Thursday, October 13

A Do-It-Yourself Baby Shower

I wish I could say that my lack of blogging lately is because I have such a busy, exciting life with so many important things to do, but really I think it's mostly just because all my tv shows are back on after the summer hiatus and I've replaced my normal blogging time by watching The Office, Dancing with the Stars, and my new personal favorite Up All Night (just to name a few). Anyway, all that to say I've intended to write this post for a while now and I'm finally getting around to it tonight.

Kerri is one of my best friends who I've known since the 8th grade. We were college roommates for a year at Austin Peay before we both got too homesick and decided to transfer to UTC. We both married our high school sweethearts and we were both each other's maids of honor. She's always been there for me and is one of the most dependable, understanding, and trustworthy friends I've ever had. She and her husband Chris found out they were expecting a baby only a couple of weeks before Brock was born, and we were actually supposed to have dinner with them so they could share their news the day I went into labor. Because she is such a wonderful friend and because I was so excited about their little baby on the way, I wanted to throw her an amazing shower to celebrate. Another close friend from high school, Kristen, agreed to cohost with me and we set to work on the planning and the creating.

Kristen and I didn't have a huge budget to work with so we wanted to do as much as possible with as few dollars as possible and we used the internet for lots of inspiration. I have recently become obsessed with, ahem, a member of the website Pinterest where you can sort of bookmark or "pin" everything amazing that you see on the internet into one spot for safekeeping or you can spend hours and hours on the site itself looking at everyone else's pins and getting inspired. And inspiration for Kerri's shower was exactly what I found on there. Kristen and I decided on our colors and some general theme ideas and then we went craft crazy creating everything. I thought I'd write this blog post to highlight some of our DIY crafts and show the end result of the shower.

1.) Invitations
You can spend a ton of money on fancy invitations, but I had a specific image in mind that I wanted on the invitation so I decided to make my own instead. I used cream colored cardstock and printed the invitation wording right from my computer then backed it with some dark brown cardstock. I cut little onesies out of brown and green (the colors of Kerri's nursery) cardstock papers and used a tiny hole punch to make a hole in each onesie and two holes on each side of the invitation. Then I strung the onesies onto some thread and attached the thread to the invitation. The only other thing I needed was envelopes to put them in, which I got from Hobby Lobby.

2.) Diaper Cake
I had a bunch of diapers that Brock had outgrown that I was going to just give to Kerri in a boring plastic bag, but I saw this tutorial for how to make a diaper cake and decided I'd give it a try myself. I made a few adaptations for my cake, like I just used a cardboard tube for the center support piece, and instead of wrapping ribbon around each layer, I just wrapped some tulle around the center of the layers. I used paper roses and ribbons for the decorations. To make the paper roses you just cut a circle out of cardstock paper and then cut a spiral into the circle. Then take the outside edge of the spiral and start rolling the paper inward and you end up with a rose. I was able to fit about 106 diapers onto this particular diaper cake.

3.) Tissue Paper Poms
These were probably my favorite decoration at the shower. They are so simple to make and require only two supplies and you can do so much with them. Kristen and I made about 40 large poms to hang and about 12 small poms to use for the table centerpieces. This tutorial tells exactly how to make the poms, but in case you don't like clicking on external links I'll quickly tell you all you have to do. Take a pack of tissue paper and fan fold it. Then twist a small piece of wire or a twist tie around the center of the folded paper to hold it in place. Cut the edges of the paper into whatever shape you want; we made pointed edges but you could also make rounded edges. Finally, separate each piece of tissue paper by gently pulling them out from the center on both sides. The end result:

We hung several of the bigger ones on string and attached them from the ceiling to break up the large room we held the shower in and to add a lot of color.

4.) Table Centerpieces
Kristen bought some fabric and I got several rolls of ribbon in different widths, colors, and textures. We made table runners out of the fabric for three of the guest tables and then ran the ribbons along the center of the other three tables. We wrapped styrofoam balls with yarn and stuck them on wooden dowels then placed them in some cylinder vases that Kristen already had. I found these little foam filler beads in the floral section at Hobby Lobby and we filled the vases with those to keep the dowels in place. Then we placed two small poms in the center on either side of the vases. For the food tables we used the remainder of the fabric as a runner. We also cut out circles of cardstock and giraffes and elephants replicated from the bedding Kerri picked out then taped them to wooden dowels and stuck them in floral foam inside larger vases and covered them with the filler beads also.

5.) Other Details
For the gift table and favor table, Kristen made an adorable banner from fabric squares cut into triangles and attached to twine. We hung them on the outside edge of the tables.

For guest favors we made a little candy buffet using candies that matched the color scheme. We filled mason jars with the candy and placed little cellophane favor bags on the table for the guests to fill as they were leaving. Also on this table were the shower games we played. We removed the labels from baby food jars and had the guests try to figure out what food was in each jar. Guests could also try to guess how many diapers were in the diaper cake to win a prize.

Kristen and I were both pretty pleased with the end result of our DIY shower on a budget, and we had a great time unleashing our creative genius together! Most importantly though, Kerri's family and friends all showered her with some wonderful gifts to prepare for her little guy who is set to make his appearance sometime around November 15th. I'm already planning on him and Brock being best friends.

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