Sunday, September 8, 2013

2 baby showers in 1 summer on a budget

So, I had not planned on taking a year off but that is what happened. Now I am back and ready to go! My husband and I have made some home improvements that I am excited to share...hopefully before next September! More of that later. 
This summer I had the privilege of hosting not one but two separate baby showers for some great friends of ours. I had actually never threw a shower for anyone before but I was almost giddy at the thought of going crazy with a theme and trying to stay within a budget. I don't know, you like what you like. 
First and foremost I tried to consider the women I was throwing the showers for, then I took into consideration what would be fun for me to make and scour stores for. They were both having boys but I wanted to steer clear of the cars and sports stuff, both of which I know nothing about. So for the first I went with a vintage theme and the second was a bird/nest theme. I knew Sara was going to be decorating her nursery with antiques so this was right up her alley and as a bonus she would be able to use some of the decor in his room afterwards. For the second shower I stalked Andrea a little, not knowing her quite as well I didn't want to overdo something she might hate. Thanks to Facebook I learned that they had birds at their wedding and I love birds! It really does make a difference too if you can choose something you have an interest in as well. If I had to throw a car or sports themed shower I would've been out of my element completely.

Shower #1: B is for Boy
I had a head start with this one because I already had vintage toys and books I could use as decoration. The nice thing about this theme is you can always find baby blocks and books at flea markets for a reasonable price. Gather up what you already have. I used an old chalkboard as my sign on the front porch,

and another,

 some old baby blocks,

toy sailboats, an old toolbox, baby scale, flashcards, and anything old that was baby related really.

Pinterest had a lot of diy ideas so I tried to work in whatever I could using paper and fabric- two things that tend to be inexpensive and go far. I used the scrapbook paper for paper airplanes and pennant flags.

I lucked out with the fabric because I have an issue buying fat quarter pieces even though I don't have a project in mind but they came in handy this time. Yay for hoarding! I made tiny drawstring bags to put candy in as the party favor. The front side had this cute alphabet pattern...

and I just used a variety of contrasting patterns for the back. Like this one...

It's poor picture quality but you can see the baby scale below on the left side of the table holding the napkins and forks. Now you can buy straws of any color you want and with different designs even so for this shower I used the red and white swirled ones. A friend of mine provided the cake(s). She baked individual ones in mason jars so that everyone had the option to eat it at the party or take it home as another favor. They were pretty cute and kept with the theme I think.


Shower #2: Nesting
I am a sucker for bird anything so this theme was my jam. Again, I lucked out with this one because I already had so many bird items, from figurines to nests to eggs and feathers. I went a little cuh-ray-zee to say the least. I set out an extra postcard I made as an invite for the shower, nest flashcard, and different bird prints I had on hand.


 More bird decor...

For the centerpieces I used little metal nests with some moss and inexpensive paper mache eggs from the craft store, along with dishes of gummy worms (in keeping with the theme).


For signs I used cardboard,


my handy chalkboard,

and some unfinished wood letters I just covered with scrapbook paper (that she could keep afterwards).

For the favors I got a bunch of thicker card stock and cut strips gluing them together to form a mini birdcage. I wasn't thinking and neglected to take pictures of the process but I kind of just made it up as I went. Then I cut strips of book page paper to fill the bottoms and added some feathers to each one. These held the candy.

My favorite part of the favor was the dishtowel though. If you're trying not to spend much you may opt out of this part but they are just too cute and once again fit the theme so I went with it. I followed this link for how to make your own sweet potato stamp to a T and it worked great. I got the plain white towels at Target for around $1 a piece.

Since I had hosted the first shower just a couple of weeks before this one and many of the same guests came to both I decided not to do the traditional games everyone normally does. Instead I got several onesies, some short sleeved 0-3 month and some long sleeved 3-6 month. At first they served as a decoration...

and then we were able to eat and hang out while we decorated them for baby Jack. They're obviously not perfect but a fun memory and she now has several onesies he can wear to bed.

 Side notes to think about:
~These were baby showers for church friends so with the first one I had everyone bring a side dish which was a huge relief to me as the host. I also collected money to go in on a gift. Many times people like to do this so that they don't have to worry with a registry or go out to get something last minute. This way too you can get a bigger item as opposed to the recipient getting many small items, often times things they didn't even register for.
~The second shower I hosted I made the mistake of sending a Facebook message to see who would want to contribute to a gift as well as give $5 that would go toward the decorations and food. Several people said they would chip in but rounding up all the money can take time so it's kind of a gamble to assume you have a set amount to work with if you don't actually have the money in hand.

Overall it was a fun experience and something I definitely didn't think I'd enjoy doing as much as I did. Maybe I'll have another kid just so that I can throw myself one!

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