You want to throw a lovely shower for that special new mom in your life. But money is tight. You could always ask the guests to kick in a few bucks, but every cent you ask for is less money they can spend on a gift. How do you balance the need to entertain your guests with the providing the new Mom with clothes and goods for the new baby?
Well, you plan a shower on a budget.
There are lots of ways to provide your guests and new mom with lovely memories and still leave you enough to cover the bills. Let’s look at a few shower ideas that can help you tame your shower budget.
Sure, there are lots of baby shower invitations on the market fit for every style from Edwardian to cartoon. You can choose the invitation that suits your shower, but it will cost you anywhere from $20 to $30 for each set of a dozen cards. If you’re inviting 20 people, that’s a minimum of $40 and you’ll have a bunch of cards left over. You can save that money by taking the time to make some digital invitations. It’s simple to take pictures of the Mom and her friends and create a lovely digital collage. Worried that you can’t design an invite on your own? Don’t be, there are dozens of online digital invitation sites such as Baby shower easy that have reasonably priced digital templates. They can even help you email the invitations out, saving you postage.
Balloons are lovely, and they don’t cost very much. If you only want one. But if you want to decorate with them, you will need a lot, and that adds up. If you want streamers or pom poms, a banner or a photo booth, be prepared to shell out a lot of cash to purchase them. But you don’t have to spend a lot for prepared decorations. You can make your own lovely banners with just a little elbow grease. Purchase fabric that coordinates with the colors you wish. Think about pastels in pink, blue, green and yellow. Tear it into strips and tie them onto a length of string for a lovely, fluttering DIY banner. Since you are tearing the fabric into strips, you don’t even need to visit the fabric store. Instead, look around your house for old sheets and pillowcases, or make a quick trip to your local thrift store to get the colors you want at a fraction of the price. You can make your own pom poms by accordion folding a stack of tissue paper and tying it in the middle. Then pull the leaves of paper apart to create a sphere. Instead of purchasing photo booth props, just write your own captions on card stock and tape them to chopsticks. Add some hats, wigs and funny jewelry and you have a great phot booth that costs nothing.
Every party needs food. It doesn’t have to be a huge buffet, but you will need something. On the bright side, pregnant women shouldn’t have alcohol, so it’s perfectly acceptable to keep high priced booze away from the party. You can serve simple food that you make yourself. You don’t have to be a top chef to cut up carrots, celery and other fresh veggies for crudité. You don’t need to have mad icing skills to bake and frost cupcakes. If you want to serve something more substantial, consider hosting a pot luck shower. Ask guests to bring different parts of the meal. You can also fold the food into gifts for the new mom. Ask each guest to make a double portion of their favorite meal to share. Bring half the food packaged for the freezer and labeled with the name of the dish and the cook as well as any reheating instructions. That way Mom has a freezer full of meals while she’s juggling a new baby. You can even ask each guest to share the recipe.
Again, it’s easy to purchase baby shower games online. There are games you can play with your drinks, and games that will bring back memories of childhood birthday parties. Prices vary, but it’s another way to spend money that you can do yourself. There are lots of games you can make yourself for next to nothing. “Name that Baby” is a fun game that requires nothing but paper, pencils and some time on the internet. Look up as many different names for baby animals as you need. Make a list of adult animal names such as cow, alpaca, and kangaroo. Add both expected and unexpected baby animal names. For example, did you know that a baby alpaca is called a cria? Print enough copies of the adult animal list for each guest or write the animals on a poster or chalk board. Ask each guest to write down the baby animal names. Whoever has the most correct names wins a prize. Another fun game is “Pin the Diaper on the Baby.” Simply draw a large picture of a baby and blindfold guests, give each guest a large cut out diaper to stick to the baby picture. Whoever gets it closest to the right spot wins. Looking for game that will fill your house with laughter? Try “Diaper the Baby” gather several dolls and other items such as newspapers, paper towels, toilet tissue or hand towels. Don’t forget things like tape, paper clips and shoelaces to keep the diapers closed. Give each “parent” a baby and an item and have them race to see who can diaper the baby with their items. The first one to diaper the baby and lift it up in the air, keeping the diaper on the doll, wins.
Ultimately, your special mom will feel the love you have for her, regardless of what you spend. Just the fact that you want to be with her during this special time is the greatest gift you can give.