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Baby Shower Table Decorations: What the Caterers Know

Updated on August 7, 2009

Chances are you have attended an "event" where the hostess stuck out a plate of pimento cheese sandwiches and tied some balloons to the new mommy's chair proclaiming it a baby shower. Back up! This is not what the expectant mother nor your guests deserve. Be willing to put a little thought and some elbow grease into your friend's celebration before you offer to throw her a shower. Stick to this rule when asked to throw a shower: If you can't throw a shower with some class, be willing to say I'll pass. As an aside, no one should ever ask someone to throw a baby shower. It is a gracious gift a friend does for another friend because they truly care.

With couple showers becoming evermore popular, the expense of throwing a party for the new mom & dad-to-be is on the rise. For this reason, you've got to think creatively when planning your baby shower decorations. Having worked for a caterer, I'm going to share with you some easy tips for adding some instant pizzazz to your party in a flash. Follow these three main suggestions and you are sure to earn your place in the hostess hall of fame:

Dividing the Table into Thirds
Dividing the Table into Thirds

Easy Items for Dressing Up Your Tables

Paper Orchid Picket Fence Cupcake Wrapper White, Set of 12
Paper Orchid Picket Fence Cupcake Wrapper White, Set of 12
Display a tiered stand of cupcakes all dressed up in easy to add wrappers available in various colors and beautiful filigree designs.

1. Anchor the serving table(s) with a centerpiece

The centerpiece(s) needs to be taller than the remainder of the items on the table. The word "centerpiece" can be deceiving. Your anchoring item(s) won't necessarily be in the center of the table. For instance, when using two short tables that have both been covered with a table cloth -you can place a centerpiece in the middle of each short table -essentially dividing the long table into thirds. Giving the table height is what all professional caterers do. Whether they stack bricks underneath an attractive cloth and position fruit or other goodies down the sides of the cloth mountain or they use a large floral bouquet -the object is to anchor the table with something tall to draw the eyes up.

Is the potential cost of creating such a tall centerpiece starting to worry you? Don't let it. Here are some attractive, cost-conscience options:

  1. My personal favorite is to buy two ferns (look for medium to large size ferns that cascade a bit) and remove the ugly plastic hangers. Next buy two terra cotta pots that fit the ferns, the buy two slightly smaller or same-sized terra cotta pots. Turn the pots that contain nothing upside down on the table and place the other pot with the fern on top. There you have it -a pretty centerpiece that can be given away as a door prize at the end of the party. I usually light a few votives in small glass votive holders underneath to dress things up a bit.
  2. If someone plans to buy the mother a diaper cake -ask if you may use it as a centerpiece.
  3. If it's the right time of year, pick some blue hydrangeas and bunch them up in a tall vase. Consider adding some pink or yellow roses to the center part of the bouquet as if they are floating on blue hydrangea clouds. Go out into your yard and look for some attractive foliage you can add around the edges of the arrangement --I love using camelia leaves because they are glossy and durable.

2. Use Kale

Garnish with kale. Kale can be purchased in the produce department at most grocery stores. If you don't see it for sale, ask the produce people if they sell it. Many keep a supply in back that they use to garnish their other fruits and vegetables. Just take one leaf at a time and cover your serving tray with it, then place the food item (i.e. a cheeseball) on top. You wouldn't believe how much more professional your table presentation will look with a little kale.

Complete Guide To Flower Arranging (DK Living)
Complete Guide To Flower Arranging (DK Living)
This book has awesome ideas for creative flower arranging.
Strawberry Fan
Strawberry Fan

3. The Little Details


Take your time and pay attention to the tiniest of details. For instance, garnishing a dish with a strawberry fan takes very little time, in comparison to the impression it makes. Make one by holding the berry upside down and slicing it from side to side almost all the way through. Now use your gloved fingers to spread the strawberry out into a fan shape.

Another detail that surprised and delighted the daddy to be at my last shower was fantastically easy but looked amazing. Create edible pacifiers out of mints and jellybeans. Note, I did say the project was easy; however, it is time consuming. It's worth it though! Instructions for creating these treats will soon be added via a link in this article. These directions will include the secret to drying these little darlings the easy way.

If you are using long fold out tables, go the trouble to purchase some white paper table clothes from the party store. If you throw parties on a regular basis you may opt to purchase some white table cloths from Wal-Mart. Why white? They can be bleached time and time again and they match anything. If you make your table pretty enough...It wont matter that the table clothes don't hang over the edge. Remember, you'll have a centerpiece drawing the eye upward.

Make the table pop using the flat marbles that can be purchased at the local craft store. They add a polka dot effect, give you a chance to build on your color theme, look great against a white table cloth, and are inexpensive. Beware of using these, however, if small children will be present at the party. They might look like candy and you do not want to tempt a child to put one I his or her mouth.


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