Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook’s Bake Sale Tips

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and, as it comes to a close, the need for people to continue to help support children’s cancer research is imperative.  My dear friend, Michelle Rotman Jassem,  styled the photographs for the fantastic cookbook, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook by Gretchen Holt-Witt. Michelle agreed to share some of her favorite tips and products for a perfectly styled bake sale with OnMyPlate.

In 2007, Gretchen Holt-Witt and her family’s life changed forever when her then 2 1/2 year son, Liam, was diagnosed with pediatric cancer.  After successfully seeing Liam through chemotherapy, radiation, a nearly 12-hour surgery, and antibody therapy in the Fall of 2007, Gretchen turned her sights on finding a way to support the doctors and researchers who needed help funding clinical trials to aid families like hers so children and families had more hope in finding cures. Hence, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was born.

With the holidays coming and school activities in full gear, this is the perfect time to do your part.  The Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website gives you step-by-step instructions on how to register your bake sale, along with great tools and tips to create a successful event.  And they even sell hand baked cookies to order if you’d like to send a friend or family member a birthday, holiday, or any day treat for an exceptional cause!

Check out Michelle’s great tips and tricks below.  And don’t forget to pick up Gretchen’s Best Bake Sale Cookbook (#1 below) for awesome sweets recipes for your bake sale…or anytime!

Bake Sale Styling Tips by Michelle Rotman Jassem

First things first. Before you go out shopping for supplies, check around your house for things you may be able to use to package your treats. If you are like me you may have a drawer or shelf or if you’re really lucky, CLOSET!, devoted to all things crafty. In a quick trip around my house here’s what I found that I would use to glam up my bake sale: brown paper lunch sacks, wax sandwich bags, sticker name tags, ribbon, yarn, leftover treat bags from countless birthday parties, stencils, tented place cards, cake stand, footed bowl, clothes pins, markers, hole puncher, silver and gold calligraphy pens. With these materials at my fingertips I can do some pretty fancy stuff.

Here are some quick ideas, with these materials in mind, you could do to wow all your customers.

1. With a paper bag, stencil, hole puncher and some ribbon you can make a gorgeous package. Pick a letter or design and stencil it on the lower third of your bag, roll over the top of the bag a couple of times, punch two holes 2 or 3 inches apart and then use your ribbon or yarn to tie a bow securing the package. Easy-peasy.

2. Clothes pins can be painted colors and then used to stand up small pieces of card stock with the names and ingredients of your goodies.

3. When setting your bake sale table make sure you set up your display on different levels. It’s hard for customers to see your goodies if they are all spread out on the table’s surface. Create some height with cake stands and footed bowls. I have also gotten wooden wine boxes from our local liquor store and used them to make “shelves and cubbies” where I display treats.

If you are short on supplies here’s a list of my favorite places to shop for packaging and display materials.

1. Ikea. My hands down favorite. I love their Barbar Trays (#2 above) the most! They come in a variety of great sizes and designs and are super affordable. Their paper napkins are $1.99 for a package of 50. Tons of color selection. I also use Tolsby picture frames (#3 above) to display the logos of my treat donors or a description of the treats available.

2. Michael’s. This crafters emporium has an amazing baking section. Here you’ll find decorative cup cake liners and chic packaging options like: bakers twine for securing, windowed bags and boxes for cookies and brownies and even perfectly sized cellophane bags for chocolate dipped pretzels.

3. Container Store. Here you’ll also find great packaging products.  My favorites are the take-out cartons (#4 above)  in various prints, colors, and materials.

4. The local supermarket. This could turn out to be one stop shopping. Hit the baking section for cupcake liners, sprinkles etc., office supplies section for stickers and pens, and the gift wrap section for ribbon. Don’t forget to pick up brown paper lunch sacks and sandwich bags here as well.


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