Nautical Baby Shower - Origami Sailboat Invites
Dawn in Marysville, WA, USA
March 2008 Winner
My friend was having her second child, a boy, and MTB (mommy to be) didn't want a fluffy shower, with storks or pastel blue, but a nautical shower to keep with the nursery theme. Thus, Ships Ahoy, It's a Boy was bon.
INVITES The invitations were made by folding simple origami sailboats, layered onto light blue paper, and matted onto cardstock that was the same color as the sailboats. I used 5 square origami paper,white on one side and colored on the other. When the paper is folded, the sails are the white side, and the boat is the color. To keep down the bulkiness of the invite, I printed the info onto the backside like a postcard instead of making it a folded card. The invite read Ships Ahoy! It's a Boy! A new (last name) is sailing in - It's a ladies-only baby shower for xxx, shower date, arriving 1:00 p.m. Departing 3:00 p.m. p.m - Please arrive in white or blue attire. We would later take a group shot of everyone for her scrapbook.
DECOR I have been collecting as much nautical items from everyone I knew, seashells, netting, sailboats, the works. The best idea was making the nautical flag garlands. I downloaded flag alphabet, and recreated phrases like Welcome and Set Sail using the flag denotation of each letter, for example, the letter SXXX is a yellow flag with a black circle in the middle, the letter XXX is a yellow and black diagonally striped flag, so on and so forth. I used various colors of cardstock and mounted them on 4 squares of cardstock. I used a Cricut die-cutting machine to cut each letter out of black cardstock to mount on each corresponding flag. I punched two holes at the top of each flag to thread it through a thick jute rope to spell out each phrase, and secured them to the rope with tape. Because I couldn't put any holes into the walls, double-sided foam tape was my best friend. I decided to focus the decorating on the dining area, because the living room ceilings were high vaulted. Using blue painter's tape, I taped white Christmas lights all over the entire wall, and also taped the entire perimeter of the top of wall where it met the ceiling. I attached the foam tape to the painters tape, then using a large roll of blue plastic tablecloth, I hung sheets of the tablecloth by attaching it to the double-sided foam, thus covering the wall. The Christmas lights showed through and gave it a beautiful glow.
Across the corners, using removable plastic hooks, I hung fish netting, and added seashells, plastic lobsters, and starfish. It was easy to thread a lot of them through the netting, others had to be taped on. We pulled the dining room table back in front of the decorated wall, and covered it with a white tablecloth and a runner of nautical print material I purchased at Jo-Ann's. I hung one of the nautical flag garlands across the curtains to the right of the table, and set up the candy buffet to the left of the table, which I will talk about later. We made anchors and life preserves from thick sheets of foam core that we cut out and painted with acrylic paint, and hung them up with fishing line from all the curtain rods. In the living room, I set out boats, sea gulls, and other items I found around the ouse. We hung up more of the flag garlands, and had balloon clusters of red, yellow, blue and white around the room, and strung up more Christmas lights, over the mantle, through the curtains, you name it, had lights on it. I used oversized shells as balloon weights, they came out too cute. I also covered the chairs in navy-blue sheets and added my own stuffed sea-animals I had purchased from IKEA for my son's room. I used lots of votive candles as well, I borrowed fish-shaped holders, and mixed them with clear containers, and clustered them on the side tables. In the middle of the living room was a large round marble table that would hold all of the gifts as a nice centerpiece.
FOOD Our co-host was in charge of the food, and she made all sorts of appetizers, great dips, and lots of other simple foods. I can't remember all that we had, but I do remember how we did the table. We had lots of star-and lighthouse shaped serving ware, and red and yellow platters that she found at our local dollar store. We had a beverage jar with a spout on the sound filled with blue lemonade (we just added blue Kool-Aid) and it was a hit because we used clear tumblers for cups. We were serving cupcakes, so we used my Wilton cupcake stand, and although it only holds like 13 cupcakes, we surrounded it on the table with the remainders. She traced anchors onto a piece of paper, laid a sheet of wax paper on top and with a piping bag and red candy melts, traced out each anchor. Once they cooled, you can peel them off and a cute cupcake topper was born. I scattered mini-shells and glass rocks all around the table, and placed small bowls of floating red gerbera daisy heads as well.
ACTIVITIES I made a 12 X 12 scrapbook page with Jolee's stickers of sailboats, anchors and life preservers, and had all the guests sign the page, so that once our group picture with everyone in blue and white could be added to the page lager. The MTB refused to do the Guess How Big Mommy's Belly Is game, you know where every one measures out a piece of ribbon and try to come close to her actual size, and the Baby Food Tasting or guessing what kind of chocolate (poop) in the diaper game, I hated as well, so I decided to do several non-traditional games. I had some great prizes. MTB said it was ok for the gifts to be a little risque, (and you should always ask, especially if you don't know the guests, we would want Aunt Pearl to receive something that may give her a heart attack). I had sample sizes of fun lotions that I would use as smaller prizes. For the larger prizes, I had one gift bag with a pregnancy test (I found at the Dollar Store!), another with Midol pills and tampons, and a classier gift of lotions and gels I found on sale at Bath and Body Works.
We did do the Pacifier game, where they couldn't say the MTB's name, the word cute or the word baby. I made the pacifiers by hot-gluing two white peppermint Lifesavers as the base, and a blue jellybean as the nipple of the pacifier, and threaded them onto ribbons that said -- It's a Boy! The person who collected the most pacifiers won the pregnancy test, because it's been said the person who wins the game will be the next to get pregnant! The first one was the icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie, everyone writes down 2 things that are true and 1 lie about themselves, and everyone tries to guess which the lie is. It's great for a group who don't know each other, because everyone explains their truths. Some were very simple, and others were pretty interesting.
The second game was called Order Up! Everyone had a checklist of traits that the baby would get either from their mom or their dad, so I had a list like Eyes, Nose, Booty, Sense of Humor, Cooking Skills, etc. and everyone had to check off from which parent they would get that trait, and match up to what the mom-to-be's answers would be. It's really fun to personalize this game because in our case, our mom doesn't cook and she's has a nice (pardon my French) booty, so some of them were easy. The winner of this game received the Bath and Body Works gift. The next game was How Much Is That Tuition In The Window? It is multiple choice game of 5 Washington colleges like the University of Washington, and choices for how much tuition and housing would be for the baby when he is going off to college in 2026. I used a 6% per year inflation rate (which is an average for how tuition rates are rising) and everyone had to match up as many correctly as possible. Everyone was a little freaked out when I read the correct answers, because I had a mix of high-priced and lower-priced schools, and joked about where their kids were going. The winner of this game received 300 Grand for college, well, just 3 100 Grand candy bars (hardy har har).
We took a break for everyone to get some food and chill for a little, then moved onto the next game, the Left Right game, where I read a story about the MTB on her way to a doctor's appointment. Every time I said Left or Right in the story, they had to pass a diaper with a little poo of chocolate syrup in it, and whoever ended up with it at the end won the erotic lotion prize. I passed out Gift Bingo cards for everyone to fill in what they thought her gifts would be, and cross them off as she opened them. It's a great way to keep people engaged because it gets a little boring watching someone else open gifts. I passed out little bags with a Lovers Oil sampler, you know, the kind that heat up when you blow on them, and everyone just thought they were hilarious!
FAVORS So, I couldn't really decide on what to do for favors, so I set up a beautiful candy buffet. I had various apothecary jars, square holders, fish bowls, and I even found a small gumball machine, that I filled up with as many theme-colored candy I could find. Nautical colors of red, white, blue, yellow were used, so I had red and white M&Ms I stocked up on during the after-Valentine's Day sales, white, light and dark blue Jelly Belly jellybeans, Ring Pops, Crunch bars (they have red, white and blue wrappers), and gummy worms. I picked out the orange, green and purple gumballs so the machine just had the red, yellow, white and blue ones. I even had these great Jelly Belly mini candy canes from Christmas that came in yellow with red stripes, green with dark green stripes and white with blue stripes.
I printed up a card on blue paper and matted it on yellow, then red cardstock that read. Thank you for making xxx's shower sweeter! Please help yourself to a bag of treats Using printer-friendly round labels, I made blue stickers that read Sailing into a new adventure 3-29-08 which is the baby's due date, and stuck them on clear cellophane bags for guests to use. I used little blue plastic bottles, carriages etc. to decorate around the buffet table. I filled two tall glass cylinders with pebbles, some greenery and live goldfish to balance out the table (I took the goldfish home with me to add to my own tank). Everyone loved that the shower wasn't the typical ones they had all been to, and we played games a lot of them had never heard of, even the theme was unique to them. The MTB never had a shower for her first child, she went into labor on the day of her shower, so it was an honor to do it for her.