Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Creating a one-of-a-kind baby shower centerpiece March 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:46 AM
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I have a sizable collection of vintage tablecloths which I use whenever I have guests. For the baby shower, I placed vintage tablecloths on two card tables, my dining room table, a banquet table and the kitchen peninsula. I love the simple elegance of these table coverings.

I have a sizable collection of vintage tablecloths which I use whenever I have guests. For the baby shower, I placed vintage tablecloths on two card tables, my dining room table, a banquet table and the kitchen peninsula. I love the simple elegance of these table coverings. I considered using real, rather than disposable, plates and silverware. But since I don’t have a dishwasher, I chose plastic.

WHEN I PLAN A PARTY, I desire to create a memorable experience. I want guests to remember the details. I want them to feel welcomed, like they are arriving for a special event. Yet, I want them to feel comfortable and relaxed.

I pulled out the fancy plates and bowls, those reserved for company, to serve food at the baby shower.

I pulled out the fancy plates and bowls, those reserved for company, to serve food at the baby shower. At a party, I prefer fancy to utilitarian. This is the time to treat guests as the special people they are.

Achieving those goals and that balance, especially while also trying to keep costs down, requires a bit of thought, resourcefulness and ingenuity. And a generous family willing to pitch in with food.

While planning last Saturday’s baby shower for my eldest daughter and her husband, I wanted a table centerpiece that stood out. I didn’t want to walk into a party shop, pick up the first mass-produced merchandise I liked and slap it onto my dining room table. I wanted something different. Something unique. Something memorable.

The basic supplies. You can tweak these to your party theme, to a boy or girl and to whatever supplies you have at home.

The basic supplies. You can tweak these to your party theme, to a boy or girl and to whatever supplies you have at home.

It took me awhile to find my supplies and then come up with an idea. But I did. And I think you’ll like it. My sister-in-law Joanne even asked if I’m on Pinterest when she complimented me on the centerpiece. I’m not. The idea was solely mine.

I played around with the blocks until I had a pleasing design.

I arranged the blocks into a pleasing design.

A wooden box of alphabet blocks scored at the Faribault Goodwill store for $3 sparked my creativity. The pottery barn kids blocks are over-sized and are imprinted with letters, animals and animal names. Once I decided to spell out the words baby girl, I built on that idea.

And since zoo animals themed the baby shower, I chose animals as part of the centerpiece. At Dollar Tree in Faribault, I found a package of 15 paper elephants, zebras and lions from Teaching Tree for $1. Now I needed only to assemble the supplies into a work of art.

I dug through my kitchen cupboard for a vase, pulling out a slender Myrtle wood vase handcrafted by my Great Uncle Fritz in 1992. Something with personal significance. If he was still living, Fritz would be the great great great uncle of my soon-to-be-born granddaughter.

Next I gathered three wooden skewers typically used for kabobs during the grilling season, snapped the skewers to the desired lengths and taped the zoo animals to them.

I scrounged a scrap of pink polka dot ribbon, originally purchased at Dollar Tree, to tie around the neck of the vase for a colorful and dramatic flair.

Now I was ready to assemble the entire centerpiece. Needing height, I found a shoebox and wrapped it in animal-themed gift wrap purchased from Dollar Tree.

Then I played around, arranging the blocks until I had a visually pleasing art piece.

The results, a one-of-a-king centerpiece for my daughter and son-in-law's baby shower.

The results, a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for my daughter and son-in-law’s baby shower.

That’s it. Simple. And because I had most supplies on hand, the total cost was $5. Five dollars. How’s that for creatively thrifty?

FYI: Check back tomorrow for another post from my daughter’s baby shower. I’ll show you the onesies painted by guests.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “Creating a one-of-a-kind baby shower centerpiece”

  1. Love the Theme and all the Details – Oh So Cute and Fun 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  2. Carol King Says:

    Very creative and cute! I get where you’re coming from – once I get an idea in my head, I can scurry and scrounge with total dedication until my idea becomes reality.

  3. Sue Ready Says:

    Very creative and easy to follow your steps. Readers appreciate ideas that are easy on the pocketbook.

  4. Don Says:

    In this mass produced cookie cutter world of ours, creativity makes the party so much better. It was not the same old, same old stuff we have unfortunately come to expect. My hats off to you for what looks like a memorable baby shower, GREAT JOB!

  5. I love your center piece. Wooden blocks always make cute decorations.

  6. Jackie Says:

    Those creative juices were really flowing for you Audrey. The center piece is Adorable, so original and cute. What a great find with those alphabet blocks, I love that they are unique, not the basic blocks you see at all the stores.


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