A baby shower is a party after all, so it’s important to make sure that your guests go home happy. One important way to show your appreciation is to hand out favors at the end of the party. While you can go to a great deal of expense to purchase gifts (I hear Tiffany’s does make a bubble wand,) but you don’t have to spend a fortune. You can show how much you care by sharing a little of yourself with your guests and handing out custom made favors at the end of the party. Don’t worry! You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make these lovely handmade gifts. While some favors require some craft supplies, there is nothing that you can’t pick up at your local craft store or online. All you need is a little care and a lot of imagination.M

Summer Favors

Have a ball with these fun summer DIY favors. Hand out these glass beach balls that will keep their shape for years to come. For this project, you will need clear glass Christmas ornaments, rubber bands, red, yellow, blue and white acrylic paint, card stock,, and coordinating polka dot ribbon.

If you’re planning the shower far enough in advance, you can pick up the ornaments at your local after-Christmas sale. But if you didn’t think ahead, know that you can order them online. It isn’t a problem to get them any time of the year. Just make sure that you choose the ornaments with removable tops.

Start by wrapping three rubber bands around each globe. You should do this so that the bands cross from the top of the globe to the bottom, creating six equal sections around the globe. Color three of the sections: One section should be red, one yellow and one blue. Make sure that you skip a section in between each of the colored sections. Paint each color and let it dry between colors so that you will not smudge any color as it dries.

After you have painted the globes red, yellow and blue, remove the top part of the ornament. Pour a small amount of paint into the center of the ornament and swirl it around, painting the entire inside of the glass. When you see the ornament from the outside, it will have the traditional beach ball look. After the paint dries, replace the top.

Print out small notes, thanking the guest for coming to the shower. Cut them apart and punch a hole in one corner and thread the ribbon through the note and tie it to the top of the ornament.

Thanks for Popping By

Why not thank your guest with a little pampering for themselves? It shows how much you care. You can show your appreciation by making fizzy bath bombs and pushing them through a printed card. For this project, you will need Ingredients to make fizzy bath bombs: baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, cornstarch, oil, witch hazel, and essential oils for scent. You will also need round or oval molds, (unless you think you can roll uniform balls by hand,) as well as your computer, a printer, card stock, and a craft blade or a large, round die cutter.

Start by making the bath bombs. That way you know exactly how much room to leave for the bath bomb. Mix 1 cup of baking soda with ½ cup of citric acid, ½ cup of Epsom salt and ¾ cup of cornstarch. Mix these ingredients well and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of oil with 2 teaspoons of witch hazel. Add enough essential oils to create a strong, but pleasant scent. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, stirring the mixture with your hands, until you have used it all. The mixture should be crumbly but should hold together when you pack it in your hand. If you need a little more moisture, add water a drop at a time.

Quickly pack the mixture into the molds, pressing the mixture firmly into the mold. Continue to mix and mold bath bombs until you have enough for each invited guest and maybe a couple extra. After all, you might need to relax after all this hard work. Let the bath bombs dry for a day or two. While the bath bombs are drying, start working on the cards. If you have made smaller bath bombs, set up your word processing program to print four cards per page. For larger bath bombs, set up your program for two cards per page. Print your own words or write something like “Thanks for popping by!” Below the words, insert a large graphic of a balloon. Cut the cards apart.

If you are good with a craft knife, you can cut the center out of the balloon large enough to push the bath bomb through the hole. If you are less than talented with a craft knife, simply purchase a large die cutter in the shape of a circle. If you purchase the die cutter at the same time as you purchase the bath bomb mold, you can be sure that they are the same size.

After the bath bombs dry, wrap them in plastic wrap with a small piece of tape to hold the plastic in place. Push the bath bomb through the hole and set them aside for the party.

Treat Jars

If you want something that’s more flexible, why not hand out DIY treat jars. Simply find small toys that fit with the theme of the shower. If you are throwing an animal-themed shower, use tiny plastic animals. Throwing a car-themed Dad shower? Use toy cars. Holiday shower? Find tiny pumpkins, snowmen, or even reindeer. Are your parents in the military? Then use tiny toy soldiers.

The craft is simple. Purchase small jars with screw on lids, one for each guest and a few extras. Remove the lids and set the jars aside. Glue the toy of your choice to the top of the lid and let the glue dry. Spray paint each lid to go with the color scheme of your shower. Or, if you know the gender, consider spray painting the lids and toys pink or blue.

Fill the jars with the treat of your choice and screw the lids back on the jars. Tie a small note that thanks the guests for their participation.

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