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Double Duty

March 7, 2011

I’m a huge fan of double duty decorating and gifting, and wanted to pass on an idea a client recently shared with me.  A beautiful stack of my burp cloths were delivered to a home in Chicago last week, where a baby shower would be held for an excited expectant mom.   The hostess ordered them to use during the shower as cocktail napkins — so clever, don’t you think? — and then (once washed) give to the new parents.  I think she did a fantastic job of picking fun neutral ribbons and trims since Mom and Dad don’t know the gender.

A couple of other double duty decorating ideas …

Purchase packs of colorful onesies, socks, body and/or sleep suits, and hang them on a clothes line with tiny clothes pins as baby shower decor.  The clothes then go home with the Mom-to-be as a shower gift from the hostesses.

Make a paper or fabric bunting (pennant banner) with the baby’s name following the shower and nursery color scheme and theme … hang it near the shower entrance, where Mom will be sitting, or at the gift or food table.   Send it home with mom to use in the nursery.

Diaper cakes are another great double duty decoration/gift.   You can make your own (lots of tutorials and how-to videos online), purchase them (check out Etsy’s selection), or keep you ear out for a guest who is planning on gifting it.  They make a fabulous decoration, and if you need some height, display it on a large cake stand and add a few helium balloons to the top.

Hosting a shower can be expensive, but you can pull off a beautiful experience and chic party while sticking to a budget.  Work with friends and family, and don’t under estimate the power of the group!  Let people bring an appetizer to help with the food.  Have someone coordinate a group gift.  This option is so helpful for out-of-town family and friends, and those who can’t make it but still want to contribute.  Let contributors decide how much to give, and sign everyone’s name to the card.  Then you can purchase a crib mattress or bedding set, stroller, or car seat.  If you have extra money, put it in a gift card for last minute purchases once the baby has arrived, or choose a couple of special outfits to use on the clothes line.

Look for places where you can cut back … do you really need expensive baby themed paper goods, or would the less expensive solid color product give a more polished, chic look to the shower and save you money to boot?  Are there menu items you can make a week or more in advance so you can save money on catering while still keeping your sanity?  Look at your game prizes or party favors.  Packaging is key!  You can count on cellophane, ribbon & cute paper tags to turn simple, inexpensive gifts into chic take homes that look anything but cheap or 2nd rate.

When planning your next party look for ways you can make your party dollar go farther by using decorations, activities and gifts that do double duty.  It will make for a better party experience for you and your guests.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 8:26 am

    What great suggestions! It’s the reason that I started making diaper cakes actually. I love when things are both decorative and functional. I enjoy knowing that the parents who get my cakes will use every last piece inside of them. Some folks just add some ribbon and silk flowers, but I think that when they’re stock full of clothing, blankets, towels, bibs, burps, bath essentials, and toys, that they truly are a treasure.

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