Last weekend I hostessed a baby shower for my sister-in-law. She had picked a nautical theme for her nursery decor so I thought it would be fun to carry that over to the shower too. (*Added 5/13/2011: I designed the invitations myself and had them printed at the local Kinkos.)
To welcome guests and help them find my home, I made this "life-saver" wreath using a dollar store wreath that I wrapped with quilt batting and white garbage bags cut into strips. I used this bright yellow rope that I found at the hardware store ($3 for the whole roll) to finish off the wreath and throughout the party. I got to use my brand new Silhouette craft cutter (Christmas present) for the first time to cut the letters. I also used my new toy to cut the captains wheel cupcake toppers below:
I made the bunting using the same fabric that we will use to sew the bedding for baby's crib... so it can do double duty as party decor and nursery decor. A couple of bright yellow paper lanterns added a pop of color.
This was my favorite detail. I used a painter's drop cloth to make a tablecloth – reminiscent of a canvas sail I thought. I cut the stencil out of freezer paper – again, using my Silhouette – and stenciled baby's name on each corner. Then I used the same yellow rope and some grommets to add a fun detail to the edge. (Wish I had more pictures of that.) After the party, this stencil section will be cut out and sewn into a little pillow for the nursery. Perhaps another will become a cute little personalized tote bag. Who knows? Freezer paper stencil, ready to go:
One of my favorite discoveries for stenciling onto fabric was a bottle of "textile medium" that you can mix into ANY color of acrylic craft paint and turn it into fabric paint... it really expands your color options and makes all that paint you have even more useful.
I found these small treat bags in the clearance section of the paper store and filled them with individually-wrapped peppermint life savers. I used some scrapbook paper and a star-shaped punch to make the toppers. The perfect party favor for the theme as well as for everyone who ate the delicious, garlic-laced spinach artichoke dip on their bread sticks.
This was my first time hosting a shower like this. My younger sister is the undisputed queen of party planning and has set the bar pretty high with her creativity and attention to detail. It was fun to plan, though, and I hope that the mom-to-be felt honored and loved.