*This post contains sponsored links- as always, I’d never write about a product I didn’t 100% love (full disclosure)*
I have had this idea in the back of my mind for suuuuuch a long time, I’m so excited to be sharing it with you today! Almost three years ago now, we threw this Vintage Story Book Baby Shower for my sister in law (it was before blogging). We had a little activity that you can see there where we all coloured pages for a baby ABC book and then gave them to the mama. I loved the idea but didn’t love that it wasn’t a sturdy book that baby could use and love. So after two and a half years of thinking about it, meet this Painting Party Baby Shower and Watercolor ABC Book for baby! My sister-in-law is expecting, so I thought it was the perfect time to finally revamp the idea and give it the love it deserved, printing it with Pinhole Press’s Ultrathick Panoramic Mini Photo Book. It will definitely be a keepsake.
Other than my birthday party this year, this was the most enjoyable party I think I’ve ever thrown. It was pretty much stress free for me (except my casserole took a bit longer to cook than I’d planned). Usually we throw large baby showers because our family is ginormous. Although I love, love getting to see everyone, it was so relaxing to gather with some of our closest family and spend some time eating, laughing, and painting. Here’s how the day went.
I used all plastics except for my glasses- it was going to be such a treat to dispose of everything afterwards instead of spending hours doing dishes, but some awesome guests whipped them all clean before I could notice (and I can’t wait to use these again!). The doilies under the clear plates acted as place markers, I had those done up ahead of time and added some colour with my Paint Dipped Plastic Party Ware. I grabbed a couple bunches of tulips from the grocery store while I was getting my groceries for the party.
I kept food super simple with a couple breakfast casseroles and mimosas. Guests generously brought along homemade muffins and fruit. And a coffee maker when mine wasn’t working (#hostfail!). Both of the casseroles were ridiculously delicious, so you should probably check them out, I’ve got them pinned here: Bacon, Egg and Hashbrown Casserole (I added about 6 more eggs) and Overnight Pancake Casserole (the streusel is money, I’d double it!). I don’t know why it is that I feel compelled to make party food more complicated than it needs to be. I just love a good spread, but this was so refreshing to have just a couple things to choose from (probably because they were all dynamite!).
When we were done chowing down, we cleared our plates and brought out the paints! I had mason jars with my paint brushes at each place setting for guests to use and bought a pack of paint pallets to mix in. If you’re buying for a crowd, I found that they are about a third of the price in the kids painting section than the actual painting section at Michaels. I’m sure you wouldn’t notice the difference! The watercolours are a set that I had, you can get a beginners set of watercolours for about $15.
I had printed out faint letter outlines on card stock for painting (watercolour paper would have been better, but it was a holiday and there wasn’t a fancy print shop open). You can get the ABC templates I used right here (you’ll want to cut them down to square). I hung them from my white and gold clothespins and made a B is for Baby sign to put at the top. Guests chose which they wanted to paint and hung them back up when they were done.
Even the guests who hadn’t painted in years and years got into it, having an activity like this allowed for such easy conversation and I’m so amazed by some of the beautiful art that came out of it. The mama-to-be even went and snapped up a watercolor set after this she enjoyed it so much.
I loved seeing the wall fill up with brightly coloured creations. We saved a couple sheets for the nieces and nephews to paint for the book as well. When the paintings were dry, I scanned them into my computer and took some time in photoshop removing the backgrounds. I don’t have an actual scanner, I use an app on my phone which makes for a bit more editing. If you had them properly scanned in, you could just drop them into an editor like Pic Monkey to create collages for the pages. If you want to have a handy scanner on the go though, I highly recommend Scanner Pro.
Don’t you love how the book turned out! After getting my kids a Names and Faces Mini Book from Pinhole Press (did you see how cute it is?), I’m pretty much obsessed with their product. I’m a big fan of matte printing on chunky card and this Ultrathick Panoramic Mini Photo Book doesn’t disappoint. You can see the texture and how thick the pages are in that last photo there.
I’m a bit jealous and kind of want to make one for myself now. So, I want to hear from you! What was the most enjoyably relaxing party you’ve ever been to? And what would you think if you received a hand painted book from all your loved ones as a baby gift? Pretty great, I think!
Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness
Ok, this is the SWEETEST thing EVER!!! My sister is expecting her second baby, and I’m totally doing this for her. It’s so cute, and I think the guests would love painting!! Pinned. :)
Thanks so much Amanda! My sister-in-law definitely loves it. If you do- shoot me a photo or two!
heather @french press
what a gorgeous party! and I am SO happy you enjoyed the casserole
Thanks so much Heather, it is definitely on my list to make again :)
What a beautiful, unique baby gift. Lucky baby!
Thanks so much Rachel, we can’t wait to meet our new niece/nephew!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this! You have some crafty friends :) I did a watercolor baby book WAY back in the day for my nephew but I love how everyone gets to add their own page. I scanned my pages and printed them into a shutterfly book too so now my son has one too!
Thanks so much Deonna! I think everyone surprised themselves with their artistic abilities- SO fun. I love that you made a full watercolor book, what a thoughtful gift!
What an adorable party idea!!! Love this.. And love the calligraphy style names on doilies under a clear plate. What an amazing idea – pinned that one!
Thanks so much Meagan! That’s one of my favourite details from the party too :)
An absolutely beautiful idea!!! SO special!!!
Thanks so much Kristi! It was definitely a special gift to put together, everyone put such heart into their pages :)
What a great idea! It’s so thoughtful and personal which is perfect for a new baby! Looks like a wonderful party…I’m definitely checking out those dishes you made! YUM
Thanks so much Jo-Anna! Those dishes were such a hit. That potato casserole has been made a few times since- I add a bunch more eggs to it though.
Loveeeeeeeeeeeee!! What app did you use for the blog image???
Thanks Brittany! I use photoshop and that font is called Heartwell, I snagged it at creativemarket :)
This is the cutest idea I’ve ever seen for a baby shower. I’m curious how exactly you hung up your “clothesline” for this? Trying to figure out how to do something like this without nailing holes in my walls… (sorry, I’m not creative).
I used masking tape! Scotch makes some cute patterned ones that look like washi but hold better :)
This as AMAZING!
i love ideas where a mom gets to actually keep something from the day
Thanks so much Stacey! Yes- I agree! Keepsakes are so special from showers.
Can I ask what font you used for the Letters in the book. I might just use this idea for the next baby shower I am doing soon
Hi Stacey, the template is available as a free printable in text, just click the link and the PDF will open :)