An expectant, first-time mother experiences many firsts throughout her pregnancy. Some, like morning sickness at all times of day and swollen ankles, are not so treasured; but many more, like the first heartbeat, the first ultrasound, and the first baby outfit or toy are precious.
The baby shower ranks right up there with favorite pregnancy moments, and making your own favors can make the experience that much more enjoyable, personal, and memorable. Here are some tips for creating wonderful - and appreciated - baby shower favors.
First, here are a few words of advice on what not to give your guests. Your guests are celebrating your pregnancy, your bouncing bundle of joy - not their own. They don't want or need baby-themed items. A washcloth lollipop or baby sock rose bouquet are incredibly cute and will make excellent centerpieces and baby shower decorations.
However, your guests (or many of them, at any rate) don't need baby socks! Why not give them a "thank you" that they can actually use and enjoy? With that in mind, here are some excellent, easy, and inexpensive shower favors.
You cannot go wrong - especially at a female-centric event like a baby shower, with gourmet chocolate and baked goods.
Image by nikkicookiebaker on Flickr
If you really want to tie in the baby shower theme, make chocolate chip cookies and use pink and blue candies (Easter M&Ms are a good choice, but you can find others in these colors as well).
Brownies with pale blue or pale pink frosting will be appreciated - and probably eaten before the recipient gets in her car.
This recipe comes straight from MarthaStewart.com
Buy several glass canning jars and pour in hot cocoa mix. Make a layer of mini marshmallows, a layer or chocolate slivers, and then tie a ribbon around the top, and voila! You are done!
Image by RealSimple.com
If you have the time (or desire), you can put little labels on the top saying 'Thank You' or 'Made with Love.' Guests at winter baby showers will really love these little souvenir hot cocoa baby shower favors
Along similar lines, make a batch of simple sugar cookie favors and use cookie cutters to make cute shapes. They don't have to be baby-related, per-se: stars, flowers, bears, and other animals are cute, and they can be used for other occasions.
Put a few cookies in a cute favor box or bag, and attach a cookie cutter and recipe card with ribbon. Likewise, you could put the dry ingredients for the cookies into a jar, and tie a recipe and cookie cutter on with ribbon. You can do this for soups, cake mixes, muffins, and much more.
This is much easier than you'd think - but your guests don't have to know that! You can find soap-making kits at craft stores and online that come with all of the ingredients and directions.
The Loew-Cornell Soap Making Kit, for instance, comes with opaque white glycerin soap base, clear glycerin soap base, color, soap molds, cocoa butter, and peppermint, lemon, and lime essential oils. This is perfect if you are having a smaller, more intimate gathering.
A kit typically costs about $20 and makes about ten bars of soap favors, although you can - and should - shop around for great deals. If you're feeling ambitious, try homemade soap recipes on your own.
Let your guests make their own favors. Skip the traditional baby shower games, and let your guests be creative. Get small plain boxes, available from craft stores and online vendors, paints, and brushes, and decorate to your heart's content. When your guests are done, let them fill their boxes with candies to take home and enjoy.
A small budget doesn't mean anything if you have a big imagination and some willingness to create your own favors. Your guests will appreciate them that much more.
Image by CosmoPolitician on Flickr