Shack barcode labels (using a free font called bar code from DaFont.com) for the back of the jars as an alternative to a ‘Made by’ sticker (as our names are Shelley and Jack, Jelly Shack has become our co-brand – cheesy I know, but it was just a bit of fun!)
I arranged the labels on the sheet so that I could cut them out easily using a rota-trim, but for added ease, you could use a Silhouette machine (I didn’t get one until after Christmas – doh!)
Once cut out, it’s simply a case of sticking your labels in position, and voila! I wrapped each of the sets up in orange tissue and cellophane, with a festive illustration and name tag on the front.
Though inexpensive, these treats went down way better than any present I’ve ever bought!