Who remembers exploring Mr McGregor’s garden along with the mischievous Peter Rabbit?
As a child I cherished my miniature Beatrix Potter hardback books – most children would scribble their name with crayon in the inside cover or rip out pages, but not me; I kept mine neatly on my bookshelf, complete with dust jacket and presentation box.
The classic story ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ was of course my favourite, so when I was asked to design and style an adorable Peter Rabbit themed baby shower I jumped at the chance!
I think there is something timeless about Beatrix Potter’s writing; and in particular her drawings. Even though the release of the animated Peter Rabbit film has reignited a lot of love in many children’s hearts, I wanted to pay homage to the traditional artwork that we all know and love. So I tried to reflect the original style of the book throughout the baby shower.
I think this beautiful bunny-hopping theme is a perfect setting for a first birthday party, a christening and as I found out; it worked wonderful as a baby shower too.
The baby shower was set in a large conservatory at The Diplomat Hotel – a stunning room with modern white gloss tiles and large windows overlooking the historic hotel gardens.
The room had some beautifully exposed brickwork which gave some character. It had neutral decor and plenty of light which is what I always look for when choosing a venue as I don’t want the room decor to clash with a busy wallpaper or carpet. I used a pale blue and white colour palette to create a modern sophisticated look for a baby boy shower. I wanted to bring a little outdoors indoors so I added splashes of green and brown to give a rustic effect. I finished the room with decorative log slices, pine cones, artificial flowers, dried nut shells and bark and some leafy green foliage.
I hung fabric bunting with blue and white gingham and vintage floral designs to give a cutesy feel to the room. The fresh floral displays featured on the welcome table and on the dining tables were arranged by Blodau Elli
Guests were greeted to refreshing welcome drinks. They sipped on light blue lemonade served in retro glass mason jars. I styled them with blue and white gingham ribbon, a traditional image of Peter Rabbit labels and matched them with striped paper straws.
I created a miniature version of Mr McGregor’s garden by placing a wooden wheelbarrow, watering can, blue polka dot plant pot, garden forks, log slice, fresh carrot and other decorative foliage among a tall standing white wishing tree.
I wanted to put a twist on the traditional custom of a guest book; so I used a large wishing tree where guests wrote messages and wishes onto tags and hung them onto branches. It was a perfect way to provide lasting memories and link into the theme.
For the background of the garden I was lucky enough to come across a metal tree wall art at a local charity shop. I hand painted the metal tree branches and stained the wooden fencing to match with the decor.
I completed the garden by making my very own scarecrow using Peter Rabbit’s blue jacket; a nod to the classic story.
If you want to make your very own Peter Rabbit jacket then I have written step by step instructions on how to do this. It’s really easy and no sewing is involved! Follow the link to the instructions here.
The dessert table featured a mouth watering two tier cake complete with matching cupcakes made by Natacha Yummy Cakes The cake was in perfect style with the classic Peter Rabbit theme and had some great details with the watering can, carrots and fencing. A large balloon display was sat at either end of the table.
I decorated the dessert table by placing a traditional water jug full of garden flowers on top of a tower of vintage style suitcases. I decorated a glass hurricane vase with leafy carrots and blue ribbon. I managed to come across a wood effect rabbit statue which almost looked like solid milk chocolate mmmm! It was in keeping with the rustic theme and so I tied blue ribbon around its neck and looked great sitting amongst all of the foliage.
I sealed letters onto brown paper craft bags to spell out the word ‘baby shower’ and complemented the look with some baby blue heart tissue paper and blue bows. This ‘What’s in the Bag?’ game was an easy game to play with a large group. I placed laminated pictures inside each bag and guests had to guess what baby related item was in the bag according to the letter on the front. I used a wooden crate to hold the answer sheets and a blue plant pot to hold the pens and finished it off with a plush Peter Rabbit toy.
I had a large wooden frame at home so I varnished it in a rich brown colour and wrapped a leafy garland around two edges. I attached string to the frame to give the effect of a traditional washing line blowing in a garden. I hung up pictures of celebrities as babies with miniature wooden pegs. Guests then had the chance to guess the ‘Celebrity Babies’. Have a go at guessing them yourself! Answers are below. I decorated the game with a wooden crate to hold the answer sheets and a blue plant pot to hold the pens. I had another wood effect rabbit statue which I sat on a log slice with a carrot and some pine cones.
Answers: (L toR) Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Emma Bunton, Cheryl, Madonna, Eminem, Michael Jackson
You could personalise this game by asking your guests to bring a picture of themselves as a baby on the day and ask everybody to guess the baby.
The main feature at the baby shower was a decorative vintage ladder. I had already painted the ladder in chalk paint from a previous party to give a rustic effect so it was perfect for this theme. I placed some handcrafted 3D letters to spell out the word ‘boy’. I painted these with a wood stain but in hindsight I would have preferred to have decorated them with pastel blue coloured decoupage. It still works! I decorated the ladder with a leafy garland and various size glass vases filled with carrots. Beside the ladder I placed a wicker basket, wooden box crate, water jug, watering can and some plant pots. I finished the look off by adding some foliage, blue ribbons, garden tools and some pebbles. I hid my classic ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ in the display. Can you spot it?
As simple as it sounds… I had great difficulty sourcing carrots with leafy greens so instead I placed some carrots into jars and added parsley to the top which worked out great!
I was fortunate that the room had some beautifully exposed brick work so I used this as the backdrop to a vintage style photo booth. I added some blue and white gingham fabric bunting, and created a chalk board sign to give it a traditional look. I like everything coordinated so I filled a white wicker basket full of blue and white photo props for guests to create some memorable photos. I don’t like to see a vintage style photo booth with ‘anything goes’ props that have either no link to the theme or to the colour scheme, it’s a stylists nightmare – so if you take one piece of advice from me today then make sure everything visually flows throughout. Especially where people will be taking a lot of selfies!
Again, this translates to the sweet cart. I think that if you colour coordinate your sweet table or sweet cart to the theme then it looks a lot more effective.
Sweet Things done a perfect job of fitting in with the theme. They clearly paid attention to the colour scheme with the sweets, ribbons and paper bags. They hung some themed paper bunting, and used a gingham canopy which linked perfectly well with the overall look of the baby shower. Having this level of detail certainly pays off.
As a fun activity for guests I made a dickie bow tie making station. An art or craft station is very popular at baby showers as guests want to get involved and what better way than to create a little gift for the baby? The bows can be attached to the baby’s vest, bib or baby grow. I arranged four seats as this station can get overcrowded – with hot glue guns, scissors and sewing kits hanging about I like to make sure there isn’t too much chaos. I used miniature wooden wheelbarrows to display a selection of Peter Rabbit fabrics, and set out a variety of colour coordinated buttons and embellishments. I came across some baby blue bunny shaped teabag holders on sale so I included these to hold the crocodile clips and flowers.
I created a washing line to hang up the dickie bow ties by attaching some string across a vintage looking frame. I attached a leafy garland on top of the frame and set it onto a wooden easel.
Guests nibbled on a classic afternoon tea hosted by the hotel. They enjoyed a selection of homemade sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, home cooked ham with English mustard and egg mayonnaise with cress. There was plenty of cake and pastries to choose from including custard slices and chocolate brownies. It was finished with my favourite; warm scones with clotted cream and jam.
Each guest had their own dainty teacup to enjoy specialty tea or freshly brewed filter coffee. The tables were set up with vintage crockery and Peter Rabbit themed napkins and party favours were added to each table setting. In the centre was a wonderful balloon display of Peter Rabbit in a wicker basket made by CJ’s Balloons which lit up the room.
I always think it’s great to send your guests home with a thank you gift that matches your theme and something that they will actually use. For me, having such a sweet tooth… that usually means SWEETS!
Guests took home delicious home made Peter Rabbit sweet cone favours made by myself; Teacups and Glitter. I can’t say it enough; it is worth paying that little bit more to have that extra bit of detail. You can easily grab some random penny mixture sweets of all colours, shapes and sizes and put them into a cellophane bag but will they look good? This is the last thing your guests will remember! I would encourage you to take the time to find some sweet favours that you like and that perfectly match with your theme so you can add a sweet touch to the end of your guests day.
The lucky winners of the party games got to take home Peter Rabbit themed party bags which included some cute mini sweet bags along with some other adorable treats. The party bags and mini sweet bags were again made by myself; Teacups and Glitter
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Have you ever thrown a Peter Rabbit themed party? What is your favourite Beatrix Potter tale? Will you be decorating a Peter Rabbit nursery this year? I’d love to hear from you…