Book-Themed Baby Shower on a Budget

For her first baby, my best friend Nicki requested a co-ed baby shower to include her and her husband's friends and family. To keep costs low, my co-host and I planned a backyard, potluck book themed baby shower. 


DIY cardstock invitations set the baby shower book theme with a simple request that guests sign a favorite book instead of a card.  


Guests pitched in with potluck dishes of all kinds. We coordinated the food when guests R.S.V.P.ed.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar fed a group hungry for sweets. The cake was a great focal point, and simple to create: 23 frosted cupcakes for the body and and one round cake for the head. With black licorice, the caterpillar sprouted legs and antenna.

 A sheet cake decorated as the title page from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" provided extra servings and really added to the baby shower book theme.

If you look closely, you can see the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" chilling on the far right.
  • Favorite kid's lit characters -- in stuffed animal form -- joined the guests. (Winnie the Pooh, Corduroy the bear and Curious George, to name a few.)
  • Hardcover children's books sat on each seat. These books gave guests something to look through as everyone arrived; they also served as writing surfaces for the pen-and-paper games.  
  • Onesies (picked up for free on Craigslist) hung on twine made a banner above the guests of honor.
  • A little crate paper, balloons and plastic table cloths tied the baby's room colors into the party. White string lights added sparkle. 


Baby's uncles battle it out.

  • Fill-in-the-blank trivia on classic children's books kept the baby shower book theme going. 
 The other activities were more for laughs:
  • A contest to see who could cloth diaper baby the fastest. (Make sure to pit mom against dad at a co-ed party.)
  • Taste and guess baby food flavors. (Probably the least popular activity for our mixed crowd. It wasn't a game Grandpa was going to participate in.)
  • Guess mom's belly size by sheets of toilet paper. (Never not funny.)
  • Present Bingo: To keep guests from boredom during the present parade, they fill out a Bingo card with predictions of what the parents will receive. The first guest to get five in a row (or blackout the playing card) gets a prize and bragging rights. 
  • Decorate onesies with fabric paint. This was the costlier part of the shower, but totally worth it. The results were hilarious.
It helps if your guests are awesome.

Produce box covered in wrapping paper, adorned with a bow.
Guests took home goodie bags with baby-themed candies: Baby Ruth, Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies, etc. 

Classic rock with some alternative and a sprinkle of local favorites sounded in the background. Baby, boys and love were subjects. 


  1. Such an awesome party! My favorite part was the cake! The diapering contest was hillarious!


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