Our safari animal baby shower

Corina's safari animal baby shower

Corina's safari animal baby shower

If you haven’t noticed from our other parties, we Expressionery.com girls love celebrating! We recently threw a baby shower for our own Corina Murray, and we wanted to share the fun with you.

Corina is expecting a baby girl this month, but she’s not a big fan of pink. Instead of sticking with the traditional pastel pink color palette, we thought it would be fun to spice things up with bright, bold colors. You can’t get much brighter than the animal suite:

Animal baby shower

Animal suite

The four designs are available as invitations, plates and more – plus printables we created for Corina’s shower. (Okay, so we snuck in a little pink here and there, but just as an accent color!)

For our safari animal baby shower, we made sure to include Corina’s favorite animal – giraffes – along with some other cute characters. Giraffe, elephant and crocodile cutouts were designed especially for her, along with a bold “Congrats” banner, and we’re sharing them with you as free printables!

Baby safari animal cutouts

Baby safari animal cutouts & "Congrats" banner

For the banner, just print out the PDF on card stock, then punch holes and tie the triangles together with ribbon.

To make the safari animals, grab some card stock or craft foam in the colors of your choice, print out the PDFs on everyday paper, cut them out and use them as stencils to trace the designs onto your card stock or foam.

Next, cut and glue on embellishments. (Hint: all the animals’ eyes, and the elephant’s toenails, can be created by using a hole punch, so don’t worry about trimming a perfect circle by hand!)

Finally, glue craft sticks onto the back and use your baby safari animals around the refreshment table, or tape them up to the wall.

We couldn’t resist throwing in these two “pregnant” animals we found at a local craft store:

"Pregnant" lion & elephant

"Pregnant" lion & elephant

Once we had enough animals, we tied the colorful shower theme together with tablecloths, place settings and ribbon. You might have noticed how we used green as the base color for the dessert table, then highlighted the animals with contrasting banners made by trimming vinyl tablecloths into strips.

We also found some zebra print ribbon at the craft store and tied it around the napkin holders and cake pop box. How simple and affordable is that?

Finally, we added to the safari theme by creating wild tissue-paper flowers. The blog craft team had a blast with these –

Elegant tissue paper flowers

Elegant tissue paper flowers

For your own party, you can use a single color of tissue paper for a natural look, or go wild by pairing several colors in one flower for a bright, bold safari theme like ours. You can find step-by-step instructions for these elegant flowers on Martha Stewart’s website.

Cake pops & gifts

Cake pops & gifts

Here are a few tips we learned along the way:

  • Pick 3 or 4 colors for your baby shower theme. Repeating several colors instead of just one makes the shower more fun and less frilly.
  • Not all your baby safari animals have to match. Throw in a set of these printables, then mix and match with ones you find at the store – like the adorable baby book Suzanne found (above).
  • Letting everyone in on the theme will help them select gifts that match too! Corina was thrilled that we followed her suggestion to have a giraffe and non-pink theme, since that’s how the nursery is being decorated. Now she has lots of safari themed décor – even a giraffe print diaper bag – which she’ll enjoy for months to come.
Gifts, cookies and the guest of honor

Gifts, cookies and the guest of honor - the stamp on the gift tag is available at Expressionery.com

Free safari animal shower printables

And now, for the best part – free printables for you! The “Congrats” banner, adorable baby animal cutouts, water bottle labels, place cards and hors d’oeuvre flags are yours to print and use at your own special occasion.

Pair them with the matching animal suite from Expressionery.com or mix and match with your own unique style – then don’t forget to share your creativity by posting a link in the comments!

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Summer wedding themes

Summer wedding themes

Summer wedding themes

This year’s summer weddings are about small, intimate gatherings of your closest friends and family. Whether the wedding is set in a quiet park in your hometown or far away on a remote beach, nature is the perfect backdrop for your big day.

So what’s the theme? Brides are looking to a more eco-friendly wedding experience, no matter the destination. They are focusing on vintage, repurposed and home-grown decorations in natural, elegant surroundings.

Vintage wedding themes

Vintage wedding themes

Vintage wedding themes

From a beautiful back yard to an old barn, there’s no wrong place to serve up a vintage-inspired wedding. Picnic tables at the reception and wooden benches during the ceremony add a rustic look to vintage décor. Choose neutral wedding colors like champagne and khaki for a warm, inviting look. Add in dusty pink or aqua blue flowers, candles, cakes and sashes to add a splash of color.

Engagement photos in sepia or black and white are great additions to the tables at your reception. You can print them on the back of the menu, or use them as favors for all the guests who are attending your big celebration. Shop in antique stores to find unique, vintage centerpieces like vases and candleholders to fit your wedding theme. Monogram embossed napkins and ivory tones can help you achieve a vintage look for the reception.

When it comes to your wedding gown, browse thrift stores and online boutiques, or check with your friends and family. Your ideal gown may be stored in an antique hope chest in a friend’s attic!

For the bridal party, parasols and lacy gloves can add those extra special vintage touches to otherwise ordinary attire. For the groomsmen, classics like a black suit and tie or a tuxedo can be easily transformed with simple touches like handkerchiefs or pocket watches – it’s all about the details.

Beach wedding themes

Beach wedding themes

Beach wedding themes

Brighten your summer with an oceanfront wedding! Start with the fresh, cool colors of the ocean and sand, then add a splash of color like coral pink. Or go bright with the hottest color of 2012, Tangerine Tango, offset by bright blues that really pop. There’s no better way to have fun and be comfortable than with super cute flip-flops for the bridesmaids (and even yourself), paired with light fabrics for the men in fresh khaki colors.

Use sand in the bottom of vases and bright flowers to decorate the reception tables. Place cards shaped like starfish, seahorses or shells can add a touch of whimsy to the reception décor. A little brown sugar on the cake or the cake table and on dinner plates makes sweet, edible “sand” for dinner and dessert.

Flowing, breezy gowns with mists of tulle are perfect against an ocean backdrop. Or go extra casual with a shorter dress and flip-flops for super comfortable style. Tropical flowers and small details like umbrellas in drinks can lend a fun beachy feel to your wedding reception without costing a small fortune.

Garden wedding themes

Garden wedding themes

Garden wedding themes

If your wedding is going to be a day at the park, think bright! Hot pink with bright purple, green or dark blue makes for a romantic and elegant outdoor wedding. Something as simple as a hot pink napkin or a bright purple flower arrangement set against bright white linens can add a chic look to your reception décor.

A large clear vase filled with limes can add a splash of green to your food or dessert tables. Set up your reception like a picnic – use mason jars for your drinks with bright, colorful straws and fruit on the edge of the glass to match your wedding colors.

A crisp, bright white wedding gown with lots of lace can set an elegant, romantic tone to your wedding by contrasting with your bright highlight colors. Or choose a soft ivory for a warm, romantic glow. If the garden terrain is uneven, you may want to pick a long dress that covers your shoes and go with comfortable flats rather than heels that might trip you up.

Garden wedding colors

Garden wedding colors: soft ivory with bright purple and green accents

There are endless possibilities for a sophisticated, elegant and fun wedding without exceeding your spending limit. The most important thing to remember is that this day is yours. Have fun with the décor, and your guests will too.

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