Oh, baby showers. They are events that can delight some and scar others with all of the pastel balloons and streamers, melted candy bars hidden inside of diapers, and uncomfortable opening-gifts-infront-of-everyone scenarios. If you’re a mama-to-be (or party planning friend) with less-than-traditional tastes, we’ve got some inspiration for you. We’ve tapped new mama, tabletop designer extraordinaire, and Thumbtack pro Angie Chang of Chairs + Cups, to guide us through her favorite baby shower theme ideas that are far from cringe-worthy.
For visual cues on each of these ideas, check out Angie’s special Pinterest board on this very topic.
Mexican Fiesta Baby Shower
Add a sophisticated twist to classic Mexican decor with a neutral variation on papel picado, elaborately cut tissue paper banners in traditionally bright colors. “String the delicate papel picado as the backdrop to your buffet or dining table,” recommends Angie. Up the wattage by layering or crisscrossing multiple strands from wall to wall. Keep your tableware palette neutral, and add a pop of color and a nod to the down south theme with succulent centerpieces.
Create a colorful jungle vibe with this crafty design that’s high-impact and low-cost. “Select two or three shades of one color, then use stencils or freehand cut at least three shapes of leaves to keep the visual interest high,” suggests Angie. String the leaves together as a backdrop, hang them overhead for a jungle canopy feel, or turn your photo booth into a jungle cave. If you’re feeling really wild, bring in touches like jungle leaf placemats and napkins.
Backyard Boho Party
“Baby showers don’t have to be pastel, stuffy, and expensive,” says Angie. Sometimes less is more, and with so much to celebrate, the more low-key the party, the more time you’ll have to focus on the mother-to-be. Your party can be as simple as putting a long table in the backyard, stringing up fairy lights, and setting down sheets or blankets to create an intimate boho party with your closest girlfriends. “Just make sure to use natural colors for all your blankets,” urges Angie, “this will help keep the look consistent.”
Artistic Palette Balloon Party
Create an ebullient mood with beautiful balloon arches to welcome your guests in. For the artistic, colorful, or fun-loving mother-to-be, balloon arches add drama and flair. “You can pick one color or a rainbow of colors for your balloons, and use them to decorate your table or as a pretty backdrop to your buffet,” Angie suggests. Looking to make an impression? Choose balloons in different sizes and shapes for more impact. With large balloon garlands in a variety of bold colors, you can keep the rest of the decor simple, tying in pops of color through your florals or food.
Modern Marble and Silver
If your guest of honor is more chic than cutesy, “marble makes the party a bit more sophisticated,” explains Angie. Don’t rush off to find a marble importer yet, though—subtle touches like plates and balloons with realistic marble patterning can do the job just fine. “When paired with silver or gold, this theme is a winner,” shares Angie. Look for modern macaroons with silver or gold accents, or a marbled cake as the finishing touch to your dessert table.
Blue, White, and Spirit Eye
Borrow from the legend of the Turkish eye for a spirited theme at your baby shower. This traditional Turkish blue and white icon stares back at the world to ward off evil and keep you safe from harm. “You don’t have to be too literal and make all the decor have eyes,” says Angie. Instead, decorate with blue and white, incorporating accents of the spirit eye. “Give out spirit eye rings as a cute party favor the guests will love,” Angie suggests. It will last longer (and ward off more evil) than a cake pop.
Escape to an English Garden
“Large bold florals are all the rage this summer,” says Angie, “so why not have a flower-themed party!” And who doesn’t like florals? Keep your plates, napkins, and flatware neutral, then go crazy with the accents—floral tablecloths, runners, and vases of blooms. “Make sure to try and match your real flowers to the tablecloth to keep some cohesion,” she recommends. Colored chairs can be fun, but try to use all the same color (like yellow) instead of mixing and matching.
Pretty in Pink
Shades of blush are a big trend this season. These subtler, more muted tones help modernize the traditional pink of a baby shower to give your event a more sophisticated glow. “Using accents of brass on your table (such as candle holders, flatware, or accents) work well with blush tones and make your table look less teen-like,” shares Angie.
Go Big with a Grazing Table
“No need for dessert tables: the mama-to-be is hungry,” says Angie. Think beautiful bounty for your shower menu, with foods rich in carbs and savory snacks. Load your central table with a luscious assortment of cheeses, salumi, crackers, fruit, olives, etc. Make sure every inch of the table is packed with yummy goodness—leaving bare space detracts from the design. Keep your guests fed, and the more the merrier, with this grazing table party theme.
Desert Bloom Party
People are having a love affair with succulents right now, and cactuses are making a statement in all different areas of pattern and decor. Be inspired to make massive balloon art shaped like cacti as the perfect on-trend decoration. Serve mini-potted cactus cupcakes for dessert. Use sweet succulents, cactus blooms, and air plants to add a touch of stylish greenery to your centerpieces. Give darling cactus pins as party favors for your ever-fashionable guests. “With succulents and desert blooms as your party decor, you’ll surely impress,” says Angie.
For more new-mama-themed articles, check out our pieces on How To Help A New Mom: 20+ Ways, 10 Sanity-Saving Tips For New Moms, Ace Mother-To-Mother Advice For New Moms, and 25 Great Baby Shower Gifts Under $40.
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