Bring the magic to life with these fairytale baby shower ideas
I recently attended a baby shower with a Princess and the Pea theme. It was beautiful. Green and pink ornaments and tissue paper balls hung from the ceiling. Pictures of castles, princess crowns, and a crown atop a pillow adorned shelves behind the refreshments. The food was mostly round green things: wasabi peas, pea salad, green grapes, green Sixlets, green gumballs and green cake pops. To balance out the colors, the organizers threw in pink jelly beans, pink lemonade, and a lovely princess cake that was delicious.
At gift time, the mom-to-be, Jacqueline Lizon, passed around the quilt she had made for her baby girl. It featured a stack of charming appliquéd mattresses over a little pea. When I saw it, I had my "aha" moment. It got me to thinking: What other fairytales would work well as baby shower themes? I came up with a few, as well as some ideas for suitable decor, food and memorable gifts.
Decor: Impress your guests with a beanstalk centerpiece that reaches to the ceiling. You can make it out of paper, fabric or green swim noodles, like in this photo from piggybankparties.com. Hang some golden harps or fluffy white tissue clouds around the room. You could try locating a vintage framed picture of Jack climbing the beanstalk for the wall, but if you can't find something retro, you may be able to find something online that you can print and frame.
Food: Serve peas in the pod, gold-wrapped chocolate eggs in a nest, fluffy white meringues that resemble clouds, green licorice "beanstalks," and a castle cake.
Game: Guess the Number of Magic Beans: Fill a quart jar with dried beans and ask your guests to write down their guesses. The person who comes closest wins a prize.
Gift: Jack and the Beanstalk-themed growth charts are available online, or you can make one with a long piece of pressboard. Paint it white; then paint a green beanstalk from top to bottom next to a ruler. If the mom-to-be is decorating her nursery with a Jack and the Beanstalk theme, you could snag art for the nursery online, like at bruncheddesigns on Etsy; it reads, "Fe Fi Fo Fum, Ready or Not Here I Come".
Decor: The first thing your guests should see when they walk in is long braids. Make them out of yarn braided in thick plaits and drape them around the room, as shown in this photo from Etsy. Or if you prefer to reference Disney's Tangled, drape long swaths of yellow fabric around the room to resemble hair, but don't forget the bow at the end, and hang small yellow paper lanterns from the ceiling. A nice centerpiece would be a homemade tower.
Food: Bake a beautiful braided bread loaf filled with savory or sweet flavors. Serve yellow or brown thick licorice strands and purple, pink, and yellow candies. A simple tower cake can be made by stacking unfrosted cupcakes or donuts on a rod and placing a peaked roof on top. Then decorate it with frosting, vines and a long braid. But if you don't feel confident with your decorating skills, it looks just as good unfrosted.
Gift: A delightful gift for Baby is a crocheted Rapunzel hat with two long braids over the ears, complete with crocheted flowers. A cute pattern is available at prettythings55 on etsy.com. For a nursery decoration, an artsy friend can paint a tall black silhouette of a tower with a braid flowing down it. Or shop online for vintage depictions of Rapunzel from the storybook that can be used as party decor or framed for gifts.
This is a good theme for either a boy or a girl — or for fraternal twins!
Decor: Prop up dolls or figurines next to a Hansel and Gretel storybook. Create a dark forest with artificial Christmas trees or real conifer boughs. Make a gingerbread house or a candy cottage cake, like the creators of the Hostess with the Mostess did. Create bread-crumb trails all over the table. Find an old birdcage, spray-paint it black and hang it from the ceiling (no bones, though!). That's as scary as you're allowed to get at a baby shower.
Food: Make a bread bowl and place spinach dip inside. Fill bowls with lots of colorful candies and pretzels. End the party by letting guests pick at the candy cottage cake or gingerbread house. There's no witch to stop them!
Gift: You can order colorful crocheted shoes that resemble brightly painted clogs from ShineKnitStudio on etsy.com. For a girl, a Gretel dress or jumper with a gingham blouse would be darling; a boy would look smart in a cardigan.
Decor: Go nuts with the frogs and crowns when you decorate! Place paper or craft foam lily pads under each refreshment. For a centerpiece, find a vintage frog prince statue or use a big concrete garden frog with a homemade crown.
Food: Make crown-shape sugar cookies with yellow icing. Use a lip-shape candy mold to make red lips, or buy lip-shape chocolates. Create cake pops that look like frog heads complete with crowns, like Kara's Party Ideas did.
Gift: For a cute onesie, go to digikindredcreations on etsy.com, print their vintage frog prince image on iron-on transfer material, and iron it on a onesie. And you've just got to see the adorable crocheted frog prince hats and matching diaper covers at Etsy. Or find a unique Frog Prince print and frame it for Baby's wall.