Best Vintage Hostess Gifts: Dinner Party Edition

Dec 7, 2023 | meaningful jewelry + gift guides

A hostess gift is appropriate for men and women. It’s a gift to the house as a token of thanks, so usually is related to cooking, dining, or drinking.

The best hostess gifts are affordable, memorable, and useful.

They don’t presume the house decor. You don’t want to bring a gift that’s to be hung on the wall or has to hang out on the shelf. Things could get awkward.

(Featured image of pretty dishes is from Etsy shop AnUnexpectedJourney.)

For a dinner party, I bring hostess gifts around $20, (because I’m usually also bringing wine), and I especially love gifts that are vintage, one of a kind, and pretty.

I keep a few always in my cupboard for when I get an invite.

Here are my favorite affordable vintage hostess gifts.

1. Toothpick holders

Small, easy to stash, and you only need one, Use it as a ring cup, or a cotton swab holder, everyone can use as many as they have.

Images are copyright the following Etsy shops: OldeFarmVintage, TodaysTreasures, and RedHareRetro.

2. Paper cocktail napkins

Paper napkins are fantastic, even when they’re new. Every dinner party needs a stack. Still in the package, vintage paper napkins can be fun. A lot of them are raunchy, most of them feel very dated, but some of them are just perfect.

3. Napkin rings

If you love setting tables, then you understand the role of the napkin ring. They’re just for show, but man, the performance is grand.

4. Trinket dishes

Trinket dishes should be small enough for keys and coins, or rings while cooking. They can be kept by the door, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom. be careful, because once you start looking for trinket dishes, you might fall down a rabbit hole.

I had to stop looking immediately, because I knew I was in trouble.

5. Butter pats or spoon rests

I use butter pats for butter, but more often for spoon rests, and all you need is one pretty one, and a little espresso spoon, and you’ve got a sweet gift.

6. Amaro glasses

Also called liqueur glasses, or apertif glasses, you can even use shot glasses. For my favorite friends, I bring along the bottle of digestif, too.

7. Swizzle sticks

Vintage swizzle sticks are fun. They come in plastic or glass. You don’t need many, but if you can find a bunch, they make a great collection.

8. Dish towels

It’s still relatively easy to find old dish towels that are still new.

My mom saved her linens, and for some reason hated to use them.

So she handed them down to me, just like her mom handed them down to her, unused.

Use them, I say. It makes washing dishes so much more fun.

9. Coasters

Coasters can be like little pieces of art. Find them in ceramic, glass, or metal. They needn’t be vintage. Local potters love making coasters, and they’re usually the least expensive thing on the menu.

10. Candlestick holders

Candlestick holders, like napkin rings, can make a table. If you really want to show the love, bring the tapers, too. We’re always running out of those.

minusOne jewelry logo of a pink Art Deco scallop | Trumansburg NY

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