This weekend, I threw a DIY baby shower for my baby sister who is expecting her second child, a baby girl. With a limited budget, I was able put together a pretty fab shower, I think, by being resourceful, and cutting corners but without sacrificing quality and style. It all looked elegant in the end and as if I spent a lot more.
(A couple of my sister’s friends, one who is a p/t event-planner and baker and another who bakes cakes helped me out a bit. My sister’s future mom-in-law did the games and her aunt-in-law helped out as well and provided the venue, her lovely country home)
My sister, like me, is adverse to pink and purple and traditional girly colors. She wanted a shower theme to match the nursery she was decorating for her soon-to-be-born daughter, (and my future Godchild) Aubrey.
Elephants, Chevron Yellow and Grey is the theme. I strayed a little on the Chevron and we had a mix of yellows but it all came together, visually, well, nonetheless, in the end.
Here is how I pulled it off.
In lieu of expensive invitations, I got downloadable printables from Fancy Shmancy Notes shop on Etsy for $15 and $5.00 for Cards asking for a children’s story book instead of a greeting card with any gift purchase. I purchased a pack of 60 Avery brand customizable Note Cards from Staples office supply store. They come with envelopes and cost just $24. Postage stamps were $30.00. The total cost was $74 for invitations. That move saved me about $100 in lieu of online-ordered customized invitations.
Discount, Dollar, Thrift and Bulk Stores Savings
I also saved money by hitting up thrift stores, dollar stores and bulk food stores. The party supply store sold paper and plastic table cloths for $9 each. Instead if those, I schlepped to my local thrift store and picked up 3 linen table cloths for $10 total! I washed and ironed three table cloths I already owned, including a very pretty one with grey and yellow in it that matched the color scheme. Score!
At Costco, a wholesale membership food warehouse, I got a huge bouquet of Daisies for only $10.00. I was able to convert that one bunch into 5 vases of flowers of different sizes and shapes that I set up on various tables at the venue. I also got food that would ordinarily cost more at a regular grocery store much cheaper there.
For example, a large 1 lb container of mixed greens was $4. A big 34 ounce bag of authentic nacho chips was $4. Two quiche pies were $13. An Alouitte Brie Wheel just $6. A large container of fresh cut fruit was just $10. A similar size retails for about $30 at my local grocers. I know because I looked it up and did comparison shopping.
At the Dollar Store, nice Misaka brand vases were just $1.00 each. Paper cuttlery, plates, napkins, cups in the theme colors cost $1.00 each compared to $3.00 to 8.00 at the party supply store. Favor boxes were just 10 for $1 compared to $30 for 50 at the party supply store. I got some craft items for the favors and cupcake toppers there for $1.00 each as well.
Here is the final haul I set up on my dining room table.
However, to save money, I used some items I already owned. I had a case of sternos left over from a previous event. I used a serving tray and a lead glass chip and dip tray, another serving tray and glass tea light holders I already owned.
We saved money on the venue by hosting it at my sister’s fiancee’s aunt’s house in a rural part of a suburb in Maryland. The host, Aunt Nicho, has a bright and sunny Morning room that also has yellow-colored walls and a large airy and bright glass wall that brought in tons of natural light.
The cost of the main cake was offset because another family member donated the cost of the materials and my sister’s dear friend baked it. She has a p/t professional cake baking business and offered the labor for free as a gift to the mom-to-be.
Google printables and you’ll find a ton of free and paid ones as well. I was fortunate to find a free one online with the same color scheme as ours. There were water bottle labels, a candy station sign, and other printable items. When I printed out the printables, they came out darker yellow than on the computer screen, but it worked out because the color complemented well with the table cloth and coincidentally was the same shade of yellow on the the cake! Perfect!
I got the gumballs, sixlets and lollipop sticks in the color theme at the party supply store to set up a candy station. (We used the candy display jugs owned by friend who has the P/T event planning biz too) I also picked up steamer strays and yellow serving trays for a reasonable price there too.
I later discovered that Walmart and Target are now in the business of offering specialized modern party supplies. All of the supplies for a candy station, which I set up and is very popular, cost between 25-50% less at these big box stores compared to the party supply store.
Aunt Nicho had these great decorative juice jugs that we used to hold mimosas and non-alcoholic OJ
A friend of my sis, Lynee, who is an amazing baker and the one with the p/t event planning company, gifted homemade strawberry and lemon butter cream frosting cupcakes. They were amazingly good! Yum!
I got these cupcake toppers for free online HERE. I used the $1 box of toothpicks I got from the Dollar Tree to tape them to the pack of the toppers.
Here is a serving tray I already owned, a wedding gift from decades ago, that I used to serve the brie and crackers.
Again, I saved costs with glass tea holders I had from a previous event and a chip and dip tray I owned since my wedding. The tea lights were just $1 for a dozen at the dollar store.
Aunt Nicho created a very neat tiered diaper cake we used for decoration as well.
We used grey and yellow party favor boxes I got from Dollar Tree at $1 for 10. We filled them with candy from a big bag of Lifesavers I picked up at Target that was $8.00 on sale!
The roll of tulle and pre-cut Tulle circles are just $1.00 as well at Dollar Tree.
I printed out maternity portraits from my sister’s shoot using my inkjet printer I reviewed here. It looked like professional quality. I used matte photo paper I got from Target. The Target brand Up & Up is just $5.49 for 30 count.
Lynee brought this picket fence she found a while ago at a discount store that she filled with faux craft grass and stuck the candy lollipops I got from the party store in them for a nice effect.
Candy from the party store and the leftover Lifesavers made a nice candy station.
The shower was a brunch so we set up a Belgian waffle station complete with toppings, and whipped cream. The serving dishes were compliments of Aunt Nicho. I got the pitcher where I whipped up batter from Walmart for $3. My other sister got the great waffle iron that she loaned us for the event. It was on sale for just $24.99.00 at Kohl’s though it is now back to $29.99.
The Spinach quiche set on a really nice server/carver board Aunt Nicho owns.
I made my baked salmon with sauteed onions and green peppers. My mom made her signature West African Jollof rice. My sister Adama made hot wings. I whipped up eggs and sausages and Aunt Nicho made home-cooked hash browns and biscuits.
I set up the mixed greens and fruit on a utility station near the kitchen.
Overall, it was a great event!