7 Hostess Gifts That People Will Love

Fancy soaps sit on the bathroom shelf, and potpourri sachets get lost in a drawer. So, instead of bringing traditional hostess gifts when you visit a friend, bust out one of these slam-dunk gifts that people will love (and want to use!) right away.

1. Adorable watchdog doorstop to make them smile, $24.
2. Spanish lavender to make their kitchen smell like summer, $58.
3. Indoor s’more maker, for obvious reasons, $25.
4. Summery rosé wine, with a tree wine stopper, $8.
5. Cheeky dish towel, since we’ve all been there, $16.50.
6. Big Sur room spray to inspire wanderlust, $20.
7. Guilty-pleasure gossip magazines to flip through together.

Thoughts? What do you normally bring as a hostess gift?

P.S. More round-ups, and the first travel week

(Post by Joanna. Graphic design by Rachel from Elephantine for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Those are very lovely gifts you have there. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. I want that rose wine.
    waikiki hotel

  2. rocky road cookies, or cakes to share after dinner (my sister and i have a thing that whichever of us cooks dinner, the other provides dessert) X

  3. Darling!!! I love these ideas. My cousin taught me that a plant is always a great gift and I agree!

  4. What a coincidence, my boyfriend and I just spent a week with friends in Brooklyn (I’m from San Diego) and we were racking our brains for weeks trying to decide what to get our friends as hostess presents. We ended up getting them a pretty wooden serving platter that looks like a slice right out of a tree trunk, three cheeses from a local cheese shop, hard salami and some tomato jam. One night, we picked up some fresh fruit from the market, some wine, and made them a platter of cheeses and other goodies.

  5. Gossip magazines! My best friend and I always buy them for each other! Now that we live 2500 km apart we buy them, stick post-its with our comments in the funny photographs ot texts and send them per mail!

  6. That s’more maker is ingenious, I want one!

  7. Anonymous says...

    Flowers best hostess gift

    Love the tea towel,but really, a night dream? Betcha a daydream.

  8. This is so cute! I love the inside s’more contraption, a must have!

  9. Anonymous says...

    I love tea towels of pretty much any stripe!

  10. I like to bring a bottle of high quality olive oil. That way they can use it that evening and later after everyone leaves. Plus its not something you usually get yourself but its something that’s always great to have.

  11. Fab! I especially love the dish cloth and the s’more maker?! We don’t really do that in the UK but they always look so tempting!

    Thanks for sharing!


  12. Such great ideas! My favorite is #5! I think my husband looks like Daniel Craig, so I get this guilty pleasure every night!

  13. That s’more maker is ingenious!

  14. oh my gosh, that indoor s’more maker. IN LOVE!!!!
    xo TJ

  15. The Lavender plant is absolutely beautiful! It would make a wonderful hostess gift. I also like giving nice champagne glasses, with a bottle of sparkling wine. Champagne glasses are usually ok if they’re not part of a matching set:)

  16. Anonymous says...

    That Spanish Lavender would be amazing.

  17. How cool is that indoor smore maker! I always just held marshmallows over the flame of the gas stove…

  18. Some of my favorite hostess gifts! I always love to give a book of short stories, like Raymond Carver, or a quick novel like The Martian Chronicles for them to read and unwind after a big bash!

  19. I think I love all those things, but the dog doorstop is my favorite.

    I am on sort of a “dog” kick and recently purchased a really cute 15″ cast iron weiner dog doorstop/bootscraper from High Street Market online. That other door stop could come join the family.

  20. wine, flowers or some home-made baked dish is my go-to! nowadays everyone has an allergy or dietary restriction to something though so it’s difficult to bring a home-cooked little dish.

    mon amy

  21. Anonymous says...

    In the last couple of months, I have bought french lemonade to my girlfriends. This is because almost every one of them is now pregnant, and a little lemonade with some bubbles is just perfect:)


  22. Oh, that little door stop. My four year old plays endlessly with statues, including a little metal job from Watertown, a mutt made from metal bits. She’d adore this.

  23. i saw your tweet, and thought you meant a real puppy. i was scratching my head for a few minutes, thinking, “would a puppy REALLY be a good hostess gift? i feel like that’s so risky…”

    now i understand. :)

  24. what great ideas! I might throw a party and causally suggest these as gift – I could really use that wine stopper or spanish lavender

    Treasure Tromp 

  25. I think I would love to give/receive the wine bottle and room spray the most.

    These days I mostly gift bakes to hosts. Brownies, cookies, etc are easier to give than go shopping hunting for gifts and wonder, “will they like this?” … “is this their kinda thing?”… :)

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Giveaway # 1 – Cupcake Carrier – Bake n’ Take!

  26. Wow very cool s’more maker, never seen that. Have a beautiful evening.

  27. Anonymous says...

    I love all of these! I usually take wine or olive oil when I go to someone’s house for dinner, but these would be great for an overnight or weekend stay! I like getting, flowers, anything foodie that I wouldn’t buy myself, like marcona almonds, and would love that rose with a wine stopper. (I also love that doggie doorstop!)

  28. I’ve started to bring little gift sets from our local Oil & Vinegar store (and sometimes a loaf of bread to enjoy!). It comes with a small dish that you can mix the dried herbs with the delicious olive oil, and viola! An app is ready to be enjoyed now or later :)

  29. It’s always so nice when someone brings a hostess gift! Personally, I love to bring Italian sodas from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (the glass bottles are really pretty) and sometimes, I bring really cute, festive grown-up napkins. xo

  30. K says...

    I think booze or something edible is always best — that way it doesn’t sit around for long.

    If I know my hostess is like me in her love of plants, I will bring a little potted friend. Sometimes that can be a little too much responsibility for some people, so I like to know they are plant people first.

  31. Anything handmade but consumable seems to be a hit. A homemade and low-cal/low-fat banana bread that’s wrapped up ready to go into the freezer seems to be a hit! Or a couple hand-knit dishcloths that can be turfed the minute they’re not helpful anymore!

  32. Great gifts, but why is the lavender so crazy expensive?
    xx Marjolein
    (The Netherlands)

  33. There’s a really good microbrewery in my neighborhood that just started selling bottled beer (before, it was only available in restaurants). I like to pick up a 6-pack of O’Connor whenever we go out of town. It’s a good conversation starter – we’ve even met other people from our area because they recognized the label!

  34. whenever I get together with my college friends (we are now in our 40’s) one of our favorite pastimes is sitting around reading cheesy magazines aloud to one another- it is a summer pastime for us! Whoever is hosting the yearly get together is feted with many magazines, for the weekends “down time”.

  35. Whoa! How cool is an indoor smore maker? I would be happy to host any event to get that as a gift.

  36. tara polly, i love wine stoppers. they’re just a little added pleasure, i think. our babysitter gave me one for my birthday, and i love it :)

  37. wedding smores would be amazing! great idea:)

  38. Loving all your great ideas here! I often struggle with hostess gifts and usually end up just bringing a bottle of wine. I love that dog door stopper- too cute!

  39. that s’more maker is such a good idea! i need to invite some people over to try that one out…! yum! :)

  40. i love number 1 and 2!! that puppy door stopper is so cute!!