Finding a unique hostess gift can feel overwhelming when there’s so much to do during the holidays. This year, skip the mad rush to the mall. To thank your friends and family who welcome you into their homes, consider bringing a thoughtful, edible gift.
Here are 11 inexpensive DIY gift ideas for hostesses, neighbors, co-workers, and beyond.
1. Mini Donuts
If your search for a meaningful hostess gift ends in front of a gift card display, consider showing your appreciation with donuts. And not just any donuts—make tender, home-baked cake donuts. With classic recipes like chocolate, vanilla, and apple cider donuts baked in a nonstick donut pan, you’ll make your hostess feel a little extra special without maxing out your holiday budget.
2. Holiday Breads
Turn your grandma’s famous banana bread or pumpkin bread into holiday gifts your family and friends love by using a mini loaf pan instead of a traditional bread pan. It’s also helpful when giving baked treats to friends and family who need allergy-free treats. Use rustic brown boxes and tags to wrap the treats.
3. Mini Cakes
Bake 12 cakes at once in this mini holiday cake pan mold and then give away a little taste of holiday spirit with snowmen cakes and snowflake cakes. Add a creative touch to your baked gifts with perfectly sized brown boxes and twine to wrap your winter cakes. Everyone will think your goodies came from that trendy new bakery in town.
4. Mini Bundt Cakes
Do you have more than one holiday party to attend? Multiple family parties in one day? A mini cake pan lets you bake six small cakes at once. Customize cakes with a special glaze, sprinkles, or powdered sugar. The Mini Cake Gift-Making Set includes everything you need to turn personal cakes into gifts.
5. Mini Pies
Give your host or hostess a tiny, decadent pie wrapped in a decorated box. Create seasonal pie favorites like apple, pumpkin, pecan, or cranberry. There’s no need to go to multiple stores or buy all your gift wrapping supplies separately. Find everything you need to beautifully package six gifts, for about $2 each. The set includes six boxes with liners, precut twine, and gift tags.
6. Cookie Dough Ornaments
Here’s another gift idea for salt dough—press a child’s hand or a pet’s paw into the dough for a more personal gift.
7. Layered Cookie Mix
8. Cocoa mix in a jar
Start with a layer of hot cocoa mix, then add your host’s favorites toppings. Crushed peppermints, chocolate chips, and marshmallows make yummy cocoa toppings. Pack the cocoa in a reusable BPA-free jar that the recipient can use in their day-to-day for lunches and snacks.
9. Easy DIY Cookie Gifts
When done with a little flair, small gestures can be very meaningful. Look at basic sugar cookies, for example. It takes almost no time to bake them, but they make a wonderful gift for a hostess or a neighbor. This gift-making set includes everything you need—from the cookie baking sheet to the gift wrapping. Make big batches of cookies (in a variety of shapes!) in a fraction of the time with a rolling cookie cutter set!
10. Homemade Chocolate
Beautiful chocolates nestled in a brightly colored liner are sure to make your hostess’ day happier. A chocolate mold lets you put your own personal spin on this gift. You can dream up tons of creative candy creations. Layer white and dark chocolate melts. Try mint candy melts or caramel-flavored melts—there are so many possibilities!
Just melt chocolate, pour it into the wells, and pop it in the fridge. It’s that easy.
11. Whisk Gift Idea
When you need a last-minute gift, fill a whisk with chocolate kisses and tie it with a bow. For a finishing touch, add a tag that says, “We whisk you a merry kiss-mas!”
This post has been updated since its original publication in October 2016.
Need help with your holiday DIY gifts? Pampered Chef’s Bake to Gift Collection includes beautiful, useful tools, and easy recipe videos you can use to craft gorgeous baked goods to give as gifts—creating sweet traditions along the way.