Budget Baby Bash! DIY Baby Shower Ideas

unisex baby shower on a budget

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Budget Baby Bash!   So, I started this as a baby shower idea round up of great fun ideas and well, ya know.  Seriously fun for a birthday at one or even two or well, the ducky idea is just about adorable at any age!

Something about baby showers and wedding showers that makes me feel all spring and life’s all new and sunshiny again (it’s been a grey winter here in New England).  We worked on a few baby shower party ideas and I have to say, this is the first one I’m publishing because well, Spring colors!!

budget friendly baby shower ideas

Budget Baby Bash! DIY Baby Shower Ideas

I’ve always wanted to throw a Budget Baby Bash as a fundraiser and this may be the push I need to make it happen.  This rubber ducky cake has me all, singing the rubber ducky song! And thinking party themes.  This round up of ideas is great for boy or girl or the ‘surprise’ baby.

I’m noticing a trend of more parents deciding to go with the ‘don’t tell’ about the sex of baby and wanting it all to be a HUGE surprise!  Well, this is the post for you planning these showers.

Rubber Ducky Cake

I just can’t get the rubber ducky song out of my head these days! Rubber Ducky Your the one, Rubber Ducky I’m awfully fond of you…  Brings back memories…  And this is one yummy memory I could add to my heart.

rubber ducky cake

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake

So, we’ve all seen the diaper cakes and well, while they are the cutest thing ever!!  I love this hot air balloon for it’s unique out of the ‘air’ creativity and how adorable is this to use as a decoration too!  Diapers never looked so fancy.

hot air balloon diaper cake

Onesie Iron Ons

This is one I haven’t even seen yet and I LOVE it!  What a great idea to get guests involved and creating.  I think I may want to see a few added in for mommy n daddy and grandparents too.  Toooooo cute!

onesie iron on

New Momma Mocktail

Every mom deserves a refreshing drink on her special day and even after.  Use this great idea and recipe or create your own signature ‘mocktail’, but this one will definitely be a hit for everyone!

new mamma mocktail

Washcloth Bunny & Chick

Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!   This is what babies are all about. Cuteness and oohs and ahhhs…  I am going to try making these ‘just because’.

bunny and chick wash cloth

Tye Dye Onesies

Nothing brings back fun days more than making some great fun tye dye items and a boho baby would be missing out if we didn’t include them in the fun from day one!  I remember doing a tye dye birthday party many many moons ago and was thrilled to see it’s still a popular thing to do at all ages.

I was tickled to see it as a baby shower idea!

tye dye baby shower

Ducky Baby Shower Punch

And here we are back to Rubber Duckies and yup, I’m still singing along.  I’m in love with this punch and well, Rubber Ducky You’re the one, you make punch time oh so fun!

rubber ducky punch

Are you smiling after seeing these as much as I am?  Some colors, posts and round ups just make me grin and sing, yeah.. sing.. rubber ducky.. I’m still singing and humming away here.

 If you’ve been invited to one (or more) of these events by friends or family members, chances are they mean well and have only the best intentions in mind — except maybe when it comes to paying for part or all of the event expenses yourself. The truth is, though, most people don’t really know what their role at this type of party should be. 

Here we break down some common questions on how to pay for baby showers and other related topics.

First things first, let’s talk about why hosting a baby shower might involve someone covering costs. According to Baby Center U.K., there are many reasons a couple might choose to throw a baby shower: The mother-to-be doesn’t like being home alone with the new addition because she wants her husband around; she gets tired quickly after giving birth; she needs time to get used to caring for a newborn without anyone else helping out much; etc. 

Whatever reason(s) exist, whether you’re throwing a baby shower or not, everyone usually shows up happy. So, unless the guest list is small enough to fit comfortably into your living room, you probably won’t end up spending too long thinking about where the funds will come from.

If you’re the person responsible for organizing the baby shower, you’re expected to provide food and drinks for the occasion. But beyond those basics, it’s entirely possible that no one will chip in any cash toward the big day. Even if your friend group generally helps each other out during regular social outings, things sometimes change once babies enter the picture. 

It’s important to prepare ahead of time so that you aren’t left wondering whom to ask for monetary donations later.  For example, try setting aside a specific amount per person as far in advance as possible. You could also send invitations asking guests to bring items such as diapers, wipes, formula, blankets/towels, toys, books, clothes and snacks instead of actual gift cards. 

This way, you can keep track of what’s needed and avoid running out of supplies before the big day arrives.

Now that you understand why baby showers cost money, read further to find out how you can cover the expense if you decide to take care of the catering yourself. 

You’re The Host, So You Foot The Bill

The first thing to consider when deciding who’s going to pick up the check is the number of attendees. Remember that even if it was your idea to organize the whole shindig, the invitation itself still states “as requested,” meaning whoever sent it will ultimately bear responsibility. 

Asking for multiple checks or splitting up the tab among yourselves makes sense if there are several hosts involved. However, if you’re the sole organizer, and you simply cannot afford to go broke over something as trivial as dinner, then perhaps you shouldn’t feel bad about sending out a single invite. In fact, it might work better for your budget anyway.

Next, factor in the location. What kind of accommodations do you plan to book? Do you know where the festivities will take place beforehand? Will you reserve tables at a restaurant, hold them outdoors somewhere or use disposable plates, cups and silverware at home?

These details matter because they affect the overall price tag.

Then, think about the date. When you schedule a baby shower, make sure you give yourself plenty of notice. Some places require reservations months in advance while others are less formal and allow guests to show up whenever they please. 

To prevent last-minute stress, put together a tentative itinerary early on. Once you finalize everything, share the information with potential attendees as well as anyone else who might play a support role, such as parents whose children attend school with yours.

On top of all this, remember that you’re likely making plans months prior to the baby shower. Consider taking extra steps, like booking the venue and entertainment separately from the rest of the arrangements. That way, you can focus solely on creating a fun space conducive to celebrating the mommy-to-be!

Keep reading to discover how hosting a baby shower can be both affordable and meaningful.

Wondering exactly how much you should spend on a baby shower? Experts say anywhere between $150-$500 depending upon the size of the gathering and the number of presents given.

You’ll Need Guests’ Help If You Want Gifts That Are Truly Memorable

When choosing gifts for the expectant mothers attending your baby shower, you mustn’t forget the little ones either. Take advantage of baby registries in order to save money and ensure that the coming child has everything that they need. 

Many stores offer free shipping on registry purchases, so register online early to receive maximum savings. Also, be mindful that certain foods might be off limits due to allergies or dietary restrictions. Make sure that everyone knows what’s allowed beforehand.

A word of warning: 

Don’t assume that the mom-to-be will provide food for everyone or for the shower.  Be prepared to supply whatever they’d normally buy from grocery or department store shelves, or opt to serve finger sandwiches and tea cakes instead. 

You also want to make sure that the food you serve at the baby shower can be eaten by everyone… including the mother-to-be. 

A few years ago my brother hosted his wife’s baby shower at a local pub, and he ended up ordering pizza and beer kegs for the guests. He didn’t realize until right before serving that neither of the women were able to drink alcohol. Needless to say, this caused quite a bit of confusion and led him to reconsider his decision.

Another option worth considering is hiring a caterer. Depending on the size of your party, he or she might charge upwards of hundreds of dollars for the meal alone. If that is too much, instead, you could set up a table full of yummy hors d’oeuvres and desserts and just make it buffet style.

Best Gift Ideas For A Baby Shower

In terms of gifts, here are a few ideas that tend to score high marks from the expecting mamas. Keep in mind that you may not enjoy every item on display, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t love anything you see.


Most expectant moms agree that nothing beats a great storybook for entertaining kids and teaching valuable life lessons. There are tons of cute titles available for young infants through grade school age groups. And if you happen to have older siblings, pass along your favorite 

pages to Mommy!

Diaper Bags

Diaper bags have become increasingly popular lately, and for good reason. They’re functional, stylish and practical. Plus, they often include compartments designed specifically for toiletries and other necessities like makeup remover pads, lotion, lip balm and nail polish. 

Not surprisingly, they typically retail for around $20.00 each.

Personalized Keepsakes 

Just like personalized picture frames, these special trinkets are becoming increasingly sought after for displaying photos of the newest additions to families everywhere. While pricey, you can sometimes find deals on these types of products via clearance racks or sales.


Digital cameras are another useful shower present for expectant parents (if they are into photography). No longer limited to bulky film models, digital devices now capture images in crisp detail. 

Prices range anywhere from under $100 to thousands of dollars. Newer models can feature HD video capabilities, image stabilization features and computer software that allows users to edit pictures directly onto computers.


Whether you prefer classic designs or trendy styles, jewelry has never been more accessible. From sterling silver pieces to gold plated pendants, rings and earrings, a variety of options await the woman shopping for maternity wear.

While baby showers definitely add excitement to our lives, they can be costly and draining financially. Read on to find out tips on keeping costs low.

Some couples elect to throw baby showers immediately following the bride’s delivery, but experts recommend waiting until two weeks postpartum since it gives guests ample opportunity to RSVP back to you. Another suggestion is to limit invites to close relatives and friends who lived within driving distance to minimize travel expenses. Of course, timing depends on personal preferences and budgets.

Some people will have them a few weeks or months before the due date as well. Whenever you plan the baby shower for just make sure it is as stress free for the mom-to-be as possible. 

Baby Showers Can Be Expensive

Unless you’re rich, there’s no getting around it: baby showers can be pretty darned expensive. And although some brides choose to forego the event altogether if finances preclude them from holding a celebration, that certainly isn’t necessary. With proper preparation, organization and careful consideration of expenses, hosting a baby shower can be relatively painless.

Here are a few ways to cut a baby shower’s expenses without sacrificing quality or joy:

  • Hold your event indoors or in a private backyard. 
  • Skip renting a large hotel ballroom and negotiate rates locally. 
  • Use materials found in nature whenever possible for the games or decorations
  • Ask guests to pitch in for decorations and refreshments. 
  • Offer DIY games and activities that encourage creative expression. These will also be pretty inexpensive as well. 

If you’re looking for shower and party ideas, there’s more.

Check out baby shower favors post.  I have more baby and party ideas coming soon, so bookmark this blog and come back!  I promise they’ll all be fabulously frugal and just as adorable!  In the meantime come ask for any tips and help over on Facebook in our fabulously frugal and passionate savings and earners friends.

We’d love to have you, the more minds helping one another, the better we do!

budget baby bash

Matt R

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you budget and save money.

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