Monday, February 18, 2013

Our 'Ready to Pop' baby shower for under $100

I had a blast planning my friend's baby shower.  I'm a sucker for a fun theme and really enjoyed thinking up fun ways to incorporate our "pop" theme.  What made the challenge even more fun (and challenging) was having to stick to a budget.  (Unfortunately 'stay-at-home-mom, though having a great benefits package, has pretty poor pay!)

There were two of us giving the baby shower and we each agreed that we could contribute $50 which gave us a grand total of $100.  As far as I know, that's not a huge baby shower budget, but we're thrifty girls.  We'd make it work! 

...and we did!  ...and it was a hit!  ...and I'd like to share it with you!

Here are the basics of a baby shower: 1. guest list 2. venue 3. invites 4. decor 5. games 6. prizes 7. food 8. favors

1.  I left the guest list up to my guest of honor.  Our shower was one of three that were being thrown for her and including the two hosts and guest of honor, the list totaled thirty.  Of the thirty, thirteen ended up coming and it was a great size.  (Obviously this was $0, total-$0)

2.  Because the majority of our guests would be traveling from the same area, we ended up choosing to throw the party at one of the campuses of my friend's church that was close to them.  ($0, total= $0)

3. I put my graphic design skills to good use and designed a postcard invitation that I printed on my home printer.  The postcard included all the important info and barely took any of our funds.  Our guest of honor had a friend hand deliver several of the invites at her church which cut down on the already minimal  postage cost of 32 cents/card (postcard stamps are now 33 cents, by the way!) ($10 for stamps, paper & printing, total=$10)

4.  We tried to think 'sweet & simple' with the decor.  Our plan was to string balloons from the ceiling alternating in yellow and silver/grey, but as with most grand plans, we ran out of time to accomplish that and opted for balloons on the floor, which besides being a tripping-hazard for pregnant ladies, worked out just fine.  My co-host also made an awesome banner that read, "Molly's ready to pop."  It looked awesome above our food table which was draped with a yellow cloth.  Believe it or not, that was it, but it was just enough.  We accomplished our goal of 'sweet & simple.' ($10 for banner making paper and balloons, total=$20)

5.  Baby shower games.  Just reading those words makes some of you cringe!  I was determined to bring games that were fun, easy, and didn't make our guests roll their eyes!  We chose to do 3 games.

The first game (which was really an 'activity') took place when the guests arrived.  There were diapers laid out and sharpies to decorate them for our guest-of-honor to use during those late night diaper changes.  (Our mama brought about 15 from a pack of diapers she'd already received.)  Guests enjoyed being creative and writing funny/clever things on the diapers!

The second game was a twist on a game that is a party favorite among my friends.  It goes by different names--we called it Fish Bowl.  Here's how to play:
Fish Bowl {Baby Edition}
Baby-related words are in "the fish bowl". One team then selects a player to describe each slip in turn, while they guess what the slip says. They receive a point for each slip they get correctly. You cannot skip slips. A timer is set for one minute, at the end, the teams switch. This continues until all the slips have been correctly guessed. Next, the slips are put back in, but this time people can only act it out (not speaking). Finally, they are put back in and the individual trying to give away what they are can only say two words.
The third game was played while guests were eating and socializing.  It was a great way to do another game without making everyone stop and be quiet.  I'll call it, "Diaper Bag Game."  I filled Molly's diaper bag with a bunch of baby things from my own house (nail clippers, rubber duck, Vaseline, diaper, wipes, comb, etc.) and gave each guest 20 seconds to feel around in the bag and try to figure out what the items were.  Then, they were given time to try to write down and remember what was in the bag.  The person who got the most number of items correct wins!  An optional rule (which I put in because sometimes people are VERY competitive) is to award one point for each correct item and subtract one point for each item a guest wrote down that was not in the bag.

Since I used baby items I already owned, diapers Molly had already received, and my own old paper and printer there wasn't any cost for these games. ($0, total=$20)

6. When people hear that there are games at a baby shower, they know to expect prizes too!  Just like our 'sweet & simple' decor, we didn't get crazy with game prizes either (after all, people come to showers to give, not receive.)  We stuck with our pop theme and let winners choose from a bag containing Pop Rocks and Ring Pops.  It seems kind of silly for grown women, but they seemed really nostalgic about Pop Rocks and excited to share their ring pops with their kids at home!  We awarded prizes to each winning team member from "Fish Bowl" and to the top 3 winners of the diaper bag game. ($6, total=$26)

7.  The food at this party was a little more tricky than other parties I've thrown.  Our mama-to-be has Celiac Disease which meant that we could not have any gluten (wheat, oats, & barely) at the party.  Our food included POPCORN (you know, stickin' with the theme), chips and dip, gluten free pretzels, a fruit salad, a veggie tray, and our sweet item was gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  Our mama requested not to have too much sweet stuff at the party, so cookies were a great choice.  Our food was served with yellow napkins and plates.

We had pitchers of water and lemonade to drink.  The yellow lemonade looked great with our yellow and grey color scheme.  Our co-host brought along a stack of clear cups from her house and some forks for the fruit salad. ($52*, total=$78)

8. Every good baby shower is made complete with a cute party favor in which your guest will remember your party!  My co-host and I came up with this cute Blow Pop idea (with the help of Pinterest.)  We made the circles, stamped them with our pregnant lady, added a circle that read, "Molly's Ready to Pop," punched threading holes, and threaded a Blow Pop through the tag.  I was super please with the final result. ($3, total=$81)

There you have it.  A baby shower for under $100 that was super fun to throw and (I hope) also fun to attend!  We had plenty of food, fun, and favors to go around!

I hope you have fun planning your next baby shower! *The price for food will obviously be higher depending on how many guests you have, but keep in mind that people don't come expecting a meal and you have $19 extra dollars in your budget to cover the cost of extra food!


  1. The shower was AMAZING! I could not have asked for anything more and my mother-in-law kept commenting on how well Mary and her co-host did throwing it. Thanks Mary!

  2. "Name Baby Items" is an alternate famous Baby Shower Games. Give out a cushion of paper and a pen or pencil to every visitor, and have everybody name however many kid items as could reasonably be expected in few minutes.

  3. Could you please share the pregnant silhoutte graphic? Can you direct me to where I can download or purchase. I am having a hard time finding one that looks the same. Here is my email Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hi Blanca. The image ids from a rubber stamp I purchased at Hobby Lobby. You should be able to get your own there.

    2. Thank you for replying Mary. We are looking for something unique without the umbrella and this is it. I will start searching for the rubber stamp at my nearest Hobby Lobby.

  4. That was a great budget management out there. By the way, I don't know if this will help you for your next party but baby shower party supplies here are also thrifty:

  5. This is such a wonderful post. I have never read something like this. It’s beautiful! I wish I was this good at writing something. I am a fan now. Talking about baby showers, I just had one last week in one of the Los Angeles event venues. The things that you have written down here might have been a problem for my friends who hosted it. It was lovely though, I love everyone for that.