Saturday, March 2, 2013

Inexpensive Baby Shower Gift

So if you've read any of my previous blog entries, you'll know we recently moved into our first home. Our neighbors are all young couples like us and absolutely wonderful! Our neighbors next door are having a baby which is great because I've been lacking little adorable ones to snuggle and talk baby talk to!

So yesterday, sweet Allison stopped by to invite me to her baby shower and let met tell you something, this girl is a pro. She is due April 1st and she came over looking fabulous, wearing heels, carrying a dog. If I were pregnant I'd be lucky to even get out of bed, let alone be functional and look good doing it.

So she dropped off a cute little invite for the baby shower which is tomorrow. Yikes! It almost seemed like my goal of giving handmade/personal gifts was being tested!

The other problem was that I don't know Allison very well, aside from meeting her on a snowy night on my front porch for  less than 2 minutes I haven't really even seen her at all. So I am short on time, not too familiar with her and also short on funds. I tend to go crazy when it comes to baby gifts. Regular gifts for friends I think I sometimes go overboard with but babies? Let's just say if any more of my friends get pregnant I'll be filing for bankruptcy by the end of the year!

So I found a solution that can actually be done for much less cheaper than I did, but I tend to go a little bit overboard whenever I'm in Target. I mean I almost had to stage a self intervention when I got into the shoe section, so many cute flats for spring! argh!

Since I'm new to the area, I decided to use what I had on hand and could finish off with a quick trip to Target. I think this is the first time I've ever been in Target and spent less than $200. I wish I was exaggerating but sadly, I'm not. I wanted this gift to be for mom and baby because lets face it, as adorable as babies are, they could care less about the stuff you give them until they're at least a few months old!

So here is what I started with:
  1. a light blue tote caddy from the Dollar Tree
  2. a sheet of scrapbook paper
  3. letter stickers

The first step was to measure how big I wanted the paper on both sides. I wanted it to cover each side but not reach all the way to the bottom where the paper would drag and get ripped up. 

Next, I used 2 different types of alphabet stickers. On one, I spelled out "for Mom" and the other "for Baby". You could, of course, do any cute variation of this that you like!

After my letters were adhered, I got out my trusty old hot glue gun and glued one sheet on either side. Make sure you put the glue on the tote caddy and trace the pattern around the holes. If you have a tote without holes then don't worry about this. I then line up each piece of scrapbook paper, making sure they are even and place them on each side, being sure to gently rub both so the glue attaches.

After that is cooled I decided to add yarn to the handle, it's really not necessary as the handle looks fine on it's own, but I wanted to make it pop against the case and the items once they were inside.

All I did was wrap 2 different colored yarns, one white and one light blue, around the handle until it was covered. If you wrap them tightly enough they should stay in place but you can dab some hot glue on either end and cut the remaining off if you're worried.

However, when I get involved with yarn, it's almost inevitable that I'll be creating pom poms. 
So I did.
I attached one to either end of the handle by adding one more layer of a thicker, darker yarn in a spiral pattern and tying the pom pom strings to the end of each side.

At this point, my caddy was decorated. Not too shabby for items I already had on hand! There are so many variations of this that you could do! For larger presents, you could even do this with a laundry basket, or for smaller things you could take a cutlery tray. I am all about upcycling!

So now it was time to fill her up! This is what I got from Target:

Now the total for all of these items came to $32, but I am positive you can do this for under $20!

The items I purchased, clockwise from the top are as follows:

hand sanitizer-$.97
Godiva bar-$1.99
Ferrero Rocher-$.99
Burts Bees richly replenishing body lotion-$7.99
Martha Stewart Living-$4.99
teal tisshue paper-on sale for $.68
My first Easter bib-$3.99
Johnson and Johnson baby lotion and bath-$3.09 combo
2 colorful baby onesies-on sale for $3.50 each

There you have it. For $31.69 I have an entire gift basket, for technically two people! You can see that the 2 things I spent the most on were the body lotion and the Martha Stewart mag. I wanted to do a luxurious type of lotion for mom since she won't get too many opportunities for luxuries once baby is here! I actually have a subscription to Martha but I thought it would be tacky to give her one of my own so I just got another copy.  You could also snag a parenting magazine or something else related to the person you know, but since I don't know Allison very well but I clearly love Martha I got her that. Plus I think, since we aren't too familiar, getting her a parenting magazine might seem a bit rude, so I 86ed that idea!

You could most certainly do this for under $20 by changing out the type of lotion, the magazine and the Easter bib. If you can sew (I can't) then you could sew up a really adorable onesie or t-shirt and make this under $10! It can be done, I promise!

The 2 vintage children's books I already had on hand so they cost me nothing. I went with a slight bunny theme because, well I am known for my love of bunnies and my association with this weirdo:

and also Easter is coming up! What better way to share my slight bunny obsession with the world?

Oh I also added this mini bottle of wine that I had in my pantry. They are so cute and they come in packs of four, what you do with the other 3 is entirely up to you, I'm not here to judge!

 So packing everything together was pretty simple, the only things I really did anything to were these two onesies. I rolled them up and tied them with pastel colored pipe cleaners and 2 glittery leaves that I had left over from Christmas wrapping. I cut the ends off of the leaves with wire cutters since they were long and sharp and even though baby probably won't be opening them himself, "long and sharp" are 2 adjectives you don't want to put together for a baby related gift!

So there it is, other than wrapping the same thick yarn around the magazine a couple times to hold it in a cylindrical form and tying a little ribbon around the wine bottle I was done wrapping my gifts! Here is what the gift basket looked like with everything inside:

mom side

baby side

Now I think it looks pretty snazzy, but since I couldn't stick it in a bag and I didn't want to do the traditional cellophane wrapping since it's so obnoxiously crinkly and sometimes hard to open, I took my tissue paper and cut it in half, like so:

and just jammed it in all the little crevices that looked a bit lonely. I stuck one in the Martha magazine, behind the books and all the other items, similar to how you would do a gift basket, without covering up any of the goodies.

I also made a little card from card-stock scrapbook paper and some stickers I had on hand, but I already sealed it in the envelope and stuck it in the basket.

Here are the finished results!

 So there it is! A cute baby shower gift that mom can enjoy as well. Of course you could tailor this a bit more to moms personality if she's a close friend or family member and I'm telling you that you can do this for under $20 or even $10! 

In fact, I have a destination wedding coming up for Shauns sister and I might just try doing a little $20 traveling bride emergency kit that I'm sure she will love!

Stay tuned!


  1. What a neat idea!
    Thanks so much for linking up on Tutorial Thursdays, hope to see you again this week - oh wait - I will LOL:)

    1. Thanks Natalie! I can't wait to try out all the fabulous Tutorials you have on Thursdays! : )