It’s taken me a while to get my thoughts together to tell you about the Baby Dumbo Baby Shower I helped throw for one of my best friends, Lorenza. This happened back in January, and for a long time I was really hard on myself that I’d dropped the ball with some things. Now that time has passed and her baby boy is due to be born in 10 days, I’ve collected my thoughts to tell you the good stuff!
The Back Story
I had a business trip the week of the shower, which cut into my time to really put a solid plan together and execute stuff. Money has been tight since I left the agency I was working for last year and have been focusing on getting clients for Blinkstar Media. Last, because Lorenza’s mom Rosemary wanted to be the person officially throwing the shower (this being her only daughter and 1st grandchild and all), we were sharing a lot of the responsibilities and I think that hurt my ability to be able to put together a cohesive plan. Rosemary was in charge of plates, utensils, napkins, table cloths, and any other table ware, as well as handling the catering and booking the Eagles Hall. I knew there were key pieces I needed to put together – centerpieces, all the printed stuff and props for the games Lorenza wanted to play, favors, and other general decor.
Lorenza hired me to design and make the invitations at least a month in advance, so that part I knew I had free reign over to work within what Lorenza wanted and the Baby Dumbo Baby Shower theme. To be clear, I’m differentiating “Baby Dumbo” from just Dumbo because Lorenza wanted to focus on Dumbo when he’s born, before he’s shoved into the clown costume, so it wasn’t a circus themed shower or a general Dumbo shower (as much as I could focus it). We designed the invites together after looking at some ideas online. I offered up that I’d seen a trend of people asking for books instead of cards and Lorenza loved it, so we added a small insert notifying guests of the plan.
I was able to learn from a the biggest mistake I’d made with Jennie’s Rubber Ducky Baby Sprinkle Invitations! With those, they were card style invites and had the registry information on the back of the card. I assumed that most people look at the back, because I do, but a lot of folks said they never did. So with these, we went with a 1 page style invite, more like you’d get for a wedding, and I made sure to add a notation to turn over the card! After designing the invite, the insert, and the envelopes we were all set with invites in the mail before Christmas.
This was relatively easy since Lorenza already told me what games she wanted to play and I had free reign within the Baby Dumbo Baby Shower theme to make everything. A couple weeks before the shower, I set up my lighting studio, backdrop kit, and a green backdrop to take photos of Lorenza for the “Pin the Baby on Mommy” game. We took a few, edited the green into a soft teal blue, and took it to FedEx Office to be blown up into a poster. We picked out a baby graphic that she liked and I used my Cricut Explore‘s Print Then Cut feature to make them. As you can see, it turned out great! She kept it to frame later for Baby’s room.
I was able to get all the props and craft supplies I needed from Dollar Tree, Target, Michael’s, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Half Priced Books. In retrospect I wish I would have designed all the game stuff at the same time as the invites – they don’t look cohesive enough for my tastes, though no one else noticed and everyone loved the designs. I took advantage of some spare Avery Clean Edge Business Cards to print out guessing cards for the baby food guessing game and diaper raffle tickets. I printed out labels for baby bottles for a beer drinking game and labels for the baby food jars. I printed “Dear Baby Guzman” fill-in cards (they haven’t decided 100% on a name) and signs for the baby letters, diaper raffle, and favors. All of that I cut out manually, except for a midnight idea to make little envelopes to house the gift cards Lorenza and her boyfriend Luis had bought as prizes. Those I made with the Cricut.
Luckily, the favors were the one things for the shower that I started making ahead of time before my business trip, so they were 90% done before I got back home. I decided to take a new craft I’d been working on, my Glass Dome Magnets, and make her favors with them. I already knew she liked them because I made some for my friends as Christmas “Stocking Stuffers” and she’d bought a personalized set from me already. I used the Cricut to cut out little elephant backing cards that would be the perfect size to slip the magnet part through. I designed the image, printed it, cut them out, and glued them to the domes before my trip, so the only things left to do at the last minute would be gluing on the magnets and then putting them onto the elephant cards.
Of course, I came up with another idea the day before of a special favor for the baby’s aunties. I decided to try out another new craft, bottle cap pins, and make some Aunt Squad pins. Lorenza only has a brother, and Luis only has brothers, none of which are married, so all of the baby’s aunties will be honorary – their friend Sofia, our friends Rachel, Jennie, Veronica, and me. I’d originally seen this as a “Grandma to Be” craft, so I whipped up a quick design and made the 6 Aunt Squad pins, a Mommy to Be pin for Lorenza, a Daddy to Be pin for Luis, and two Abuela to Be pins for their moms (besides being Latino, Abuela fit better than Grandma in the 1″ space!).
This is where I leaned on my Cricut Explore – HARD (buy your own here, it’s seriously awesome). It’s also where I’m the most disappointed in the final results. I did not have a chance to go see the venue ahead of time, so I don’t feel like I brought the decorations hard enough to really feel the theme over all the stuff that was already on the walls and in the room (like the huge American flag on the stage back wall below). I also should have done a lot more of this ahead of my business trip, and not stayed up until 5:00 AM the night before the shower learning how to make diaper cakes as hot glue dried on my pants.
I designed the center logo and made them using the Print Then Cut feature. Then I cut all the pieces for the rosettes – each rosette had 4 pieces and I needed 10 total. I ripped open the box of 100 newborn diapers I’d gotten for this express purpose (and also to enter the Diaper Raffle) and sat down in front of a tutorial on how to make diaper cakes. I followed this Mini Diaper Cake Tutorial and it was not as hard as I thought it would be before finding this tutorial, but not as easy as the tutorial made it out to be either. I got six made and threw in the towel, figuring that I could take the rest of the supplies with me and do any more that were needed at the last minute at the hall.
I live a lot of my life in that last minute, if you couldn’t already tell!
The other decorations were a bit haphazard. I had bought two Dumbo books at Half Priced Books to make into banners and only ended up using one, which we strung across the front of the stage. It ended up being more work than I’d anticipated with the book pages slipping on my old, well-worn Cricut Mats trying to cut out the banner shape. The only circus-y element of the decor was this IKEA play tent I’d purchased second-hand for Baby Guzman in excellent condition. We set it up on the stage and had everyone put the diapers they brought for the raffle inside! It had been sitting in my garage for months and I was going to make the parents-to-be finally take it off my hands!
Fortunately, six centerpieces ended up being perfect for the number of people who’d RSVP’d to Rosemary, and I had bought some pre-made pom poms, streamers, and balloons. We put up some streamers and balloons and all three pom-poms, but time was running out before the guest of honor arrived (the only person on time, weirdly) and we could not finish filling the room. Between the non-themed table ware her mom had bought and the huge space that still looked way more like a Saturday afternoon at the Eagles Hall than a Baby Shower, I wish I could have done more decorating to really make it feel special.
The day-of, January 21, I felt like I was going to let Lorenza down. After all my friends, her especially, being super impressed with the Rubber Ducky Baby Sprinkle I threw for Jennie, I felt like I hadn’t put the commitment to the theme in on this one. With all my worries I’ve already outlined, I was prepared for her to voice some disappointment – she’s usually pretty blunt, even more so with her hormones not stopping her mouth sometimes! Much to my relief, she was delighted with all the little touches in everything else that helped make her Shower awesome. I hope she had a great time and really enjoyed a special baby shower for her first born!
Afterwards, when she asked me for the photos I’d taken, I really felt like a shit – I hadn’t taken any! I brought my camera with me, but between decorating, running the games, and socializing I totally forgot to take photos. She was taking a lot with her phone so I assumed she had it under control! We later found that, between her shots, the few I did take, and everyone else’s cell phones, that there were enough shots and video to satisfy her. I can only put on one creative hat at a time I guess! But, take a look at the gallery below for all the photos I did take – and some she took – of all the stuff I made for this Baby Dumbo Baby Shower – invites, inserts, envelopes, thank you cards, baby bottle labels, baby food labels, stickers, centerpieces, pins, letters, signs, phew!