12 Favorite Hostess Gifts under $25

By Kate Riley December 8, 2010

I love being invited to parties, especially this time of year, don’t you?   Laura from Texas recently wrote to me asking about inexpensive but elegant hostess gifts.  Nothing beats a homemade gift, but time and money are precious and short this season.  If you’re looking for something unique and special and don’t want to spend a lot of moola, here are twelve charming ideas that make great hostess gifts!  All under $25!  

Extra Ingredients Measuring Spoons ($18) and the Castle Key Bottle Opener ($12), both from Anthropologie.


anthro gifts


Aerolatte frother ($20) from Crate + Barrel and Table Topics conversation starter game($25) from Amazon

aerolatte and table topics


Vintage Stamped Metal Napkin Rings (Etsy $4) and mini Eiffel Tower place card holders (8 for $16)

silver napkin rings and place card holders


Vanilla Bean Caramels ($10) from Sur la Table and Bread Dipper Oils ($19) from Napa Style.

caramels and oils



Dr. Hunter’s Rosewater Hand Crème ($12) and Cucina Purifying Hand Soap ($20)

hand creme cucina soap

Monogram wine stopper ($10) from BB&B and a Monogram Candle Pot from Pottery Barn ($20). 

wine stopper and candle

What about you?  Do you have a signature favorite gift that you give a host or hostess? 




  1. My husband and I bought the key bottle opener during our honeymoon from the Anthro in San Francisco. We call it the key to happiness :)

  2. Happiness times two Megan, for the bottle you’re opening and the hubby you drink it with!

  3. I am hosting two Christmas dinner’s this year and would love any of these gifts. They’re all thoughtful but also help make future hosting easier.

  4. I always try to give something with a shelf life like wine or flowers. Those caramels would be great too. I live in New York, the City of Inadequate Storage, and I figure if I give something like placecard holders or wine stoppers it will just obligate the hostess to find a place to put it. I might make an exception for that terrific bottle opener, though.

  5. I don’t think you can go wrong with drinkables, and they don’t have to be expensive! Of course, my husband’s in the wine business so I would say that….

  6. Those measuring spoons are gorgeous, hmmm…would you like to come for a glass of wine ;)

    My go-to is a bottle of wine with a beautiful topper or handmade soap that I buy at craft fairs!

  7. Thank you for this very helpful post!! I love love to bring/give gifts to people but they definitely add up. Such fun ideas :)

  8. I see a lot of the same gifts I like to give on your list. I love giving unique bottle openers along with a good bottle of wine. They don’t have to search for something to open it with!

  9. I just bought those bottle toppers this past weekend at Hobby Lobby for $6/each! Love them. Thanks for the ideas!

  10. Great list! I love to bring some fresh ground coffee for the hostess . . . so they can relax later that evening or the next morning after a job well done! Also, tea bags in a pretty cup is fun too!

  11. My go-to gift is a pretty spreader tied up with ribbon around some festive cocktail napkins and a homemade cheese ball. (The cheese balls are easy to make and freeze ahead!)

  12. Those are fun ideas for hostess gifts! I love the monogrammed candle and the bread dipper oils. I’ve usually done the homemade goodies…mini holiday bread loaves, cookies, or jams. If I know they have a Christmas tree I have also brought a pretty ornament to attach to the package. I never like to show up empty handed so it’s nice to have these other great ideas that you’ve mentioned, Kate.

  13. I have those measuring spoons and I love them! I keep them displayed on a hook, because they’re too adorable to keep hidden in a drawer

  14. I have a base set of gift that I tend to vary depending on the person or party:

    – Homemade Caramels: I make a bunch of salted caramels and put them in pretty bags with ribbon. I can then write a little note and be out the door….

    – CD: I like to made a holiday CD of new and old songs, so I burn a quick CD and customize the label for the person by adding their picture or name.

    – Salt-n-Pepper Shakers: For some reason, I always find awesome shakers on sale, so I buy them and typically combine it with a fleur de sel or some other fancy salt and give it as a gift.

    – Paperwhites: I recently discovered these beauties and have forced several pots of them. I go to Ikea and buy 6 of their white pots at a time, force 2-4 bulbs in each, wrap a bow around the pot and take it to party. It has YET to fail….

  15. these are very cute ideas!

    i have to admit though, i’m dying to see who won the felt pillow!!!!!!! my fingers have been crossed since monday or whenever it was!

  16. One of my favorite hostess gifts is a selection of paper cocktail napkins tied up with a pretty raffia bow. I am careful to choose napkins that depict interests, hobbies etc of my hostess such as cats for the cat lover, funny sayings for the catholic school kid in all of us, pretty flowers, sophisticated monograms etc. It is always a big hit. I also like to take a pretty bowl full of candy appropriate for the occasion. It is a nice snack to set out since people love candy. Fourth of July I found a three way divided dish and fille dit with red, white and blue candies (red kisses, blue mini york peppermint patties and white choc nuts)wrapped it in cellophane and tied it with a wire gift tie with stars on it. It was huge hit and there was not one piece of candy left by the end of the night.

  17. Thanks for these!!! I love all the ideas–all the ones in the catalogs are over $25 and I just don’t have that kind of cash, but I love to give lovely hostess gifts. Thanks for sharing!

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