I had the honor, of the throwing my sister a baby shower, to welcome her first baby. So excited! She is due any day now. They are waiting to find out if it is a boy or a girl, and I can hardly stand the suspense! Me and my mom threw her a shower in Colorado....she lives in Fredricksburg, VA. Her room is a vintage carnival theme, but more researched I did on Pinterest, the more I realized how hard it was to do a carnival themed shower. Carnivals are usually about the rides, games, and food, and while we love us some corn dogs, they aren't shower material. So we decided to mix it up with a circus theme, the line is kinda blurred between the two really. This is where the party animals came from. I had SO much fun making them! I planned to use them on the outdoor tables as a centerpiece. I also painted signs on canvas, ones you would see at a carnival; fortune teller, concessions, souvenirs, and prizes.
Here's what we did......
I made this area a fortune telling station. I painted a sign with a palm reading guide (very inaccurate) I put the diaper cake here, fortune tellers, and the book for people to sign.
The diaper cake was a real challenge. So many ideas I found were to baby-ish, and it had to really play into the carnival theme. I wanted it to look more like a cake than really use all the toys, and clothes on it. There are three tiers of diapers, rolled, and tied, the old fashion way.
-On the bottom tier, I jut sort of fanned out the bottom half of the outer diapers to make the bottom wider. I used fabric that I had for other spots at the shower, and added ribbon with hot glue ( my favorite tool ). I wanted it to look like a circus drum. You could do this with red fabric, and add a triangle piece, and maybe some wood stars painted in yellow.
-The next layer I just wrapped with tickets. You will have to use a tiny touch of hot glue to get it started, then just attach the next layer to the top of the previous. I went around once, and them did it again by gluing them to the existing tickets. I put a round piece of fabric on the top of this to cover the diapers.
-For the third tier... I found some plastic toys at Target, little balls, and put a dab of glue on them to get them to stay to the top of the tier below (the glue will come right off). I just stuck a large cloth ball in the center, no hot glue necessary. It fit right in between the 4 balls.
- The fourth layer, again I just wrapped fabric, and added ribbon to look like a drum.
- The top was an awesome wind-up tin toy elephant, on a tricycle. I got him off eBay. When you wind him up his ball spins and the tassels fly around, so cute!
This whole thing really is a balancing act. So from the back side, where no one sees anyways, I took skewers and put them through at least the two top layers. If you were doing this as a centerpiece, you could use more hot glue ;)
I'm sure you remember fortune tellers or cootie catches from when you were a kid? I found these amazing printable paper dolls on Etsy, at Darling Girl Paper. Her listings were all for weddings and programs, but I gave her my info, and she custom made ones for the shower. I had to have them!!!! On the inside, were 8 questions about my sister and her pregnancy. Underneath, it had the answers, and on the center, it had a mad lib to fill in. It was a cute little predictor, telling of who you are, and what you think the baby will be, and what it will look like. After everyone filled those out, we glued them in a Smash book, and they wrote a little note to the family. My sister is a major scrapbooker, so she will add her fabulous touches, and pictures from the shower to it as well.
We also had some fortune teller fish laying out, so you could know your own fortune.
We had another station in the dining room. We wanted to keep people busy, and not have to play games. We made a onesie station, where guests embellished a white onesie, with cut out fabric designs, buttons, and fabric markers to sign their names. It was a huge hit, and people got really creative. The onesies were set up in a vintage suit case, with a sign directing you on what to do. We hung some twine over the window to hang them from, using clothes pins. My mom found all sorts of great circus stuff to hang on the line with it.
The fabric pieces, were ironed on to "iron-on-transfer" paper first, then cut out. Leaving the backing still on, they were pinned to some parchment paper to keep them together. Guest then choose designs, took off backing and ironed them on. They also signed their names so my sister knew who made it.
We used the island to set up the food. The centerpiece was the sandwich basket. I propped it up on a tub, and stacked animal cracker boxes around it.
For the sandwiches, my mom has an awesome curry chicken salad recipe, that we put on a baguette, with lemon thyme mayo. Wrapped it in parchment paper, and tied it with a strip of fabric. We also made a ham and brie sandwich with peaches. They were both very tasty!
The awesome signs matched the invitation insert. I used a piece of wood, painted it with Martha Stewart's Chalkboard paint, in a grey color (from Micheal's). The paper dolls are the funnest thing! They are from Artist In La La Land, she makes these adorable printable designs. Pick one ( it's hard to just get one), print it out on card stock, cut it out, and put it together with mini brads. I stuck each character on a bamboo skewer, and attached the chalkboard sign.
How handsome is this guy?
These are round ice balls! How great is that? A bit of work to do...but my mom flavored them, and added mint to others, you only need one in your drink.
For the outdoor tables, I didn't want it to be super formal... just grab a seat. So I used my party animals to make a centerpiece. To make, I started with a circle of canvas, made a fabric banner and attached it to two dowels. Unfortunately they were a bit heavy and wouldn't stand up. I used a metal strip from the local hardware store to help keep them up. My handy dad helped with this project...we drilled holes in the end, and screwed them into the bottom of the painted ball, with the canvas sandwich between.
The last station was the "Prizes" We handed out the animal cracker boxes, along with a goldfish in a bag. You can't leave a carnival without winning one! These were so cute, they looked very real, but they were only soap. They were on the other hand, not an easy task. You need to prop up the plastic bags while filling them with hot soap. A couple tips if you plan on trying....Let the soap cool a bit before pouring, it bubbles when hot, and they wont come out. Use a skewer or knife to move the goldfish in position. Before the top hardens tie the top with a rubber band. I tried this quite a few ways, before getting a product that looked nice. Do not pour the bag half full, put the fish in , and fill the rest, you WILL see a line. If the soap is to hot, it melts the top layer anyways. This would be so cute for a kids birthday bag as well.
We had lots of fun putting this party on, my mom and I make a great team!