It’s a wonderful time: your friend or loved one is expecting a precious little baby. You want to make the feeling even more sublime by throwing her a baby shower everyone’s sure to enjoy.
The catch? You’re on a budget. While you want to throw a fabulous party with the A-lister feel she deserves, you still need enough cash left over to buy Mom-to-be something she’ll really appreciate — not to mention pay your own cell phone bill this month!
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to settle. If you’re getting ready to throw a baby shower for someone you love, there are plenty of grand, inexpensive ways to make it both heartfelt and personalized without breaking the bank.
Pick a Theme
To start, do a quick scan of pop culture magazines or baby shower sites to brainstorm a few themes for the shower. For now, curb your enthusiasm: if you start shopping for supplies before you’ve nailed the theme, you’ll end up over-spending on adorable things you ultimately don’t really need.
Start your hunt for cheap decorations at discount party stores — yes, even the dollar store. And remember to shop around. Once you roll up your sleeves and get clicking, you’ll find great products for a fraction of the cost. In fact, if you’ve got that all-important theme settled (let’s say you picked teddy bears), you might even manage to find the perfect items at thrift stores. Some shoppers just “get” thrift stores and if you’re one of them, you might be shocked at the linens, vases and pristine plush toys you can find there for next to nothing. Just remember, stay true to your theme and your color palette. Even the simplest decorations gain visual power when you group and repeat the same elements.
Craft it With Color
If you want to keep it simple but still lots of fun, just hit the regular party supply store, and stock up on bright colors that suit Baby’s gender. Be bold, though: sticking to pastel blues and pinks can be a bit snoozeworthy. Why not try mint green and hot pink instead, or aqua blue and chocolate brown?
Now that you’ve got your colors, go wild with it. Deck out the party space with streamers, balloons, paper lanterns, strings of twinkle lights, fun paper or plastic ware, and anything else you can find. Add a sweet, reminiscent touch of newborns here and there to keep things on track, like a cute baby favor on the guest plates or a towering diaper cake on the gift table. Want a little extra personalization? Customized helium balloons add a big punch of fun and color. Or if you’re more of a Martha-type, “go shopping” in your own back yard for romantic blooms to punctuate the tables. Fresh flowers add tons of grace to any event, not to mention those lovely scents. Special celeb tip: place your flowers in brightly-colored water. Ordinary food coloring works great!
The last big line item to check off is the food. This can cost a lot, but as a resourceful DIY-er, you’ll also save the most here. Scour the net for finger foods you can assemble the day before, like baked brie, avocado salsa or tapenade and crackers, then simply set out. If you’ve got some kitchen chops, you can also make the cake yourself (when carefully wrapped, cakes freeze beautifully weeks in advance) and save a bundle. Even easier than a cake: cupcakes. Make these look high-rent just by using a frosting tip and pastry bag to pretty-up the icing, then adding a topper to each one, like a real pacifier (Mom gets to keep these!) or cute plastic animal picks. The key to making the most of cupcakes is presentation. Try to get your hands on a cupcake tower; your bite-sized treats will look extra-elegant and draw the eye.
Flaunt Your Game
To play, or not to play? If you decide on the former (and good for you, because they’ll help pass the time!), be sure to dig up about five ideas for baby shower games that require few to no supplies. “Baby shower bingo” boards abound online; other games require cheap goods like thread or toilet paper, but deliver up plenty of laughs. Just keep in mind how “mild to wild” your guests will want to get. Got some crazy ladies? Play the “microwaved candy bar/diaper” game!
Now wasn’t that simple? You’ll all set to be the cool, collected hostess, ready to field all those compliments about your fun and fabulous baby shower. They’ll never know how much you saved!
Emily Ayers writes for FavorIdeas and loves all forms of home entertaining: especially luxe-looking touches you can do on the cheap! Stop by FavorIdeas today for quick inspirations on sweet shower themes and stylish color combos.