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How to Plan an Amazing Baby Shower for Under $100
Throwing a baby shower? Here's some inexpensive ideas to stay on budget! 
by: Lindsay Allyn

Planing a baby shower doesn't need to cost a fortune! This post is full of ideas to help you keep on your budget, no matter how tight it is! If you're willing to put in the time, you CAN throw an amazing party, with: invitations, party decor, food, games, favor gifts and even something special for the bride -- all for under $100!
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Okay, so let's just check one of those items off the list, right off the bat, absolutely free. You're welcome. ;) 

These 5 printable invitations come ready-to-go, in an easy to use PDF format; simply print and use. Sign up above to get all 5 designs sent right to your inbox. I've also included PNG versions of the designs so that you can open them in just about any editing software and overlay your own text. There are a lot of free options out there for designs programs, but my personal favorite (free) option is Canva.com. You can find video tutorials that will walk you through the entire process of uploading PNG files and editing your projects in my Digital library here. 

If you use them to make your own digital design, you can simply download the file to your computer or device, and email it to everyone on the guest list. 

If you opt to print them out, and don't have supplies on hand, it might be less expensive to order a small quantity of prints, than to buy ink and paper. You can order prints direct through Canva (super helpful if that's the program you're using to customize your invites!) or many office supply or print shops can help you out. (Don't forget -- if you are mailing them out, you'll need to account for the postage in your budgeting.)

Evite.com is another great Free option.   It gives your guests room to leave comments and they can even RSVP with a couple clicks, right through the invitation you send to their inbox.

You can also create a free FaceBook Event for the party and invite people through that. It's an especially great option it you want all the guests to have a place to chat about the event, ask questions, or even post pictures during or after the event.  Check out the free Facebook Event cover photos templates on Canva.com and create a special cover pic that goes with the theme of the party! 

(If you're keeping track -- we're still at $0 -- assuming you take the digital route above and skip the printing and postage costs).

Feeding people can get expensive FAST, so let's take care of that category next! If you have a big guest list and a tight budget, consider throwing the party mid morning or mid afternoon. That way people won't be expecting a full meal and you can instead offer them a light snack of delicious finger foods.

Regardless, food and drinks are going to likely be a big chunk of your budget. Out of the $100 budget we're working with for this post (that we've already used $20 of), I've allotted for $40 to be spent on food and drink. 

This really probably will be the hardest part of the party planning. It's not easy to feed people without looking broke! But I'm assuming you're on this site because you're also creative, so I think we're going to be okay here. ;) 

First off, don't waste your budget on things like paper plates and plastic silverware. Bust out your special occasion tablecloths, cloth napkins and use real dishes and silverware that can be washed. It might be a little more work, but it will look a lot nicer And save you money!

Since the food category stung the budget a little, let's jump back to something that's a little cheaper to check off your party planning list! Games!!!

It's very possible that you ended up on this page because you signed up for my free Baby Shower Printable Game Set. If that's the case, then congratulations! You're ready to move on to the gifts!

If you have not yet downloaded the set, you can get your copy below. 

This subscriber bonus comes with a couple of games you and your guests can enjoy at the party and like I said, it's completely free!  

If you have enough room in your budget, a it might be nice to share a small prize with the game winners, but it's not necessary, and "bragging rights" are always fun too. ;) If you would like to get your game winners something, it can definitely be something small like a candy bar or an extra favor gift. 

Games. Check. 

Moving on... (Still at $62...)
Since you're on a budget, instead of spending money on stuff you'll only get one use out of, what about spending some of your decor budget on something useful that you can use over and over again?

I created this Party Decor Templates set to be as absolutely versatile as possible, and it can be used for all kinds of celebrations. Not only can you use it over and over (and over and over and over...) it comes with templates in SVG, PNG and EPS format so you can use them on your electronic cutting machine, print and cut out by hand to use as a physical template, or use them digitally to create your own printable decor!  

You can use these designs on any theme of paper, so you can completely customize the decor for any event! Just pick up some cardstock that matches your party, and cut out: napkin rings, small vase wraps, party hats, snack cones, name placards, display signs, banners, small favor gift boxes, and even gift card boxes!

If you don't already have paper to use for your event, watch the sales at your favorite craft stores and try to use a coupon! Often times you can pick up an entire 12" x 12" themed paper stack book for less than $10! 

You can also use the themed paper for little touches like table confetti, matting for your framed guestbook (we'll come the the guest book in a little bit) and making framed wall art. 

Our Candy Drizzled Popcorn Recipe is a great way to dress up some plain ol' inexpensive popcorn. It's so easy and cheap to make, and definitely doesn't scream "I'm on a budget!" even though it'll hardly make a dent in your party funds. 

Our recipe costs about $10 for 3 batches (TOPS! You can totally do it for about $5 if you can find a deal on the candy melts! But I'll round high -- just in case.) which is plenty for ample servings for 18+ people.  

Set it out in a big bowl for people to munch on, or package it up to share and share as favor gifts! 
How are you at making cakes? Most people serve some kind of fancy dessert at showers. Often times it's cake or cupcakes. These can be pretty pricey to purchase at a bakery, and you can save quite a bit if you make your own.  It's not hard -- and you can buy a box of cake mix, frosting and liners for less than $5 at the dollar store!  

If you're not skilled in the art of cake decorating, use a cake decorating set. You'd be AMAZED what you can do with some frosting and a simple decorative tip! Splurge on some sprinkles or finely chopped nuts or candy to dust the top if you'd like to dress them up a little more. 

If you're keeping track -- we're at $20 so far! 

Digital Decor Template set: $10.

Paper Stack: $10 (If you shop sales and look around you can probably do WAY better than $10, but I want to make sure this post is very realistic, so I will try to round "high" on things. 

If you have a little extra money to budget towards decor these Tissue Paper Pom Poms are a great option! They only require tissue paper and some string and you can make a whole arrangement of them for only a few bucks. (If you can afford the bulk packed tissue, check out your local dollar store for better deals on less quantity!) ;)
Here's one that will only cost you a couple inexpensive picture frames and a few other supplies (Check out your local dollar store!) and will help you tick "Guest Book" off your checklist. The best part is, that it's art that everyone at the shower can participate in, and will make a wonderful gift for the new parents to hang on the nursery wall! 

This project was put together by our regular guest blogger Leslie, and was recently updated to include a free printable sign that you can frame and display during your shower!

Click here for the tutorial and free sign printable!

If you don't already own a cake decorating set, I am in love with this one that I picked up on Amazon, and totally recommend it! It will cost you about $8, but you'll be able to get tons of use out of it down the road, so it's a great investment! 

You can make a batch of 24 cupcakes for about $5. 

Dessert. Check!

On to snacks and drinks!
Veggies and dip are another really great, and inexpensive, food to share. Instead of buying a pricey dip -- make your own! You might even have all the supplies on hand! I particularly like this recipe by Ali at Gimme Some Oven.  Worst case scenario, if you don't have the supplies, and can't afford to buy them, pick up a bottle of Ranch from the dollar store or your local super market. 

A platter of pre-cut vegetables can be a little expensive, but if you buy the ingredients separately and cut them yourself, you can make a really nice veggie tray for considerably less.

You should be able to keep the Ranch and the veggies under $10 pretty easily and it will give your guests plenty of healthy options to munch on! Carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers are great options that won't cost too much and will go far. If you can afford some grape sized tomatoes, they might be a good touch too. 
This Sparkling Pink Punch recipe is really fun and won't break the bank. Make it your "signature drink" and offer it and a couple other inexpensive options that you have on hand already, like coffee, tea, or water. You can get the full recipe here. It'll only cost you about $7 to make and should be enough for at least 24 servings!
Whew! Our budget took quite a hit there, but hopefully your guest will enjoy the food and drinks and will be well fed.

Let's tally that up:

Cupcakes - $15 (assuming you make them, but Do have to pick up a cake decorating set.)

Popcorn - $10

Veggies and dip - $10

Sparkling Pink Punch - $7

For a food and drinks total of = $42

Oops! That's two bucks over budget -- but if you already have a cake decorating set, you're still on track. And if you had to buy a decorating set, worry not! I think we'll find somewhere we can make up that $2. ;)

Grand total so far...$62 Not too bad!

You don't have to spend a lot on little gifts for your guests, but it's nice to get them something thoughtful to commemorate the event! If you've got a slightly bigger budget, be sure to check out my post "10 Incredibly Affordable Budget-Friendly Personalized Baby Shower Favor Gifts", but if you're needing to keep the costs under $100 you're really going to have to be creative. We're going to shoot for $10 for the favor gifts (assuming you have about 18 guests), but hopefully with my "high estimates" and your thrifty shopping skills, you'll have a little money left from the previous categories to let you splurge a little more here if you choose to. 
One of my most popular, favor gift tutorials, is this handmade, hand embroidered personalized napkin project. You will need a sewing machine, and some basic embroidery supplies, but if you have them on hand, you can pick up 2 yards of white cotton fabric and make these napkins/handkerchiefs for about $0.50 a piece! 

Some other easy DIY favor gifts you can make for less than a dollar a piece are:

Personalized Tea Bags (these are made using coffee filters and loose leaf tea!)

Lavender Bunny Sachets (this tutorial includes a FREE bunny sachet template!)

Wooden Tile Pendants (these make great necklaces or create custom wine glass charms!)

Beaded Fashion Watches (These watches are easy to churn out and don't cost much to make -- especially if you already have some of the supplies on hand! If you have to purchase all the supplies, they'll cost you a little more, but are still really reasonable. This tutorial is from my book The Handmade Gift Guide, but subscribers can snag a copy of this chapter absolutely FREE here. Even if you don't have any beading experience, you'll be able to make these stunning creations, and each one will only cost you a few bucks!)

Since they are the guests of honor, I thought I'd save the best for last, and allow $20 out of the $100 budget for the new mom and baby.  That way you can be sure to give them a special keepsake that will last for years to come.  

(I'll list a few ideas here, but you can also check out my "5 Amazing Keepsakes for new moms" post here as most of them fit within the $20 budget! )

You can use this Wooden Block Banner as decor at your baby shower -- then send it home with the mommy-to-be as an extra keepsake gift!

If you're a crafter you probably have most of the supplies on hand already for this project, and it's really simple to make.

This is another project Leslie did for a shower she threw and it was a huge hit! You could even modify the banner to customize it further!  If you know the baby's name or have some other sweet sentiment to share, adjust the length of the banner accordingly!

I buy these terry cloth bibs in bulk on Amazon and always keep some on hand!  I made the above bibs using (slightly modified) designs I found in "Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection: 400+ Easy Embroidery Designs" by Aimee Ray. This book (and another book of her's: "Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners" are two of my FAVORITE embroidery books. Not only does she teach you so many useful stitches, but there are literally hundreds of amazing designs that you'll be able to use for countless occasions! )

You never know when you'll need to start working on a list minute baby gift and they are handy to have around! Plus they are great for when you're on a tight budget, but still want to give something really really special.

They will definitely take some time to make, but if you fit a little needlework time into your schedule each day, you should have an amazing and completely personalized gift after not too long! 

If you have some embroidery floss and a needle on hand, you can make these bibs for less than a dollar a piece. If you need to pick up some thread it'll probably cost you at least $10 for a decent, good sized assortment but that should last for many other projects down the road! 
You may have noticed...there's still $8 of our budget left! Hopefully more since you may have had many of the supplies for these projects on hand or got better deals than my high end estimates. 

I wanted to make sure to leave some "wiggle room" for extra things that may pop up -- extra adhesive, more paper, another appetizer to serve... If you have some extra cash left to spend on the party, add a little more to your decor! Upgrade your popcorn containers, buy a bouquet of flowers or balloons, a new (re-useable!) tablecloth or get some fun prizes for your game winners!

I always keep some inexpensive lace curtains on hand, there's super versatile, especially when you're hosting, and can be used for a lot of things! Plus, since I don't spend more than about $10 on the ones I buy, I don't have to feel bad if I decide to cut them up! Add some re-useable wall hooks, some string, and flowers, a chair, or pretty much anything decorative and you've got an impromptu photo booth people can enjoy! Toss it over a table and you can use it as a table cloth! You can even cut it up and re-purpose it for things like place-mats, table runners or even frame pieces to display as wall art! Amazon on has a lot of great, inexpensive options. I own both this set, as well as two of these.  (Oh man! I paid $10 for both -- but when I went to grab the links just now they were both less than $5! Prices fluctuate on Amazon a bit, but if you can snag them for HALF of what I did.... buy extras! What a great deal! I use these All. The. Time. for things!)

Another nice touch is to pick up (or better yet Make!) a set of thank you cards for the guest of honor. You can ask the guests to fill out an envelope with their name and address as they arrive.  The envelopes can be used as "raffle" tickets for a prize giveaway if your budget allows, and the mom-to-be will appreciate having her thank you cards ready to write and send!

I'd love to hear how this article helps you save for your big event! Please tell me how your party and party planning goes in the comments below and don't forget to track, and report back with, how much you spent to throw your shower!

This 2 game set is actually part of a larger printable game set. To read more about it, or download the full set, click here. It comes with 5 must-have games!