Q: I am in charge of decor for my sister's baby shower, and we want to do something precious and modern with pinks, golds, and flowers. Would love your ideas!
A good baby shower has five elements:
Although this Ask Amy question is specific to decor, I want to present decor ideas as they could coordinate and overlap with the other elements.
Theme - Baby Love
Sometimes I start with a clear theme in mind like my son's first and second birthday parties. That works best when you are hosting solo, but with baby showers you are likely one of a handful of hosts. As a group, you will decide the color scheme and general ideas of what you want to accomplish. In this case, they want something precious and modern. I started with the invitation which led me to my theme.
My favorite sites for memorable invitations are Paperless Post and Etsy. This invitation is from CardsEtcetera found on Etsy by searching "modern baby shower invitation girl." A memorable invitation is important because the invitation sets the tone and expectations for the shower guests. A good invitation becomes a keepsake. The invitation I chose clearly spells out the theme, incorporates the color scheme, and inspires other decor elements. The watercolor effect won me over. Here are the runner ups; all from Paperless Post. Don't be fooled by the moniker, Paperless Post offers online AND paper invitations.
Given: pinks, golds, and flowers/precious and modern
Derived: watercolor, geometric shapes, and typographical quotes
Let's start with the big elements - backdrops and space fillers, then work our way to the table tops.
This is where I ask my clients, and now my readers, to go on a journey with me. The pictures I present are not to be taken 100% literally, but to be used as jumping off points. After all, we want your event to be unique and not a Pinterest copy cat. I love the use of carnations on a large scale project because they are pretty, readily available in a variety of colors, and inexpensive. For this project, I would recommend faux florals. This picture from Pinterest is an example of the ombre effect using dark shades of pink to light pink to white carnations. I want to take this to the next level and create a watercolor effect. This means using predominately dark or light pink carnations and spattering in the alternate tones with glimpses of white. Think of creating a wave orientation through your color arrangement rather than a vertical gradation.
Next, we need to take the inspo pic from rustic to modern by changing the frame from wood to something sleek and gold like this spectacular hula hoop from Hoop Mamas on Etsy. You will need translucent fishing line to suspend the flower buds and gold floral wire to secure the buds to the line. If you are using fresh flowers, then you will need floral water tubes for the stems. The finished product can serve as a backdrop on a table behind the desserts or baby photos of the parents-to-be.
I'm really into the giant balloon letter trend even though it's been done. It creates a show-stopping visual effect. Imagine the mom-to-be walking in a room filled with her loved ones and seeing, in big letters, that this is all for her and her BABY! Expect gasping and tears. The "BABY," balloons can be found on ButtercupBlossom's Etsy shop. Each letter is 41" so make sure you choose your space appropriately. If there's still room, I would add the adorable pink balloons with gold hearts. You can find the 12" balloons pictured on Parties and Glitter's Etsy shop. They come in sets of six so you will have two hot pink balloons left over. Tie them to the mailbox or somewhere on the front porch to mark the house. Again depending on your space, this can be taped to the walls or freestanding with weights and different string heights. I prefer using weights.
Now, let's move to the tabletops. You will need designated surfaces for food, drinks, dessert, and gifts. I recommend a separate surface for baby pictures of mom and dad (be sure to label OR make it a game for you guests to guess who is who).
These gold geometric frames from ModCloth would be perfect for modern floral arrangements. DIY floral arrangements can be daunting so keep it simple (and stunning). Cluster bud vases and votives filled with fresh florals in all shades of pink inside and around the frames. Play with proportion - don't be afraid to have some sticking out of the frame while others are contained within. Place the arrangements throughout the party space.
Further expand on the Baby Love theme by incorporating framed typographical quotes. This decor feature can double as a gift from the hosts to the parents-to-be for Baby Girl's nursery. You can DIY these, or you can always rely on my pal Etsy.
Food, especially dessert, is a visual element at a baby shower just as much as the flowers. Right now I'm crushing on cotton candy. I recommend pink, of course. Even though I personally despise eating it, I can't deny its chicness.
This display is not modern; I selected it for the ease of access for guests. Trade out the trays for something sleeker. Cut styrofoam to fit and spray paint gold to hold the cotton candy sticks upright. The styrofoam may absorb the paint, but that's okay if it comes out resembling watercoloring. If it's just a mess, then find some gold rocks or marbles to cover it. The cotton candy would make a great favor.
Speaking of chic...feast on these domed watercolor cupcakes speckled with gold leaf. Whoa. Here are the DIY instructions from Layer Cake Shop.
I've touched on a few ideas to make your honoree and guests' experience a good one. Here's a recap:
- Display photos of the parents-to-be. Keep this a surprise by asking their relatives to submit the photos. You can turn this into a low-key game for the guests to guess who is who.
- Designated areas for food, drinks, dessert and gifts creates flow by giving purpose to spaces.
- Display food, drinks, dessert, and favors in a way that is easily accessible for your guests.
Here are a few more tips:
- Games are optional. In my experience, it's best to determine what type of games (silly to sweet) based on the mom-to-be's personality. You may want to skip games all together if you are hosting a large shower as it is not easy to corral a lot of guests for something organized. In the case of a large shower, think of more passive activities such as the picture game or writing well wishes to the parents.
- Opening gifts at the shower is also becoming optional. Again, is this something your honoree is looking forward to doing in front of everyone? How many gifts are we talking about? At a large shower, gift opening can be the only activity.
- Assist the mom-to-be by providing pre-addressed envelopes. Have a stack of envelopes available next to the sign-in sheet for guests to fill in their address. Talk about a time saver for new mommy! The corresponding thank you notes can be an additional gift from the hosts.
- A floral crown is a lovely way to make the honoree feel extra special. Another way, give her the most comfortable chair! Place a special reserved sign on it.
Please share pictures of your sister's precious and modern baby shower!
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