Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BUDGET SHOWER - Baby or Bridal

I’m sure it’s possible to host a shower with virtually no cost at all. Those on the guest list who are family and close friends can participate in bringing different elements of the party – assorted decorations, food, drinks etc. and yard sale goodies can provide delightful favors and game prizes.


For those occasions when something less casual is desired, a LITTLE inspiration can replace a LOT of cash.

My total cost for this shower with 12 guests was $51.10.

$15.10 Invitations and all Decorations

$19.00 Snacks, Food, Drinks, Cake and Favors

$17.00 Games & Prizes and Grandmother Gifts

Here are the components and how they came about:

THEME – Because I wanted to demonstrate versatility, I chose a ‘color only’ theme; this one is blue (because it’s a boy) and white. A bride’s color selection can easily be substituted. And, just as easily, a new mother’s theme of teddy bears or trains & planes or little princess, etc. can be simplified and incorporated using stencils or rubber stamps or homemade sponge stamps.

INVITATIONS – My computer graphics capabilities are non-existent so I had to rely on personalization and the old cut and paste method.

WELCOME – Since we live in a rural location and some of the invited guests had never been to our home, I wanted to give them the assurance that they were at the right place before they actually knocked on the door. Additionally, the borrowed umbrella, toddler toys and 50 cent streamers helped set the mood upon arrival.

DECORATIONSTable Cloth is simply a length of fabric which will be washed and later sewn into crib sheets. Placemats and Napkins were diapers, a gift from the maternal Grandmother. A blue punch was served in Glass baby bottles, also a Grandmother gift, and the bottles were wrapped in $2 worth of bulk washcloths for koozies and tied with blue ribbon. The cake and games prizes provided centerpieces and my white everyday dishes were topped with 50 cent clearance cocktail napkins and homemade Mint or Nut Cups.

FOOD – The diaper shaped mint or nut cups were filled with a really good trail mix topped with a couple of Jordan almonds. We found blue Hawaiian Punch and mixed it half and half with 7-UP and it was actually acceptable. The mid-afternoon main offering was a Baked Shrimp-Crab Salad, one of my favorite Paula Deen recipes, served on a bed of field greens tossed with grape seed oil and balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt and accompanied with whole grain rustic crackers. We chose cupcakes over a layer cake for convenience sake...(and click HERE if you want some real cupcake inspiration.) The small carrot cakes, the expectant mothers favorite, were topped with premixed cream cheese icing into which a full block of cream cheese had been whipped. They were decorated with the standard Lifesaver and Jellybean pacifiers and wrapped with theme-painted, homemade cupcake wrappers. The cupcakes were served with fruit cups.

GAMES – Our games were outstanding. We played four.

First Game: the guests were greeted at the door with bracelets of cord strung with 10 decorative, plastic diaper pins and pacifiers. At that point, the word “Baby” was banned from conversation. Penalty for getting caught saying “baby” was to relinquish one of your pins or pacifiers to the person who ‘caught’ you. This was a marvelous ice breaker and the source of a great deal of laughter. The winner was the person who accumulated the most.

Second Game: Charades. The Place Cards were folded in half and held closed by sandwiching them between the fork and spoon in the napkin bundle. Inside each place card was a word or phrase pertaining to mothers’ activities with new babies. (For the duration of this game, the ban against saying the word “baby” was suspended.) Phrases included things like ‘singing a lullaby’, ‘a stinky diaper’ and ‘tickling baby’. We started with the expectant mother and circled the table in such a way that the guests who were least familiar with the majority of the guests would be last, so that they would feel most at ease. Each player, in turn, was to act out her phrase. The person who guessed the correct phrase first was awarded the actors’ place card. The player who ended up with the most place cards at the end of the game was the winner.

Third Game: I had printed columns of alphabets on cardstock and cut them into strips. We set a timer for four minutes and each player wrote down a baby-related word that started with each letter of the alphabet. After the timer went off, we went around the table for each letter, with each player announcing their word. When two or more players had come up with the same word, they were eliminated from play for that letter only. Of the remaining players’ words, the expectant mother had to choose which word she liked best. Each player kept count of how many times they had submitted the winning word. The player with the most winning words won the game.

Game Four: Bingo. I was thrilled to find this site. It provided me with these adorable printable Bingo Cards. In addition, it is filled with ideas and even a “Shower Etiquette” listing of the proper ‘order’ of activities.

GAME PRIZES -- Were self-indulgent, token gifts, a candle, body butter, etc., placed in blue and white plastic take out containers, loosely tied with sheer ribbon and were actually left with the mother-to-be.

GUEST FAVORS – were not as time intensive as they appear. My homemade Praline Pecans are elegant and deceptively easy and fool-proof using this old family recipe. The organza bags were purchased in the bridal crafts section of a discount store. The tiny tags are just a page of cut & paste on the computer, printed on cardstock. The over-wrappers continue the super-simple blue brushstroke theme and I was able to cut two at 11” long from a single sheet of cardstock.

ADDL. IDEA – Because my kitchen is open to the dining area, a blue table cloth was used as a drape which provided a backdrop for suspending two framed photographs of the parents-to-be. They were presented to the two expectant Grandmothers.

Click on the following links for instructions:


Diaper Shaped Mint/Nut Cups

Wrapers for Favors

Praline Pecans Recipe

Life Saver & Jellybean Pacifiers

Also, Check This Site for Cupcake Inspiration


sarah said...

Oh I cant wait to see what you came up with. Now you have me waiting to come back and see pics (did you say you'd have pics)... and ideas!!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get the full "scoop"! Recipies and all! SOTEOMSW!!
Sitting On The Edge Of My Seat Waiting!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome shower!! More pictures please??? A picture is worth a thousand words!!! I love the watercolor effect as a color theme. Very creative!

donna said...

here's another for baby shower favors, take a cocktail size paper napkin (baby print of some sort), fold into a triangular diaper, fasten with safety pin. Melt some paraffin wax(follow directions on box) take large pair of tongs and dip into melted wax quickly and remove, set on cookie sheet to dry, and fill with nuts or mints.