Sunday, March 24, 2013

PINK and BLUE Baby Shower

So you’re going to have a baby but you don’t know if it’s going to be a little girl or a little boy?  If you want to keep the gender a surprise but don’t want a yellow or green baby shower, try out the PINK and BLUE option!
The big question is…What makes a PINK and BLUE baby shower special?  Check out the ideas below to learn the answer to that question and have a guide to follow when planning your own or someone else’s PINK and BLUE baby shower.

The Invitation

Create an invitation that lets guests know that the shower will have a PINK and BLUE theme.  You can create the invitation yourself using a graphic design program like Photoshop or you can use something like Microsoft Word.  After completing the invitation save it as a PDF and take it to a local print shop to get it printed.  This will be a lot less expensive than ordering the invitation through a website.

You will notice on this invitation that I asked the shower guests to wear blue or pink depending on whether or not they thought the baby would be a girl or a boy.  Almost everyone at the shower participated by wearing something blue or pink.  At the shower we positioned all of the “BLUE” guests on the left and the “PINK” guests on the right and then took a picture.  It is fun to look back at the picture to see which guests guessed my baby GIRL’s gender correctly!  Additionally, you’re guests become an extra decoration adding to the PINK and BLUE theme at the party!

Turn the House PINK and BLUE

We had the shower at my parent’s house so there were several rooms that guests would be in, including the kitchen, dining room, and family room.  We decided to make the kitchen completely PINK, the dining room completely BLUE, and the family room a combination of PINK and BLUE.

The PINK Room – food

When guests entered the PINK room the first thing that they saw was the “GIRL?” letters sign and light pink Chinese lanterns.  The sign is made of 10-12” white wooden letters that were purchased at Michael’s Arts and Crafts.  We painted various sizes of light pink circles on the letters.  You will notice that most of the pink décor incorporates dots in some way or another and a lot of the blue décor incorporates stripes. 

My mom surprised me by making a super cute diaper cake.  (You can find directions for making a diaper cake by doing a Google search.)  The diaper cake added to the pink room because it was wrapped in pink ribbon, and was decorated with baby girl toys, socks, and hair bows.

My mom also made a photo collage, which included pictures of me when I was little.  She mounted the pictures on pink scrapbook paper and then mounted the “framed” pictures on a ribbon.  The ribbon was then affixed to the back of a door to make it look like it was hanging over the door. 

We love flowers, so we used them to bring life to the décor and because they always make a room look beautiful!  We went to a local florist and picked up two stems of orchids and some greens.  We carefully placed the orchids in a vase that we had.  We wrapped the greens in a loose circle and then carefully placed them in the vase.  This simple floral arrangement became a pretty center piece on the food table.
The “GIRL?” sign is made of a small plaque board, dowel rod, and wooded craft ball (with a flat bottom) from a craft store.  Drill a hole in the board and craft ball, place a little wood glue in the holes, and then insert the dowel rod.  Paint the sign a desired color and add a design (like the pink dots).  The “GIRL?” letters were cut on a Cricut machine using scrapbook paper.  The back side of the sign looks the same as the front. 

We bought a tin container at a craft store and painted it white and then painted on the pink dots.  This became the perfect place to display our plates and napkins.

The BLUE Room – cake and Bellini’s

When guests walked into the BLUE room the first things that they saw were the cake and “BOY?” letters sign.  The sign was made just like the “GIRL?” letters sign, as described above.  The décor in the blue room contained a lot of stripes.

My mom also made me an adorable diaper wreath.  (You can find directions for making a diaper wreath by doing a Google search.)  The diaper wreath added to the blue room because it was tied in blue ribbon, and was decorated with an assortment of baby boy colored toys and socks.

As with the pink flowers in the pink room, we also decorated with simple blue flowers.  In this vase we placed greens (which were wrapped in a loose circle) and one hydrangea stem.  It was easy to create, not expensive, and looked great!
The “BOY?” sign is made like the “GIRL?” signs as described above.  The “BOY?” letters were cut on a Cricut machine using scrapbook paper.  The back side of the sign looks the same as the front. 

My mom also made a photo collage which included pictures of my husband when he was little.  She mounted the pictures on blue scrapbook paper and then mounted the “framed” pictures on a blue ribbon.  The ribbon was then affixed to the back of a door to make it look like it was hanging over the door. 

The above cake was purchased from Providence Divine Cakes and Pastries.  She makes beautiful and delicious cakes!  She custom made this cake to fit in our blue room!

The PINK and BLUE Room – gifts

The last room was the family room where everyone sat around to chat and also where I opened gifts.  We decided to decorate this room with a variety of PINK and BLUE items.  The first part of the décor were the large tissue paper pom poms.  Those can be seen in the picture above, hanging on the windows and over the white table.  Tissue paper pom poms are a little time consuming to make but they look cool!  I have recently learned to make tulle pom poms.  These are much easier to make and don’t get smashed and out of shape as easily as tissue paper pom poms.  Either option is a neat and cheap decoration.  You can find directions for creating these by doing a Google search.
The second decoration is the chair cover.  My mom is very crafty and great with a sewing machine, so she made a PINK and BLUE cover for the chair that I sat in to open gifts.  It was super cute!
The last decoration in the picture above is the clothes line.  My mom hung a clothes line with a variety of outfits for a baby girl and a baby boy that were on my baby registry.  She kept the receipts, of course, so that we could return the one set that we didn’t need!

In the PINK and BLUE room we once again decorated with some pretty flower arrangements.  We made a tiny vase with a blue hydrangea and a couple of light pink baby roses.  In the bottom picture we put an assortment of Gerber daisies, roses, and some greens. 

The A-B-C blocks above are cardboard boxes which have the tops cut off on three sides.  The boxes were then covered with white fabric and painted.  There is a short ribbon attached on the box underneath of the fabric on the top of the lid.  The ribbon wraps around a button which was stitched on the front of the box.  My mom made these boxes and then put a couple of small gifts in them. 

We did not play games at my baby shower, but we did ask guests to participate in one fun activity, which is shown in the picture above.  We asked guests to give us some name ideas for the upcoming baby.  Guests wrote their name ideas on the slips of paper and then dropped them in the box.  Although we didn’t use any of the names, we did have fun (and a couple of laughs) checking out what friends and family suggested.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Creative Wedding Ideas - Elegant Tropical Theme (2)

Welcome Sign, Signature Drink Sign, Table Names Signs, Card Box, Guest Book Frame, Décor & Other Creative Ideas

Artistic Difference Photography
Do you want to make your wedding theme pop!  It is possible to bring your theme and colors to all aspects of your wedding while staying within a limited budget.  From various signage, to wedding decor and much more you will see many ideas that can be created by YOU with your own personal wedding flair!

Welcome Sign, Signature Drink Sign, & Table Name Signs

Artistic Difference Photography

Artistic Difference Photography

Create a welcome sign, a signature drink sign, and or table signs using wood.  You can buy boards with beveled edges at a craft store, like Michaels.  Or you can get a piece of wood at a hardware store, like Lowes, and cut it to your desired size and use a router on the edges to create the beveled look.  (Consider practicing on a piece of scrap wood first.)  After you have the board cut to size, paint it one of the colors in your wedding color scheme.  If you like a rustic look, use a sander to distress the edges of the board.  Then cut vinyl letters using a cutting machine, like the Cricut or if you don’t have a cutting machine, you can usually get vinyl cut at a local scrapbooking store or sign shop.  Before going to the scrapbooking store or sign shop, prepare a document using the exact fonts that you would like to have on your signs.  Also, make sure that you know the exact size that each word should be.  If you are using any unusual fonts be sure to copy the font file to a USB drive and take it along when getting the vinyl cut just in case the shop does not have that font on their computer.  It’s a good idea to call to check pricing at the various shops to find the best deal.  Carefully place the vinyl letters on the board.  You can embellish the signs with metal flowers, real flowers, ribbon, twine, or whatever matches your wedding theme.  Place the welcome sign and signature drink sign on an appropriate easel and suddenly you’ve given your wedding a nice personal feel.  In order to complete the table sign, drill a hole in the bottom edge of the board and insert a small dowel rod (use a small amount of wood glue to secure).  Also drill a hole into a wooden craft ball (they have these with a flat bottom at A.C. Moore) and insert the dowel rod into it.  You will then have a nice looking, standing table name sign.

Card Box

Artistic Difference Photography
If you want to bring your wedding theme and colors to the gift table, consider creating a custom card box.  To do this you will need a large box with a lid.  Cut or saw a slit in the top of the box so that cards can be inserted into it.  Cover the box and the lid with material using fabric glue or a staple gun depending on the thickness of the box.  Then wrap the box with various ribbons. (You will have to wrap the bottom of the box and the lid separately but make it look like it is one continuous flowing ribbon.)  Embellish the box with sprigs of flowers, pearls, a bow, or whatever matches your theme.

Guest Book Picture Frame

Artistic Difference Photography

If you want a change from the traditional guest book then try a guest book picture frame.  At the entrance to your wedding place a large picture frame (without the glass) containing a picture of you and your fiancé on an easel.  Have your guest book attendants direct guests to sign the matte surrounding the picture.  After the wedding, place one of your wedding photos in the frame and hang it in your home. 

Seating Chart

I found it extremely helpful to create a sample of the reception layout in order to complete the seating arrangements.  In order to do this use a display board (like a thick piece of poster board).  Then draw the location of the tables, dance area, bar, music area, cake table, etc.  Print a list of the guests who will be attending the wedding.  Cut the names out and attach them to various tables using thumb tacks.  Since I was using a tropical theme I named each table after a Caribbean island.  I attached the Island names to the tables on the display board too so that I could make sure I put people at a table name that had a special meaning to them.  For example, I had friends who honeymooned in Jamaica so I made sure that they were seated at the Jamaica table.  This is also helpful for the staff who will be setting up the reception.

Décor & other creative ideas –


Artistic Difference Photography

Find something personal, like your mother’s locket and put a picture of you and your fiancé on one side and your parents when they were your age on the other side.  Attach the locket to the stems of your bouquet. 
Flowers - reception
Artistic Difference Photography
Coordinate your flowers with your wedding theme.  Since this wedding had a tropical theme, a lot of orchids were used.  Additionally the orb arrangements were created to be somewhat exotic and unique.  In order to create a beautiful orb a lot of flowers are needed.  Go with an inexpensive flower like a carnation (that is what was used to create the salmon and hot pink orbs). 
Flowers – Bouquets
Artistic Difference Photography
Wrap the stems of the bridesmaids’ bouquets with material from their dresses and a corresponding ribbon. 
Artistic Difference Photography
Work with a cake designer to create a cake that fits in with the rest of your wedding theme and color scheme.
Steel Drummer
 Artistic Difference Photography
For a tropical themed wedding, it only makes sense to walk down the aisle to a steel drummer!  If you are interested in hiring a unique musician, check out the website  You can read reviews for local musicians and entertainers and then hire them for a reasonable price. 
Thank You Card
Artistic Difference Photography
Consider taking a photograph at the wedding to use on your thank you card.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Creative Wedding Ideas ~ Elegant Tropical Theme (1)

 Invitation, Program, Place Cards, Memory Favor, Toss Cones

Artistic Difference Photography

Do you want to make your wedding theme pop!  It is possible to bring your theme and colors to all aspects of your wedding while staying within a limited budget.  From invitations, programs, and guest book frame to favors, a signature drink sign, and much more you will see many ideas that can be created by YOU with your own personal wedding flair!
Tips – Brand your wedding
In order to brand your wedding, pick a color scheme and one or two fonts that you really love and use them on EVERYTHING.  Also, you will see that I created a sort of logo using the bride and groom’s name and incorporated that on many different things, including the program, toss cones, and memory favor.

Wedding Invitation

This wedding invitation would have cost of about $900 (for 100 invitations) from a professional custom invitation designer.  If you want the elegant look, but don’t want to spend a fortune you can create one on your own, just like I did.  The best way to start is to look at sample invitations to come up with an idea of the style that you like.  Once you know your style you then have two options…

Option 1 – DIY

Go to and shop for the papers needed for your invitation.  You can order every paper that you need, including the card stock, pocket folders, etc.  Keep in mind that some cutting might be necessary.  You can also order a sample of each paper color to make sure that your selection matches perfectly.  Prepare the parts of your invitation using a program on your computer.  If you do not have a graphic design program, like Photoshop, it is possible to create the invitation using Microsoft Word (that is how the above invitation was created).  Make sure that you save the invitation as a PDF.  When the invitation document is complete, take it to a local print shop on a USB drive to get a quote for the printing.  You can take your own paper or see the selections that they have to choose from.  After the printing is complete all you have to do is assemble the invites.  Tape a long ribbon on the pocket folder then place the pre-cut background paper on top of the pocket folder using strong double stick tape. (Do not glue as this can cause the papers to wrinkle.)  Double stick tape the printed invitation portion on top of the background paper.  Insert the cards in the pocket.  Close the pocket folder and bring the ribbon around the front to tie shut.  If you wish to attach a small tag stating the guests' names, insert it through the ribbon before tying.  This DIY option cost approximately $300 for 100 invitations.  That is a $600 savings!

Option 2 – Custom Mix & Match

If you are not into creating your invite totally from scratch then check out or  From either of these websites you can order a custom invitation or pre-made design.  They provide a lot of freedom to mix and match different elements of the invitation.  You can also elect to order the pieces of the invitation separately and then assemble the invitations on your own.

Wedding Program

Artistic Difference Photography

A great way to incorporate your own style is to create your own wedding ceremony programs.  Just like I explained in the “Wedding Invitations” section, you can create a document with all of the parts of the program and take it to a local print shop.  This is a way to make a program that is much more unique than the one that the church/wedding venue will prepare for you.  Plus, it does not cost a lot.  Simply cut scrapbook paper in colors that match your theme to make a front and back cover for your program.  Punch holes in all of the pieces of the program and run a ribbon through.  Glue the ribbon on the back side of the program.  On this program I punched a 1.5 inch hole in the lower right corner of the front cover so that the bride and groom name logo (which was printed on the first page of the program) stood out.

Place Cards

Artistic Difference Photography

Artistic Difference Photography

It is possible to make place cards using scrapbook paper, a square or round hole punch, and your home computer.  For this flower style place card, you simply cut scrapbook paper to the size that you would like your place cards to be.  Then you carefully fold each card in half and draw a flower design below the fold.  Open the card and use a cutting knife to precisely cut your flower design.  Be careful not to cut along the fold.  Refold the card and pop up the flower design.  You can then use the first one as a sample and trace it onto all of the other place cards so that they have a uniform look.  Then using a square or circular punch (approximately 1.5 inches) punch a hole in a different scrapbook paper that corresponds with your place cards.  This will be like a border to make the guests’ names pop.  Attach this border paper to the place card (using double stick tape) as shown in the picture.  Then on your computer, print all of the guests’ names and table assignments on a paper that will look good on your place cards.  Using a punch about .5 inch smaller than the one used for the border paper, punch out each guest’s name.  Attach this on top of the border paper and your place cards are complete.

Memory Favor

Artistic Difference Photography

A memory favor is a great way to honor those family members who have passed and also to donate money to a charity of your choice.  To do this create a document explaining the purpose of your favor and the charity that you chose to donate to and why.  Then on the pages of the favor include a picture and brief bio of each of your loved ones.  Lay the favors on each guests’ place setting at the reception. 

Rose Petal Toss Cones

Artistic Difference Photography
Not sure what to give to guests to “toss” after you’ve said your I Do’s?  Try creating a Toss Cone!  These are simple to make.  Simply use some heavy scrapbook paper (perhaps the same one that you used for the invitation, place cards, or program) and cut it into an oval shape.  Bring the sides together and double stick tape and/or glue.  Punch a small hole and attach an eyelet.  Tie a ribbon or other small embellishment and a tag with your wedding logo through the eyelet.  Drop a small handful of rose petals in the toss cones and they are ready for guests to shower upon you!