French Themed Baby Shower: Decor

I wanted to share some of the decor and theme details from the baby shower I co-hosted last weekend at my house. At the outset, I want to mention that I really like to use decor items that are reusable by either the honoree or by me, and I like to use things that I already have on hand as much as possible.

For this shower, Kim, the mom-to-be LOVES all things French which made for a surprisingly easy theme for a baby girl shower. One of her favorite childrens' books is Madeline. For me, a theme starts with the invitation. This toile invitation from Tiny Prints was absolutely perfect.

Tiny Prints
We asked each guest to bring an unwrapped children's book on a separate piece of paper enclosed with each invitation. When the guests got to the shower, we directed them to leave their gifts on the gift table and then take their books to the counter where we had book plates (Madeline themed!) that I designed and printed on large labels, and pens waiting for everyone.

Here's a sample of the book label I created -

Of course, I borrowed some book-themed stuffed dolls and animals from my childrens' large stash to decorate the area. The basket is from HomeGoods but I made the basket liner (more on that later this week) with the same fabric - "Over the Moon" (white) by Covington - as Kim chose for her custom nursery bedding.
Before people got in the door, they knew they were at the right house when they saw the wreath on the door.

Complete with pink silk roses and cream and pink toile ribbon.  I'll give a quick how-to on this super easy wreath later this week. I definitely got my crafty on for this shower!

Once everyone was inside, they went into the kitchen where we had drinks set up on the island. For some reason, I don't have a picture of the island with the glasses all set up. Everyone had a wine glass with a name label tied on with a small pink ribbon. I printed the labels on white card stock, punched a hole in each, and tied it on with the skinny satin ribbon you often find in the dollar bin at the craft and fabric stores.

Sorry that this is the best picture I have but you get the idea. We carried the French theme along with the help of little Eiffel Tower next to everyone's name.

I love this for showers and small parties because everyone only uses one glass and it also doubles as a name tag!

I decorated both mantels with pink and French themed stuff that I collected. Here's the living room which includes Kim's Eiffel Tower. Kim usually notices EVERYTHING that is out of place in her house but somehow in the shuffle of moving furniture to prepare for the baby, she didn't know that I "borrowed" this with the help of her hubby (and loyal HOUSEography reader - Hi Buck!).

Then the family room mantel which includes the "clothesline" for the finished onesies that the guests created. Simple things like tying ribbon around the existing candles I already had.
I also made a diaper cake which was part of her gift. These are super easy to make with limitless opportunities for variations and creativity.

A quick diaper cake tutorial (skip to the next paragraph if you are never planning to make one of these!). I started by cutting a circle out of cardboard (using a round platter as a template) and wrapping it in some leftover baby wrapping paper. Next, with a lot of help from my mom who was visiting, we rolled and tied each diaper tight with piece of white curling gift ribbon.  You can use a cake pan to hold the diapers together in a circular cake shape.  You can also make a more modern square shaped cake. I just balanced them on the table and then tied the ribbon around it. Then I made the rest of the layers. I stacked them on top of each other, and then stuck a small dowel down between the layers so they wouldn't easily slide off.  To give you an idea, this cake was about 2 feet high and it took about 110 diapers to make. I topped the whole thing with a cute pink bunny lovey, and added two pink flowers just for a little something extra.

I also decorated both the dining room and kitchen chandeliers. I kept the theme the same but changed them up a bit. As you can see, I hung baby socks from both chandeliers, but I used different socks and different bows in both rooms.

In the kitchen, I used the socks again (Mary Jane socks this time) and a cute, fun bow on each of the arms that did not have a sock and one at the bottom. The onesie decorating area was set up on the kitchen table.

On the dining room table, I used a strip of the same fabric as a faux runner down the middle of the table. I didn't sew it but just folded it over and ironed a crease. It added a little something extra to the table and looked great with the rose pink tablecloth.

Finally, I made this French memo board using a 50 cent yard sale frame (thanks Mom), which I'll show you how to make later in the week. I gave the board to Kim and Buck for the baby's room. I figure they can keep some keepsakes and pictures on it and it's relatively small so they should be able to find a spot for it inside the closet door at least!

For the shower, I hung it in the dining room and put pictures of Kim as a baby, and a few of her with her mom as a baby.

So, along with several arrangements of fresh flowers from a local florist provided by Kim's mom and cousin, that was the basic decor in the house. I think it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself and I think Kim really enjoyed everything. It's so wonderful to give a shower to friends who really notice and appreciate the small details.

Any great baby or bridal shower themes to share?

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