How to have a baby shower on a budget

We have a wonderful guest post today from Erin of Nappy Cakes By Erin, showing you how to have an amazing baby shower on a budget!

I’m Erin, a Mum of two, wife and Primary School teacher. I’m also the owner of Nappy Cakes by Erin and the founder of Celebrate Play – a series of FREE and ACTIONABLE content focusing on PLAY.

I live a very busy, yet simple and enjoyable life in Sydney. My greatest passions are family, organisation, gift-giving, helping others and lifelong learning.  You can find me at Nappy Cakes By Erin, follow me on Facebook, join the Celebrate Play Facebook Group or email me [email protected]

The Thrifty Issue is all about ‘helping you live a thrifty but fun lifestyle’. I love this concept as it aligns with my current journey of motherhood and a few of my greatest passions –  helping others, celebrating motherhood, becoming a minimalist and organisation. It has definitely driven me to write a blog post from the heart today.
“…because all mothers deserve something special” is an evocative tagline we use over in the cake factory. Every ‘Mum-to-be’ deserves to feel special at their baby shower and enjoy celebrating the special occasion with family and friends. If you are planning a ‘special’ baby shower on a budget check out our tips to get you started.

1. Choose A Theme
Choosing a theme is an ideal starting point for planning most events. It provides the host with a sense of direction and helps dictate the budget when purchasing decorations, food, gifts, party favours and games. We recommend choosing themes that are versatile, meaning they can be mixed and matched to create themes in the future for birthdays, baby sprinkles/showers for subsequent children. Some of our favourite versatile themes are:
– Colours
– Patterns
– Books (eg. Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, Dr Seuss)
– Nursery Rhyme themes (Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
– We also love a good pun theme (Ready to Pop, What will baby bee?)

2. Search And Borrow Items 
Once a theme is selected, do a quick brainstorm of items needed for decoration. Have you got items in your home that will serve as table centrepieces (flowers, balloons, candles, books, baby toys etc) or does a friend or family member have an item that would suit your theme? Make a list of the items you need and allocate a portion of your budget to these needs. Be sure to check out discount warehouses, sales and wholesalers to snap up some decorative bargains.

3. Set A Time Between Meals
By choosing a time between meals you allow yourself room for movement in the budget on food and tableware front. Providing guests with a morning tea, afternoon tea or supper requires lighter foods and smaller plates than main meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner).

4. Host In A Home or Park
Offering your home or asking family and friends if they are willing to offer their home for the baby shower is another way to save some cash. Alternatively, a local park can also make for a lovely baby shower venue. Some considerations with this are checking whether a permit is needed to host the event and what facilities are available to cater for all your guests (children, babies, pregnancy, elderly, disabilities etc).

5. Digital Invitations
In contemporary society, many of our social events are shared using social media or digital online services. One benefit of creating an event is if guests have any questions e.g. about gifts, directions or offering assistance, they can be answered in an online chat. In the cake factory, we often use Etsy’s digital instant downloads and print the invites at our local print store or in some cases at home, depending on what our desired effect is.

6. Get Cooking
An easy way to save money is to skip the caterers and prepare the food yourself. Foods such as sandwiches, wraps, cold meat platters, salads, soups, fruit and vegetable platters, cheese and crackers, cupcakes and slices are simple to make, can cater for dietary or allergy requirements and be made by most people, should you enlist the help of family and friends.

7. Paper & Pen Games
What is a baby shower without games, right? By choosing games that use pen and paper, you are limiting the expense spent on resources whilst still creating games that are fun for your guests. Here are a few of our favourite paper and pen baby shower games:
– Baby Bingo
– Baby Trivia
– Baby Word Scramble Baby Animal name Game
For more baby shower game inspiration check out this post.

8. Use Pinterest For Inspiration
Hands up if you are a crafty, DIY kinda person or know someone who is? Pinterest is an amazing resource to use when looking for budget friendly ideas for decorations, food and gifts. Some of the most effective party favours and prizes are those that are pretty and practical (eg.soaps, sugar scrubs, bubble bath, body butter) and don’t forget those delicious edible goodies (DIY cookie mixes, cake pops, cupcakes, cookies and lolly buffets).

9. Incorporate Your Gift Into Decor And Games
A great way to save money is to incorporate your gift into the decor and games. A great example of this I can share with you is: I recently created a nappy cake design for a thematic baby shower that served as a table centrepiece, a piece of a game (Baby Lotto) and at the end of the event it was given to the mum to be as a gift. This pretty and practical idea is the perfect way to be thrifty.
Some other ideas are:
– Create a clothesline of cute baby onesies. Guests write a message for baby or Mum to be which makes the ideal keepsake and provides entertainment amongst guests during the baby shower.
– Set up a table with a pen and decorative papers for guests to write messages or share their words of wisdom on. This can serve as an activity and at the end of the event, serve as a gift by collating each page and securing it in a scrapbook album.
– Write messages on the exterior of nappies and give these to the Mum to be.

10. Use Free Baby Shower Printables
The internet is loaded with free baby printables for decorations and games. Not only will this save you time but it will also save you money.
With a little determination, creativity and our tips in tow, you will be well on your way to planning a beautiful, special and thrifty baby shower.

What tips would you add to having a baby shower on a budget?

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