- Sophie &Friends
One of the large event planners with whom we work reached out to us for a simple baby shower activity for one of their employees. Their request was for something that would "bring everyone together for at least a portion of the party". They were adamant that they didn't want games. What they were really striving for was something that the mother-to-be could take home and either use or cherish.
With these parameters in mind, I set to work...what do newborns use all the time? After going through a list that included diapers, bibs, bottles, bippies, blankies (lots of "b" words), I settled on onesies. Every baby needs them. They wear them under everything. It's sort of what holds a baby together...like a softer version of duct tape. Basically a t-shirt with snaps - which makes them the perfect decorating material.
Being that it's for a baby and going to have to stand up to multiple washings, I knew that my decorating supplies were going to be limited: fabric markers, puffy paints, stencils, and imaginations.
The set up was quite easy - I ordered 2 packs of the Gerber Grow with Me Onesies which contained 5 each of 3 month, 6 month, and 9 month onesies. We cut fitted cardboard for each onesie so guests could not only work on them in their laps, but the onsie would stay stretched out while drying. I ordered two new sets of Scribbles fabric paint dug out a ton of stencils, paper towels and baby wipes and let the fun begin. I encouraged guests to tap their puffy paint tubes upside down and then test them first on the paper towels. Puffy paints have a tendency to build up little air bubbles inside...and just like a baby, they need to be burped or they will splatter spew.
I made sure to cover the table with plastic and set each spot with an onsie and access to all the materials. Each guest brought their own style and humor - there were pretty decorations, funny sayings, and inside jokes. My personal favorite was the one that sported the saying - "I'll have a glass of the house white please".
If the guests seemed stumped a simple search for "funny onsies" relieved the anxiety.
While the guests worked on the onsies I took a poll to determine what sort of mobile the baby's mama might enjoy. To make things easy I had purchased a crib mobile kit which included the arm, the music box, and the hanging device. This made life much easier than having to construct one. All I had to do was make sure that whatever we chose for the arms balanced out evenly.
Although I had a variety of choices for them - origami cranes, colorful flowers, yarn balls - they decided to go with a "Waldorfian" look - which included strung felted balls and wool felt flowers. The construction was very simple, I threaded silk cord onto a tapestry needle and strung 3 balls in contrasting colors for each arm. I tied a knot between each ball to make sure it stayed in place, then finished each arm off by hot gluing two wool felt flowers back to back with the satin cord sandwiched in between. For the center, I just strung all the colors of balls in a row with the flower stopper.
When all was said and done, it was very simple, but very sweet. I made sure to come back and add a few stitches to the flowers and cords to make sure nothing would pull apart and become a choking hazard for the baby.
I set up a small gallery of drying artwork, which all the guests enjoyed perusing. One note, the puffy paint does take a good while to dry, so it's best if the art can rest in one place for at least 8 hours before removing from the cardboard. In this case, it was no problem, as the host is best friends with the mama to be, but if you consider doing this in a rental space, you might want to bring boxes to place the onsies in. That way they can be sent home at the end of the event.
Add some good food, some fun friends, a few super cute "awww" inducing presents, and you've got yourself a party.