First there were the decorations. From top left...
1. I made a banner using DCWV Spring Stack scrapbook paper, using this method by Maya*Made. I basically cut diamonds and triangles from the paper, then glued them over the yarn to make a banner. Let me know if you want a more in depth tutorial on how to do it with scrapbook paper and I'll do it! Cost? Let's see, the spring stack was 180 pages for $10. That's 5cents a sheet, I used 16 sheets (.80 cents) and got 18 feet of double sided garland, and 10 feet of single sided. Plus the cost of yarn or ribbon. (And let's be honest, I really wanted an excuse to buy this stack of paper...)
2. Large flower pom poms, as instructed by good ol' Martha here. These are so festive and full of visual impact, but cheap! 1 buck a piece, each uses one pkg of colored paper, as sold at wally world. White is even cheaper at Dollar Tree, 5 pom poms per dollar.
3. Small flowers were sprinkled around our table. They were made by same method of Marthas, but using 4 pieces of tissue paper, the pieces were 5 by 9 inches, and I only fluffed out half the flower, so the bottom laid flat on the table. These little ones are also great for mother's day boutineers.
Then there was the food....
1. We had brownies and mini cupcakes (which I never get tired of) with flower toothpicks. We traced and cut out 100 flowers on scrapbook paper, then I watched a movie and glued them onto toothpicks. (I watched Austen's Mansfield Park, in case you're wondering which movie). Gluing was a good task for little preschool helpers. And in case that overwhelms you, we cut out the flowers 6 at a time, and if we were cooler, we'd just have a flower punch or cricut, but alas, scissors were there for us.
The girls took some extras for playdough birthday cakes and they occupied them for at least 10 minutes longer than usual. Score!
2. We also had Fluff Dip for Fruit, as seen on allrecipes. The recipe calls for amaretto liqueor. It really added that extra punch that all us Mormon ladies loved. SIKE! I put in a little bit of coconut extract instead and put in some milk to make the consistency right. Served with mangos, strawberries and pineapple. So good.
3. Lastly, I tried out making sugar cookies that look like baby shoes. Basically you use a pumpkin cookie cutter, and the stem becomes the strap hanging over the side of the shoe. The ones I modeled them after were obviously done better and had cute flowers or buttons on the strap. My inspiration is here at Rolling pin productions.
For Games we played...
- Purse Scavenger Hunt (this was my favorite)
- Guess the Baby picture
- Memorize the tray...with a twist. Everyone looks at a tray of baby goodies, but then you ask: What was the Mom to be wearing? We had some fashion editors in our midst.
- Clothespin game with "Baby" and the baby's name as the forbidden words (One of the kids there kept saying "She said the B-word." It was hilarious.)
Flower magnets! We cut out a truckload of flowers out of the banner scraps, and layered and hot glued with a button on top and magnet underneath.
Playdough! And because pretty much everyone loves playdough or has a husband or kid that does, I made homemade pink playdough and put a 1/4 cup in a plastic bag in each favor box. The mini pink gingham chinese take out containers were in 8 packs from dollar tree.
Some other ways to save time and money:
- Put in for a gift card or gift together with friends.
- Make homemade thank you cards using scrapbook paper for the shower recipient and have guests address the card to themselves as they arrive and mingling.
- Hold the party at dessert or brunch hour to make smaller portions and lighter foods.
- Keep those cheap couponed box mixes in your cupboard, even if no birthdays are coming up. It was great to say- Oh I can make brownies or cookies or cake...and have everything right there. And to know I only spent 30 cents on it 3 months ago.
- Use what you have and buy just what you need, and then keep it if you can. I used a white tablecloth I had, but decorated on top of the table with flowers, instead of buying a cheap tablecloth to throw away. I also used polka dot Easter plates that were in the same color palette. And I'm using all the party decorations to decorate my girl's room.
- If you can, use email and hand delivered cards to get the word out. I got a lot more RSVP's over this time than any other party I've thrown- and I think it was because of email. I could send an additional reminder email easily the day before, and people could instantly email me back to RSVP, instead of having to get to the phone.