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baking prep

DIY Candied Nuts Stocking Stuffer

Christmas is coming

This writer's getting fat

It's time to put the candied pecans

In someone else's hat

Or something like that. Point being, I need to stop snacking on these leftover cinnamon spiced nuts, so I'm going to make them someone else's problem. And what better way to do that than to tidy them into a nice little package and wrap them up as a present? Perfection.

I love making stocking stuffers for friends and family (sorry, siblings.. here be spoilers). I got into the habit of giving almost entirely handmade stocking stuffers over the past few years and now that's one of my favorite parts of preparing for the holidays. I love spending quiet evenings at home in the glow of the tree, my favorite holiday record on the turntable, and a project laid out on the table in front of me.

Taking the time and effort to make a present from scratch has always been one of my favorite parts of giving things around the holidays. Growing up, my mom would make most of the gifts and I loved helping her each year as she worked on those. The pool table in the basement would turn into a veritable Santa's workshop: plywood laid across the top with supplies and projects in varying states of completion spread across its entirety. I loved the extra care and time that went into each gift because of that process - and still do.

This project is a very simple one. And affordable too, if you have a Dollar Tree anywhere near. I picked up these magnetic tins for $1 each and decided they would be perfect for holding my stash of candied nuts. The magnetic aspect wasn't ideal, but I found that it peels off cleanly and leaves a plain metal bottom beneath.

I also picked up this red and white baker's twine while I was there - it comes in a three-pack for a dollar and is one of my favorite Dollar Tree finds! It's so versatile and the quality is just as good as the expensive version I picked up last year at a craft store.

All told, I think this project cost less than $5 to make three tins - taking into consideration that I already had the candied nuts and I just snagged some brown cardstock from my paper stash. You could easily cut a tag out of a used paper grocery bag if you don't have cardstock on hand and save the additional cost. Be resourceful! Sometimes the best projects come out of trying to find ways to substitute in supplies you already have.

Alright, are you ready? Let's get working!


DIY Tin of Candied Nuts


tins (however many you need)

1 spool of baker's twine

brown cardstock (or a paper bag)

a tag punch or a tag template to trace (you can google tag templates and use one that matches your taste)

hole punch



  1. First, peel the magnets off the bottom of each tin. Rub away any remaining adhesive.

  2. Cut tags using the tag punch or template

  3. Punch a small hole in the top of each tag.

  4. On the cut tags, write out "cinnamon spiced nuts" and embellish with a simple design if desired. I included a brief note on the back side of the tag to personalize it, but that's up to you.

  5. Remove the tin lids and tie a length of bakers twine around the upper lip of each, being sure it's tight enough not to slip down over the lip once it's tied.

  6. Thread the tags onto the baker's twine and secure it in a loose knot.

  7. Add candied nuts, pop the lid on, and voila! A present is ready.

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Pick varieties and flavors that bring you joy. Not everyone is a baker and not everyone likes to cook. 


Enjoy the process. One of my favorite things while baking is to knead the dough and feel how it changes in my hands. I love chopping vegetables that came fresh from the farmer's market, brushing the dirt off the leaves, and creating with something that came from the earth.


Listen to jazz. I know this is a personal preference, but there are few things that give me quite the feeling of contentment as cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and a Thelonius record on in the background.

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