Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby Z's Shower

Ahh, party planning.  Pinterest of course has taken it to another level, but my family has always loved kicking it up a notch.  With a mom that can bake, sew, use power tools, and basically craft her way around anything, my sisters and I have picked up the knack to create things ourselves with love.  

When Emily and I were planning a baby shower for our sister this fall, we pooled our talents and ideas and came up with a party that was pretty, fun, and a way to bless that soon-to-be-born baby.  I love how the shower turned out, both in decor and games, but also enjoyed a gathering of the ladies that love my sister so much.  

(This post has been sitting in the draft folder a little too long, so I've got some editing to do on my descriptions of the pictures, but I'd still like to share it.  There might be something that you would like to use as inspiration for a party of your own!)

I have a new little niece or nephew on the way sometime very soon! (Whoops- pretty baby Violet was born in December...) Before I post baby pictures, I figured I probably should get up a post about the shower that my mom, sister, and I threw.  

Wait, forget that- Here is a picture of Violet!

Ok, back to the shower a few months ago...

I love helping to plan parties, and making the invitations is one of the best parts.  My sister loves turquoise and ball jars, so we used those as we planned the theme and decoration.

If you can read that invite, you might notice that it says, "join us at an open house style shower."  I ran the idea by my sister, and my mom asked if I had seen it done before.   The answer was no, but with an invite list of 60+ and a desire to host the party in a home, something had to give.  We decided to try the open house thing, and ran the shower from 1-4 p.m. (and later).  We accommodated by having more of a "station" set up through the house (I'm a teacher-I can't help it), lots of seating in various places, and the guest of honor stayed in one room with a table and couches and all the gifts.  She slowly opened gifts so that everyone could oooh and aaaah, and was able to say thank you before everyone left.

It may not be conventional, but I LOVED the open house style shower.  There were still all the traditional earmarks of a baby shower- food, games, gifts, small talk...but you could do it at your own pace.  Some people came early and left, some came late, some stayed the whole time, and all of it was ok.  It was much more relaxed and my sister wasn't in the spotlight the whole time, which isn't her favorite.  As one guest was preparing to leave she asked about the open house idea and said, "So Katie, is this a thing?"  I replied, that no, we just tried it.  She laughed and said that she hoped it caught on!

Here are some pretty decorations- gold circles of various materials sewn together into a garland.  None of them showed up well in the actual pictures of the rooms, but they added some sparkle.
If you don't sew, you might also like this garland, which was made of 4" circles stapled to a gold string:
It hung in one of the doorways:
We also had this cute "Baby Z" banner, some ball jars & flowers, and the party favors.  I don't actually have a good picture of the favors, but I found little mint colored metal buckets in the dollar aisle at Target, and each one had simple things in them, like minty lotion and socks, or a polka dot mint colored notepad and pens, etc.  Since none of the games had winners (more on that below) these functioned as door prizes.  I stamped baby feet on three of the plates in the kitchen and whoever ended up with the stamp got to take a prize home.
This banner was gold Sharpie on mint paper:
Z banner on glitter paper:
Mint and gold decorations on one of the tables, complete with a pic of the expecting mommy & daddy.  Steph had the blue Ball jars, but I made the gold glitter ones.  I watered down Elmers glue (about 2/3 glue and 1/3 water), poured it in the jar, swirled to coat, shook in lots of glitter, and sat upside down to dry.  They are now decorating my other sister's kitchen!

Decorations on the gift opening table.  This one is the original, but you can have your own copy of that Scripture print! Click here for a free printable of the "every good and perfect gift" page.

All of the stations had little signs (again, teacher), but they were cute.  Ivory and mint paper, gold paint pen, and sewn on gold tissue paper ruffle.  Ruffle inspired by Jones Design Co.

More Ball jars and flowers:

We had good intentions to have everyone write their address on an envelope to save Steph time, but the turnout on this one wasn't great.  Oh, well, it looked cute on the table in my sewing machine drawer.

I love these gold (plastic!) tablecloths...

Target came through on the tableware- everything but the napkin is from the "normal" paper products aisle, not the party aisle- meaning you get 10x the quantity for 1/2 the price.  They matched well enough that we went with it.

This was also a dollar aisle find at Target- a roll of cute wrapping paper, only 2 feet tall...not the best for wrapping presents, but it made an awesome table runner over a gold table cloth.
Couldn't resist the cute straws.  My mom found the gold chargers for super cheap, and they dressed up the kitchen.

For food, we had lots of dips, veggies, cheese, and crackers...
...and three pots of warm soup...
...and this gorgeous cake!  (told you my mom had mucho talent)

For games/activities, everyone wrote messages in this copy of "Are You My Mother?"

In the living room, we had a basket of new diapers and colored Sharpies.  People wrote Steph and Steve messages for those first diaper changes:

My favorite game was this calendar.  I split a piece of poster board into a December calendar- roughly 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after Steph's due date.  We had the baby feet stamp and a marker set up nearby and everyone got to claim a guess for the baby's birthday.  They also wrote a time, weight, and length for fun.  Steph and Steve took this home to put in the nursery for now.

Our cousin Christina correctly guessed Violet's birthday- yay, Christina!

I am bummed that I don't seem to have many pictures of this last activity, because it turned out so well.  Emily made a blank ABC book for the baby, and we had the pages set out with crayons.  The guests took a page and colored/decorated/wrote on/etc.  All of the pages (A-Z and 0-9) went in page protectors in a binder for an ABC book filled with all the people who came to celebrate with Steph!
Emily so generously reworked the book so that it is totally generic, and she is willing to share it with you!  Click here for a printable copy of the 38 page ABC123 book that you could use for a baby of your own!

Party favors were little bags of mint m&ms with a ball jar gift tag.

I'd be remiss to not include some of the fun gifts.  Oh, the clothes!  They are so cute!  Baby got lots of books, and cute cute things that mommy Steph loved.  Steph's favorite colors are orange and turquoise blue, so she chose a really good year to have a baby, as those colors are everywhere right now.

We also loved this Oliver onesie that my cousin had made for the baby.  Our dad still farms with the Oliver tractors that were our grandfather's so this is near and dear to us. :)

And, a blurry picture of us with Steph's cute little baby bump.

We are so blessed that she is here, and it was fun helping get ready for her to arrive!


  1. I like all of this, but especially that Vi has her own blog tag now :)

    1. I figured she might come up now and again!

  2. That was great Katie!! I noticed the Vi tag too :)

  3. It looks so nice!
    Yay for baby Violet!

  4. I found this very classic design and concept. This is just a life time moment for us. So I admire how you prepare for the baby shower supplies. And throw a great party for everybody! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I just loved reading this post! Everything was really nice in this party. That banner “Z” took my heart away. In my baby shower party I would love to use these décor ideas. Currently I am finding inexpensive party places Miami for this party. Could anyone please help?

  6. Amazing ! Very nice effort and i really like your post. Thanks Dear :)