13 DIY Upcycled Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas 

Published September 22, 2022
Woman Holding Thanksgiving Gift

Nothing says "thank you" quite as sweetly as a homemade gift - but homemade doesn't have to mean complicated or time-consuming. Upcycled materials can be put to use to make a fall-inspired Thanksgiving host gift that is not only charming but also a conversation piece. Using vintage and repurposed items to create something unique for your host will ensure you get invited back next year!

Wood Slab Coasters

If you have a log that you can saw into slabs, you can upcycle it into a set of charming coasters your host will absolutely love. You'll need at least four slabs for this gift, but you can always use more. They don't have to be the same size or shape, as long as they are about the size of a coaster.

You can stain or paint the coasters if you want to get a little funky, or simply leave them plain for a classic look. Just be sure to sand away any potential splinters. To give them as a gift, stack the coasters together and tie them with a ribbon or some twine.

Hot drinks in rural mugs on wood slab coasters

Vintage Basket Full of Apples

Great baskets are easy to find at any thrift store, and you can upcycle a simple basket into an incredible gift for the Thanksgiving host. Fall is apple season, so stop by an orchard or your farmer's market and pick up some apples to put in the basket. You can add a tea towel or some pretty fabric to personalize the gift.

This takes minimal DIY skills, but you can up the wow factor by adding a jar of homemade applesauce. Other options to tuck in the basket include cider, caramel sauce, apple brandy, or anything else you think the host would enjoy.

Apples in basket with jar of applesauce

Teapot Herb Garden

Thrift stores have lots of old teapots and coffee pots, and you can pick up one or two to transform into a unique and fun Thanksgiving host gift. Even if your host doesn't drink coffee or tea, they'll love this cool (and caffeine-free) idea.

Remove the lids and fill each teapot with potting soil. Plant one or two kinds of herbs in the teapot and use plant markers to identify them. Tie a ribbon around the handle for an extra pretty presentation.

Teapot herb garden

Charcuterie Board From Reclaimed Wood

You can upcycle a reclaimed board into a charming charcuterie board. Simply select a length of wood that's around 18 inches long and as wide as possible. Don't use wood that has been painted, stained, or treated, since it can be toxic. Smooth off any rough areas with sandpaper and clean the wood well. Then rub it with olive oil to make it shine.

Give this gift with a selection of cheeses and meats for a top-notch Thanksgiving host gift. You can also add a cheese knife to complete the present.

Hands cutting cheese on wood charcuterie board

DIY Wreath With Antique Lace

You can find pieces of antique or vintage lace at many thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets. Then, upcycle it as a wreath decoration to give your Thanksgiving host.

Making your own fall wreath is easy, especially if you start with a grapevine wreath from the craft store. You can add grasses, leaves, and dried flowers for color and texture, too. Tie the antique lace on after you've finished everything else. You can leave the ends long, like you would a ribbon.

Woman making an autumn wreath

Upcycled Painted Wine Glasses

Wine glasses make a great gift for the Thanksgiving host, but the plain ones are a little blah. Personalize them by upcycling thrifted wine glasses with your own custom-painted designs. Simply use acrylic enamel paint, which you can find at your local craft store. Paint the outside of the glass and let the paint cure according to the paint manufacturer's instructions. An abstract swirling design is always pretty, or you can personalize the glasses with a last name or initials.

You can pair the upcycled glasses with a nice bottle of wine for Thanksgiving dinner. It makes a great host gift anyone would love.

Painted glasses on table

Cozy Fingerless Gloves

Thanksgiving comes at a chilly time of year, so a pair of cute and cozy fingerless gloves make a wonderful host gift. You can knit a pair, but there's an easier way to give the gift of warmth: you can upcycle a thrifted sweater.

Pick up a knit sweater at the thrift store and cut off the sleeves. Use a sewing machine to sew around the raw edge where you cut the sweater, keeping it from unraveling. You can add a bit of lace for decoration. To create a thumb hole, just open a little of the seam. You can add buttons, ribbons, and other decorations to make the gloves even more adorable.

Woman wearing cozy fingerless gloves and holding a cup of hot chocolate

Antique Teacup Succulent

Antique teacups come in so many beautiful patterns. A single teacup, especially one with a little staining or a few chips, can sell for only a dollar or two at thrift stores, and you can often pick up a matching saucer as well. You can then turn them into a sweet gift your Thanksgiving host will adore.

Purchase a small succulent at your local garden store and plant it in the teacup with a little potting soil. It will bring some cheer to your host's kitchen over the winter and will require very little care.

Succulents are planted in a floral-designed teacup

Mix and Match Snack Set

Antique stores and thrift shops are full of single spoons, forks, knives, napkins, and other items that usually come in sets. On their own, these pieces aren't worth much, but you can assemble them into a little snack set that makes a beautiful host gift for Thanksgiving.

Select a pretty napkin, antique silverware from different patterns, and a container to hold everything. Then make or buy a batch of cookies or another snack you know your host will love. Put everything together for the perfect upcycled gift.

Various colourful macarons with cutlery and napkins in a wooden box

Autumn Grass Bouquet in a Vintage Bottle

A gorgeous bouquet of autumn grasses or wheat can look absolutely amazing in a vintage vase or bottle. Stop by your local thrift store to find a colored glass bottle or vase in an interesting shape.

Don't worry about making this perfect. Even if your flower arranging skills amount to grabbing a handful of stems and shoving them in a vase, this Thanksgiving gift will look fantastic. Select grasses that are at least twice as tall as the container, and you'll be all set.

Brown vase with ears of dried flowers

Recycled Sweater Pillow

You can turn a thrift-store sweater into a cozy fall pillow that makes the perfect host gift for Thanksgiving. You need an hour or so and some basic sewing skills, but this is an easy project that everyone loves.

Choose a cardigan-style sweater with buttons for added charm. If you can find a throw pillow at the thrift store, you can use it for the inside of your sweater pillow. Otherwise, pick up a pillow insert at the craft store. Then sew a pillow cover out of the sweater to complete your gift.

Recycled sweater pillow

Cookies and a Vintage Cup

A single vintage or antique teacup is easy to find at any thrift store, and they're often quite affordable. Pick one up, along with a glass jar. You can bake a batch of cookies to put in the jar and give both as a super cute gift of gratitude.

There are lots of things you can add to this gift, including a selection of tea, a tea infuser, pretty napkins, or some honey. Put everything together in a thrifted basket for a beautiful presentation.

Cup of tea with cookies

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Candle in Upcycled Jar

Making your own candles is fun and easy, and you can customize them with a fall scent like pumpkin spice, apple, or cranberry. They make a great host gift for Thanksgiving because they are small and simple yet still special and personal.

You can use almost any kind of jar to make a candle, so it's a great way to upcycle those vintage jars from thrift stores. You can also choose a modern jar that you've saved from your kitchen. Colored glass can make the candle really pretty too.

Woman holding in hand burning candle in small amber glass jar

Show Your Appreciation With a Thanksgiving Host Gift

While there's no etiquette rule saying you have to bring a host gift for Thanksgiving, it's nice to show how much you appreciate the meal. Thanksgiving dinner is a major undertaking, and a little effort and creativity on your part is a great way to show you notice the work the host has gone to.

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13 DIY Upcycled Thanksgiving Host Gift Ideas