Pretty, Easy Packaging for a Plain Deli Container #Tutorial

Plain deli containers are such useful, inexpensive things.  For lunches, for favor packaging, for making quick and easy maracas for an impromptu preschooler's marching band--and probably thousands of things I haven't thought of yet.  One thing I know for certain:  they're completely awesome for picnics and parties, doing the thing they were designed to do, hold food.

Those deli container designers have the function thing down, but there's definitely some room for design enhancement.  Luckily, that's incredibly easy, and what this post is all about!

The nautical life preserver sandwiches were cute on their own, but even better in the perfectly sized deli containers.  The container kept everything perfectly in place, so the sandwiches looked just as good when the lid popped off as when I made the sandwiches the night before.  

I buy my deli containers locally at Smart and Final (kind of like a Costco or Sam's club without a membership fee, but more geared toward selling to restaurants).  But you can order deli containers online, too. 

The clear lids make it incredibly easy to trace around and properly center a design for the lid, like I did for the Rain Gutter Regatta party.  

To embellish these lids with nautical style, I just printed out my message on cardstock, traced around the lid to properly center the design, then cut the circle slightly smaller than my traced circle (so that it would fit inside the lip of the deli container.  

I then glued the cardstock circle to the plastic deli container lid, added twine around the perimeter of the paper circle (it looked cute, and it covered up the less-than-perfect job I did cutting the circles).  For the final touch, I cut tiny scraps of fabric (the same fabric I used to make the applique shirts for the party) into sailboat shapes, and glued those to the lid as well.

I used a low temperature glue gun to attach everything.  Quick and easy, no waiting for glue to dry or getting ripples in the paper from too much moisture.

Simple scrapbook paper circles are even faster and easier, and make deli containers look fabulous, too.

Scrapbook paper was all I used for the coleslaw containers at the Gold Rush BBQ Picnic.  Just cut your circles a little more carefully if you're not going to edge the paper circles with some sort of trim.

A circle punch, a few different colors of paper, and a sharpie made embellishing my carrots ("balloon strings") for the Balloons birthday party easy.  

A 2" circle punch, festive printables, and a few feathers made the perfect embellishment for my glow-in-the-dark play dough favors at the Let the Ghoul Times Roll Halloween party.  

What clever way would you use these versatile containers?

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