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Hosting a Canning Party + FREE Printable Invitations & Jar Labels

15. June 2022

If you’re a canner, you’re well aware that “putting up” is a ton of work. And if you also GROW the food that you can, you know it’s a few more tons of work. It’s very time consuming and exhausting. Your hands will be sore from peeling and chopping. Your fingers will be pruned from washing produce. Your kitchen will be sparkling clean, err, your kitchen will be a mess… as well as your favorite apron, hair, and sweaty forehead. But hey, it’s all worth it, right? Nothing beats canning your own food! You will have the satisfaction of DOING IT YOURSELF! Being self-sufficient! Having produce in your pantry in the middle of winter! Knowing WHAT is in the jar and what is NOT. So kudos to you for keeping your supply chain local.

Home Preserved Canned Food from Canning Party |

But like I said, canning is a lot of work. Food preservation is often less tiring if you can small batches here and there during busy work weeks. You can accumulate quite the pepper’s pantry four jars at a time. But what if your garden is overflowing with produce that needs dealt with ASAP? Or what if you over indulged at the farmer’s market because seriously, who doesn’t? And what if you’re tired of being tired and doing it ALL yourself? The solution? Host a Canning Party!

 Canning Party Printable Invitations, Jar Labels, Recipe Cards, Inventory Sheet |


We’ll go through the ins and outs of hosting a canning party below. We also put together a FREE Canning Party Printables packet to help you out. The FREE printables include invitations, recipe cards, canning labels, and a canning inventory sheet.


Download the FREE Canning Party Printables packet

Canning Party Printable Invitations, Jar Labels, Recipe Cards, Inventory Sheet |

What’s a Canning Party?

It’s a gathering of friends or family who will help you in your kitchen during “canning day.” It’s best to have a few who understand the canning process and all the safety protocals. Read our Get Ready for Canning Season post for procedures, safety notes, helpful tips, reliable source, and more! Not every attendee needs food preservation knowledge though. This would be a great time to help those who want to learn how to can. Sharing is caring after all! And sharing knowledge AND food in jars are some of the best gifts of all. Not to mention sharing the workload between a few friends will get the job done much faster. Friends can help wash, peel, and prep jars. It’s also a great learning experience for children to help in the kitchen.

Having a group of helpers makes the work fly by and also be more enjoyable. An added benefit is that you can also share canning equipments, special tools, jars, recipes, or even ingredients. This will make it easier on your pocketbook if you can borrow a more expensive pressure canner. You would also have an opportunity to test drive equipment your friends own before you make your next big purchase.

Your canning party can be in your own home or someone else’s home. If you have very limited kitchen space, see if you can get a room at a local church or community center. Otherwise, try to limit your guests to what you know will comfortably fit in your kitchen. And don’t forget you’ll have lots of dirty pots and pans at the end of the day to clean!


Download the FREE Canning Party Printables packet

Hosting a Canning Party Printable Invitations |

How To Host a Canning Party

First things first, you need to INVITE your canning friends to your party. Download our FREE Canning Party Printables packet to get started. The printables include invitations, recipe cards, canning labels, and a canning inventory sheet. Invitations can be printed and mailed to friends. Or you can use our special Canning Party Invitation PDF to digitally add your text and email. You can request that attendees bring specific equipment or ingredients so you don’t end up with missing items for your special day. It’s worth having duplicate utensils such as funnels and jar lifters.


Plan Accordingly!

Choose your canning recipes ahead of time. If you need some ideas, check out our canning recipes on our blog. Make sure the recipes are safe, reliable, and from trusted sources. If any of your recipes call for prior preparation, such as soaking a veggie in brine for a day, start that the day before. Be sure to have your work area sanitized and ready to go. Take note of what items your guests will bring so you aren’t missing anything for canning day. Setup your cutting workstation and any special equipment like food mills or juicers too. Have areas designated for washing, prepping, and final jar cooling. Check your canning jars for cracks or defects. Have jars ready to sterilize in hot water the next day or load your dishwasher up if that’s how you choose to prep jars. Depending on your recipe, you may not need to sterilize jars at all. Per the USDA, there’s no need to sterilize jars if they will be processed longer than10 minutes. Yippie!

Since your party may be an all-day event canning bushels of produce, have a game-plan for snacks, lunch, or dinner. The last thing you want is for your helpers to pass out from hunger! You can either order food from a local restaurant or prep sandwiches, salads, or fruit yourself in advance. Have plenty of beverages on hand too! A little music or a movie playing in the background will set the mood as well.


Home Preserved Food in Jars from a Hosting a Canning Party |

Rules? Yes, of Course Rules!

Since sharing is caring, you will want your canning friends to reap the rewards of your party. If they help you wash, peel, chop, prep, and can, they should get to help themselves to your strawberry jam, dill pickles, or beef stew. You’ll likely have an idea on how many jars your produce will yield. So know how many jars you will pass to your friends and pack in your pantry. If your friends bring their own canning jars to fill, well, let me tell you, those are the friends to have! Canning jars don’t come cheap and can quickly disappear. So you can always award this very special friend with extras if you see fit.


Return Jar Canning Labels to get your mason jars brought back |

By the way, if you’re of the mindset that your jar isn’t part of the gift, check out our Return Jar canning labels. This can be a polite or rude way of asking for your jars back. Wowsers, these labels are surprisingly controversial! I want my jars back dangit, but other canners feel ashamed asking for them back. You get to decide! Choose your own adventure (and choose your own Flavor Adventure).


Waterbath Canning |


Let the Big Day Begin!

Once your guests arrive, choose the workstations everyone will work. Produce needs washed, peeled, and cut. Syrups or brines need made. Those can each be separate workstations depending on the people and produce you are working with. You might decide to put someone with more experience in charge of operating the canner. Working in groups, one friend can pack jars and another can follow up with sealing them. This will make the day a breeze. Kitchen space permitting, you may even have multiple canners on the stove at the same time. You’ll need to pay extra attention to timing and not get confused! And don’t be afraid to switch workstations! It might get boring peeling beets for an entire day. And wouldn’t it be more fair if everyone had purple hands at the end of the day? Hmmmm?

If you have a beginner, take them through each station so they can grasp the full process from start to finish. Teach them the basics on prepping produce so they know what to trim and what to discard. Explain the process of packing jars, removing air bubbles, and how to properly screw on lids. Describe the differences between water bath and pressure canning and when to use each. Take a safety first approach especially with new canners! Allow them to ask questions so they can become comfortable when they finally can on their own. The last thing you want is to make anyone sick with your canned goods! At the end of the course, your newbie canner will almost assuredly appreciate the ever-loving “Ping” that signifies a job well done.  And if you don’t hear that ping, you can use that as a teaching moment for the beginner as well. We’ve all been there, and none of us like being there!


Setting up Pressure Canner |


The Joy of Sharing!

Some of us gardeners are known to be envious of what others can grow! We all have our strengths and weaknesses, success and failures. So don’t let any shortcomings keep you down. If you are unable to grow your own zucchini (like me), maybe one of your friends is a master at growing squash. Lucky you! If your friend becomes loaded with produce, perhaps you can have another party at harvest time. Depending on what you grow and preserve, you may have different canning skill sets. For instance, those who grow lots of veggies like squash, potatoes, or carrots, may have more experience with pressure canning. Using a pressure canner for the first time can make beginners nervous. Many newbies start with simple jams or fruit canned in a water bath or steam canner. So a canning party would be a great event to teach more advanced skills.


Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond |

If you’d like to expand your knowledge of preserving more vegetables or meat, I recommend reading up on pressure canning. A great book to start with is Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond by Angi Schneider. This book is great for the novice or experienced canner. All recipes are for pressure canning, and the book includes great info on prepping and canning meat.


Download the FREE Canning Party Printables packet

Hosting a Canning Party Printable Recipe Cards |

And speaking of recipes, our FREE Canning Party Printables packet includes recipe cards. Print a batch out in advance of your party for sharing your recipes. If your guests enjoyed your recipe, they may wish to share it for their own future canning party. You may also enjoy our Free Printable Retro Recipe Cards too.


Hosting a Canning Party Printable Mason Jar Labels |

Finishing the Day

The final step in finishing your jars would be to print and add canning labels from our FREE Canning Party Printables packet. If you want something more unique, you could look for custom canning labels in our shop. Make sure your jars are cooled for the appropriate time before touching the lids, usually 12-24 hours. Do a lid check to make sure everything sealed properly before storing or gifting jars. Remove the band and press the center of the lid to make sure it is concave and doesn’t pop up. Then pick up the jar just by holding the lid to make sure it stays attached. This will tell you right away if the seal is good. If a jar doesn’t seal, you can reprocess it or store in the fridge or freezer. Mark and date your canning labels and stick them to jars or lids. Depending on the time your canning party ends, you may need to gift your jars at a later date if they still need to cool. You may even want to gift your canning partners with other unique gifts to commemorate your fun day. Perhaps custom aprons, shirts, or kitchen gadgets would be generous gifts in addition to jarred goodies.


Home Preserved Food in Jars from a Hosting a Canning Party |


Storing Your Jars

If you had any beginners at your canning party, you may want to go over jar storage with them, especially if they take jars home. While it’s best to store jars in a cool room such as a basement, not everyone has that. Just don’t leave jars next to a heat source or in direct sunlight. Make sure jar lids are still sealed before opening and consuming. When you pry the lid off, you should hear a pop sound.

Now I don’t want to get in a fight and have someone call the Canning Police on me! But we need to talk about the BANDS. And this always brings out arguments with canners for some reason. Seriously, some people get huffy about the bands! Some folks store their jars WITH the bands on and others remove them. By leaving the bands off, you’ll be able to tell if there’s anything wrong with your jar later. If the contents start to spoil, the lid should pop off. If you leave the bands on, you won’t be altered to that. It’s possible that bad jars can reseal themselves if the band is on too. Some canners opt to leave the bands on loosely for storage or gift giving. If you ever have doubt about a jar, THROW IT OUT. NCHFP has tips on spotting spoiled food.


Hosting a Canning Party Printable Inventory Sheet |

To finish out your canning party, be sure to log your inventory. Our FREE Canning Party Printables packet includes an Inventory Sheet so you can jot down everything you canned. This is a great way to record what you put up for your pantry throughout the year. It would also help you keep track of what you want to give as gifts.


Download the FREE Canning Party Printables packet

Canning Party Printable Invitations, Jar Labels, Recipe Cards, Inventory Sheet |


Shop for Canning Labels on


Canning Party Printable Invitations, Jar Labels, Recipe Cards, Inventory Sheet |

Have you ever hosted or attended a Canning Party? If so, what tips or advice would you like to add? Do you have any special stories you’d like to share?

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