This past July, I helped my mom and sister, Katie, plan a baby shower for my other sister, Ronnie. I was in charge of the decorations. I tried to minimize spending money on one-time use decorations and tried to decorate the shower with things that could be used for the baby afterwards. I didn’t quite know where to start, so, naturally, I went on Pinterest to look for inspiration.
Pinterest has all kinds of great ideas and I often use it as a springboard to kickstart my creative juices. So, after perusing some pins regarding baby shower centrepiece ideas, I decided to make centrepieces from items the baby would need, such as baby bottles, shampoo, baby powder, receiving blankets, bassinet sheets, socks and winter boots. I dressed up these items using decor I already had at home—round mirrors, decorative plates, a candle holder, purple tulle and purple and white flowers. We had six tables at the shower and I made a different centrepiece for each table.
For the first centrepiece, we used a twelve-pack of rolled up washcloths and placed it on a small round mirror. We had purchased the pack from the store already wrapped in a pink tulle bag and pink ribbon, so there was nothing further to do except put it on the mirror.
We made another centrepiece from four rolled up receiving blankets on a small round mirror and inserted a purple fabric flower in the middle. We had taken the blankets out of the plastic packaging and my mom had suggested using the package label and ribbon that the blankets were originally tied with to hold them together. Not only was the original label functional as a centrepiece holder, but my sister would also be able to read the label and know exactly what the centrepiece was for (plus, we didn’t want to toss away the original packaging in case she had to return them to the store).
In similar fashion as the receiving blankets, we rolled up bassinet sheet and elevated it on a metal candleholder, dressing it up with purple tulle tied in a bow and a purple fabric flower inserted in the centre. Then we surrounded the sheet with excess baby socks that we hadn’t been able to use on the sock wreath we made (which I will discuss in more detail below).
We made the next centrepiece from bottles of baby powder, baby lotion, and baby shampoo tied together with purple tulle. We placed the bottles on a large round mirror and inserted a bouquet of purple fabric flowers in the middle. This centrepiece, while simple, looks absolutely beautiful.
Similar to the centrepiece above, we made another centrepiece from three baby bottles tied together with purple tulle and also placed them on a round mirror and inserted a bouquet of purple flowers in the middle.
I had thought about filling the baby bottles with something useful, such as safety pins or clothespins that a new mom might need, but I ended up leaving them empty instead because I couldn’t decided what to fill them with. If you have other suggestions on useful items the baby bottles could have been filled with, please leave your suggestions in the comments section.
In lieu of using tulle to tie the centrepieces together, you can use headbands and/or hair ribbons if the baby is a girl or bow ties if the baby is a boy. You can also use bibs, sheets and/or blankets to tie the centrepieces together, although it might make the centrepieces bulkier and will wrinkle the the sheets and blankets (which is okay if the new mom is planning to wash them before use).
For the final centrepiece, we placed a pair of pink winter boots on a decorative black plate and slipped a small bouquet of white fabric flowers between them. This centrepiece is very simple, but it looks cute and the flowers dress it up nicely.
My mom, Katie and I went a little overboard at Toys ‘R’ Us when we found a bin full of baby socks for ninety-nine cents per pair and we ended up putting fifteen pairs in our cart. The original plan was to hang the socks on a clothesline, but as we perused Dollar Tree, I saw a foam wreath ring in the craft section. Suddenly the lightbulb clicked and I held it up in triumph and exclaimed, “Let’s make a sock wreath!”
We weren’t quite sure how to start with making the wreath and I let my mom have free reign as she tried to figure it out. I had originally thought we could remove the socks from the packaging and pin them to the foam, but then we wanted to keep everything in its original condition in case my sister needed to return them.
So, my mom stuck to my original suggestion of pinning the socks and pinned them to the wreath ring with the packaging. Afterwards, she wrapped green tulle around the wreath and made a long bow at the bottom. She also made sure to leave some extra tulle at the top so we could hang it up. Normally, we would have used another colour of tulle, but I was getting low on purple and had lots of green on hand. Once she was finished, I added what I had left of purple tulle to the bow to add some colour. This is what the end result of the sock wreath became:
I have to confess that we had also bought twenty-one pairs of baby socks and toddler socks before we even bought an additional fifteen pairs from Toys ‘R’ Us (perhaps a little excessive, but can you tell how excited we were for the first baby in the family?). I found suggestions on Pinterest for guessing games that we could play at the baby shower. One suggestion was to fill an oversized baby bottle with candies and have each guest guess the number of candies in the bottle (see the pin here). The winner would take home the bottle.
I loved the idea of using the oversized bottle for the guessing game, but I didn’t want to fill it with candy that nobody really wants to eat anyway (or doesn’t need to eat). Instead, I wanted to fill the bottle with something my sister could use for the baby. That’s when I saw a pin on Pinterest of a mason jar filled with baby socks (see the pin here). What a perfect way to use all the excess socks we had bought!
My mom found an oversized baby bottle from Party Stuff for $8.99. It was twelve inches tall and four inches in circumference. The best thing about the bottle is that it has a money slot in the lid so my sister can use it as a piggy bank for the baby afterwards.
I proceeded to stuff the bottle with the twenty-one pairs of socks we had purchased from Walmart and various dollar stores. Some of the socks were larger than others, which made it difficult for guests to guess how many individual socks were in the bottle. Then I dressed it up with a purple tulle bow around the rim.
For the guessing game, I designed a 4” x 6” sign with the instructions and placed it in a black picture frame I had on hand. I also designed guessing cards where guests could write their name and guess and place it in a box. Here is our sock guessing game hard at work on the day of the baby shower:
I found another fun baby shower game on Pinterest called the dirty diaper pin game. The way the game works is each guest wears a diaper pin throughout the duration of the shower. One or more of the pins contain a poop emojicon, but guests can’t peek inside to see if they have a poopy diaper until the hosts say it’s time to open them.
We decided to use the pins not only as a game but also as name tags. I downloaded a free diaper template from Nappy Cards on Pinterest (see pin here), but I changed the color to grayscale and shrunk it so I could fit four diapers per sheet. Then I added a text box to the front of the diapers where guests could write their names.
On the inside of the diapers, I added Microsoft’s poop emoji icon for Windows 10 (available here) and below it included a text box that said: “Oops! You pooped!” We decided that everyone would have a dirty diaper, except four lucky guests would have a clean diaper and would win a prize. The clean diapers stated: “All clean! You win a prize!” The hosts and Momma-to-be also had to wear pins (and of course, they were automatically dirty diapers).
I cut out the diapers, folded and sealed them with double-sided crafter’s tape (so guests couldn’t peek) and attached bar pins to the backs of each diaper. My mom had found a pack of 1” adhesive bar pins by Bead Landing at Michaels for approximately $3.00 for a 60-pack, which made it quick and easy to apply.
See our diaper pins hard at work on the day of the baby shower below. I used a vintage school chalkboard that I had found at a garage sale for twenty-five cents for the display sign and propped it up on a golden metal display easel from Dollar Tree.
*Note: If you want to make your own dirty diaper name tags, I will write a post for my template and instructions on how to make them soon. Hang tight and keep checking back!
There were four winners from the diaper pin game and one winner from the sock guessing game. We wanted to keep the prizes simple and inexpensive, so we purchased jars of bath bombs and exfoliating bath sponges from Dollarama for each winner.
We gave each guest a package of unpopped microwaveable popcorn as a thank you for supporting Ronnie. I found the idea for the popcorn favors from a Pin on Pinterest (see link here), but my mom suggested giving unpopped bags of popcorn instead of already popped bags. I thought it was a brilliant idea and designed my own “Ready to Pop” labels for each package of popcorn. I left some space at the top of each label so we could add foam heart stickers. (*Note: I used 4” x 2” white adhesive shipping labels from Staples [No. 5163/8163] for a laser/inkjet printer, which are available at Staples)
My sister had asked her guests to bring their favourite children’s book in lieu of greeting cards, so I decided to use a bassinet as the book box and used another vintage school chalkboard for the display sign.
When the guests arrived, they were greeted by a table positioned at the door with the diaper name tags mentioned above and a “guest book,” which was a picture frame containing an ultrasound picture of my sister’s baby. We chose a frame with lots of white space for the guests to sign and write a little message to the baby.
The signed ultrasound picture is now on top of the dresser in the baby’s room so she can have a souvenir from all the people who love her already.
We had another station where guests could write words of wisdom to the new parents-to-be. I found the idea for “advice for the parents-to-be” tags from Etsy (see link here), but I wanted to use the diaper pin template as advice tags, so I used the same diaper template from Nappy Cards on Pinterest (see pin here). Again, I changed it to grayscale so I could print the diapers on coloured cardstock. Then I added a text box to the front of the diaper that said: “Advice for the Parents-to-be.” On the inside of the diaper, I inserted text boxes with lines for guests to share their parental wisdom.
*Note: If you want to make your own advice for the parents-to-be tags, I will write a post for my template and instructions on how to make them soon. Hang tight and keep checking back!
After printing and cutting out each diaper, I attached ribbon so guests could tie the diapers closed after writing in them (that way they could only be read by the new parents-to-be). We included mini clothespins which we found at Dollar Tree so the diapers could be hung on a wooden frame strung with twine.
In lieu of streamers and balloons, we bought various baby clothes (onesies, shirts, pants and hats), and hung them up with clothespins on a line which we attached to the front of the activity table holding the advice to the parents-to-be diapers, sock guessing game and book bassinet. We also scattered baby shoes, soothers, teethers, and toys on the table for decoration.
It was actually a lot of fun to be able to spoil my sister and my niece-to-be in this way and I enjoyed putting my creative talents to use. Many of the guests came up to me during the shower and actually thanked me for planning such a wonderfully creative baby shower. Not only did the guests have a great time, but my sister enjoyed herself as well and loved all the gifts she received for her baby. She started tearing up when she thanked us for making her feel so special.
Many people have suggested to me that I should plan events and parties as a living. At the present time, I’m not interested in pursuing this as a career avenue because I find event planning absorbs too much of my time and creative energy which I’d rather invest in writing and crafting. However, I’m more than happy to share my experiences and ideas with others who are looking for ways to be more creative in their own lives.
I hope that you will find peace and inspiration through my blog and handmade creations!
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