August 12, 2012

Hand-made gifts, Part 2

Here is a basket full of hand-made gifts that comprised a hostess gift.  Our family was invited to be weekend guests at Lake Anna in Virginia.  My husband's entire family - all generations - were invited together by some long-time family friends.  I am so impressed that this couple in their seventies could host such a crowd.  And, let me tell you, this hostess cooked for the crowd!  We had a made-to-order pancake breakfast with our choice of blueberry, apple or chocolate chip pancakes, plus all the fixins!!  And cocktail hour for the grown-ups with scrumptous munchies.  This was better than any resort we could have stayed at.  The kids had a blast water-skiing and tubing on the lake, and on and on.  So, this hostess really deserved a special thank-you gift.  I'm so glad I was prepared with this hostess gift when we arrived, before I even knew what an awesome weekend we would have.

This first picture shows the items that were included in the basket.  I had recently hosted a Dove Chocolate At Home party and had everything I needed to make some yummy and attractive home-made chocolates.  Even the clear acetate box came from Dove.  I wrapped it in some pretty ribbons and hand-stamped a tag, identifying "Homemade Dark Chocolate Candies."

I had picked up some bath salts and Jasmine body butter from the dollar store recently and loved the pale blue color.  So, I made my packaging to coordinate with this pretty color.  I also stamped on tissue paper and melted that onto a candle, and decorated a little box of matches.  (The stamp set has long since retired, and I can't remember the name of it).  

I arranged the goodies in a gift basket I had left over, after stuffing the bottom with paper shreds.  You want the items to sit up at the brim of the basket, if possible, so that it looks attractive and the recipient (and jealous observers) can see what is in the basket.

Finally, I wrapped the entire filled basket with cellophane wrapping (just like Easter baskets) and I topped it off with a coordinating bow.  I am so pleased with how it came out.  Looks like I spent a fortune on something from a high-end gift boutique, when really just some dollar-store finds were re-packaged and personalized with my craft supplies!  It was received very well by my hostess.  She just raved about it and I scored points of approval (noone else in the family even brought a hostess gift of any kind for such a generous and lovely invitation)!  We had a wonderful weekend with the two extended families together.

So remember, next time you are invited to stay as a guest, or to a dinner or party at someone's home:  The host or hostess has gone to some effort to entertain you, cooked for you, cleaned for you and make you feel comfortable and special.  Take a little time and effort to make something special for him or really doesn't take much to make a little hand-made gift!  (And it doesn't need to be as elaborate as this basket full.  Just one of the items here would be a nice token of appreciation!)

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