I’m really excited to write this post about a “Bring A Book” Baby Shower! A baby shower is the perfect place to start a child’s personal library of books all their own, and I have several fun ideas to incorporate into this celebration. The idea is that you ask guests to bring their favorite children’s book, in lieu of a card, for the mom-to-be. This begins a collection of books containing favorites from friends and family.
First things first, choose an invitation. You have the option to choose an invitation that doesn’t mention the books, but then you can add an insert that asks the guests to please bring a book, or you can include the request directly onto the invitation.
So my first suggestion for this Bring a Book Baby Shower is to include a little book plate (not sure what the actual term for them is) along with the invitation, that has a place where the baby’s name will go and also a place that shows who gave them the book. You can put pieces of double stick tape on the back of them ahead of time or ask them to use a glue stick to affix them to the inside cover of the book. Or you can have a stack of the book plates and a glue stick at the entrance to the baby shower and the guests can stick them in the books when they arrive. There are some really cute ones you can order on Zazzle (links above) or here is a link to the free printables for some book plates. I would suggest printing them out on cardstock, if you are able to.
See video above for full tutorial.
One fun idea I had was when I threw a fairly large baby shower for my niece. I provided name tags that gave the guest’s name, and then under the name I added the relationship to the baby. This required a little research from me, because I had to ask the mom-to-be, exactly how the guest relates to the baby, and then I looked up the correct term for the relationship. For example, I used to think that anyone who wasn’t my first cousin was my second cousin. Is that what you think, too? Well, I was wrong and so are you. OK, try to follow me here…..
Let’s say that I’m the mom. I have a cousin, Shelli and Shelli has a daughter, Katie. Then, yes, Katie is my baby’s second cousin. If it’s a child of each first cousin (Shelli and me), THEN the two children are second cousins. But Shelli is my baby’s first cousin, once removed. Confused yet? I know!! It took a while for me to understand the relationships, but once I read and understood, it was so interesting. And it was funny, because many of the guests were arguing about the title I gave them, and I just laughed and told them to look it up!
There are several websites that show charts with family tree relationships. This was a fun idea because we had people from both sides of the family at the shower (mom-to-be and dad-to-be), and everyone had fun seeing what the relationships were.
For table decorations, it was pretty easy. I still have probably 75% of my boys’ childhood books in boxes in our garage. Our boys are now 20, 23 and 25, so I’ve kept them a long time (and we won’t even go into the fact that I have some boxes with my favorite baby outfits they had), but I love books and it physically hurts me to throw them away! I envision having them all out on a little bookcase for my grandchildren one day and reading to them all the time.
Once again, I’ve gotten totally off track!! Sorry. So you can take small stacks of the children’s books, tie them together with ribbon and put them in various places around the tables. You can either put a little vase or jar of flowers on top of them or just near them. If you aren’t a book hoarder the way I am, and you don’t happen to have dozens of children’s books at home or in boxes, you can either pick some up at a used bookstore, or you can go onto Ebay and buy a “lot” of children’s books. For instance, I remember buying a box of Little Golden Books on Ebay for not much money, for the purpose of decoration.
Another easy and inexpensive thing to do is make color copies of some pages of the children’s books and there are so many ways you can use these in your decorations. You can also do these things with actual book pages, if you bought some extra books that you won’t be using again. Just cut the pages (or copies of pages) into upside down triangles and use them to create a banner for gifts or “Welcome Baby” or “Congratulations” for the mommy. I also took extra fabric I had, tore it into strips and tied them along the banner, for some extra color and softness. You can also take some book pages, or copies of them, and put them in picture frames around the room.
The final craft tip I have for you is for the favors. What better gift to give your guests of this Bring a Book for Baby Shower than a cute bookmark? I was really excited about this because I had something in my mind, I tried it out and it came out just as I had pictured! This definitely is not always the case.
If you know what the first name of the baby is, you can buy one of the cardboard letters for the first initial from and make a decoration that the mom-to-be can even put in the baby’s room. Cut or tear uneven pieces of the color copies you made and paint Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue onto the letter and stick the pieces of book pages onto the letter, layering them partially onto each other, putting them in all different directions. The more chaotic it looks, the better. You are just using the decoupage technique.
So after this dries, paint another thin layer of the Mod Podge over all of the scraps of pages, let it dry and repeat one more time.
I took a very old book that I have and copied a page. I color copied it because the book is so old that it’s kind of yellowed over the years, so that look came through on the copy. Once again, you could just buy a cheap, old, used book and use the actual pages, if you prefer. So I bought a pack (50) of blank bookmarks from Michael’s, but you can cut your own out of cardstock. Then cut a piece from the book page just slightly smaller than the bookmark itself, so that you have a bit of a border, and glue it on.
Next, I just went out to my yard and pulled a tiny flower off of a bush that’s growing out there. You could use a dried flower, a small leaf, a sprig of an herb… this part is definitely going to work with whatever you have. Take the flower and put it between two pieces of wax paper and them put several heavy books on it to flatten it. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I only left it for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, on my computer, I typed up the mom’s name and date of the shower and printed it out. I cut that out and placed it on the bookmark, along with the flower. I happen to have a small laminator machine, but don’t panic because there’s another way to go. If you buy clear contact paper, you can achieve the same effect.
Put a very small piece of Scotch tape on the top and bottom of the book page to hold it in place on the bookmark. Take one small piece of contact paper and lay it sticky side up on the table. Lay your flower and the name/date that you typed up on top of the book page and then sandwich it between another piece of contact paper and the first one. It doesn’t have to lay even with the bottom piece, because you’re going to cut it out. Then use your hands or even a rolling pin to flatten the bookmark and get the bubbles out.
Cut your bookmark out a little larger than the actual bookmark, so you have the contact paper or laminated plastic slightly larger than the paper inside of it. Next step is to take a hole punch and make a hole near the top and then tie a piece of ribbon through the hole. And now you have a really cute favor for your guests!
I hope these suggestions help you on your way to having a fun and successful baby shower. I also wanted to mention that these ideas are not just good for a baby shower, because they would make a great first or second birthday party for a child. I have included links and photos above, but if you have any questions at all, please leave them in the comments section.
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Take care of yourself and celebrate your day! xoxo