Idea No.


Baby Shower Tea - Calligraphy Invites



April 2005


Kristin in Lexington, KY  USA


Baby Shower Party

Baby Shower Tea  One of my closest friends was having her first child, so I wanted to throw a really nice shower for her.  I wanted it to be elegant, but still have the cute elements commonly found at Baby Showers.  She knew she was having a boy, so the colors were baby blue and pale yellow.  I purchased a do-it-yourself invitation kit at our local office supply store.  The kit included:  invitations, matching envelopes, and seals.  There were two invitations per 8 1/2 X 11" sheets.  The border consisted of pastel baby feet.  I used calligraphy font in a sapphire color to print "Ten little fingers and ten little toes, Two little ears and one little nose..., Please join me for a baby shower, honoring, (Mom to Be), (Date), (Time), (Location), Hosted by (hostess), R.S.V.P. information. 

These were heavy duty invitations just like wedding ones.  I then purchased baby blue sheer ribbon.  I hole-punched two holes at the top of each invitation and ran the ribbon through to make bows.  They looked professionally done by the time I'd finished.  When I purchased the invitation kit, I also bought the matching stationery.  On these pages I printed this poem I'd found on the internet: "I want to be a bright child, As smart as I can be., That is why I'm hoping, Mom and Dad will read to me., If you plan to bring a card, Please take another look., I would like to learn my ABC's, From your favorite storybook., Please sign your name, To add a personal touch., Baby (last name) thanks you, Very, Very much."  I then added stickers used for scrapbooking of baby and maternity items at the bottom of each page to decorate.  For instance, the one I saved for Mom to Be's baby book had a pregnant woman folding baby clothes at the bottom.  I added these to each envelope along with place cards that had the registry information.  I printed return labels using baby clipart and then did calligraphy myself to address each envelope.  Each envelope was sealed with the seals that came in the kit.  

On the day of the party I greeted each guest at the door and showed them to the table in my entrance hall.  I asked each guest to address an envelop to themselves.  I had previously purchased the matching Baby Feet thank you cards to give to our guest of honour.  On display on this table was a ceramic piggy bank I'd also purchased to give to Mom-to-Be.  Along-side it, I displayed this poem on pale blue cardstock: "Baby's Piggy Bank  A brand new little baby Needs blessings from above. And lots and lots of pennies To fill baby's bank - with love. Babies are God's precious gifts Given to warm our heart. Let's fill baby's piggy bank To give baby a wonderful start! (c) Bidiekity - Jan 2002 "  I used some clipart of a baby boy and a really cute pig to decorate the page.  I used one of my wooden plate displays so it would stand by the bank.  Guests could add a few cents if they so chose.  Guests then entered my formal living room to deposit their gifts in front of the fireplace.  I purchased small single-flower sterling silver vases very cheaply from a home goods store in town.  I used these to cluster together on one of my end tables for a floral display.  The vase in the middle held the single rose symbolizing the new baby on the way and was surrounded by vases of baby's breath.  I have a large chair and a half that I had reserved for MTB (Mom to Be) and that her mother also ended up sharing with her.  I was able to work with her husband to surprise her with her own mother attending.  Her family lives far away, but her husband and father made arrangements for her mom to fly in to surprise her for the shower.  It was very touching.  Beside the chair is a round table. 

For one of my gifts, I made a cloth diaper cake.  I used cloth diapers to roll around a large baby blanket I purchased.  The diapers made two layers of the "cake" and the blanket cemented the layers together.  I used baby safety pins to attach the diapers together.  I then decorated with sheer baby blue and pale yellow ribbons.  I used baby socks around the cake layers like candles.  You tie a ribbon around the toe of the sock and push the middle part in.  You then place the sock in between the layers of the diapers.  I also added baby rattles as the cake topper.  This made a great decoration beside the chair.  We have two large speakers on either side of our entertainment center.  On the one closest to the entrance I placed the party favors for everyone as they left.  I had purchased individual wedding cake slice boxes from our local cake supply store. 

I made some small cookies in the shape of baby items:  pacifier, rubber duck, rocking horse, and bottle.  I used the Wilton Ice-A-Cookie in white to cover the top of each.  I then stamped them with their matching stamp pads colored with food coloring to decorate each cookie with pastel colors.  I then used my gingerbread man cookie cutter to make large cookies.  I used the Wilton Ice-a-cookie to draw a diaper on each cookie and a round circle for a pacifier.  I used a black food coloring marker to draw little diaper pins on the diaper, eyes, nose, and a handle for the pacifier.  I used pink food coloring to add rosy cheeks for all my babies.  After shrink-wrapping the cookies, I wrapped tissue paper around the cookies in the boxes.  I then added this poem found on the internet to the top of each box: "A child is the greatest gift, That our lives can bestow., It brings the most exquisite joy, That we will ever know., Some days deliver happiness, Far more than we can touch., We need the help of all our friends, To comprehend how much., And so we thank you for the gifts., Both those you brought and are, That celebrate this rich, full life, And it's rising star!"  I printed these on clear vellum paper with sparkles embedded in it.  I then used wide baby blue and yellow ribbons to wrap around each box and tie with a bow.  I alternated the use of colors and stacked these on the speaker to look like a large tiered cake.  A decoration and party favors to go all in one! 

On the other speaker I made an arrangement of white roses and babies breath.  I purchased the roses and babies breath from a florist and did all of the arrangements myself to cut down on costs.  In this one I used 3 large white roses to symbolize the growth of their family.  On my mantle I had a large silver bowl.  I made little diaper cups out of folded white napkins and put pastel m&m's in each.  You fold cocktail-sized napkins down one corner about 3/4ths of the way to the other corner.  Then fold in each side and use a safety pin to attach.  They look like miniature diapers.  I put these on the mantle because the m&m's were to be used as marker chips in the baby bingo game I had planned for later, and I didn't want people to eat them before then.  I did all of the cooking myself.  My formal dining room is connected to the formal living room, so I had everything laid out on the dining room table.  Guests entered the kitchen to get their tea.  On my kitchen table I had a nice pale yellow table cloth.  I put out my porcelein white tea cups and nice silver spoons.  I had my tea service set up there.  I tried to serve as many guests as I could but because we had over 20 women there, several ended up serving themselves. 

They then entered the dining room for food.  I made many types of appetizers.  On my hunt board I set up my crystal punch bowl with a slushy punch and put out crystal punch cups.  Guests could either choose punch or tea for a beverage.  On the server I had my electric fondue pot with a swiss cheese fondue I made.  I cubed various types of breads to use with it.  The centerpiece of the table was the cake.  I made it myself.  I made it three layers tall so it would be special.  It was round.  I colored the icing baby blue.  I smoothed the top of the cake using corn starch on a gloved finger.  It gives it the appearance of porcelain.  I then added very large stars around all the sides and top edge of the cake.  It gave it a very nice texture.  I used rolled white fondant to mold baby items for the top.  I folded the fondant into a diaper and attached small safety pins to make it appear like a cloth diaper.  I then cut a piece to look like a t-shirt and stamped a rubby duck on it using yellow food color.  I also shaped 2 baby booties. 

On either side of the cake I made a set of booties out of cut-up cupcakes and decorated to look like they were knitted.  These were pale yellow.  I used sterling silver mint julep cups filled with white roses just down from each set of booties also.  At the end of the table I placed the paper products and silverware.  I used the clear plastic plates and utensils.  I purchased napkins with a cute baby-boy face on it in baby blue as well.  I served:  Lacy cheese rounds, spinach-artichoke dip with tortilla chips, green apples with caramel sauce, fruit with dip, and small chocolates I made in the shape of baby items along with the fondue.  I allowed everyone to socialize  a while before we began our games.  We played baby bingo.  I purchased this from a party supply store and used the m&m's as markers.  I also printed two other games off of the internet.  One had riddles which described baby parts.  The winner of each game received one of the silver vases. 

After the games, the MTB opened her gifts and was presented with each person's book in lieu of a card.  It was wonderful to hear the stories about why each book was purchased and many people had gone to some trouble searching for books from their own childhood.  I also had one more surprise.  A dear friend of ours married and moved to Korea with her military husband.  I arranged for her to send me her gift for our friend.  She had attached little notes to each small gift within a huge package about where in the world it had been purchased.  Very neat!  While Mom was opening gifts I made sure to take lots of pictures and write them down.  We ended by eating the cake.  After the party was over, I burned the photos to CD and made 2 copies.  My husband getting in the spirit had created a classical music CD to play at the party.  We also burned a copy of it.  Since our own children had gone to Grandma's for the weekend, we dropped these off at MTB's house on our way to dinner that night.  Her mother was catching a plane the next day and one of the CD's with pictures was for her.  This party was a lot of work and months of planning, but it was well worth it.  I wanted it to be memorable and special for my friend which it was.  I even had several people ask if I had a catering business which made me feel great!!!

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