Archives for October 2012

A Puppy Baby Shower

Recently I got to help throw a baby shower for a friend from church.  We didn’t have a clear theme since her nursery is green and brown circles/dots.  I had her check out my stash since I was planning to make a baby quilt, and she picked out a light blue dog print.  She loves dogs, so thus was born our theme.  I and three other ladies from church contributed to the shower, and it turned out quite cute!  The pictures aren’t the best since the lighting was iffy.  It was held at a community center.


My contributions were cupcakes and cookies.  Although I had visions of little dog faces on the cupcakes with fondant floppy ears, I kept it super simple and made cupcake toppers on the computer.  My goal was easy this time around since I was so close to having my baby.  I made these two weeks ahead and froze them just in case something happened.  This way, one of the other ladies could have come and picked up both from my freezer.  Luckily, no baby came, and I was able to attend and help with the shower as planned.  I made half white and half chocolate cupcakes all topped with the same buttercream frosting.  The recipe I used called for coffee creamer as part of the liquid.  I used white chocolate mocha flavor along with some vanilla extract, and I must say it was pretty tasty.  I sprinkled the tops with blue sanding sugar and white nonpareils to make them a bit more interesting.


I made the cookies using a dog bone cutter and the same frosting that I used on the cupcakes.  Royal icing looks much neater/prettier, but I’m not a fan of the taste compared to buttercream, and since I was making buttercream anyway, I decided to forego looks in favor of taste.  They still look okay, but definitely not as good as they would have in royal icing.  I packaged these up two per bag and placed them in a jar labeled “treats.”  I already had the big jar and cut out vinyl letters using my cricut.   I loved how it turned out, and it was a great way to display party favors.


For the rest of the food items, we used stainless steel bowls (supposed to be reminiscent of dog dishes).  All of the bowls were ones I already had, but the other ladies made all the other food as well as the paper table topper.  I made the banner using my cricut, and I thought that turned out really well, too.  I borrowed a couple of cartridges from a friend, but I’ve decided I need a banner cartridge of my own.  I would definitely use that for future kids’ birthday parties and for showers in the future.


This was an early picture of the gift table—it filled up much more after more guests started to arrive.   We used our inspiration dog fabric for a table runner of sorts.  This is all I have left after making her gifts.


And speaking of gifts, here’s what I made:  (please forgive the picture quality—I took these indoors at night)


A baby quilt, of course.  I’ve been trying to use up this fabric anyway, so I was thrilled that she chose it.  I used it as a backing in an effort to use more.  I started with over six yards of this fabric (leftover from a crate cover for a very large dog that I never made).  The stripe on the back was made from leftovers from the front.  This is the second baby shower quilt I’ve made from this fabric in two months.  I probably still have about three yards left, but at least it’s dwindling!

Since I had extra time (and extra fabric), I decided to also make some coordinating gifts.  I made a set of two burp cloths and a matching diaper clutch.  The burp clothes are just fabric rectangles sewn to towels the same size, turned, and topstitched around the edge.  They’re so easy that you really don’t even need a tutorial.  I bought two hand towels from the dollar store to use for my terry cloth.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have the color I needed in the bath towel, or they would have been really cheap to make!  Dollar store terry cloth is actually perfect for burp cloths.  It’s very thin, and you don’t want it to be too thick for a burp cloth—just enough to be a little more absorbent than the standard cotton fabric. 


I also printed out tags and sewed them on to both projects.  I thought it needed a little something extra, and tags just kind of make a project look finished.  I printed out several other styles and plan to add them to almost all my future projects.  In this case, I made the tags coordinate with the dog theme since I was printing new tags out anyway, but I also printed off some nice plain ones that should go with anything in the future.

The tutorial for the diaper clutch below can be found here.  I first pinned the tutorial on pinterest, and it’s very easy to follow with both a video tutorial and printed directions.  I did change a few things.  First, I decided I liked the look of binding around the edge rather than sewing it right sides together and then turning it.  I think it gives it a more finished look, but it might also have been easier, too, although it requires some hand sewing.  I like some hand sewing, so it didn’t bother me in the least.


I also decided to skip the button/elastic closure in favor of velcro.  I thought velcro would be easier to close one handed in a hurry, and tools for a mom should be all about convenience.  I did line the inside with a clear vinyl, so it’s easily wiped down, but I don’t think this would really be necessary.  I’ve had very few diaper leaks with my son, and when I have, it wouldn’t have been difficult to throw it in the wash when I got home.  I might make these in the future and use a laminated cotton on the inside.  It would be a little less stiff than the clear vinyl, but both would be fine, I think.


The clutch features fold in pockets for diapers and wipes.  I put little dog appliques on the pockets just because I thought they looked cute and trimmed the pocket edges with matching binding to make it a little more colorful.  These steps are purely decorative, though, and could easily be skipped.  I also added a tag to this project but set it off with some black fabric to give it a more finished look.  Without the button closure from the original tutorial, it looked a little naked on the front.


Overall, I’m quite happy with the way these all turned out.  I had been thinking about making diaper clutches as shower gifts for a while and wanted to test one out.  I think I’ll make a few modifications to the next one, but this was a very successful trial run.


I also love that all the gifts coordinate.  I don’t know if I’ll do quite this much for every gift recipient (I really like the mom-to-be), but the burp cloths were so easy that I might add those to my standard repertoire of gifts.  I usually make a quilt, but I’ve been considering branching out into other blankets/accessories instead.  It seems like so many ladies at our church crochet, etc. that the mom gets TONS of blankets, so it might be a better idea to branch out in another direction.  This was especially true this time.  She got two quilts, including mine, and at least four crocheted blankets—the baby will never be cold!