Easy, Unique, and Thoughtful Hostess Gift Ideas

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As much as I strive to be a gracious host, I try equally as hard to be a gracious guest. More often than not, it isn’t until I am rushing out the door to a party that I start to think of what to bring. In these cases, I usually resort to swinging by a grocery store along the way and snagging whatever flowers/wine are convenient. While it is better than nothing (which I fully admit to showing up with sometimes), hostess gifts are intended to be thoughtful. When I find myself in these “aw, man!” moments, I always cringe a little on the inside handing over a bottle of wine I’m not even sure he/she will like. I know I can do better. So, because gifting more thoughtfully is one of my personal goals, I came up with a plan. And, in order for me to stick to it, I knew it had to meet the following criteria. 1. It has to be convenient, 2. it should be inexpensive, and 3. it should achieve the first two while still being unique and thoughtful.

This past weekend, I set out to start curating a collection of items to keep on hand to use as hostess gifts. I am not all about spending a full day driving from store to store to start assembling my stash (read criteria 1.). A one-stop-shop is best in these circumstances. I Santa uses this same philosophy for stocking stuffers ;). On Saturday, I took a trip to andThat! which recently opened down the road in Kennesaw (Georgia) and while I wasn’t feeling inspired before my trip, one quick pass through the store was all it took for me to know exactly what I wanted. A second pass through the store and my cart was filled with goodies for five different gift concepts I would truly love to receive, myself.

HOSTESS GIFT 1.

While flowers aren’t exactly the most original gift, they truly are one of my favorite gifts to receive. Arrangements, orchids, houseplants… gimme all of ’em! But, flowers are temporary. Instead of focusing of the flowers, put more thought towards the vessel in which you gift the flowers.

Blue and White Vase with Limelight Hydrangeas in Breakfast Nook

As soon as I saw this color coordinated display (yes, cue the heart eyes), I went straight for the blue and white. I grabbed up a couple of these vases (priced at $14/ea.) and when I got home, snipped some of the limelights from my bushes which have been producing fruit for the last two months.

AndThat Blue and White

Trading dollars spent on flowers for a fabulous and affordable vase was an easy decision. Long after the last hydrangea has wilted, the recipient of this gift will be able to use this vase time and again.

blue and white vase with limelight hydrangeas

HOSTESS GIFT 2.

Ok, you saw that blue and white display, right? When I saw these lidded bowls, my mind immediately went to “elegant candy dish” or a truly special way to deliver homemade treats. At around $16, you’re still in the grocery store flower arrangement/nice bottle of wine price range. I am actually going to head back before Christmas to snag some for holiday cookie gifts. No metal tins for me this year! Similar to the vase, a beautiful container in which you deliver your treats can continue to be used, displayed, and cherished.

Blue and White Candy Jar Hostess Gift

andThat! had a nice sized section for gourmet foods, spices, marinades, and candy… even a classic candy section. I immediately spotted the orange sugared gummies which reminded me of my Granny’s house when I was a little girl. Granny always had these when I visited; in that moment, nostalgia won and I threw the oranges into my basket.

Blue and White Candy Dish with Orange Slices

HOSTESS GIFT 3.

You know when you go to an Italian restaurant and the server whips up that fantastic olive oil dip for your bread? It’s a treat I love, but I never think to make it at home. You can create a truly unique hostess gift with simple ingredients and a few glass jars. I picked up a large container of Italian seasoning and bottle of olive oil which will last through a few rounds of gift baskets. I think my favorite find(s) of the day were these cute little jars and bottles. They had all different sizes in the glass kitchen section for less than a dollar a piece. I stocked up. In addition to the olive oil and Italian seasoning, a simple salt and pepper set is filled with salt and garlic powder.

Olive Oil Bread Dip Hostess Gift

I was pleased with the olive oil dip ingredients a complete gift but when I saw these bowls, I decided they needed to be in the basket too. Perfect for seasoned oil.

Blue and White Bowls

I typed up a quick recipe as a personal touch to add to the basket. Note: tie a simple ribbon around any card and it immediately feels special and dressed up.

Olive Oil Dip Gift Basket

Olive Oil Bread Dip Recipe:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Olive Oil Bread Dip Recipe Card in Gift Basket

Olive Oil Gift Basket

HOSTESS GIFT 4. 

I told you I stocked up on the glass jars and bottles! The possibilities for customizing cute baskets with these are abundant but when I spotted bags of campfire marshmallows, I knew I wanted to assemble a sweet little hot chocolate basket. Like the previous, you could even include a recipe card for your favorite hot cocoa to personalize your gift. Marshmallows, mini chips, cinnamon, and cocoa powder round out my necessities. My mom created something similar for Christmas gifts at her office last year and added peppermint pieces.

Hot Chocolate Gift Basket Jars

These cable knit sweater mugs were made for hot chocolate… and my hot chocolate basket.

White Sweater Mugs

A peek at the fully assembled basket…

Hot Chocolate Basket for Hostess GiftHot Chocolate Gift Basket with Purple Roses

I used a funnel to pour the powder into the jar. The hot chocolate fixins’ are also easy to stock up on to create multiple baskets off of one batch of ingredients.

Hot Cocoa Basket for Gift Ideas

HOSTESS GIFT 5.

This may be my favorite, most creative, and certainly easiest gift of all. Coconut oil is the thing right now… it’s basically, the Rachel Green 1995 haircut of health food (any Friends fans?). The amazing part about it though is that it transcends the food world and people all over are using it for cleaning, beauty, hygiene, etc., etc. Those who use it swear by it and I think it may possibly be the new duct tape… I will warn you- if you show up at someone’s house and hand them a jar of coconut oil from a grocery bag, they may think you’ve lost your mind. Presentation and a thoughtful touch make all the difference here. It’s all about the delivery.

Coconut Oil Gift with Uses

There are tons of lists online with uses for coconut oil. I took a few favs (HERE) and created a cute little pocket card with the web address for over 100 more. I snipped a fern frond from my front porch and tied it with ribbon for the finishing touch.

Coconut Oil Uses Pocket Card

Now that you hopefully have some ideas for your next hostess gift, remember to always have cute note cards on hand when you are on the receiving end. Instead of “thank you” cards, I keep a stash of different patterned blank note cards in my office so I can customize them for the occasion. They must have known I was coming because they had big bins full of cute, inexpensive sets.

Thank you Note Monogrammed

I would love to hear your approach to hostess gifts- some of your favs to give and receive! Leave me a note in the comment section below.

*This post was sponsored by andThat! While I received compensation and/or product in collaboration, all product has been selected by me and all concepts, thoughts, and opinions are my own. Find the closest andThat! store near you by visiting the store locations page.

Easy, Unique, and Thoughtful Hostess Gift Ideas
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35 Comments

  1. 8.4.16
    Natasha Kalita Design said:

    I absolutely love the coconut oil idea! All my girlfriends would think that was perfection☺
    And stocking up on pretty vases for flowers is smart. I love receiving a bouquet of fresh blooms as a hostess, but when you are already so busy and then have to stop and find a vase, cut and arrange flowers….

    • 8.4.16

      Natasha, I am so glad you like it! And, you are so right. No extra work for the host when they are already in a vase 😉

  2. 8.4.16
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    What great, unique and thoughtful ideas! Each one was better than the last. Your recipients will be tickled! I am very intrigued with andThat…it sounds like a one of a kind store. I can’t wait to check it out!

    • 8.4.16

      I am so glad you liked them! It really was a one-stop-shop; you can check the location link at the bottom of the post to see if there are any stores in close proximity 😉

  3. 8.4.16
    Tamara said:

    The perfect roundup of ideas, Kel! The best part about each of these is your presentation! I just wish I had one of these stores near me – I’d be running to get each of these, and more I’m sure! Xo

    • 8.4.16

      Tam, thank you so much for stopping by! I think a little effort in the presentation can make a big difference 😉

  4. 8.4.16
    Katherine said:

    Great ideas! I often use the olive oil/vinegar gift bag from one of those specialty stores, but I like the self-assembled basket you’ve done. I also love to give homemade jam or jelly.

    • 8.4.16

      Katherine, thank you and I LOVE your idea of homemade jams! That would be super special to receive as a gift.

  5. 8.4.16

    This is so smart – I stock up on holiday hostess gifts but for some reason never thought to do it for everyday hostess gifts. Love both blue and white options – I’ve never heard of this store before but hoping that one comes in near me!!

    • 8.7.16

      Kris, yes! SO much easier to get stocked up. I need to get started on holiday gifts too 😉

  6. 8.4.16
    Annie said:

    Kelley! I absolutely loved this post! I am always trying to think of something creative to give hosts and this is perfect. I agree that flowers/vases are always a favorite and I couldn’t agree more about coconut oil. We use it non stop here at our place. Thanks for sharing friend it was beautiful!

    • 8.7.16

      Annie, thank you! Just some classics with creative, special twists and a few new ideas 😉

  7. 8.4.16
    Sue said:

    Beautiful presentation and such great ideas! I love the idea of adding a vase or dish to make the gift more special. I’ll definitely do this for Christmas!

    Cute idea on the coconut oil. I’ve been using organic coconut oil for seven years and swear by it. I can probably list 100 uses myself, lol. Great post, Kelley!

    • 8.7.16

      Sue, thank you so much for stopping by and for your positive feedback! And I love to hear that; such an easy affordable gift with a little added special touch 😉

  8. 8.4.16
    Bree said:

    Such thoughtful gifts, Kelley!! I especially love the dipping bowls and recipe!! Looks like andThat has an amazing selection of item too:)). And P.s. I think the coconut oil is a genius idea…I use it after a shower sometimes so this would totally be right up my alley?

    • 8.7.16

      Bree, I am so glad you like them! We are actually having some of the dipping oil tonight. I have been craving it since I prepared the gifts! haha

  9. 8.5.16
    Barbara Townley said:

    Kelley love the blue and white! You have inspired me to start thinking about the holidays… never too early.

    • 8.5.16

      Barbara, this trip motivated me to start thinking ahead also; I totally agree! I am determined to be finished by Thanksgiving this year!

  10. 8.5.16
    Rosanna Bazalar said:

    I’m so inspired by your ideas!! I absolutely love this post however, when I go to the “andThat!”website to buy the beautiful blue and white vase and the candy bowl they don’t seem to have it at all..maybe it’s in store only?? I live in Utah and there’s no andThat! stores near me.

    • 8.5.16

      I am so glad and it MAY be. In some markets, it is known as Christmas Tree Shops/Christmas Tree Shops andThat! Take a peek and check that, maybe? If not, I know they are opening stores so stay tuned! 😉

  11. 8.5.16
    Jamie Silverthorn said:

    Love these ideas. I’m so inspired by all of your posts. Waiting for my white sheets you suggested to arrive in the mail too. You remind me of myself before I had kids because I could go shopping and browse for the perfect things for hours. Now, I don’t have the time, so you take all the guess work out of it for me 🙂 ??

    • 8.5.16

      Jamie, I am so glad! Please report back and tell me when you think. We LOVE those sheets! You are so kind to say that <3

  12. 8.5.16
    Kim Hazel said:

    HI Kelley! Love all these ideas! You’re so creative and you’re right, presentation is everything !! Absolutely gorgeous ! Love your blog!

    Xoxo

    • 8.7.16

      Kim, thank you so much for stopping by! Some of the most simple things can be made special through a little special detail 😉

  13. 8.5.16
    LINDA said:

    Hi your home is beautiful I need counter height chairs with nailheads, do you prefer leather or cloth what do you prefer kitchen cabinets are brown, granite is white and brown. Living room is gray section and shag rug is white with gray diamonds, Don’t know what color dining room table and credenza should be Appliances are stainless steel where should I purchase these items. Thanks

  14. 8.5.16
    Deborah said:

    I live in Wyoming, no stores, dang it.

    • 8.5.16
      Deborah said:

      Love, love ,love!

  15. 8.6.16
    Tammy Loro said:

    Kelly! I’ve said this before but your attention to the details makes a huge impact! Whether decor, gifts, entertaining….you blow me away with your ideas! Thank you for all you share XOXO

    • 8.7.16

      Tammy, thank you for being such an incredible support! The details are my favorite 😉

  16. 8.6.16
    Linda said:

    Just stumbled on your blog this week– love it! Some great ides here-I have always enjoyed doing gift baskets and the coconut oil is perfect timing. Thanks!

    • 8.7.16

      Linda, I am so glad you stopped by! Thank you for taking the time to leave a note. It’s funny how you can create some of the most thoughtful gifts affordably and with common items.

  17. 8.12.16
    Karen said:

    I love these ideas and I’ve been looking for something special. At Christmas, a friend gave me a very pretty, reusable shopping bag. Like a gift bag, it was stuffed with tissue. Inside was a beautiful Kate Spade mug, a box of gourmet tea, and a new book. It was a wonderful gift and I was touched by the thought that went into it.

    • 8.14.16

      Karen, I love that! That is how my mom gifts me when she comes to visit. Those extra touches truly mean a lot!

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