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35 Ideas for Cheap Baby Showers

Cheap Baby Showers

Updated on: Feb 20, 2024

Babies are expensive, so the baby shower was invented with one goal in mind: supply the parents-to-be with most of the stuff they'll need to welcome their new arrival into the world so that they don't have to break their budget. Yes, it's also a day to celebrate the mom entering the new phase of her life, but really, it's about the gifts. Use these ideas for cheap baby showers to keep the costs down and make it fun for everyone while you can check off something on your list of things to do in planning for this baby shower.

Preparations for Cheap Baby Showers

1. Skip the Theme

There are so many baby shower themes to choose from, but the baby is the theme. Simply hang a few pastel colored streamers, and you're good to go. There's no need to hang diapers and bibs all over the place or come up with a new color scheme for the baby shower. In this case, less is more.

Pastel Paper Streamers

Party streamers are a fun and easy way to make your party pop! Create your own eye-catching party decorations by cutting this streamer roll to size and draping streamers from the ceiling, doorways, banisters and more. Twist them around chairs or use them to create a DIY photo booth backdrop -- the possibilities are endless! Shop even more paper streamers to match your celebration on this website. Paper. 84 ft.

2. Reuse Decorations

If you happen to have some decorations saved from another shower, reuse them! Or pull out some strings of Christmas lights or fairy lights and hang them around the party room - they spice up any occasion. You can also use baby items as decorations, either yours or from friends. Think kid books, baby bath lotions, stuffed animals, etc. These small things can help set the tone and don't have to be overpowering to be effective.

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3. Choose a Free Location

A friend or relative's house is free and allows you to cook the food yourself. If you don't have access to a home, then consider a public park as one of your venue ideas. Just arrive a few hours early to stake out a couple of tables. Choosing a spot close to parking would be nice, as some of the gifts might be bulky, difficult to carry. Make sure to check park websites just in case you need permission or permits.

4. Recruit a Co-Host

A friend or a relative can host the shower. If you're hosting a baby shower, consider recruiting another friend or relative to help share the costs and divide the labor.

5. Keep the Guest List Short

A baby shower doesn't need to be huge. Although there are baby showers with 20 - 40 people, having just ten names on your invite list is good enough.

Cheap Baby Shower: Decorations

6. Balloon Wall

To make a balloon wall, just buy some balloons (probably about 200-300 depending on the size of the wall) and tape them to the wall. Just remember, if you don't have as many balloons, try to space them out a bit. Also, alternating the colors of balloons will make the wall seem more dynamic and appealing. You can also buy some crepe paper or streamers to fill the space.

7. Signs

To make a sign, all you need is some paper (the sturdier the better), a marker or two, and your imagination. Signs could include sayings, names, pictures, or instructions. Tap into your creativity!

8. Table Decorations

If you have some extra baby stuff on-hand, you can use some of it to decorate your tables. For example, you can use pacifers, socks, stuffed animals, and baby accessories like bows or hats.

9. Rubber Ducks

Rubber ducks are the poster image of all things babies. You can find regular ducks and themed ducks. For example, there are pirate themed ducks, dragon themed ducks, bride themed ducks, unicorn themed ducks, glow in the dark ducks, and much, much more!

10. Centerpieces

Small plants with the base covered with baby shower or religious wrapping paper can serve as centerpieces. Cookie bouquets are popular; however, you can also make a great centerpiece/favor combo by taking any sweet treats on a stick and putting them in a vase. Anything cheap or straightforward can be made attractive and elegant, with just a bit of creativity.

Cheap Baby Shower: Favors

11. DIY Wrapping

It's nice to give small gifts as favors. These don't have to break the budget at all. Consider getting them at the dollar store. You can even skip the gift bags and simply use the tissue paper or burlap and some old string or ribbon from your home. Dollar stores typically have some candles, bath products, picture frames, and other simple accessories that could serve as your baby shower favors.

12. Homemade Treats

Everyone likes homemade treats and sweets. Make sure to bake things that can fit in gift bags like cookies, truffles, caramel pieces, muffins, and fudge. One cute idea would be to press your baby's foot into cookie dough or other baked items, but please make sure the baby's foot is clean and the treat is not hot before doing this.

13. Glam or Relaxation Kits

Relaxation kits may include sleeping masks, face masks, candles, epson salt, bath bombs, or lotions. Glam kits could include lipsticks, nail polish, nail files, stick-on nails, jewelry, and other beauty items. You can either buy these as a kit or pick out each item individually.

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14. Check the Target Dollar Bins for Favors

Speaking of fun favor items, you can find many of them at Target. Check out the dollar bin for notepads, puzzles, magnets, stuffed animals, coloring books, pens, pencils, character socks, containers, puppets, stickers, and more. Be sure to visit Target a week or two after a major holiday. Many items are on sale for 75% off so that you can walk away with favors for 25 cents.

15. Thank You Card

You don't necessarily need to give your guests any favors, but different guests will react in different ways. To prevent feelings of insult or disappointment, you can hand out thank you cards or hand-written letters to each of your guests. This is a very heart-felt way to express your gratitude to your guests either for attending your shower or being with you as a friend or family member. Make sure you have tissues handy!

Cheap Baby Shower: Menus

16. Bake the Cake!

Baking a cake doesn't have to be complicated - there are multiple easy and relatively quick recipes online. For simple yet elegant, you can also make cupcakes. Adding a themed frosting to either - an appropriate color(gender revealed yet?), spelling something out, or just drawing will make the cake much more special!

17. Serve a Simple Buffet

When planning the baby shower menu, keep in mind the long, long list of foods that the mom-to-be probably isn't allowed to eat. That includes most soft cheeses, uncooked fish, high-mercury fish, raw eggs, and raw egg products. Sticking with the basics like chicken, beef, pasta, and salads are excellent. The ingredient list may seem simple, but the list of possible recipes is long and varied.

The cake is often the dessert of choice, but cupcakes are also fun (and easy to make yourself). It's not necessary to serve a sit-down meal. Most showers seem to be buffet affairs where people can mingle. Unless you have a small group and everyone can fit around a table, just serve all the food together with plates and utensils, so people can pick what they want without having to sit down.

18. Seek Help with Preparing the Food

Food is generally the most expensive part of the celebration. Often, only the main dish and cake need to be purchased while family members or friends can help make all side dishes. With others bringing their own homemade dishes, the food will probably be even better than a catered event.

19. Limit the Beverage Options

Some baby showers include alcohol, and others don't. It depends on your crowd and the mom-to-be. Ask her whether she'll be offended if other people drink. For a women-only shower, serve wine or champagne punch at the most. You may also need beer for a co-ed baby shower. This is not the time for mixed cocktails. You could also serve non-alcoholic versions of alcohol, like non-alcoholic wine.

20. Preportion Food

One of the problems with having food laying around is that people tend to eat more. In order to save money by not having to make as much food, preportion the food. By not having food laying out, it becomes an "out-of-sight out-of-mind" type of scenario. Of course, don't refuse to give your guests more food if you can help it.

Cheap Baby Shower: Games & Activities

21. Change the Doll's Diaper

Watch out! This game can make people get competitive! For this game, you will need a baby doll, a few diapers, and and two blindfolds. The objective of the game is to put the diaper correctly on the baby doll while blindfolded. Two people will compete at the same time. The winner will be the fastest person to correctly put on the diaper.

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22. Origami Stork

For this game, you will need paper (origami paper will be easiest to work with) and sets of instructions. You could either make this a timed battle, appearance-based face-off, or just a leisure activity for everyone to enjoy.

23. Time-Capsule

One great activity you can plan is to create a time capsule for the baby. Have each guest bring an object currently available, such as a cd, magazine article, etc. Spend time decorating a bin or box to put everything in, with the idea that the baby will open the time capsule on his or her 18th birthday to see what was "in vogue" when they were born. With the guests bringing little things to include, this is a great low-cost activity to do. You'll only need to buy the decorating materials for the capsule.

24. Make a Blanket

One of the many baby items that new mothers will go through quickly is baby blankets, so why not make one at the shower? I would suggest making a no-sew blanket. This type of blanket is typically made with fleece, but you can use other materials as well. This activity will require scissors, two pieces of fabric (size depends on how big you want blanket to be), and a ruler or yardstick. Here are some generic instructions that you can use.

25. Or, Skip the Baby Shower Games

Baby shower games may not be the right fit for you or your guests. If everyone knows each other, let people talk, eat, and watch the presents open. Everything else is just silly filler. A baby shower does not have to resemble a typical party, as its purpose is to help the mom(and dad)-to be for the future. There will be enough fun without games.

Cheap Baby Shower: Party Supplies

26. Skip the Fancy Plates

When you are holding an event, especially a baby shower, you don't need to decorate everything that you have. One of the things that would be best to leave plain is paper plates. Just go to your local store and purchase some cheap, white plastic plates. I doubt your guests will care what type of plate they are eating off of. You can also use real plates.

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27. Plain Napkins

Another thing that you can leave plain for your party are the napkins. Just use whatever type of napkin or paper towel that you have on-hand.

28. Cupcake Paper/Liner

If you decide to bake your own cupcakes, it would save you some money to buy generic cupcake liners. If you decided to go with pastel colors for the baby shower, it would fit right in! There are also more elaborate designs to choose from but they may be a tad bit pricier.

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Also great for holding candies, nuts and other party snacks
Perfect for your theme party

29. Personalized Cutlery Holder

One of the decorations that you can do that is simple and cheap is to personalize a cutlery holder. If you are gifted with a sewing machine, you could design a fabric pocket to slide your silverware in. You could also just tie a ribbon around your bundle of cutlery. If you aren't the artsy type, you can also buy paper or cloth silverware holders.

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30. Use Kraft Paper

When you use kraft paper as your table covering, you are not only saving money but also providing your guests (especially the kids) with an activity. Provide some crayons, markers, or pens and you will have a decorated tablecloth by the end of the night. You can also use kraft paper as coasters and placemats.

Cheap Baby Shower: Invitations

31. Straightforward Invites

The cheapest type of store-bought invitations are those that are simple and don't have as much text to customize. I would recommend something with only the necessary details.

32. Blank Invitations

If you have decent handwritting, you can purchase blank invitations. This allows you to write whatever you want without having to worry about the extra cost.

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33. Scrapbook Invitations

If you are a big fan of scrapbooking and already have the necessary supplies, you can create a card using these materials. For example, you can use the stamps to imprint designs, stencils to create accents, and use interestingly designed paper to serve as a base. Don't be afraid to mix kits!

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34. Create Your Own Invites

To create your own invitations, take some paper (the sturdier the better) and begin designing. You can use paint, markers, pens, pencils, crayons, and more to create your masterpiece. If you would like, you can buy some stencils to help you along.

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35. Use Free Printable Invitations

There are many available online. You can personalize your invitations online and print them on nice linen paper or card stock. Some of the baby shower designs are appropriate for Baptisms as well.

Cheap Baby Showers: Conclusion

If you are not trying to break the bank, affordable baby showers are the way to go. They may not be the easiest to plan, but if you follow our helpful guide, your big day will be a breeze! We hope that these baby shower ideas work out for you!

Written by Matvei Mozhaev; Contributors: Amy Chiang, Rosalia Hu, Allison Knowles and June Park

Allison Knowles

University of Central Arkansas

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Amy Chiang

New York University

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June Park

Rutgers University, New Brunswick

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Rosalia Hu

University of California, San Diego

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