I'll illustrate exactly what I mean by telling you about a baby shower I helped throw for my friend, Brandi. Her nursery theme focused on the ocean - mermaids, bubbles, and undersea creatures - in a magical palette of sea-green teal, violet, and lime green. You couldn't ask for a more fun idea to work with, but at the same time, you can't exactly buy a baby mermaid shower kit at your local party-supply store. We wanted guests to know the nursery theme, so they could purchase gifts accordingly for the mommy-to-be. Therefore, everything had to be custom made, which I loved as a craftier. To carry out the theme, I focused on three carefully coordinated items - the invitation, the party game, and the favor.
- The Invitation
The invitation is the first party impression your guests will receive. Let your custom invitation introduce them to the party theme and explain what they can expect once they get there. If they need to bring anything out of the ordinary or dress a certain way for the party, be sure to note it. Most importantly, the invitation's function is to get your guests excited about attending. I think a unique handcrafted invite is sure to get them pumped and ready to RSVP, "Yes!"
The invitation above shows a sparkly tailed baby mermaid inside a bubble with the message, "A Little Mermaid is on Her Way." This tells the guests that the party is for a little girl and that it's ocean themed. The waves of the scalloped vellum echo this sea theme. When you pull up on the ribbons, you realize that those aren't really ribbons at all but instead a spray from a smiley whale's blow hole. This little surprise is a fun way to engage the recipients and reinforce the sea-creature theme. All of the party information is conveniently printed below the whale.
- The Party Game or Activity
Once guests arrive you need to have a way to demonstrate the handmade party theme in action. You can go as elaborate or as simple as you want with this. For a wine tasting, you might make wine tags around the bottles that have an image used on the invitation. For a little girl's tea party, you would of course have teapots and cups. Both of these examples would reinforce the party's theme.
For this baby shower, we went really simple. We played baby bingo, where guests write down one baby item in each square of a bingo card that they think the mommy-to-be will receive at the shower. As gifts are opened, you can "X" out any gift that you got correctly until someone calls out, "Bingo!" We made the game tie in with the theme by placing a little whale in the center wild card square of the bingo cards. Even something as simple as this, reinforces the party's theme and shows you really thought everything out.
- The Party Favor
I, personally, cannot have a party without giving out a small favor. This small token is a way to let your guests know how much you appreciate their attendance and provides a great way to close out the party theme. A handmade party favor is an especially wonderful treat to receive, too.
Something bubble related seemed ideal for this baby shower. I found little bubble-shaped bottles at a craft store and filled them with inexpensive bubble bath in coordinating party colors. To dress them up, I tied on some ribbon to match the invitation and a sparkly baby mermaid tag that said "Bubble Bath" to make sure the guests knew what they were getting. Viola! An adorable handcrafted party favor that fit with the shower's theme and was inexpensive to create.
As long as you tie in your handmade party's theme on these three elements - the invitation, the party game/activity, and the party favor, you will succeed in throwing a super fun and memorable event. If you have time and energy to create more tie-in pieces for the party, by all means, go for it! Simply use these three elements as your party base. Happy party planning!
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