Friday, February 22, 2013

baby shower, mini-style!

I am for going "found Friday" for a special post on the mini-shower my friend Kendra and I threw this morning for our good friend, due in April with her second child and, most importantly, her first girl!  Perhaps it's considered passe to have a baby shower for a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) child, but I believe every new baby deserves a mini-celebration.  And every momma deserves to feel like this pregnancy, the one they are experiencing now, in this moment, is special and amazing.

Though I am not pregnant, I do know how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day raising of the toddler running around in front of you.  It can take over your life and can easily overshadow even the most fantastically joyous of occasions.  This mini-celebration was a good chance to pause, look ahead, and start to get excited about the new little girl who will be joining this world soon.

Oh baby!


I've had several questions about the decorations shown in the photos, so I thought I'd post DIY instructions.

I made both the garland and "oh baby" cake topper from scrapbook paper in light pink, light lavender, medium lavender, white floral, and brown kraft.  I also used pages from an old book I picked up at an antique market.  I chose the colors to coordinate with my friend's nursery.  Here's how to get the look:

supply list:

decorative and colored paper (use recycled material for a unique look)
2" circle craft punch
sewing machine
contrasting or coordinating thread
cutting mat
x-acto knife or scissors
kraft paper sticker letters (or other letters of your choice)
wood skewers
paper glue (I like Martha Stewart all-purpose gel adhesive.)

to make:

1_ For the garland, begin by punching 2" circles using your craft punch from your selected paper.  I used an equal amount of circles from each selected paper, but you can also vary the amount if you want a punch of a particular color.  For a 5' long garland, you will need approximately 60 circles total.  Punch a few additional to use to adjust your sewing machines' tension settings.

2_ Once all of the circles are cut and - VERY IMPORTANT - you've adjusted your sewing machine's tension settings, begin by stitching a 6-8" length of thread together.  This will be how you hang your garland.  After you've done this, you can begin to feed the circles through the machine.  Stack two circles of the same paper together and center on the needle, feed through.  Chain stitch all of the stacked circles through in this manner until they are all stitched together.   Finish the chain by stitching the thread together for another 6-8.  Cut and remove from the machine.  I recommend using at least an 1/8" stitch length.

3_ Tie a small loop into each end of the garland and find a place to hang temporarily.  While hanging, carefully fold the circles apart from each other, one by one, so that each set of circles becomes three-dimensional.  Folding them will be easy because you've already created a perforated line with the stitch.  But they will also be fragile depending on the paper used.

4_ Hang and enjoy!

5_ For the cake topper, begin by cutting down the wood skewers to length.  Hold the skewer up to the side of the cake to help determine your desired final height.  Cut with your x-acto knife.

6_ Cut a series of 3/4" wide strips from your remaining paper.  Then cut each strip into 3" lengths.  Fold each length in half, dab a small amount of paper glue on the inside, bottom third of the strip and press together, leaving the top portion open so that it can be strung onto the thread later.  Repeat this process for each flag needed.

7_ When all of your flags are constructed and the glue has dried, cut an inverted "V" into the bottom of each flag.  You can measure this out to achieve a perfect result, or you can eye-ball it for a bit of DIY charm!  Add a letter to each flag, string onto a length of thread or ribbon and tie each end to the wood skewer.

8_ Stick each end of the skewer into the cake and ta-da!  Sit back and admire your handy work!

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