Why go for the standard diapers and grooming supplies when it comes to giving a baby shower gift? These handmade, one-of-a-kind gift ideas will kick your shower skills up a notch!
1. Divide and Conquer
There's one thing that's for sure: babies grow really quickly. And since mommy-to-be will likely score a bunch of baby clothes in every size, a set of organizers can help keep things straight in baby's closet. Begin with half a dozen circular bases — using a large mug, trace circles on a piece of foam board and use an X-acto knife to carefully cut them out. Then, use a silver dollar to trace a smaller circle inside each; cut that out as well. You should end with six donut-shaped rings. Paint the rings a solid color that matches the baby’s nursery theme. Then, print a baby-friendly pattern or a few high resolution photos using your PIXMA printer and cut them to match the shape and size of the foam rings (taking care to leave the hole in the middle unobstructed). Glue the pattern or photo to either side of the ring, add a few number stickers (newborn, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, etc.) to designate sizes and voila! Mommy can slip the rings over hangers in the closet to separate baby’s clothing.
2. The Name of the Game
If baby's name is already picked out, a simple piece of lettered wall art can really bring together the nursery's theme. Stick with an easy design idea and create an alphabet sign using your favorite word processor, highlighting the baby's initial with a bright color and leaving the rest of the letters a slightly faded, contrasting grey. Add baby's name along the bottom of the sign, then print it on a piece of photo paper. Finish it off by placing the design in a frame (and be sure to paint it if it doesn't already match the nursery theme).
3. Iron On the Good Wishes
Babies garner a lot of attention, and a fun gift will get them even more. Use your PIXMA printer and some iron-on transfer paper to create truly original couture! Design ideas can be funny — a play on words like "iPeed" or "Will Cry for Food," for example — or you can download some baby-themed clip art to adorn the garment's chest. Once you've cropped the design to the proper size, print it on the transfer paper according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using light-colored transfer paper, you'll likely need to print the design in reverse. To finish, adhere the designs to the item with a hot iron. The design possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
4. In Single File
Babies are messy. While you might not be able to help Mom control the dribbles and spills, you can at least help her keep baby's files in order. Pick up an inexpensive accordion file folder from the local office supply store and create a DIY organizer so there's a place for every file Mom accumulates as she shuttles baby from doctors to schools to the bank. Plain is always fine, but a little DIY creativity can really jazz up the gift. Cover the outside of the folder, for example, with a favorite pattern or photo print, then use your PIXMA printer to create custom printed labels to address the new mom's specific needs. Appropriately named tabs include "hospital paperwork," "pediatrician visits," "parenting articles" and "receipts." You can also put the accordion file into a customized photo memory box with new baby’s picture on the outside.
5. Map it Out
When it comes to DIY gifts, unique and personal is the name of the game ... and you can't get more personal than a gift that combines Mom's, Dad's and baby's birth places into one piece of art. Start by picking up a few thin wooden shapes at the local craft store — hearts or circles work nicely. Search the internet for map artwork featuring each of the three birthplaces, then crop each map to fit on an individual wooden shape. Print and trim the images, then mount them to the wooden shapes with glue. Cover each designed shape with varnish to seal the paper permanently to the wood. Once they're dry, adhere them to a piece of foam board or card stock with glue or mounting tape, then insert the whole thing into a frame or shadow box.
6. Savy Savers
The mommy-to-be might not realize it right now, but in a few weeks, she's going to be desperate for a free night off to do what she pleases. Instead of getting her more “stuff,” have some fun creating a unique coupon book that ensures the new parents have a few nights off once baby arrives. Create a few simple coupons in a paint or word processing program, adding some baby-centric images to spruce them up. Be sure to design a variety of "discounts" — offering babysitting during an afternoon shopping excursion, for example, or a date night with the hubby — then embellish the designs with plenty of fun clip art that relates to the coupon itself. Print them out using your PIXMA printer, trim to size, then punch a hole and tie them together using a pretty ribbon.
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