‘Tis the season for parties. And that means it’s time to brush up on your manners. Your dessert utensil is above your dinner plate. Your bread plate is to the left. And you have to bring a gift for the hostess. That doesn’t mean spending a fortune, however; we’ve got three great DIY hostess gifts that will show that you care without breaking your bank.

Go Sweet

We loved this idea from One Good Thing. Everyone loves ice cream. Make a Lazy Sundae Kit for your hostess and her family.

What you’ll need: waffle cones (enough for each family member to have one), ice cream scoop, sprinkles, fudge, clear jars, cellophane baggies. Just assemble and top it with a bow!

lazy sundae kit - hostess gifts - pink verbena

Add Local Flavor

This is especially great for hostesses that live away from home. Bring them something localized from your area of the map. We love Gullah Gourmet’s Crab Cake Mix and Just Good Ol’ Grits. These little bags are already perfectly kitschy, but you can add the “wow” factor by bringing a serving dish along that you hand painted. It’s easier than you think.

What you’ll need: a (plain) porcelain plate, porcelain paint, applicator bottles and an oven.

Simply add the desired color paint to the applicator bottles and practice dotting on a scrap sheet of paper. Once you’ve created the pattern you want on the plate, let dry 2 hours and then put the plate(s) into the oven on 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Then you’re ready to go!

handpainted porcelain plates - hostess gits - pink verbena


When in Doubt, Bring Booze

Sometimes you don’t know the hostess well. When in doubt, bring alcohol. Even if she’s not a big drinker, everyone can use red or white wine while cooking during the holidays. But don’t just show up with a bottle of wine with a bow around the neck. These felt elf winos (from HGTV) are amazingly cute and will make anyone smile. They’re easy to create as well!

What you’ll need: felt, faux fur, small pom and fabric glue.

Cut the felt into an 8×10″ rectangle. Wrap and glue. Set on top of the bottle. Cut about a two inch tuft of faux fur for the beard and glue a pom as the nose. You can also use a button as the nose if you so choose.