Hostess Gift Ideas

Hostess Gift Ideas Somehow in all our moves, I’ve never written a post on hostess gift ideas (can I blame it on moving brain??). But thanks to the suggestion of one of my blogging besties (post ideas are just one of the many perks of have good blogging friends) I’m finally getting around to sharing a few ideas. Of course, the old standby of grabbing a bottle of wine is easy (and totally acceptable), but it’s not the most creative of gifts, so I came up with a few ideas that are just as easy, but slightly more thoughtful and personal. With plenty of summer events, barbecues, and get togethers on the horizon, this list of hostess gift ideas is sure to come in handy.

1. S’mores Kit// Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, roasting sticks; if you want to get extra fancy use a specialized chocolate and homemade or flavored marshmallows.

2. A Mini Herb Garden// For a host that enjoys cooking, a mini herb garden filled with things such as thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley or chives, is the perfect addition to their kitchen. Anytime they want to season a dish, the herbs are right there. Go the extra mile and include plant markers.

3. Relaxation Package- Hosting an event can be stressful, so help your host unwind with a few relaxing goodies- a cozy pair of socks, a sweet smelling candle, bubble bath soap, some tea, their favorite magazine, and a sprig of lavender. Also, some wine wouldn’t hurt!

4. Muffins & Jam- Pack a towel-lined basket with muffins (homemade or from a local bakery) and add a jar of jam (and coffee or tea)…your hostess will appreciate not having to cook up breakfast the morning after entertaining guests.

5. Local Fare// If you’re traveling some distance to see your hostess, bring an item that is unique to where you live, i.e. a locally brewed beer, or chocolates handmade in a small shop around the corner.

6. Homemade Items// Of course, in my opinion, homemade items are always the best. Whether it’s homemade caramels, seasoning mix, jam or even pickles, your host will really appreciate the extra mile you took to make them something special.

7. Pasta Dinner Kit// A bag of pasta, a basil plant, a head of garlic, a handful of fresh tomatoes (or a jar of your favorite sauce), and a chunk of parm, make it easy for your host to throw a quick and relaxing dinner together the next night. Bonus points for fresh bread, a bottle of wine, and the red and white checkered table cloth.

DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub

DIY Pumpkin Scrub I made you something you can eat AND put on your skin. By which I mean I made you something you will want to eat and it smells like you can eat it, but you should only put it on your skin. I’m super confusing, I know. But this stuff is super amazing! Using it is almost like taking a piece of pumpkin pie and having a food fight with yourself. Except it looks nothing like pumpkin pie and a food fight will leave you with a giant mess where as this scrub will leave you with glowing smooth skin. Soooo, if your wildest dream has always been to have a food fight, well here’s your chance…..

DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub To make your own pumpkin body scrub you will need:

1/4 cup coffee grounds (the fresher the better)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 (heaping) tablespoons of brown sugar
2 (heaping) tablespoons of epsom salt
2 (heaping) teaspoons of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg

*You may want to decrease or completely eliminate the spices if you have sensitive skin.

Pumpkin Body Scrub ingredients 1. Place everything in a medium size bowl. Mix until well combined.

DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub

2. If you wish, make your own label. To make my label, I used scallop-edged scissors to cut a piece of paper from an old grocery bag.

DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub 3. Pour your scrub into the jar, then affix the label. Keep refrigerated and use within one week of making it.

Pumpkin Body Scrub

 

Bath Salts Tea Bags

DIY Bath Salts Bath salts have always been considered a great gift giving option (hello Mother’s Day!). But who wants to get the same old bath products over and over again, am I right or am I right? When I was younger (maybe around 8th grade), I dreaded holiday gift giving with friends for the pure fact that I knew when all was said and done I would possess enough Bath & Body Works products to open up my own store.

bath salt tea bags

It’s been some time since I received a Bath & Body product (no one get any ideas!), and I no longer have so much hatred for bath products gifts. I think when they are home-made, well thought out, or unique, they make a great gift, especially for a holiday centered around pampering (like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or a birthday). These bath salt “tea bags” fit the bill perfectly! They are easy to make, smell heavenly, look pretty and they sure are unique.

how to make bath salts tea bags

To make the bath salt “tea bags” you will need- regular coffee filters, epsom salt (you can also use scented bath salts), dried lavender (or other pretty smelling flowers), a spoon (to scoop in the epsom salt and dried flowers), twine (I like to use baker’s twine) and scissors.

things to make with coffee filters 1. Layer together two coffee filters.

DIY coffee filter projects

2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of epsom salt (or bath salts) in to the middle of the filters.

DIY gifts 2. Next add in about 1 tablespoon of the dried flowers.

bath salt tea bags 3. Gather the coffee filters and tie together with a piece of twine.

To use- Run a bath with hot water. Place 1 or 2 “tea bags” in and let steep for about 10 minutes before getting in. It will last about an hour before all the salt is dissolved from the bag, so if you choose to you can leave the bag in the tub with you or you can discard it. Either way, relax and enjoy!

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

DIY Valentines Cards

Being a romantic at heart, I never pass up the chance to read a Nicholas Sparks book, watch a chick flick (much to my husband’s dismay), or make and send a hand-made Valentine. Well I realize I am probably the only one left in this century who even bothers to send something via the pony express, let alone actually make it first, I thoroughly enjoy the process (when time allows). I used to make something similar to these Valentine’s cards with my Mom and sister when I was younger and I always enjoyed how unique each one was from the different patterns of melted wax. They’re very easy to make, so I hope that means this year my cards will be getting some company on their pony express ride :)

DIY Valentines Cards

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Supplies Needed:

DIY Valentines Cards Craft Supplies

In addition to the above items, you will also need:

  • Construction paper in Valentine’s colors
  • Bakers twine
  • Exacto knife
  • Glue
  • Heart (or other festive shaped) stickers
  • Fancy-edged scissors (optional)

Red Crayons

1. Turn your iron on to preheat and set aside. Next, select an assortment of Valentine’s colored crayons.

Crayons

2. On a thick board/protected surface, use your knife to cut off a small piece of crayon (cut from the non-pointy end so the crayon is still usable). After removing the paper wrapping, finely chop up the crayon in to pieces.

DIY Valentines Cards 3. On a towel covered surface, lay out a square of wax paper. Cover with a small amount of the crayons (a little goes along way here). For a 6 x 6″ square of wax paper, I used about a teaspoon of crayon “crumbs”. Once you have the crayon pieces down, cover with another piece of wax paper.

DIY Valentines Cards

4. Using your iron gently start tapping at the wax paper, barely touching the surface and only holding it down for a few seconds at a time. The wax will quickly melt, and as it does you can use the tip of the iron to gently “drag” the wax around the paper.

DIY Valentines Cards

5. Continue on until you have used up all your crayon pieces; set aside to let everything harden and cool.

DIY Valentines Cards Supplies

6. Meanwhile, make your cards out of construction paper with fancy-edged scissors. Then, using regular scissors, cut a “window” into the middle of the card. Next, cut small pieces of baker’s twine (mine were 1 1/2″ but the length will depend on the size of your “window”, card and heart shape, so adjust accordingly).

DIY Valentines Cards

7. Once your wax paper has cooled, use your exacto knife or scissors to cut out heart shapes. You will need 2 hearts per card. To assemble the heart, cover one side in glue, place on the twine (as seen in the middle picture), then press down on top with another heart. Let it dry, then use your exacto knife to trim the hearts to the same shape and size.

DIY Valentines Cards

8. To attach your heart to the card, open the card all the way up and lay it front side up. Align the heart to the position you want it in, then, using a small dab of glue, attach the string to the card. Firmly press a heart sticker over the end of the string. Set aside to dry.

DIY Valentines Cards

DIY Valentines Cards

DIY-Cupcake Bouquet

Everyone loves getting a bouquet, but a bouquet you can eat? That’s a gift I would give myself!

Start by making your cupcakes and frosting and let both cool. I used a recipe for just basic vanilla cupcakes and buttercream (you can try this and this, but remember to only make a 1/4 of a recipe) but feel free to make whatever kind you want. Bake the cupcakes in yellow or green liners (to look like the flower) and dye your buttercream whatever color you want to make it look like the petals. Pipe on the frosting with a star tip. Side note: I used a 6″ pot that held 6 cupcakes.

While your cupcakes are cooling, cut two circles of styrofoam to fit into your pot, one for lower in the pot and one for closer to the top. You can also you use a block of floral foam.

On top of the styrofoam bunch up a sheet of green tissue (to look like the grass/ground).

To assemble the “flowers”, put either 2 large toothpicks or a cake pop stick in the bottom of the cupcake. Gently press it into the foam. Side note: If the green tissue starts to get in the way, you can put the cupcakes in the foam first, then press pieces of the tissue in around the cupcakes.

Wrap the whole flowerpot in colored tissue and tie with a bow.

 

Adapted from a recipe in The Cupcake