In recent years baby showers have become a popular way to celebrate the soon arrival of a little one and a nice way for the mum-to-be to see all her friends an family before her due date. I know that i have had alot over the past few years and often we’ve shared games, gift ideas and present from one shower to the next.
But these types of events can be overwhelming and Im sure im not alone in feeling, that events like this, where you are the centre of attention are not something i particular enjoy, but i do love the gathering and the party type feel of it. With the soon arrival of baby Baker number two, i was faced with wanting to see friends and family but in a more relaxed way. With the gorgeous sunshine we have been having, i crossed my fingers that if i was to have a garden party it wouldn’t rain!! but as always i never make it straight forward, i like things with a taste of Norwegian, so heres how i did a DIY, budget baby shower with a scandi feel.
As i wanted it more personal and intermit, what better venue than your own home, for us we have a small home but the garden doubles the hosting space so it means food can be indoors and people outdoors, perfect! (as long as the weather is nice! but with a small home, space is a premium so this means ‘storage furniture’ which means little space for fancy balloon displays or ornate decorations but that doesn’t mean on a budget you cannot create something equally beautiful, using easily available items.
Wall Poster Banner
We have a large mirror wall which often has the dinner room table pushed up against so what better hanging utilisation that this. Using a roll of brown paper i wanted to create a drop banner. With large patio window doors which make the perfect DIY light box, you can print out a design (or freehand) a design and using black pen or white as i did and create a feature banner with ease and with some table decorations and fresh flowers it gives the perfect backdrop to your yummy delights.
Tools i used:
- Brown wrapping paper roll (measured to required length before drawing)
- Window light
- White ink marker
Additional for sparkles:
- glitter glue or
- heat embossing glitter and ink pad (i have these from a previous job)
Glass Name Tags
Although we have a whole cupboard of glasses, none of them match, or even the same size and none are smash proof. So when i’m thinking about practicality verse budget there are some things worth a few pennies, order early to get best prices, i picked these one piece glitter flutes up on ebay and decided with card i already had i could make cute glass name tags so that (and you know it happens) when you put your glass down you can eventually find your own glass again to refill. Very cheap to do, of course my graphic design skills help as i laid out the names of those coming along with cutter guides, but these could be handwritten as well, we all have a friend with beautiful handwriting who you could rope into helping. You don’t need fancy tools as could all be done with scissors and a circle template.
Tools i used:
- Large circle punch – 5cm
- single hole punch (optional for helping with centre hole)
Thumb Print Frame
I have been creating these thumb print frames since i got married in 2013, where i did a huge family tree version, but for this event i’ve merged two designs i currently sell for baby showers and birthdays. The ‘penguin’ is based upon my daughter favourite toy and the ‘lion’ is the toy which my daughter has picked out for her new brother or sister. So only seems fitting that i create a bespoke version for the nursery which captures this sibling bond and those who celebrated today with us.
Check out my other creative makes…
>see my handmade gallery
Cakes & Bakes
As most who know me i’m affectional known as the cake lady and what cream tea like event would be complete with out a little cake. I always like trying something new and i have an addiction to miniatures, anything in a smaller version is just too cute and i’m the kind of girl who wants to try everything on the dessert table so what perfect way to have a little of everything!
I still kept to my Norwegian routes for some of the bakes as no celebration is complete without a full 18 ring Kranskaker tower, apple cinnamon cake or Norwegian butter biscuits, obviously these were accompanied by freshly baked scones, fresh fruits and chocolate brownies (my other favourites). Again you do not need to be a baker, these can all be bought reasonable cheaply and are perfect for feeding large amounts of people.
Norwegian Smørrebrød – Open Sandwiches
What is Smørrebrød? (pronounced shmur-brugh)
Smørrebrød comes from the words for butter (smør) and bread (brød). However, you’ll rarely find one that limits itself to those two ingredients. The basic idea behind the open-faced sandwich is a mixture of delicious ingredients piled high atop a single thick slice of bread (typically rye, chosen for its density), which is buttered to keep the juices of the toppings from sinking through the bread. There sold everywhere—from some of the best restaurants in Scandinavian to street vendors.
Smørrebrød dates back to the 19th century when lunch was the main meal of the day for most agricultural workers in Scandinavia. They would pack various combinations of these open-faced sandwiches, often made with the previous nights leftovers, to keep them fuelled up throughout the long working hours. It is said that the idea came from the Middle Ages when food was served on stale bread called ‘trencher’ that was thrown away after the meal was finished. This trencher absorbed the juices and flavours of the food. Over time, the bread became incorporated into the meal as this food soaked ‘plate’ was often seen as the tastiest part.
The Nordic countries have a love affair with cold food and open sandwiches are rare outside of Scandinavian delicatessens. The ‘open sandwich’ is the national dish in Denmark and a staple in many Norwegians’ lunch boxes, there eaten at anytime of the day, trays with different types of open sandwiches are often served in Norway instead of warm dinner. It is a convenient way of serving many guests as you can prepare the food in advance. So these seemed the perfect option for my cream tea scandic style gathering!
Common toppings would be, cheese, cold steak, ham, turkey, prawns, smoked salmon, caviar, hard boiled eggs, bacon, herring, fish fillets, liver pâté , and/or small meatballs. This is typically complemented by some herbs and vegetables such as parsley, cold salad, thinly sliced cucumber, tomato wedges and/or pickled beets.
Funny facts about Smørrebrød
Norwegians eat everything with utensils from hamburgers, pizza, french fries and yes sandwiches; they are all eaten with a knife and fork. Utensils make sense for the Norwegian Smørbrød / open sandwiches as the toppings are often piled high and these Scandi sandwiches are not a fast food for on the go!
I kept my open sandwich basic and smaller than the traditional for my guest as this ‘Smørrebrød’ concept would be a strange one for them, as the portions are too big to be considered an appetiser but too small to be a full sandwich its self, but does mean you can try several flavours!
I also found a pintrest post which did mini ‘stick’ bites which i loved the look of, so tried out as well, they were so quick to make but looked rather fancy if i do say so myself! simple bamboo sticked stacked with yummy combinations, i did a slice of cucumber, topped with cream cheese and smocked Norwegian salmon and a chorizo slice base with mozzarella ball, spinach left and parma ham, yummy!!!
There are also some ‘rules’ for enjoying Smørrebrød but as i have miniaturised mine i will not enforce these etiquette rules usually associated with eating them…
No-nos for Open Sandwiches / Smørrebrød:
• Do not eat with your hands. Unless your open sandwich is really simple, it is likely that you will be expected to eat it using cutlery and a plate.
• There are no Smørrebrød that have ketchup on them
• Don’t add a top piece of bread
• Don’t mix your proteins unless its traditional (no ham on the meatballs etc).
with very little of anything left (at the upset of the husband who was looking forward to some late afternoon leftovers) i believe its a good sign of it all being enjoyed. When your hosting an event for your self it can be a lot of work so anything which can simplify it, like preparation which can be done in advance or keeping to just a few flavours will make your event more enjoyable. DIY is never easy but oh so very rewarding, if its a route you’d like to go down my key tip would be remember no one knows what you intended to server or what you’d hope it would look like so go with it and enjoy the event. I did some how rack up over 12,000 steps the day before the event getting things baked and set up but its all great exercise right!!!
No event however well planned or how much you spend on it would be complete without the guests, so i thank all those who were able to make my shower/birthday gathering to make it what it was and for embracing my Norwegian cream tea fusion style! and also to my family for there overwhelming help and support on the day to ensure the guests got feed!
Baby Shower Ideas
There is a wealth of things on the market to help personlise your event and this can still be done reasonable easily with just a few bits. Here is just a small selection of the kinds of bespoke and handmade items i have designed and made to give ideas for planning…
- Baby to be predictions Card
- Advice for mum to be
- Name guessing game
- Nursery Rhyme Quiz
- What’s in your handbag
- Baby shower bingo
- Baby word scrabble
- Guess the price
- Name the baby animals
- Mummy quizBooks for Babies Card
- Dear Baby – Wishes Card
- Baby Quote Posters
- Guess Babies Birthday Poster
- Baby Shower Greeting Cards
Baby Shower Gifts
Moment and milestone cards – baby and beyond
Scandinavian inspired monochrome alternative milestone cards. My beautiful collection of 30 unisex, black & white designs includes 15 double sided textured cards and a Introduction card with photo date card to record each milestone.
Use these cards as a photography prop to make a unique keepsake to treasure
those special moments. Capture and celebrate your little one’s journey in style with this set of moment and milestone cards for baby and beyond.
These will be available soon from my Etsy shop…
If your looking for something a little more personal for that perfect baby shower gift, then my paper cutting might be it. These have become very popular gifts for both before bay is born but also as a birth gift and means they are customisable and hand cutout to your design requirements.
Thumb print hand drawn posters
Ive been developing these over a few years now and often the inspiration of each design or character comes from a personal connection. There a great way for lots of different types of events where you’d like a kind of guest book but also a record of those who attended, they make great room decorations and each one is completely unique once complete. From weddings, to baby showers to first birthdays and gifts for teacher or mothers, these are great for large groups or for an individual to add their print to a piece of one-off a kind art.
Cakes & Cupcakes
Don’t forget I also do cakes and baked treats which can be customised especially for your baby shower event or party! I freshly bake and decorate them in my purpose 5 Star rated Bakery Studio in the Heart of Kent. Get in touch if you have some ideas…
You can also see what ive been up to in my recent blog posts