5 DIY Baby Shower Decoration Ideas on a Budget

by | Jan 31, 2020

As exciting as a new baby can be, it can also be a time of stress anxiety. That’s why baby showers are so important! Though the gifts, games, and themes can be silly, they give parents (or parents-to-be) the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones. It’s a crucial reminder that, no matter what, they have a community and help just a phone call away.

Whether you’re a reluctant host or itching for the chance to plan a baby shower, you should be respectful of the person you are throwing it for. Try to center the themes and activities on things they will enjoy. And don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to eager volunteers – there is plenty of work to go around. You can ask for help with setting up and cleaning up, making invitations, choosing party favors, arranging food, drinks, and games, and keeping track of who gave what so that the expecting parent can send thanks to their friends and family.

Decorating for the baby shower sets the mood and reminds everyone why you’re gathered together – to celebrate a growing family. Feeling stumped on how to style the look for your gathering? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got plenty of inspiration for you.

DIY baby shower decorations on a budget

Most shower hosts keep the decor to about 20% of the total budget, maximum. (You certainly don’t have to spend that much, but try not to spend more.) To make the most of your party budget, try using or modifying things you already have, and incorporate as many things as possible into the decor that can then be given to the new parent or parents.

Borrowing items is always cheaper than buying or renting them, and reusing craft supplies will save you big time. If you’re lucky enough to live near a creative reuse center, you can find all sorts of art and craft supplies for next to nothing. 

Planning a shower theme will guide your designs. The theme can be as simple as a color scheme or inspired by parents or gifts. For example, if Mom is an airline pilot, you can have an aviation theme. Or if the baby’s expected due date is around a holiday (like Valentine’s Day), you can use that to guide your theme. 

The more prep work you put into it, the less you’ll have to spend. But you don’t have to toil over a hot glue gun for hours to have great decorations. Here are our top 5 ideas for DIY baby shower decorations on a budget:

1. DIY baby shower centerpieces

Table centerpieces are a way to telegraph and unify your theme, but in order to make one work for the party, you need to size it right. If it will be used on a table where people will be sitting, it needs to be low enough for people to see each other over it. If it is placed on a counter or food service table, it should be tall enough to command attention.

One simple solution is a diaper cake. Turn practical gifts into an elegant display with ribbon, tissue paper, fake flowers, and other embellishments. Baby clothes, toys, soap, diaper cream, and other baby items can be hidden throughout so that every part of the cake can go to taking care of the baby.

Another cute option for table centerpieces is turning baby socks into flower bouquets. You can make a couple of these if there will be more than one table, and can even coordinate them with a diaper cake to keep all the tables festive. 

2. Decorative food 

There’s no getting around it, you’re going to need to feed your guests. But why not let the food do some of the work to set the mood? Using decorative food is the perfect way to shrink your decoration budget. 

If watermelon is in season, this easy DIY option will have jaws dropping and mouths watering. You can really let your imagination go wild here and let your fruit and veggie trays work together to become something more. Or if watermelon is out of season, you can go for the same effect on a smaller scale with these deviled eggs

Cake pops are another delicious treat that can be styled many different ways to fit the theme (check out some of these cute pops for inspiration), and they don’t require any extra serving utensils. Or if you prefer more traditional treats, you can do cupcakes. Cupcake stands can serve as a centerpiece for your snacks, and the decoration can be as simple or complex as you like. The hardest part will be saving some for everyone else. 

Any fruit, veggie, or sandwich tray can be arranged with care to be visually appealing. Brush up on some pointers to arrange food like a pro caterer, and your guest will be impressed with what they see. Even drinks can add to the look and feel of the party – like this bubble bath punch with floating rubber ducks. 

3. Place Setting

Pacifiers, rattles, and teaching rings all make cute napkin rings, and are yet another item that Baby can enjoy after the party is over. Baby bottles can double as vases, and fresh flowers will liven the mood for everyone. Tissue booties can mark places and hold treats inside for your guests (check out the tutorial here). 

For personalized tablecloths, you can try this method. Or you can use stamps with fabric ink to liven up a plain white tablecloth. Using burp cloths as placemats is another way to keep the decor practical. You can even style plain ones with fabric paint or markers – or make it a party activity to cut down on your work and let guests send encouraging messages to the parent- or parents-to-be.

Tissue paper tassel garlands and helium balloons can spruce up the chairs, but you should go the extra mile for the expectant parent’s chair. Find something cozy, like a recliner, and decorate it with a baby blanket or a soft bathrobe they can keep. Opening gifts can take a while, so they need to be comfortable and able to see and hear everyone from wherever they are. 

4. Room Decor

It’s just as important to decorate the room as the table, and banners allow you to send a simple and effective message to remind everyone why they are all there. And they are deceptively simple to make without a trip to the print shop. 

Balloons on their own are always fun, but a hula hoop is an easy way to make your balloons into a wreath. (Check out examples here and here.) Cardboard boxes can become giant baby blocks with just a little ingenuity. Or you make some of these adorable geometric paper lanterns with colored tissue paper that fits the color scheme. 

DIY baby mobiles look great over tables, and you can use them as a center for your streamers. Some clothespins, string, and decorative paper is all it takes to set up a well-wishing wall where guest can leave thoughts, advice, and congratulations. 

You’ll need a gift table to place the presents on. It can be dressed up with a ‘Thank You’ banner and an appropriately colored cloth to cover it; just make sure there’s plenty of space to stack gifts. 

Quality is much more important than quality here, and a couple of visually stunning decorations will go a long way. Play to your strengths and find something you’re good at making. If you feel proud of what you create and enjoy the work, chances are everyone will be impressed. 

5. Outdoor Decor

If the baby shower is taking place at someone’s home, it’s always a good idea to leave a festive sign with balloons, so people don’t have any trouble finding the place. There should also be a sign on the door with instructions on how to find the party if it isn’t immediately clear where to go. You don’t want to be stuck answering the door every few minutes – you’ve got enough on your plate with the hosting duties.

You can use homemade pinwheels to decorate the walk up to the door and hang a diaper wreath on the front door. These extra touches help guests know they’re in the right place and give them one last thing to smile about as they’re leaving.

The bottom line

There are so many options for cheap but thoughtful decorations that you may feel a little overwhelmed. But stick to your theme, consider the person you’re planning for, and you’ll know what to do. 

More than anything, this is a chance for a parent to be surrounded by friends and put aside any stress and anxiety they may be going through. So keep your eyes on the prize! If you plan well, you’ll be giving them a moment to focus on all the joy in store for their future. 


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