Throwing a shower in the near future? Here are some quick tips for having a creative shower while maintaining your sanity.
A month or two before the shower, you should try to get a list together for the items to new parents might need. Several big chain stores offer registries and some, like Target, even include complimentary gift bags for the new mom. Some apps, such as BabyList, combine any stores so the guests are able to have a wider selection of choices should they decide to bring gifts. You can also specify non-monetary gifts (such as making dinner, babysitting, or handmade items)-- which is great for guests who want to help out but may not be able to afford larger items. In lieu of cards, many suggest asking for board books, which can often be found at several stores for a price far less than a card would be.
One of the most difficult things to do is to make the guest list. If you are throwing the baby shower for a friend, be sure to feel out how they want their special day to be and who they want to be included. Some folks may want a traditional shower, while others may want to include their partners as well in a unisex shower. Be realistic about how many guests you can afford comfortably and don't be too shy to ask for help from other relatives to cover the cost of food or venues. Community centers, restaurants, someone's home, or parks are great and usually inexpensive places to have showers. Invites can be expensive, so make sure to look into all available options (whether digital ones that you print yourself or design your own!)
There are tons of free party games and print-outs available online. Some of our favorites are word searches, messages to the newborn (sage advice from the elders!), favorite songlists, and more classic silly games. Other activities that might be fun for guests could be painting baby blocks, decorating onesies, making headbands, or playing baby bingo. If you are having drop-in events, leaving multiple games or activities out on the tables can be fun while being low-key. Also, if you are having younger guests, having some coloring sheets and crayon sets or more kid-centric activities can give the parents a much-needed reprieve.
Did someone say donuts? If you want to have a baby shower that focuses on sweets, donuts can be a quick and relatively inexpensive food for a baby shower. You could either make your own or order some through your local bakery. It is advisable to have a few "normal" flavors as well as some more unique ones. Thrifting donut stands and platters or hitting up a $1 store for some you can glue together and paint can save much needed cash as well and still look very lovely. You can handwrite "flavor" cards in person or use a chalkboard if you have one. The best part about the donut bar is that there will likely be some leftovers! Woohoo!
Something pretty interesting we have been seeing lately is hand-painted cookies. These can be done with food-safe dye and the look is absolutely lovely. It is a simple way to dress up some otherwise plain cookies and give your guests something one-of-a-kind to enjoy. If you're really feeling ambitious, it might be fun to allow guests to decorate their own cookies!
One of the hardest things (but alternately one of the most fun activities) is picking out the colors and decor. There are so many cute themes, even for gender-neutral showers. Garlands and balloons are extremely easy to put up and take down and can be made relatively quickly or bought for a reasonable amount. The effect is festive but also simple, which is great when you are throwing a shower together. By using decorative elements that are simple yet lively, you can buy more practical tablecloths and flatware/dishware in solid colors that compliment them. A dash of gold or silver can go a long way in presenting a more upscale theme.
Ombre is where it's at! We love the trend of ombre cakes and cupcakes, which are often easy to make and literally require adding or subtracting food coloring to the frosting. It creates a minimal yet lovely effect that your guests should find aesthetically pleasing. You can also use ombre as a tool with other non-food items, such as dip-dyed tablecloths or backdrops. Adding a solid banner, flags, or arrows can be a playful touch for a table setting as well.
If you can manage it, fresh flowers, when bought in bulk, can be lovely to add to the tables and really liven up a room. Carnations or peonies are beautiful and come in a variety of colors. There are also many types of edible flowers that can be arranged with the food or as a topping for finger foods. This is especially wonderful in the Spring or Summer and can be symbolic of welcoming life into the world.
There are tons of small appetizers that can be made efficiently and inexpensively. We really like Hawaiian ham and swiss rolls, cucumber dill sandwiches, fruit picks, and vegetable stackers. For desserts, buttercream mints and thumbprint cookies are extremely easy and quick, but one can also make macarons in bulk fairly easily if one is wanting something more substantial. We really love these coconut nests, though, which can be topped with malted eggs, jellybeans, or Jordan almonds.
When your guests leave, it is always nice to thank them with a favor or some sort. Some really cute ideas we have found are to give them a mini succulent or flower seeds, candy or popcorn bag with a rattle, tea bags, or Rolo cigars. It can be a small gesture but it is great to help your guests to feel included in the special day with the parents-to-be.
What other ideas have you thought of? Feel free to comment below with tips of your own for our readers! <3