Friday, August 24, 2012

A "Very Hungry Caterpillar" Shower

I have decorated for quite a few baby showers (and I have a couple more coming up) so I feel like I know what I like. And I have to say, out of all the showers I have done this was my favorite! Part of that may have had to do with who it was for: my favorite oldest sister!
My sister is expecting her third, and since her other two are well past the toddler stage, I felt that she needed a shower! Besides, I have a personal theory (adopted from my mother) that every baby is a cause for celebration.
It was hard trying to decide on a theme because you can turn virtually anything into a shower these days. However, while trolling Pinterest, I noticed my sister had pinned these invitations to her "Toddler" ideas board.
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle has long been a family favorite. Besides being a great way to introduce the concept of days of the week, it is colorful, fun and has lots of drool-worthy treats in it! In essence, everything you need to springboard off for a shower theme.
 The food is the highlight of the book. If you have never read it, the little caterpillar munches his way through a variety of items. We tried to use as many of those as we could!

I also added a dish of gumballs to mimic the dots in the book, as well as a parfait glass of "Runt" candies, since there are several kinds of fruit in there as well. All the components looked so cheerful on the sweets table.
 One of the trickier elements was the "ice cream cone". The caterpillar eats through one of those, but it would have been entirely too messy to have real ice cream dripping everywhere. I had seen a suggestion to use mini ice cream cones topped with Oreo truffles, and those were adorable. However, time short and I came up with (what I thought was) a brilliant idea. I used sprinkled donut holes from Walmart, attached them to mini cones with pre-made bagged icing and topped each "scoop" with a red Skittle "cherry". They were super easy to make and a huge hit! Also, the caterpillar eats through a cupcake- Wally served me well there, too. On a platter covered by scrapbook paper, it all looked too cute.
 It was easy to choose the cake. The caterpillar munches through a slice of layered chocolate cake. I picked this one up at Costco and it was delicious! Since I was in charge of all the decorating and the food (I usually only decorate) I really needed to cut corners in the snack department. This decadent cake didn't feel like I did at all! I made the easy topper by gluing scrapbook paper triangles to ribbon and then I used straws (supported by wooden skewers inside) and simply tied it on. Love!
 Every item had a place card that included the day it was eaten in the book. These came together quickly- it is simply an index finger dipped in different colors of ink and pressed at the bottom of the card to form circles reminiscent of the ones in the book.
 I was insistent on having giant lollipops like the ones in the book. These were beastly to find, and ended up costing me $3 a piece at a specialty candy store, but I loved how they looked! I used a tall glass vase filled with colorful gumballs to hold them in (gumballs are from the dollar store).
 The fruit looked terrific, too! The hostess suggested setting them upright and it gave them great three-dimensional appeal. I love to vary heights to make it interesting. We wrapped forks in napkins and tied them with ribbon. It makes it easy to grab what you need.
 The guest of honor's favorite part: the mini Claussen pickles! Doesn't every pregnant woman supposedly crave pickles? I was glad that I didn't forget these.
 The polka-dotted paper straws were a last minute purchase from Amazon, and they looked adorable. I found the suggestion to use Trix cereal online, and realized that wouldn't work because it wasn't the right colors. Walmart to the rescue! There "Great Value" knock-off was perfect, and the salami and cheese (from the book) with my addition of crackers looked great.
 We purchased the book marks from Amazon, too. We cute off the caterpillar part (the rest said, "Hungry for a good book".) and taped it Archer Farms water bottles on pieces of coordinating card stock. We also served raspberry lemonade in Mason jars. All the drinks nestled in a big, bright bucket of ice.
 A better shot of the water bottles. I love, love, love, the individualized touch that adding your own label brings, don't you?
  The mason jars were perfect, too. We cut circles of waxed paper slightly smaller than a flattened cupcake liner. You lay the whole thing over the mouth of a mason jar, and it becomes a perfect covered glass! The cupcake liners would have turned into a mess, but by lining it with waxed paper it worked great. We provided a skewer to punch a whole to insert the straw into.
 The banner wasn't my first choice, but necessity is the mother of creativity. I used pre-cut foam circles and foam letter stickers (from the dollar store!) to make my own caterpillar. Since the one in the book isn't perfectly round, I cut the edges to form rough ovals. I added pipe cleaner antennae. I always feel like "Welcome" is an appropriate baby greeting, right?
 The beautiful guest of honor. I whipped up the scrapbook pennant in no time: cut triangles, hot glue to ribbon and it is instant cuteness!
 Three of my marvelous helpers! Also, my dear, sweet younger sisters. I could not have done it without these cuties! Katy made the pom-pom caterpillars, bought the water bottles and drove me around. Kelly did the place cards, packed the favors, made the water bottles and watched my son! Lisa Dawn was my "brain" and kept me sane, as well as making the ice cream cones and assembling the drinks. My mom isn't pictured but she provided funds, organized the guest list, secured the host home, loaned tons of dishes (including the cute buckets and mason jars) and billions of other things!
 My sister and me. I was so glad to be able to celebrate her little G3 with her. A baby is always a blessing, but this is one we have waited a long time for!
 The favors were simple: a bookmark, some Skittles, and round magnets, to mimic the dots in the book. We tied it all up in clear cello bags closed with ribbon.
 This is one of those "better in theory" ideas. I had seen a multitude of these balloon caterpillars on the internet. It looked easy enough, but it was really tricky to vary the balloons to make him seem rounded, my first "head" popped, and then the only place to hang it was over a vent! It was a tangled mess at the end of the party, but you can't have a party without balloons!
Katy made these pom pom caterpillars to keep the food company. They were a big hit too. One of the best ideas I had (and a last minute one) was to have each of the guest do an anagram of the baby's name. For each letter in the name they listed one or more adjectives. I was surprised that a group of 12+ women, few of them repeated the same words, and reading them made my sister cry. She plans on keeping all the copies, written by each woman, in a scrapbook. I think it made for a special blessing. Definitely one of my favorite parties! Thank you, Hungry Little Caterpillar, for providing such great inspiration!


  1. This made me miss you guys so much! It was so much fun and turned out really well!

  2. SUPER CUTE!!! I think that is one of the cutest themed showers you have done.

    You are becoming an expert at it - I'll know who to call (if ever I need it).

  3. It was super adorable - I loved it; especially the pom pom caterpillars!

  4. WAY too cute!!!!

    IF I have another need for a shower, I'm recommending you be on the decorating team!! :)

    ~ Jen



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