Search This Blog

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Choosing Just the Right Theme for the Baby Shower

 Oh, the possibilities are endless!  So, it's important to start narrowing down the choices and options early in the planning stages for the baby shower.  Of course, consulting with the guest(s) of honor is probably the best place to start.  Even if they insist upon leaving it up to you, you can share some of the themes below and get a reaction, you can ask about color preferences and dislikes, and you can start thinking about feasibility and budgeting issues. 

(photo credit to Lydia Winters on Upsplash)

Once you've got a theme, a lot of the other aspects of planning that we're going to explore in future posts will start to fall into place because the theme will help in choosing invitations, decorations, and food options.  And think about the DIY aspects!

Here's a list of themes to get you started:

  1. Classic Storybook Theme:

    • Decorate with elements from beloved children's books and ask guests to bring their favorite childhood book as a gift.
  2. Vintage Tea Party:

    • Host an elegant tea party with vintage teacups, saucers, and lace tablecloths while serving a variety of teas, finger sandwiches, and pastel-colored desserts.
  3. Woodland Creatures:

    • Decorate with adorable forest animals like foxes, owls, and deer and use natural elements like logs, branches, and greenery for décor.
  4. Travel Adventures:

    • Celebrate the parents-to-be's love for travel with a globe-trotting baby shower and decorate with maps, suitcases, and globes and serve cuisine from their favorite countries.
  5. Garden Party:

    • Host an outdoor garden baby shower with floral arrangements, hanging lanterns, and a natural, botanical feel while serving fresh garden salads, fruit tarts, and herbal tea.
  6. Nautical Adventure or Beach Scenes:

    • Set sail with a nautical or beach theme, featuring anchors, sailboats, sand buckets and spades and navy-blue and white décor with seafood appetizers and beachy cocktails/mocktails as part of the menu.
  7. Circus Carnival:

    • Create a vibrant carnival atmosphere with circus-themed decorations and games like ring toss and balloon darts with cotton candy, popcorn, and carnival-style food.
  8. Star Wars or Marvel Baby Shower:

    • For fans of the Star Wars or Marvel franchises, have a baby shower set in a galaxy far, far away and decorate with superhero props and emblems.
  9. Movie Marathon:

    • Choose a favorite movie or film series as your theme, such as a Disney movie or Harry Potter, and screen the movie(s) in the background while having movie-themed snacks and activities related to the film.
  10. Jungle Safari:

    • Go on a wild adventure with a jungle safari theme featuring animal prints, tropical foliage, and plush stuffed animals while serving fruit punch and exotic snacks.
  11. Farmyard Fun:

    • Create a farm-inspired setting with barnyard decorations and farm animal cutouts or stuffies while serving farmers' market favorites like mini pies and farm-to-table veggies.
  12. Science and Discovery:

    • Celebrate the little one's future as a scientist or explorer with a science-themed baby shower and decorate with beakers, microscopes, and other science equipment.

Choose a theme that resonates with the parents-to-be's interests and personality, and you'll create a memorable baby shower experience for everyone involved.  We'll pick one in our next post to carry through the planning stages as an illustration.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Planning the Perfect Baby Shower: Selecting the Ideal Venue and Crafting the Ultimate Guest List

When it comes to organizing a memorable baby shower, two critical factors can make or break the celebration: the venue and the guest list. Choosing the right location and carefully curating your guest list can set the tone for a joyous and unforgettable event. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the essential steps to help you make informed decisions and ensure your baby shower is a resounding success.

 (photo credit to Sofiya Levchenko on Unsplash)

Crafting the Ultimate Guest List:

  1. Prioritize Close Friends and Family: Start by listing the essential people, such as immediate family and best friends; these are the individuals who should be at the top of your guest list.

  2. Consider the Parents' Preferences: Ask the expectant mother or parents for their input on the guest list (we're not going to address surprise parties!).  Let's face it, she may have specific people she wants to invite or exclude whom you don't know about, so best to figure all of that out early in the process.  But leave room for some additional guests later.

  3. Size Matters: Keep the size of the venue in mind when finalizing your guest list. It's crucial to strike a balance between inviting everyone you'd like and ensuring the space doesn't become overcrowded.  We're going to advocate for establishing the guest list first and working from there but, as we'll discuss in future posts, budget and available venues might require adjustments.

  4. Theme and Activities: Consider the theme and activities planned for the baby shower (also a future blog post). Some games and activities may be more enjoyable with a smaller, more intimate group, while others can accommodate a larger crowd.  Though, you can always make adjustments, people come first!

  5. Send Save-the-Date Notifications Early: Once you've finalized the guest list, you'll want to informally alert invitees to the date/time well in advance while you prepare the invitations. This gives guests ample time to RSVP (and allows you to make adjustments to the guest list) and helps you plan for the other elements of the shower. ** We'll address these aspects in upcoming posts too.

     ** For the DIYers, this is a great time also to start gauging whether certain guests want to help with decorations or other handmade gifts and favors for the party.

Selecting the Perfect Venue:

  1. Consider the Paents-to-Be's Preferences: Start by consulting with the expectant parent(s). Does she or they envision an intimate gathering at home or a more elaborate affair at a rented space? Understanding the guests of honors' preferences is the first step in making the day special.  In fact, this is a good time to address whether the shower will be co-ed or just for female family and friends.  Taking into account the envisioned guest list will help in a lot of the planning going forward, such as the theme of the party, venue, activities, food, etc.  It really is the first step, so go back up to the beginning of this post to concentrate on guest list first, then come back here :-)

  2. Capacity and Comfort: Evaluate the number of guests you plan to invite. Ensure the chosen venue can comfortably accommodate everyone while maintaining a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

  3. Indoor or Outdoor: Decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor baby shower. Outdoor venues like gardens or parks can add a charming natural backdrop, while indoor spaces offer climate control and versatility.

  4. Accessibility: Check if the venue is easily accessible to all guests, including those with mobility issues. Consider parking availability and proximity to public transportation.

  5. Budget: Set a budget for the venue, keeping in mind that some locations may require rental fees. Be sure to account for any additional costs, such as decorations or catering.  We have an upcoming blog post on setting a budget.

By carefully selecting the perfect venue and nailing down a guest list of those special people to the guest(s) of honor, you can create a baby shower that not only celebrates the upcoming arrival but also ensures a wonderful experience for the parents-to-be and everyone in attendance. Remember, it's all about creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Creating the Perfect Baby Gift Registry: Essentials vs. Extras

So, once you've had that initial conversation with the mom-to-be or the parents-to-be about timing the baby shower (discussed in this post), you'll want to encourage or help them create a baby gift registry. 

When creating the registry, it's a good idea to divide items into necessities and extras to help friends and family choose how they want to participate.  It will really help you, as the planner and host of the event, to get insight into the guests they want to invite and the themes and colors that they gravitate towards, which will make the next stages of planning the shower even easier (future blog posts on these elements).

(photo credit to Eli Pluma on Unsplash.)


  1. Diapers: You'll need plenty of diapers in various sizes.
  2. Baby Clothes: Bodysuits, sleepers, onesies, and weather-appropriate outfits.
  3. Baby Gear (great for group gifts):
    • Crib or Bassinet: A safe place for the baby to sleep.
    • Car Seat: A must for safe transportation.
    • Stroller: For on-the-go convenience.
    • Baby Body Carrier or Wrap: Great for bonding and convenience.
  4. Feeding Essentials:
    • Bottles and Nipples: If not breastfeeding exclusively.
    • Breast Pump: If planning to breastfeed.
    • Formula: If not breastfeeding.
    • Bottle Warmer: Optional but helpful.
    • High Chair: For later stages.
  5. Nursery Furniture:
    • Changing Table or Pad: For diaper changes.
    • Rocking Chair or Glider: Comfortable for late-night feedings.
  6. Bedding:
    • Crib Sheets and Blankets: Make sure they fit the crib snugly.
  7. Baby Bathing Supplies:
    • Baby Bathtub: Makes bath time safer.
    • Baby Shampoo, Soap, and Towels: Gentle products for baby's skin.
  8. Health and Safety:
    • Baby Monitor: To keep an eye on the baby during sleeptime.
    • First Aid Kit: For minor health concerns.
  9. Diapering Supplies on the go:
    • Diaper Bag: Look for one that's easy to carry or able to be attached to stroller.
    • Diaper Cream and Wipes: For diaper changes.


  1. Toys and Books: Rattles, teething toys, and age-appropriate books.
  2. Decorative Items: Nursery decor, wall art, and mobiles. (great DIY projects that we'll talk about in later posts).
  3. Baby Clothes: Cute outfits beyond the essentials (knitters and crocheters, here's where you come in!).
  4. Nursery Organization: Shelving, organizers, and baskets.
  5. Baby Grooming Kit: Nail clippers, hairbrush, etc.
  6. Baby Swing or Bouncer: For soothing and entertainment.
  7. Breastfeeding Accessories: Nursing pillow, nursing cover.
  8. Baby Proofing: Outlet covers, cabinet locks, etc.
  9. Travel Accessories: Travel crib, portable changing pad.

 (photo credit to Elliot Verhaeren on Unsplash)

Remember, every family's needs and preferences will vary widely, so it's another topic of conversation to have with the parents-to-be.  And, it really will provide insights into other aspects of the baby shower planning that we'll address in future posts.  For now, help the parents prioritize the necessities and fill out the registry, and the extras can be added later if friends and family are looking for additional gift options.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Timing The Baby Shower: Before or After Birth?

You've just found out a close friend or relative is having a baby!  Such great news, and you are itching to plan the baby shower.  But, hold on, there's a really preliminary question you need to discuss with the mom- or parents-to-be -- when is the ideal time to have the baby shower, before or after the baby is born? Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately depends on personal preferences and circumstances and sometimes religious traditions.* 

 (photo credit to Heike Mintel on Unsplash.)

In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of both pre-birth and post-birth baby showers to help you make an informed choice.

The Case for a Pre-Birth Baby Shower:

  1. Preparation and Support: A pre-birth baby shower will definitely help the parents-to-be to be prepared for baby's arrival with all the essential items and gear. That way, there's time after the shower to take stock and fill in the gaps in advance. 

  2. Easier Planning: As the host, you've got more time to organize a baby shower before the birth, and logistics may be simpler since the parents typically will be more available and can actively participate in planning without the demands of a newborn.

  3. Celebration of Pregnancy: A pre-birth shower is as much about celebrating the parents-to-be, especially the pregnant lady herself, and provides an opportunity to honor the journey and share in the excitement of welcoming a new life.

The Case for a Post-Birth Baby Shower:

  1. Gender Surprise: If parents choose not to reveal the baby's gender before birth, a post-birth shower allows for more customized gifts and a celebratory event that includes the baby.

  2. Baby's Debut: A post-birth baby shower offers friends and family who might need to travel the chance to meet the baby in person. 

  3. Reduced Stress: New parents who may be anxious about the baby's arrival for religious or medical reasons may appreciate celebrating once the baby has arrived. 

  4. Inclusivity: Adoptive parents or those who become parents through surrogacy may prefer a post-birth shower to celebrate the baby's actual arrival.

Ultimately, the decision of when to have a baby shower, before or after the baby is born, hinges on individual circumstances, preferences, and cultural traditions. Both options have their merits, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

Help the parents-to-be consider factors such as timeline, personal comfort, and the desires of other close friends and family. Remember that, no matter when it happens, the meaningfulness of a baby shower remains the same: celebrating the joyous arrival of a new little human into the world!  With love and support of the community, the occasion will truly be special.

 (photo credit to Anne Nygard on Unsplash.)

*For example, many Jewish people avoid baby showers (and even avoid purchasing clothes or furniture for the baby before the baby is born) out of fear that such revelry might cause something bad to happen to the baby or the mother.


Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Series of Blog Posts on Planning a Baby Shower

 Hello crocheters and knitters, it's been a minute, but I'm back and continuing my pivot into an area that we can't seem to stay away from (and don't want to!) -- preparing for a baby's arrival!  Whether you're about to become a parent or you're a close friend or relative of the pregnant one, making keepsake crocheted or knitted baby outfits and toys is such a joy.  But, sometimes, you want to do even more -- you want to host a baby shower!

(photo credit to aboodi vesakaran on Unsplash)

Well, you've come to the right place!  I'll be writing a series of blog posts that explore all the steps necessary to throw an amazing baby shower in an effort to curate for you the vast amount of information out there.  Plus, of course, I'm adding in tips on how crafters can bring special DIY elements to the celebration, not just the gifts. 

So, please subscribe to my blog and have this series (two blog posts a week) delivered straight to your inbox!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Crafting Serenity: A Crochet Offering for Your Jizo Statue

Gardens are spaces that hold a special place in our hearts, offering a serene sanctuary where nature's beauty can flourish. My friend has created such a wonderful garden oasis in her backyard, and she has an adorable Jizo statue.  She decided to get one for her garden because she was watching "Old Enough!" on Netflix, which is a Japanese reality show that follows young children leaving the house to run errands by themselves.  I know, sounds crazy to us in America, but it's a very natural tradition in Japan.  In one episode, one of the little girls makes an offering to a Jizo statue.  So, we thought that a little crochet hat for the Jizo would be a great offeringl.

But, before diving into the crochet project, it's essential to appreciate the significance of Jizo statues in Japanese culture and Buddhism. Jizo is a beloved bodhisattva known for his compassionate nature, protecting and guiding souls, especially those of children.  He is also called O-Jizo-san or O-Jizo-sama and is the guardian deity of children and travelers, playing the primary role of protector.  Since the color red is believed to ward off evil, the Japanese traditionally put red bibs and hoods on Jizo to protect the statue, but all colors are used these days. You will find Jizo statues in many places: in Buddhist temples, graveyards, at the side of the road in the countryside, and at the corner of some streets in cities.  In gardens, Jizo statues often represent a peaceful, nurturing presence, serving as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the transient nature of life.

So, we had a lovely afternoon sitting next to her garden, crocheting an offering for the Jizo!


And I thought I'd share the pattern so you could make one for your Jizo too!  First, we measured his head above the ears, and it was 13 inches.  Following the formula of 3.14x = 13, we figured out that we'd need to crochet a circle that was about 4 inches in diameter.

I used Red Heart Soft yarn (really a beautiful, soft yet durable acrylic yarn available in so many different colors!) and an H hook.

Round 1: ch 2, make 6 scs in second chain from hook, sl st to top of first st (6 sts)

Round 2: ch 1, 2 scs in each st around, sl st to top of first st (12 sts)

Round 3: ch 1, 1 sc in same st, 2 scs in next st, (1 sc in next st, 2 scs in next st) around, sl st to top of first st (18 sts)

Round 4: ch 1, 1 sc in same st and next st, 2 scs in next st, (1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 scs in next st) around, sl st to top of first st (24 sts)

Round 5: ch 1, 1 sc in same st and next 2 sts, 2 scs in next st, (1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 scs in next st) around, sl st to top of first st (30 sts)

Round 6:  ch 1, 1 sc in same st and next 3 st, 2 scs in next st, (1 sc in next 4 sts, 2 scs in next st) around, sl st to top of first st (36 sts)

Round 7:  ch 1, 1 sc in same st and next 4 st, 2 scs in next st, (1 sc in next 5 sts, 2 scs in next st) around, sl st to top of first st (42 sts)

Round 8: ch 1, 1 sc in same and each st around, sl st to top of first st (42 sts)

Rounds 9-11: repeat Round 8

Round 12: ch 2, 1 dc in same and each st around, sl st to top of first st and fasten off.  

Weave in ends and get ready to have one serene and well-protected Jizo statue!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Designing a Baby Hat, Part 2 (The Knit Version, continued)

 We’re finally ready to cast on!  So far, we’ve decided to make a knit beanie hat for a newborn, estimating that the circumference will be around 14 inches.  We’re going to make about a 3/4 to 1 inches 2x2 ribbed brim for the hat, so we need a stretchy cast-on method.  There are so many different ways to cast on before knitting (a plug for crochet — the chain stitch is the only way you need to get started with crochet!), but the stretchiest cast-on method I’ve come across is Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Slip Knot Cast On.  It’s worth practicing and using for ribbed knitting, it makes for a stretchy and pretty edging (and, though we won’t need it for this project, she’s also got a great stretchy bind off too, available at this link).

If you want a tighter rib, experiment with using a smaller needle size (or switching to a larger size for the body of the hat).

After casting on and knitting the knit 2x2 rib brim (a design element is deciding the length of the ribbing), then it’s time to think about what stitch(es) you want to use to create the “body” of the hat.  Or maybe you just want to use the knit stitch and play with colors and striping (using the Fibonacci sequence for figuring out how many rows per stripe can make for interesting patterns).  I leave the creativity up to you, but you still need to figure out about how high to make the sides of the hat.  The formula is to divide the circumference (in our case here, 14 inches) by pi (3.14), which equals 4.46 inches.  Again, just an estimate  to get you started, the exact measurement will depend on your gauge, the stretchiness of the fabric, and the fit of the hat you want to create.

You’ll also need to experiment with when to start decreasing stitches and at what rate.  You might want the beanie to have a little extra slouch rather than fit snuggly, or you might want a close-to-the-head fit.  Consider how you’re going to finish off the top of the hat (A pompom? A knot?).  Be creative and experiment!

In my next post, we’ll start planning a crochet hat.