Hostess gifts are one of the holiday season’s “sleeper” expenses. Most of us do not budget for these items in advance, and we end the season scratching our heads as to where it all went. If you grab a bottle of wine from your refrigerator, wrap it up as gift to your hostess, you’ve still paid for the bottle of wine, and it’s not memorable (unless it’s a Latour).
This year, get the jump on your hostess gift needs and do it yourself. Most people are touched by the thoughtfulness of a homemade gift–it says “you thought of me” instead of “it’s all I had.”
The following DIY hostess gifts are very easy to make, not very expensive and exquisite in their look and feel. In one afternoon you can enough gifts made and packaged to get you through the entire season, and have some left for yourself.
Jasmine and Vanilla Chamomile Bath Salts
-Bath salts may seem too simplistic a hostess gift to make, but be creative with the types of salts and scent blends, package it creatively, and she will treasure it.
– Bath salts can provide a wide variety of benefits for your body and your skin.
– Basic Epsom salt soaks can draw toxins out of the skin, and help heal sore muscles.
– Ancient salts, grey salts, pink salts and sea salts are full of trace minerals that our skin needs, but almost never gets from external sources.
– A 20-minute soak in one of these salt bath soaks will make the skin glow, and uplift spirits. Your friends will love your thoughtfulness.
- 1 cup Epsom Salt
- 2 cups Bolivian Pink Salt (fine grain)
- 9 drops Vanilla Chamomile Fragrance Oil
- 4 drops Jasmine Fragrance Oil
1. Combine the two salts in a large metal or glass bowl (do not use plastic).
2. Slowly add each drop of the oils while mixing.
3. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and spread mix evenly on each.
4. Let air dry for several hours before pouring into a decorative glass or ceramic jar.
Other great scenting combinations for these salts would be:
- Citrus Essential Oil and Clary Sage Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil
- Lemon Pound Cake Fragrance Oil and Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Honey, Oatmeal and Tres Leches Bath Soak with Rose Buds
In this incredibly soothing milk bath, we combine three different milk powders, all do something a little different for the skin, but the combination doesn’t leave anything out.Add to it the humectant honey powder, and the anti-inflammatory oatmeal, and you have the perfect concoction for fall and winter skin.
Tell whomever you gift this to, to pour 2 cups of the mix into your tub, and do it as often as they can.
I made a double sized batch and used lavender buds instead of the rose petals in the second bottle—I call it Sleepy Time Tress Leches Soak.
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 1/4 cup Goat’s Milk Powder
- 1/4 cup Powdered Coconut Milk
- 1/4 cup honey powder
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup oatmeal (finely grind it first)
- 1 large handful of dried rose petals
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
1. Simply mix all of the ingredients together and pour into the container of your choice. I like layering the powder mix with the petals for a parfait-look. I usually create a four pack of these, recycling used frappuccino bottles and the cardboard packaging they come in (channeling my inner-Martha Stewart).
Sweet Coffee Sugar Scrub Cubes
If you want to bring a really unique handmade hostess gift, then these adorable little barnacle-busters will do the trick.
Each cube will cleanse, exfoliate and soften the skin, and leave it feeling hydrated and smooth.
These handy sugar scrubs take very little time to make, and last a long time on the shelf if you make a large batch.
If you mold these in ice-cube trays, or silicon brownie molds (like I did), each cube should last just one shower—no mess left over.
Very important: Please make sure your recipient knows that these cubes are NOT to be used on the face. They’re for the body only.
- 1/4 cup Shea butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 cups of brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 cup of shredded soap (make sure it’s unscented soap)
- 1/3 cup coffee grounds
- 2 tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 -Melt both oils completely in a double boiler. Add the soap shavings, and stir until soap has melted into the oil (this may take a while, be patient and keep stirring).
2 -Once fully melted, remove the double-boiler from the heat, and add the coffee grounds, and vanilla mix completely.
3 -Quickly push the mix into your mold of choice–I used a silicon brownie & heart mold for the cubes pictured above.
4- Place the mold in the freezer for a few hours to firm up the cubes. When completely firm, remove from molds, onto dry paper towel. Let the cubes come to room temperature, and wipe off any condensation along the way.
Air dry for a day or two before packaging.
Note: Never use these molds for food after you’ve used them to make skin care products.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Hand and Body Balm
This is the perfect hostess gift for your friends that spend as much time outside as in during the holidays.
Fall and winter bring drier air both indoors and out. This delicious smelling balm helps to protect your skin from the environment without any greasy mess.
I purposely make these hand balms in very small containers, and put them in a basket in the restroom. My guests are always surprised to find a gift awaiting them in a place where the least expect it.
I assure you, whomever you gift this to will talk about how much they love it for years!
- 1/4 cup Cocoa butter
- 1/4 cup Shea Butter
- 1/4 cup beeswax
- 1/4 cup Vitamin E oil
- 15 drops of Pumpkin Pie Fragrance oil
- 15 drops of Sugar Cookie Fragrance oil
1- Place all solids in a microwaveable glass measure cup. Microwave in short bursts of 15 seconds at a time until the solids have just melted. Do not over heat.
2- Stir in the Vitamin E oil, and then add the fragrance oils drop by drop using a pipette—stir as you go.
3- Allow the mix to cool a bit. Once the mix is a little cloudy, it is fine to pour into the containers. DO NOT touch the containers until they have cooled completely (2-3 hours). This is very hot wax you are pouring.
4- When completely cooled, place the lids on top, and label the container.