Monday, September 19, 2011

Revisiting my Grandbaby's Baby Shower

Over on one of my favorite blogs ("You Had Me At Craft", by Alex), Alex's guest designer Suzanne is featuring a monkey-themed diaper cake that she made for the baby shower in anticipation of the birth of her third granddaughter.

Now, I'm not as lucky as Suzanne to have THREE granddaughters -- at least, not yet! -- but last year on my blog, I featured all of my monkey-themed decorations for the baby shower held in honor of the then-pending birth of my one-and-only granddaughter, Charlotte!  

So in this post, I'm going to reprise all of the decorations I made, and I'll link it up to Alex's site.  Monkeys are very "in" right now, with many now featured on Cricut cartridges galore. I hope this gives you some cute ideas for either a baby shower or a birthday party!

Top left is the four-tier diaper cake I made for Charlotte, done in theme-colors of chocolate monkey brown, pink, white and green.

I used the Cake Basics cartridge to cut the large "chocolate" paper icing layer on top, as well as the lime green ring that adorns it. The leaves for the palm tree were also cut using that cartridge; instead of using them flat at the vein opening, I curled them and overlapped them to give them dimension.

See the white paper roses at the top? I'd normally cut each of those petals using my flower punches by Punch Bunch. BUT Cake Basics comes with a lot of single leaves itself, so I set the Cricut to "auto fill" for the 1/2" white petal, hit cut and went about the chore of trying to organize my craft loft. When I returned, some 300 petals were cut from a single 12x12" sheet! Boy, did that save time with the flower punch!

In case you're wondering, the middle layer of the "cake" was made using new printed "designer" Pampers. A single pack has the two complementing designs of pale pink and darker pink. There are also boy colors too, though I wonder if "Real Boys" would wear designer diapees?

Here are the cute wrappers I designed to cover Hershey nuggets.  To make them, I used my Adobe Illustrator program but you can use whatever design program you're most comfortable with.  

Your template should be 1" wide x 3" high to fit the Hershey's Nugget chocolate "pillows".  (I like these because there is more space to decorate than a Hershey's kiss, and infinitely more chocolate per bite that way. Hahaha, one for the shower, one for me, one to decorate, one for the tummy....)

Pick your images from any of the free clip-art programs available and use your theme colors. Our colors are pink, brown and accented with green. To create the patterned paper look, simply type O's, or dots, hearts (Alt-3 = ♥) or xoxoxo ... whatever your heart desires.

Do you have a favorite among these ten designs?  Mine is probably the "precious little monkey" shown at the front (top, here), or the front one on the lower picture, "Welcome Baby Cohick!"  
 I used these in the favor boxes as well as on the tables and on the featured "Candy Station".

Then I also made these cute door-prize boxes for the lucky winners of the Monkey Games we played at the shower...

To make this adorable box, I used one sheet of 8.5x11" deep pink cardstock and my Makes the Cut program. I downloaded the FREE Inkscape file for a "No Glue Party Box" found on the wonderful blog at My Cricut Scrapbooking. I used my Cricut Create A Critter to cut the adorable monkey and the branch behind her. I fussy-cut the pink diaper to make her a baby. The baby monkey hangs through a small hole punched on the edge of the box.

Then I hole-punched a ribbon hole (double hole) in the top handle, folded up the box (or bent up without creasing, would be a better way to describe it), decorated with a bow, and embellished with Martha Stewart self-stick pearls.

This week, I also got in some ADORABLE mylar baby monkey balloons and a matching personalized banner that reads: "Let's Go Bananas! Emily and Josh are having a baby!" Too cute! Meanwhile, thank you to the great website of for your fab collection of baby girl monkey party goods!!!

Then, onto the centerpieces...

I made palm trees that the Baby Monkeys can climb on.

I started with styrofoam cone bases, 12" high ($4.99 ea x 6). I purchased two fern fronds for each ($1.99 ea x 12) to add to the top.  Keeping the plastic wrapping on the cone so the styrofoam dust didn't get all over the place, I jabbed each of the fronds into the top of the cone and pushed the stem all the way down the cone. With a little bending, I think the ferns begin to look like palm fronds -- at least a little!

Then I unwrapped the plastic off the cones and covered each of the cones with chocolate brown crepe paper streamers. (It was $0.79/roll at Party City -- you only need one roll for all six centerpieces, with lots leftover.) I figured out if I wrapped the crepe paper from the thinner top to the wider base, the crepe paper adds a nice texture to the "tree" because it doesn't lay flat.

Next, I made a barrel of monkeys, using Cricut Create a Critter again, cut at 2.25" with brown layers #1 and #3, and tan in the center. Some of the monkeys have a black back (layer #1) -- but eventually  I figured out that I liked the brown back, and eyes and nose that show through the layer two cut. The pink diaper was fussy-cut from half of a 3/4" paper punch.

Monkeys play well together, so I made chains of three. Some hold together tail to tail; others are linked by cloth flowers. Some are climbing up vines also cut from the Create a Critter cartridge, some are hot glued to grosgrain ribbon.

Daughter Emily came up with the adorable idea to embellish the monkeys with some of my Creative Charms' July kit brads and gems, as well as some stick-on pearls and rhinestones. I used Stickles in silver to trim out the "diaper pins".

To make it easier to decorate the palm trees on the day of the shower, I decided to make cute little monkey hangers for each trio. I used beading wire, some theme-matching crystals and stitched the 2-3" long bead piece on a silver earring wire I had in my craft stash.
...and still, more crafty ideas!

Last but not least, shortly before the shower,
Baby Mama Emily came over to my house to help me make the chocolate-covered pretzel sticks that were part of the "candy buffet" at Emily and Baby Charlotte's showe.

Here's how they turned out -- pretty great, I think! I still want to make more using white chocolate, so hopefully tomorrow night I'll find the time.

Meanwhile, as I was driving home from my day job, I thought about how cool it would be to make little "sour cream containers" for the Hershey's kisses I bought for the candy buffet.

So here they are! I whipped up about a dozen of these in an hour or so ... creating the idea takes the biggest amount of time, I think.

To make these, I cut six equal pieces of paper from a 12x12" sheet (each piece was 6"x4"). I taped one short side and rolled the paper into a tube. Then I pinched the one end shut, using a piece of double-sided tape and a crimper tool. I filled it with 6 Hershey's kisses, pinched and glued the top end sealed (I used double-faced tape), and crimped. Decorated using monkeys from the Cricut Zooballoo cartridge and Creative Charms flowers, ribbons. 

I hope you had fun revisiting the baby shower from 2010 ... and picked up some more ideas. The light-of-my-life, Charlotte, was born a few months after her shower, on December 6.  Now she is 9 months old -- and look what a little charmer she now is!

Charlotte's first time on the slide at our community park!


Michelle said...

oh wow this all looks awesome!!!!

Star said...

I was at the shower and it was AWESOME!!! Perfect!! As Ellen does everything.

Beckie said...

How super stiking cute is all this! I love it! Just more great reasons why you're my mentor. LOL. Keep rocking out the good stuff girl! Great to be in the challenge with ya. Hugs.

Be Blessed, Beckie

Shawnee said...

Very cute!! I love all your decorations. You did a fabulous job and Charlotte is beautiful!!


Anonymous said...

Oops! Meant to post you a message but accidentally hit the button to send an email...sorry. lol!

Everything is absolutely ADORABLE!!!! :-)

judestersworld said...

Wow, Ellen, your craftiness is amazing! :) You put a lot of thought and effort in to each thing that you made and did such an awesome job! Thanks for sharing your talent. I'm now a follower of your blog too! Thanks for visiting me and seeing my diaper cake. :)

Heidi said...

These are all amazing and adorable! Great job and thanks for sharing your talent with us!

Kelly S said...

Wow! All of your decorations are incredible. I found you through Made It Myself Mondays.


Melissa said...

WOW! Everything was gorgeous! Does Charlotte love monkeys as much as her grammy?