Monday, April 1, 2013

Storybook Shower Bonanza

One of my favorite people in the world is about to give birth to who I am sure will quickly become my absolute favorite human in the world.  So it was time for a party! 

I adore books, and loved the recent trend of building a storybook library at the baby shower.   I immediately immersed myself in researching everything book-décor related in preparation for the event.  

Invitation Inspiration

Of course all parties start with an extension of an invite to the guests.  My sister is an amazing invitation artist, so I needed this one to be extra special.  To introduce the storybook theme, I created a fake “book” about our excitement for our little baby girls arrival.

I drew a simple cartoon of my sister reading a book to the baby, complete with her two curious kitties peeking their furry heads over the chair to get a look at the book….or maybe just staring with jealousy at the new baby. 

For the inside, I wrote a short “Chapter One” outlining the information and details for the day, and put an adorable “Date Due” library book envelope on the opposite side.  Get them here.  I used a rubber date stamp to add the actual due date for the baby. 

Once the invitations were sent out, the responses came rolling in!  It was time to start working on décor and favors!

Fashioning the Favors

I desperately wanted to put the Einstein quote “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales” on something for the guests to take home.  Ideally I wanted to put it on a coffee mug because in my opinion nothing goes better with a good book than a cup of coffee (or tea if that’s more to your preference).  I had all but given up on the idea until my crafty cousin told me about the wonder that is writing on mugs with Sharpies, then baking them to get a permanent design on the mug.

Now, I know what some of you crafty gals are thinking….I’ve tried that!  It wipes right off!  And due to the spotty reports on various crafting sites I ordered up a few extra mugs from Splendids so I could do some home testing. 

After some trial and error I came up with a process that worked so well that I was able to take a plastic scour pad to the outside of the mug, and not a flake came off.  Oh, and for me this process also rendered perfectly dishwasher safe mugs. 

Clean the outside of the mug with window cleaner or rubbing alcohol, etc.  DO NOT touch the face of the mug following this step.  Those damned natural oils from your fingertips will create an infuriating invisible barrier between the surface and your design and will most definitely cause the design to rub off even after baked.
-  Carefully draw on your design using an OIL BASED paint pen.  I used Sharpie brand, but I hear that other brands like Bic work just as well if not better.

I had a creepy claw hand after doing 45 of these in one sitting.   Of course I simply had to chase my dog and boyfriend around the house screaming “the claw hand is gonna eat your face off!”.  I’m the coolest.
- Let the design set into the mugs for 24 hours.
- Place mugs in a cold oven, and crank the heat up to 400 degrees.  Once the temp hits 400, put a timer on for 30 minutes.  Note: Because I had so many, I baked my mugs in small batches of 8 - 10 to make sure the heat was evenly distributed. 
After the 30 minutes, turn off the oven and leave mugs in there to cool to room temperature.
After cooling, I removed them from the oven and let them sit for 24 hours before handling them.  I don’t know if this was necessary, but I don’t think it hurt! 

Once my little labors of love were set and cooled, I got to work with the finishing touches.

I stuffed each mug with a few different kinds of tea (including both caffeinated and decaf!) and a packet or two of hot chocolate.  I finished them off with a wrapping of cellophane, because since I have discovered that anyone can just buy and wrap things with cellophane I wrap almost everything in that shizz.  Well, except scallops.  You should always wrap scallops with bacon. 

Delightful Décor

I highly recommend book page pinwheels if you want an inexpensive and striking way to populate décor for a storybook shower.  I found this amazing tutorial on Pinterest and with the help of my lovely and talented aunt, mom and cousin we cranked out 65 of these babies in a couple of hours one afternoon. 

By adding a simple ring of yellow ribbon we fashioned napkin rings.

And for the leftovers I spray painted wooden BBQ skewers green and glue gunned the pinwheels to the top to add to the flower arrangements. WAH-LAH!  Flowers that last forever! 

 A little folding and a dab of hot glue goes a long way towards the final picture!

Crafting Centerpieces

I saw this link on Pinterest, and the photo of the frame box centerpieces caught my eye.  I had remembered seeing 2 for $3 flat 4x6 frames during one of my lengthy browsing sessions at Ikea.  So I traveled over there and grabbed a few dozen Nyjjta frames.

Now when I started this project I was spray paint amateur.  Let me tell you that I could very probably write a novel about my misfires with these frames.  Suffice to say that my spray paint odyssey is not that entertaining and also included many strings of unrepeatable expletives.  So let's fast forward directly to the end of that journey where a friendly worker bee at Home Depot clued me in to the wonder that is Rustoleum Painters Touch spray paint.  It adhered perfectly to the frames. 

After the frames dried,  I saved high-resolution images of classic book covers from the internet, scaled them to size using Photoshop, then printed them on card stock before adding a different one to each face. 

After carefully centering all the book covers, I superglued the boxes together with LockTite glue.  Hot glue peeled right off, Gorilla Glue dripped and left a opaque film on the sides (also took way too long to dry)….so LockTite was juuuuust right.  Goldilocks would have been proud. That is, if Goldilocks was a crafty lady instead of a picky thieving brat.  

Mouthwatering Menus

We let our guests know about menu options via a fun menu referencing childrens storybooks. 

Final Touches!

I strategically placed pictures that my two younger cousins had drawn for the occasion....

....and put out delicious mocktails for the guests to sample when they arrived. 

We also had a few games for our guests to participate in....  

Success!  I had so much fun putting this shower together and I cannot wait for my little niece to be born so that I can have an excuse to do more crafting projects!


No comments:

Post a Comment