It's much easier to pick out a gift for someone you know well, but there are a few safe gifts that will appeal to all. Here are some great hostess gift ideas under $40 - which is your favorite?
Flowers - prices vary. Flowers are an easy way to show your hostess appreciation for all she's done before the party. They make a nice addition to any room and smell fabulous! Peonies, gerber daisies and tulips are my personal favorites - I would skip roses as they are too romantic and lilies because they are often used at funerals. If you have time, put the bouquet in a mason jar and tie a pretty ribbon around it!
Bottle of wine - prices vary. Wine is always a welcome gift at a party! Whether it's red or white, your hostess will definitely appreciate a new bottle to add to her collection. You don't have to spend a ton - just pick a bottle that you know she'll enjoy! I recommend trying any bottle by Cupcake Vineyards, especially the Pinot Noir, Red Velvet and the Riesling for dessert.
Candle - Candles make great gifts because everyone loves them but people don't always buy them for themselves. If you know your hostess' favorite scent, perfect! If not, go with a fresh or floral fragrance to be safe. I like all candles by Tocca, especially the Tahiti candle ($36) which smells like tiare flower.
Apron - If she's hosting a dinner party, chances are she loves to cook or bake. Treat her to a cute new apron to wear around the kitchen! Anthropologie carries some gorgeous aprons under $40, so you're bound to find one there that will suit her perfectly. I like the Cuisine Couture apron ($32) and the Trousseau apron ($38) - both look more like dresses that I'd like to wear out!
Cookbook - A new cookbook is a great gift for a dinner party hostess or your friend who just moved into a new place! It's always great to receive a new book filled with creative and inspiring recipes. For the chef, I like Homemade: Irresistible Recipes For Every Occasion by Clodagh McKenna ($25.) There's a recipe for everyone in that book, so she is sure to find at least a few things she loves! For the baker, I recommend anything by Martha Stewart! Give her Martha Stewart's Cupcakes ($16) or Martha Stewart's Cookies ($16) - she'll be baking for weeks on end.
Coffee Table Book - It may seem like a silly gift, but it's something that people truly love to receive and don't often buy for themselves. If you are close with the hostess, pick out a book filled with text and photos on a topic she loves, whether it's her favorite fashion designer, travel destination or sports team. If you don't know the hostess that well, get her a coffee table book on entertaining since it's clear she loves hosting parties! I like Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant, and Affordable Entertaining by Lisa Vanderpump ($18.) She was recently featured on the Nate Berkus show and her ideas are really fantastic.
DIY Wine Glasses - Make her a beautiful set of 4 wine chalkboard or glitter wine glasses! She will definitely appreciate the effort you put into make the glasses unique, and besides, who can't use more wine glasses?? Click here to follow my instructions on making chalkboard wine glasses and click here for my instructions on making glitter wine glasses, which I'm proud to say have been repinned all over Pinterest!
DIY Coasters - If you're making her wine glasses, why not make her a set of coasters to go along with them? Click here to follow my easy instructions on making a set of 4 coasters.
DIY Picture Frame - This would make a perfect gift for a close friend who just moved into a new apartment or house. Spend an hour or so creating a beautiful picture frame for her to display - she'll definitely need a few new decorations to fill up her new place! Click here to follow my instructions on making a decoupage picture frame.