It has suddenly become “baby shower season.” No jokes about something being in the water here, just happiness at all the pudgy cheeks and tiny tootsies that are joining our families and friend groups. I just love it!
I remember back to when I had the awesome privilege of planning my Sammy-Sam’s baby shower in anticipation of little Ryker’s arrival. Maybe it’s obvious that I would be obsessed with creating a theme and fussing over the food selections, but what I really loved planning were the activities. I am not big on making people play orchestrated games or embarrassing the mama-to-be with toilet paper shenanigans or pinning yellow “poopy” diapers to my dress. Nope, not a big fan. However, I love creating little activities that guests can enjoy while they chat, snack and celebrate. In my book, the best activities are the ones that result in a pretty little keepsake for the new mom and babes. Here is a simple idea if you ever find yourself hunting for a baby shower activity, or you just want to DIY a gift for a new baby in your life. It works out pretty simple if you decorate the cover before the party, have an example page already decorated, and then leave out some pencils, watercolors, and the paper for guests to have fun and get creative. Check it out:
2 wooden plaques
small watercolor brush
3 zip ties
laminate sheets (optional: to prevent baby drool damage LOL)
Start by tracing out the size of your cover onto the watercolor paper. You will want to cut out 26 sheets, so that each letter of the alphabet gets it’s own page. If you feel like painting on both sides of the paper, then cut the page number down to 13. Since my wooden plaques were rounded at the corners, I made sure to round the corners of my watercolor paper, as well.
This is the part that I would do before the party, if you are using this as a baby shower activity. Stacking the wood plaques together so that your holes will match up, use a drill to punch three holes along the “spine” of your book. Later we will use zip ties to “bind” your book.
Now, stack one of your plaques on top of your watercolor paper and use a pencil through the drilled holes to mark where you need to use a hole punch on the paper.
Now, your supplies are ready for the baby shower. All you need to do is decorate the wooden cover of the book and paint an example page from which guests can take their cues.
Using a circular form (I just used a roll of string), I traced a circle which I used to mark my lines for writing my text. I wanted my lettering to hug around a center image, so this worked perfectly.
Write whatever you want. I simply chose “My First ABC” as my text, but you can have fun and even personalize it with baby’s first name.
Drawing a basic apple in the center, I was ready to trace my penciled lines with the wood burner. Just go slow here. It is not about perfection, because the burned design is going to look cool regardless of a few slips and oops.
Now for the example page. Keep it simple, so that other baby shower guests will feel comfortable enough to tackle a page themselves. Just a simple watercolored capital letter, and a very simple little picture that represents the letter. Stick figures are welcome!! That is part of the charm!
I went ahead and created the first four pages, just to get a running start and to show you how simple this project is. Once all the pages are finished and the paint is dry, it is time to “bind” your book.
Side note: if you are at all worried about baby chewing and drooling all over the book, you can easily preserve the one-of-a-kind pages by laminating the drawings before assembling the book. You can have this done at a store, or can you simply buy the laminate stickers and do it yourself.
“Binding” the book is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Using three zip ties, insert them through the front cover, all the pages, and the back cover before closing them up. Just make sure to not pull the zip ties too tight. You want enough room to be able to flip through the pages of the book. Then snip the excess tails of the zip ties and viola! Baby’s very own ABC book!
I absolutely adore this simple little DIY baby gift or baby shower activity. It is sweet, easy to accomplish, and will completely make mama smile! Besides, playing with watercolors is fun! If there is a new babe about to enter your world, congratulations! And get crafting!! LOL