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A Quick, Easy Hostess Gift for Christmas

‘Tis the season for parties! I love being able to give the hostess of parties I’m invited to a little thank you gift and am always on the lookout for cute, easy, hostess gift ideas. The idea I’m sharing today would be a fun little gift for anytime you need to take a smaller, inexpensive present.

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Have you ever heard of a “favorite things” party? I went to one this evening with my ladies’ Sunday school class and it was a lot of fun. Apparently, there are a few ways to put one together. For some “favorite things” parties, the guests will bring three of their favorite things and then everyone draws a number and chooses a gift. Then you draw numbers and play another round and so on.

For ours, though, we each brought something inexpensive (one for each guest) and then went home with a bunch of goodies. I came home with cookies (which my husband promptly tested for me), bath salts, a sugar scrub, a new pen, a tea towel, and a whole pie!

It’s really hard to find a good gift that only costs a couple of dollars. So, what’s a crafty girl to do?

Make something!

For my gift, I decided to make a Christmas candle out of these cute little clay pots I found at an antique store….

Aged, distressed clay pots.

These are 3-inch pots. You can find similar ones here.

First, although they had been painted gray at one time, I wanted to age them a bit more. I cleaned them up a bit with hot water. Then I used some gray chalk paint that I had on hand to distress them a little further. A combination of dry brushing and a light wash of the watered down paint, gave them just a little more character….

Clay pots dry brushed and whitewashed with gray paint.

For the size of this clay pot, I needed about a 6 inch candle. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any that short at the store. So, I bought a pack of 10-inch tapers at Hobby Lobby (similar candles here) and took a sharp knife and cut them down…

You can cut a long taper candle down to a shorter size.

Next, I added a little bit of mounting putty to the bottom of the clay pots and squished the candle into it. The putty covers the drainage hole in the pot. It also serves to hold the candle in place while you fill the pot….

Use mounting putty to hold a candle in place.

For the pot filler, I used dried split peas. It took one and a half small (1 lb) bags to fill twelve small clay pots….

Dried split peas look festive and hold the candle in place.

I think the split peas look cute by themselves. But I decided that since I needed to transport a bunch of these candles, I’d use some sheet moss.

I bought sheet moss at Walmart and laid it on the top to help hold the peas in place. A few peas still fell out on the trip, but it wasn’t too bad…

Sheet moss around the Christmas candle.

Then to add some Christmas cheer, I placed a few faux red berries on top of the moss…

Faux red berries on a Christmas candle.

I got a good deal on the pots at the antique store (three for a dollar). Once I added up all of my costs, each candle ended up costing about $1.50!

A group of Christmas candles given as hostess gifts or party favors.

Wouldn’t these be cute with a bit larger of a clay pot and placed in a sugar mold? Or, as the hostess of our party tonight suggested, a bunch of them down the center of a table.

Or, you could use a larger candle like I did here…

French country mantel with clay pot candles.

French country mantel with white candles.

You can see my French country Christmas mantel here.

Another idea is to use a larger pot with a larger candle or several candles. What do you think?

Do you have any ideas for a hostess gift or party favors? I’m always on the lookout:)

single white candle in mini terra-cotta pot with moss and red berries

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