Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar baby shower

Update 6/2/2014: If you like what you see here and you're not into the DIY thing (or just don't have the time), you can purchase your own Very Hungry Caterpillar party package from my Etsy shop, AWideLineDesigns

I know I’ve said it before, but Pinterest is fun and dangerous place. That’s where my friend, Robin, and I found 80% of our inspiration for our friend, Rebecca’s, baby shower. When Rebecca said she was planning a The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme for her new baby’s nursery, I had no idea we would strike DIY gold by searching “caterpillar baby shower” on Pinterest. After that, Robin and I pretty much lost our overly-creative minds.

But not our wallets!! I like to design my own stuff on the computer and print at home, Robin’s super crafty and not at all afraid of a little cutting and gluing, and we both love to plan parties and projects so we already had a ton of materials at home. I won’t tell you exactly how much it cost to throw this super awesome, Pinterest-worthy party because the guest of honor doesn’t need to know that information, but we did it on the DIY cheap.

We started with the invitations. I designed them and printed them on white cardstock. A quick Google search told me that the font used in the book is called Bodini, and a second quick Google search turned up a free download for that font. BOOM! Robin had the great idea to make an envelope liner. Using my new found Photoshop skills, I designed the moon image, and Robin glued the liners to the envelopes. You can find a tutorial for that here. She discovered it was easiest to use simple computer paper for the liner since it’s thin and easy to fold.

Food is a key element in The Very Hungry Caterpillar story, so we had some fun with menu and the little food labels. Let’s start with the dessert first. We found this cute idea for caterpillar cake/cupcakes online. It was way cheaper to make this ourselves than to go to a bakery. And when I say “ourselves,” I mean Robin made it. From scratch. And it was delicious. She’s kinda rad like that.

We matched most of the food to what the caterpillar ate in the story and made little food labels with lines from the book.

When we came across the caterpillar paper lantern idea, we knew we could have lots of fun with the decorations. After the party, Rebecca hung the lanterns in the baby’s nursery. So cute!

Robin and another friend of ours made Rebecca a “diaper cake” as a gift. When she sent me a photo of it, I knew we had our table centerpiece.

We filled the hurricane vases with M&Ms since they were rainbow colored and round-ish, and  I made caterpillar and butterfly tags. (Not sure if you can see in the pics, but Robin had some apple ribbon on hand. Perfect!) Since lollipops were on the “Saturday menu” in the story, we put a few in each vase and gave them out to the guests along with the favor boxes. We almost went with those giant colorful lollipops, then we remembered this was a baby shower for grown people and not one of our kids’ parties.

Sticking with the Bodini font, I made a “Welcome Baby” banner.

For favors, we found these cute green boxes that we just filled with yummy-smelling hand sanitizers because we’re girls and we dig that kind of stuff. I designed the labels for the front and printed them on sticker paper. When using sticker paper, I discovered it’s easiest just to print on full-sheets rather than pre-cut circle labels or other shapes. Then you don’t have to worry about lining it up perfectly in your printer and going through countless trial and error test prints. You do have to cut the designs out, but I think that’s faster and easier, especially since we only have to make ten labels.

Our guest of honor isn’t really into shower games (halle-frickin’-lujah!), so we just did a couple simple activities. The first was a diaper raffle. We asked guests to bring a package of diapers to participate, and they could put a pre-printed tag with their name on it into a bowl, and we drew two names for prizes.

We also made a caterpillar out of cardstock cut into circles and connected them with small metal eyelets so you can fold it up or spread it out. In each circle, guests wrote welcome messages to the new baby, and Rebecca has it hanging up in the nursery as well.

Robin and I had entirely too much fun putting all this together, in a super nerdy, crafty, “must get out all of this creative energy!!” kind of way.

But the most important thing is that the guest of honor had a great time. That is one glowing and happy mama!