Planning this fishing baby shower was a true privilege. It was so wonderful helping give a warm welcome my sweet little nephew, Graham. The shower I threw my brother and his wife was a labor of love, and tailored just for them and the things they love–mainly fishing. Fishing for them is a big family activity, so hosting a fishing baby shower for them was a no-brainer.
About the time I started planning this event, I was also learning to paint in watercolor. I took a little inspiration from my classes and painted all the graphics for the shower and tweaked them with a little graphic design on the computer.
This shower was a bit untraditional for me, as we did not have this event at home. We were at a restaurant with only an hour to set up and very limited space to work in…and the space was 3 hours from my house.
If you find yourself in a similar situation for party hosting, I highly recommend focusing your decorating efforts on two or three points that have a big impact. I had to bring everything with me in one car (plus my husband and kids), so I couldn’t do a lot of extras.
For this fishing baby shower, I spent a fair amount of time handcrafting paper reed centerpieces and assembling a small dessert table. Backdrops were not do-able here, and I had to be prepared for whatever tables and arrangements the restaurant had on hand when I showed up…flexibility was something I had to have in spades that day!
There are a few affiliate links below to things I actually used at the party in this post. They cost you nothing but help me keep this site running.
Fishing Baby Shower Printables
I’ve had a LOT of emails requesting the purchase of the printables from this shower. It warms my heart every time I get one, too, because it’s definitely one of my favorite parties I’ve ever done. Read on about the shower, and if you are interested, come back here to click the links and purchase the pieces.
PDFs available for instant purchase:
- Fishing 4×6 signs (set of five)
- Thank you tags (2inx3.5in)
- Fishing 11×17 print for guest book
- Watercolor bass and trout fish cut outs (large and small)
- Fishing watercolor “baby” pennant banner
Just so they are in one place, here is where you can go to get tutorials for all the handmade items you see in this post:
Every little fish at this shower was hand painted–then hi-res scanned to make some pretty cute artwork for the party. With wooden slices as a base (buy here), I bought a few “real” looking grasses at the craft store and placed them in some rope-tied vases and accented with a fishy frame and a few bobbers (buy here). The fake grass was pricey, so I did supplement those with a project I’ll show you in a moment.
The vase I used is easy to make, and you can find the tutorial for the jute-wrapped vase here (I do love to recycle party props!) The frames are equally easy to create; they cost about a dollar at Michael’s, and I did some creative staining to make them the color I wanted. You can find the instructions and a free fish printable to make these rustic weathered wood frames here.
Aged metal containers and boxes sprouted bouquets of paper reeds to supplement the faux grasses. All lined up down the table, they really created a wonderful atmosphere in the restaurant.
I made a small area for the party favors as well. The “Leatherbury’s Fish Camp” sign is just some stained scrap wood I roughly nailed together and sloppily painted on the name. More of the reeds are arranged around the sign with a “thanks for coming” watercolor painting.
More hand painted water colors went into making the favor tags. For the favors, I used the fishing party favor tutorial here. Since there were so many childless couples at the shower, the airplane bottles of booze went over quite well. We also had containers of gummy worms available for those who didn’t want bourbon to take home!
Sadly, I didn’t get a better shot of the banner–it was one of my favorite pieces. Really love how the watercolor art all worked with the pennants.
Baby Shower Entertainment
After I guilted my brother into letting me throw a shower, the first thing that was established by the happy couple was that there were to be absolutely NO BABY SHOWER GAMES. Especially since it was going to be co-ed.
I didn’t mind so much; I’m not big on guessing the baby food-type games, either. We did want the guests to have a little involvement with the event other than eating and watching presents being opened. Everyone was asked to fill out a card for Baby G with some wishes for the future that we read out loud later in the party. There were a few jokers in attendance, so this ended up being poignant and well as entertaining!
The other bit of guest-involvement that I set up was a this guest sign in. I painted a few fish and asked everyone to sign their names or leave a note on the artwork as they came in. After the party, I put the glass back in the frame and all that love now hangs in baby boy’s room. Which is conveniently decorated with lots of vintage fishing themed stuff.
Fishing Baby Shower Party Food
Since we held the party in a restaurant (called Bluefin, ironically!) with not a lot of space, we had to keep the dessert table a little on the small side. Small also means you need to be more thoughtful about what goes into your set-up. So it made it a lot of fun for me making each and every item on the table something that melded perfectly with the fishing theme.
Swedish fish in a bowl? Yes! Turns out you can get Swedish Fish in bulk from Amazon (buy here). The bottom was lined with blue glass cobochons for effects, and I dropped a pair of serving tongs in the top for guests to fish out their fishies.
Special-made (by me) chocolate covered pretzels were decorated with graham cracker goldfish and white sprinkles to look like bubbles. It was a pretty easy food craft to make, and once they were set, I just slipped them into a long, thin cellophane bag (buy here) to keep them fresh for the party.
The big fishing lures I found at Hobby Lobby. They really looked great on the table!
My good friend Nikki from Tikkido.com hand painted these beautiful fish sugar cookies based on the art I made for the shower. I am so lucky she loves doing these things for me! Definitely pay her a visit to see what other fun stuff she has around her amazingly creative site.
Fancy fondant cakes are fantastic…but honestly, they are also very pricey. Those cake (and cookie) ladies certainly do earn every penny, but sometimes that is just not in the budget.
Which is when you use some creative cake toppings to get the look you are going for. Part of planning an event from a distance is dealing with a few miscalculations. My bakery usually makes their 9-inch cakes two layers tall, so I misjudged the height of my cake pieces for the single layer cake that arrived at the restaurant. No biggie–a few reeds and a darling little sign in the top of this grocery store cake still looked great! Next time, I will bring some heavier cutting hardware with me to styling event, though.
Of course, you cannot go fishing without a few worms. Gummy worms poked out of the top of these “minnow pails” I found at Hobby Lobby.
The hit of the sweet table were these salted caramel chocolate fish. I’m pretty terrible with all things melted and dipped, but I managed pretty well to make these with a fish mold (buy here) that I found on Amazon. Be sure to use really good quality chocolate when you make them!
My friend Kim from For the Love Cake Co. was kind enough to make some pretty fun cake pops shaped like fishing bobbers for us. The guests really loved them; they were actually baked cake balls that had a cupcake consistency the whole way through instead of the dense frosting type you usually see. Made it hard to only eat one!
And as an FYI–the fishing tackle box used to serve the cake pops was brand new and well washed out. Safety first! I used dried beans to line the trays and keep the bobbers upright.
How we handled the rest of the party–the really nice thing about having a restaurant baby shower? Someone else did the cooking. We ordered lots of appetizers, and provided soda/water/tea for our guests. Any who wanted to could buy their own cocktails and beer. In some ways, it was less work. In a lot of ways, much more control was given up than I was used to. Overall, our guests had a wonderful time and the mom and dad-to-be were thrilled with their party. Hoping that Auntie Paula can do this again soon. 🙂