Take a ‘Leftover Station’ Hostess Gift Basket & Get Invited Back

Take a ‘Leftover Station’ Hostess Gift Basket & Get Invited Back

Help your hostess divvy-up leftovers by encouraging guests to pack their own doggy bag using this fully-stocked Leftover Station Hostess Gift Basket.

How can I help someone throwing a dinner party?

Imagine this: You’re at a dinner party – even Thanksgiving dinner – and it’s the point in the evening when the guests start to push their chairs away from the table and pat their mouths with grandma’s linen napkins.

The hostess is busy preparing desert or refilling wine glasses or taking out another bag of trash. How can you help your hostess while she is busy with post-dinner tasks?

SOLUTION: Help them with leftovers!

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Leftover station hostess gift basket with free sign download by Natalie Menke

What is a thoughtful hostess gift for a dinner party?

Nearly every host/hostess would rather leftover food exit their home with their guests instead of having a million random containers of food left in their refrigerator.

To help make this a reality for your host or hostess, I came up with this unexpected hostess gift: a fully-stocked leftover station. Think of it as a doggy bag hostess gift to make clean-up a breeze.

All you need to do is pack to-go containers, labels, and pens in a pretty wicker basket lined with a classic kitchen towel, and add my FREE “Grab Some Leftovers To Go” sign (download below) to complete this leftover station hostess gift basket.

leftover containers in a basket with a sign that reads "grab some leftovers to go"

Once you are at the event, simply place the leftover station basket in the kitchen to help with post-dinner clean up. Hosts and hostesses will be happy to have guest help themselves to leftovers and ensure a tidy fridge after the festivities are over.

'grab some leftovers to go' sign free printable


  1. Gather your favorite to-go containers. I personally like these black plastic rectangle containers (which I can sometimes find at Costco as well) for main dishes and these brown craft containers for smaller quantities of soups, sauces and side-dishes.
  2. Line a pretty wicker basket with a kitchen towel and add an appropriate number of go-to containers to the basket.
  3. Download, print and cut-out my FREE “Grab Some Leftovers To Go” sign.
  4. Tape bamboo skewers to the back of the sign, and tuck it in the basket.
  5. Add some labels and pens so guests can easily identify and retrieve their leftovers from the fridge on their way out the door.

Leftover station hostess gift basket free sign download by Natalie Menke

What Are Some Other Gifts to Take to a Dinner Party?

Even if you are told ‘not to bring a thing’ to a dinner party or holiday dinner, there are a few thoughtful gifts that are always appreciated. Here are some of my very favorite easy hostess gifts you can throw together at a moment’s notice:

1 | A Paper Product Hostess Gift

More than likely, the host has gone through a whole lotta trouble to throw a nice dinner party or holiday dinner. She’s gonna be tired in the morning.

So, grab some cute paper plates, paper napkins, disposable cups and/or disposable silverware and tie them together using some pretty ribbon or twine. A paper plate hostess gift is a thoughtful way to take the burden off of the host the next day.

2 | Hostess Gifts for the Kids

Maybe the hostess did not want you to bring anything for her, but I don’t care who you are, anytime you think of someone’s kids…it’s appreciated.

It may be an unexpected hostess gift, but I like the idea of bringing small gifts – or even kid-themed hostess gift baskets – for holidays or even long weekends (especially when you are bringing your whole family along).

Sometimes keeping someone’s kids occupied while they are trying to host a dinner party or holiday is gift enough!

3 | Alcoholic Hostess Gifts

There is a reason a bottle of wine is a go-to hostess gift. A bottle of alcohol is an easy hostess gift to pull off without much forethought. BUT, is the host a wine lover? Does she prefer whiskey? Sangria, Prosecco, Beer? Be sure to take this into account and customize the gift to suit the host’s preference.

If you want to go the extra mile – say for a hostess gift for a holiday or a long weekend – alcohol-themed gift baskets are a great option. Need some alcoholic gift basket inspiration? Here are my favorites:

My Favorite Alcohol-Themed Hostess Gift Baskets

So what are your thoughts?

If you make your own Leftover Station Hostess Gift, I would love to see how it turns out! Leave me a comment below with your thoughts or tag me on Instagram!


More later! The craft room is calling, and I must go…


Natalie Administrator
Natalie Menke, the self-proclaimed Gift Guru, is always thinking about the next gift she is going to give. Her hope is to provide boundless inspiration for completely customized and personalized gifts. Happy gifting!
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