Baby showers sure can be fun. But when you’re the one hosting, throwing a baby shower can be pretty stressful, especially if you’re on a budget.
It is one of the first things a lot of expecting moms think about.
Depending on a few different factors such as location, the number of guests, food and drinks, people spend an average of $100 to $1000 on a baby shower party.
If you’ve been tasked with hosting a baby shower, fear not – you can do it on a budget.
And it can be just as great!
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In today’s post, I’ll cover 85 cheap baby shower ideas.
Whether you’re wondering, “where can I host a baby shower for free?” or “how can I save money on baby shower food?”, we’ve got you covered!
To help you out, I’ve split these ideas and tips into categories!
So check out the table of contents to head right to the ideas and tips you need!
How to Throw a Baby Shower on a Budget
Here are 85 cheap baby shower ideas and tips for hosting a fun and lovely baby shower that won’t break the bank!
Inexpensive Places to Host a Baby Shower
Are you looking for a cheap venue to host a baby shower?
Handily enough, there are lots of great options out there that are either cheap or totally free!
1. At home
Host a baby shower at home for a more intimate, relaxed atmosphere. It’s free too!
If the weather’s good, consider hosting the baby shower in the park! What better setting? You have nature right there. And many neighborhoods even have gazebos at playgrounds that you can use free of charge!
3. A friend or family member’s home
Do you have a friend or family member with a beautiful backyard garden? Then ask if you could host the party at their place. You get a beautiful setting for free!
You can likely use the facilities free of charge if you are a member of a church.
5. Club house
If your condo or apartment complex has a clubhouse, you may be able to use it for free or for a small fee.
6. Small stores
Small shops like ceramic or art studios may rent out spaces for things like baby showers, for a small fee. Cafés often do this as well. It’s a cheap venue for a baby shower.
Some non-profits in your area may have a room or cafeteria that you can rent for the baby shower. This is generally a cheap option. So call around to see if there’s one near you.
Many YMCAs have spaces available that you can rent out for a reasonable price.
9. Community center
You may be able to rent out a room at your local community center at an affordable rate.
Baby Shower Invitation Ideas
Okay, so now you have a cheap place to host a baby shower, now you need to invite the guests. Invitations are one of those things that can end up costing a lot, especially if you have a lot of people to invite.
But, they don’t have to.
You can get invitations for a really low cost or even free!
10. Make your own
Okay, so making your own invitations can be cheap and it allows you to personalize them. All you need is white or brown cards and then just decorate them to match the theme of the baby shower (more on baby shower themes later!). You can glue on lace, letter cutouts, flowers and more.
11. Send evites
Why send paper invitations at all? After all, the invitation is there simply to tell the guests when to arrive and once that information is gleaned from an invite it’s usually tossed in the trash anyway.
So, why not send an Evite instead?
One website that’s great for free baby shower evites is the aptly named eVites.com.
12. Use printable baby shower invitations
Another great option is to use printable baby shower invitations. You don’t have to spend money on decorations as you do when you make your own. All you need is some printer paper and of course a printer!
Here are some places where you can find free printable baby shower invitations:
There’s a great selection of invites available and you can often customize them too!
Cheap Baby Shower Decoration Ideas
What’s a baby shower without decorations?
Don’t worry; you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your venue look great. There are tons of inexpensive baby shower decorations that look amazon but won’t put a dent in the old budget.
Here are some tips and ideas for decorating a baby shower on a budget.
13. Put decorations in a few key places
Who says the whole place has to be covered in balloons and ribbons?
You don’t have to go crazy with the decorations to make the place look awesome.
Just have a few focal points instead.
Keeping the decorations to a minimum is an easy way to cut back on the cost of a baby shower.
So just focus on a few key places and make them stand out. For example, you could decorate the food table and mom’s chair. And hang a garland over the gift table.
14. Use printables
One of the cheapest ways to get decorations is to use printables. There are lots of websites out there offering printable decorations:
- Banners, party favor tags and more from Pampers
- Table signs from this Pinterest board.
- Baby shower banner from this Pinterest board.
15. Use favors as decorations
You can use favors as decorations, cutting your costs significantly. Use your baby shower favors as centerpieces. You can arrange them in a nice basket or on an elegant serving tray. Just add a few little touches, like ribbon and you have yourself a cute centerpiece.
16. If you do go with a theme, keep it simple
When you’re throwing a baby shower, you’re probably considering whether or not to have a theme.
Themed baby showers are pretty popular. But you don’t have to go overboard.
Going with theme colors is often less expensive than planning other types of themes.
17. Shop your own home first
Your own home can be an awesome place to source decorations. You may be able to find stuff around your home that you can use as a decoration, like:
- You can even wrap some tulle around them and put flowers from your garden in there.
- You could put these on the gift table.
So always “shop” at your house first.
18. Create height to make inexpensive decorations look better
While a candle or small plant may look at a little flat on its own, if you put it on a stand it will make it look a whole lot better. It adds dimension. To add dimension to a decoration, wrap cereal boxes with gift wrapping paper and place centerpieces on top of them.
19. Use Balloon Bouquets (you can make your own!)
Balloon Bouquets are inexpensive to make, and they look great too.
Read this tutorial to learn how to make a balloon bouquet.
20. Make a onesies garland
Make a garland with onesies for a super cute baby shower decoration. All you need are onesies or any other baby clothes, and some twine and clothes pins.
21. Decorate with toys
One of the easiest ways to save money on the decorations is with toys. Toys make for great baby shower decorations. You can use them to create inexpensive centerpieces, to hang around the place, to put on the tables and more!
You can either buy some toys or use any gently used toys you already have, like trucks, dolls, and teddy bears.
22. Use books for decoration
You can also use children’s books for decoration. You can use them to decorate tables or even use them to make a centerpiece! Place a cute teddy bear on a stack of children’s books for an awesome centerpiece.
23. Make diaper cakes
Diaper cakes are such a fun decoration idea! And they are pretty easy to make.
Read this tutorial on how to make a diaper cake.
24. Make your own washcloth bouquet
A washcloth bouquet is a cheap decoration idea.
Take a look at this Pinterest board on how to make a baby washcloth rose.
Read this article for 10 washcloth flower arrangements for baby showers.
25. Use gifts as centerpieces
Gifts can make for awesome centerpieces. If you know a couple of the guests well, ask if they would like their gifts to be used as centerpieces.
26. Make some framed quotes
Make some framed quotes and use them to decorate the room. You could simply write “Baby Boy” or “Baby Girl” on a canvas and frame it. Or you can write it in Word and print it out. You could place them on the gift or food table, or even use them as centerpieces.
27. Honeycombs and Lanterns
Buy some honeycombs and lanterns and hang them around the room. You can find colors that match pretty much any color scheme.
You can find them for a really reasonable price at the dollar store and on Amazon.
28. Decorate a birdcage
Find a birdcage at the thrift store and transform it with some flowers and other decorative items. It can make for a great piece at any baby shower.
29. Turn mason jars into beautiful centerpieces
Turn mason jars into beautiful centerpieces by adding some flowers. They are so easy to make and there are plenty of tutorials online. Check out this list of mason jar flower arrangement ideas.
30. Create tulle and candle centerpieces for an elegant decoration
Tulle and candle centerpieces can make for beautiful decorative pieces. You can get sparkling mesh or tulle that match your baby shower color theme for a pretty low price, and the glow of a candle will add a nice touch.
31. Turn mugs into a cute centerpiece
You can turn mugs into cute centerpieces. And you can pick up cheap bugs at the dollar store or online. Just fill them with candy or flowers. You could even stuff the mug with foam and put a cute sign in there that goes with your theme.
You could even offer those mugs as baby shower favors – so they pull double duty. Just put in a couple of tea bags or a hot cocoa mix – it’s super simple!
32. Don’t forget about the dollar store
The dollar store should be your go-to when you’re shopping for decorations.
33. Hang triangle banners on the walls
You can easily make some triangle banners to hang on the walls. And it doesn’t have to cost you much either.
Just head out to your local fabric store, or look online, and get some patterned fabrics. Then you can cut them into triangles and glue them onto the twine. Now you have a decoration to hang on the wall, which didn’t cost you too much money.
You could also consider using thick colored paper instead of fabric.
34. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth
Use butcher’s paper on the food table and write down what each dish is with a marker.
You can get really creative and draw swirls, flowers, and more on the paper too. There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest.
35. Use wrapping paper for the table runner
This is a super simple tip, but it can work well. Basically, you can use wrapping paper as a table runner. It’s bright, it looks great, and it’s cheap as well! You don’t have to worry about spilling on an expensive fabric table runner either.
36. Make your own cupcake stand
You can make your own cupcake stand with dollar store silver plates, glass candle holders, some spray paint in a color that goes with your theme, and a hot glue gun or super glue. It’s easy to do, but the results are awesome.
37. Make tissue paper flowers
You can make tissue paper flowers at a low cost. And they look beautiful too since you can make them in colors that match your baby shower theme.
Check out this tutorial on how to make tissue paper flowers.
Or you could always buy the tissue paper flowers, as they’re not too pricey.
38. Decorate with balloons
Balloons are a classic party decoration, and baby showers are no different. Decorating with balloons will not only make the place look awesome, but it’s also pretty cheap, not to mention that it just screams, “celebration.”
You can make a chair look better with a few balloons and bows, for example!
39. Carve a watermelon into a baby carriage
You can carve a watermelon into a baby carriage and have a centerpiece that’s sure to impress guests. Plus it’s edible!
Cheap Baby Shower Games
Another integral part of a baby shower is the games. Sure, not all moms-to-be want games at their shower, but many do.
Baby shower games don’t have to cost a ton of money. As with every other aspect of the shower, you can do them on the cheap.
Here are some cheap baby shower games and activities…
40. Guess the size of mom’s belly
Simple, but classic, guessing the size of the mom-to-be’s belly is always a fun time. Just get something you can put around the belly, like ribbon, yarn, or string, and a pair of scissors.
Then hand out the supplies to guests and ask them to cut it to the size they think the circumference on the mom’s belly is. Whoever’s closest wins the prize.
41. Pacifier scavenger hunt
Hold a pacifier scavenger hunt. This is such a fun idea for a shower. Just buy some inexpensive pacifiers and hide them around the party area. Then ask your guests to find them. Whoever finds the most wins.
42. Time capsule for the baby
This is a very cute idea that the parents-to-be are sure to love. Just ask your guests to bring things that you can put inside a time capsule for the baby. This could include things like:
- Newspaper clippings
- Notes about the parents.
Then at the shower you and the parents-to-be can create a time capsule for the baby.
43. Baby Mad Libs
Did you love doing Mad Libs as a kid? Many of us did. That’s why it makes such an awesome baby shower game.
Vote on whose Mad Lib was the funniest.
You can get free printable baby Mad Libs from Pinterest here.
44. Find the Guest
Okay, if you’re looking for a fun game, give find the guest a try. Before the shower, write a list of fun or unique things about each guest. Then give each of your guests a copy of the list. Then guests need to match the names with the facts – either by just guessing or by mingling.
The guest who gets the most matches wins.
45. Guess Who
Guess Who is sort of like Find the Guest, only with photos instead.
Basically, you ask guests for photos of themselves when they were babies.
I would ask guests to email you photocopies of these photos, so you don’t have to worry about damaging or local precious childhood photos.
Then print out these photos, number each one, and stick them on a corkboard or poster board.
At the shower, ask your guests to write down which photo is of which guest. Then the person who gets the most answers right wins the game.
46. Baby bucket list
A cute, fun activity to do at a baby shower is to create a baby bucket list. Just have your guests write down the things they think that new parents will enjoy doing with their baby. You could guess things like what things they enjoyed doing with their own parents as kids.
All you need are some notecards and some pens. You can give the notecards to the new mom at the end of the party and they can be added to a scrapbook for the baby’s first year.
47. Diaper notes
All you need for this game is a pack of plain diapers and a pack of sharpies. Then at the shower, have your guests write a funny, motivational, or cute little note on the diapers for the parents-to-be.
48. The Price Is Right
The Price is Right is a classic, so why not give it a try at your baby shower.
At the shower, have guests write down how much they think each item costs. Just like in the TV show, the person who is closest to the price, without going over it, wins.
49. Baby Shower Scramble
Baby shower scramble is another fun game to consider. And all you need is some paper, pens, and a timer.
Choose some longish birth/baby-related words, like cesarian or pacifier and then asks guests to come up with new words from the letters.
Or you can scramble each word and have guests figure out what each word is. Like loganesioistthes, would be anesthesiologist.
The guest who gets the most wins!
50. Who Is It: Mom or Dad?
This is a super fun game that can also help everyone get to know the expectant parents better.
Ask the parents-to-be for 5 to 10 memorable moments from when they were kids.
For example, you could say, “I played with dolls until I was 11.”
Write a list of these and print it out.
Then have guests guess whether it was mom or dad.
The person with the most correct guesses is the winner.
51. Nursery Rhyme Quiz
This is a whimsical, fun game that everyone’s sure to enjoy. Basically, you write down nursery rhymes leaving blanks – you can easily copy and paste them from the internet into a Word document and then remove certain words. Then you give everyone a copy of the papers.
Next, you ask your guests to fill in the blanks and whoever gets the most correct wins.
52. Baby Shower Bingo
Baby shower bingo is a classic. All you need is a printout of a bingo board game that includes various baby items on it. The boards must all be different. So the baby items need to be in a different order on each board.
Guests should play the bingo game while the mom opens her presents.
You can find lots of free printable baby bingo games online, like this one from Pampers.
Baby Shower Prizes
Okay, so now you have some fun baby shower games and activities to do at the shower, so what about the prizes?
They can get pricey, right?
Don’t worry; there are plenty of cheap baby shower prizes that your guests will love.
53. Mini bottles of alcohol
Travel size bottles of alcohol like vodka or tequila can make for great gifts.
Scented candles are a great prize since most people like candles. They’re pretty cheap too.
Lotions are super cheap, but also make for good prizes.
56. Coffee mugs
Everyone needs a coffee mug, which is why they’re often appreciated as prizes.
57. Kitchen accessories
Kitchen accessories, whether it’s a bottle opener or lime squeezer, can also make for a practical prize.
58. Nail stuff
From a red nail polish to a French manicure kit, nail stuff makes for a great prize.
59. Spa kits
Another good prize option is a spa kit. These usually contain stuff like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and bubble bath.
Whether it’s chocolate, cookies, or candies, sweets can make for an awesome prize.
Notebooks are one of those versatile items that suit lots of people – after all, they can be used for everything from making notes on work, to writing grocery lists.
That’s why they make for such good prizes.
62. Reusable coffee cup with a gift card
Buy a reusable coffee cup and put a gift card for Starbucks in there. It’s a practical prize that guests are sure to appreciate.
63. Gift cards
Another option to consider is gift cards. Even if they’re a small denomination, like $5, guests will still appreciate having free cash to spend. Gift cards for stores and food establishments that people love, like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and the aforementioned Starbucks always go down well.
64. Face masks
Whether it’s a moisturizing mask or an exfoliating mask, face masks make a good prize, especially for guests who love skincare. You can get them for less than $5 at Target.
65. Cosmetic Bags
Cosmetic bags always come in handy, so they make got good baby shower prizes. You can get them for less than $10 on Amazon as well.
66. Recipe Cards
For guests who loved to cook, recipe cards are a good prize. You can get recipe cards for under $10 too.
For guests who’re hyper-organized, a planner makes for a great prize. They’re not too expensive to find nowadays in places like Target and Amazon.
68. Photo frames
Everyone needs a photo frame, so consider giving them as prizes at the shower. You can pick them up for less than $10 at places like Walmart, Amazon, and Target.
Cheap Food Ideas for Baby Shower
Next up we have the food. Of course, it wouldn’t be a baby shower without food and drinks. But it’s those that can end up costing you a lot of cash if you aren’t careful.
Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways you can cater a baby shower on a budget.
69. Host the shower at the right time
Host a shower at lunchtime and many guests will expect a full-blown meal. Same thing for dinnertime. After all, most people are hungry during those times.
You’ll avoid having to cater a full-on meal if you don’t hold the baby shower during lunch or dinnertime.
70. Serve a simplified menu if possible
If you hold a baby shower between meals, be sure to keep the menu simple.
Buy having it during late morning for example or in the afternoon, you can get away with a smaller menu. You could serve a few finger foods. Just include simple appetizers and snacks, like fruits and pastries. And drinks can be coffee and juice.
None of that is expensive.
71. Go for Ice cream
Next, we have ice cream. A lot of baby shower hosts feel the need to have this huge cake. But that gets pricey. Ice cream is well-loved, so it’s an awesome alternative to your traditional cake. Plus, as I said above, you can set up an ice cream bar and fill the table with a selection of toppings for your guests to choose from.
72. Have a “build your own” food bar
If you do have the shower at prime eating times, then rather than serving a regular meal, which can get expensive, have a “build your own” food bar instead. For example, you could have a taco bar and include different options for toppings that guests can customize as they want.
And who doesn’t love tacos?
Other ideas include a rice bowl bar, an ice cream sundae bar, and a salad bar.
Having a “build your own” food bar can cut costs, as long as you keep it simple, and it helps reduce prep time as well.
73. Go for cupcakes over regular cake
Okay, so if you don’t want the cost of a traditional cake, but would still like cake at the party, then go with cupcakes instead. You can choose a frosting color and cupcake liners that go with the color scheme of the shower. They’re cheaper and they can double up as décor too.
74. Try making a Swiss roll instead
Swiss rolls are a classic and they’re pretty easy to make as well. The best part is they are so cheap, much cheaper than paying for a big cake from a store. There are plenty of recipes available online too, like this one from Home Cooking Adventure.
75. Host a potluck
If you are holding a baby shower at lunchtime or dinnertime, then try to host a potluck instead.
Everyone pitches in then by bringing a dish of their own. You can always coordinate what everyone’s bringing too so that you don’t end up with a million desserts and no main dishes.
76. Make cake pops for a cute alternative to regular cake
Cake pops can make for super cute alternatives to a regular cake. These bite-sized treats are perfect for guests to sample as they mingle, not to mention that they look beautiful on the table too.
There are lots of recipes available online, like this one.
77. Please a crowd with cookies
Who doesn’t like cookies?
They’re always sure to please a crowd. So bake up a batch of them and serve them at the party. You can even decorate them to match your baby shower theme.
78. Make parfaits for a dessert that looks more expensive than it is
Parfaits are another inexpensive food option to consider and they look great served in wine glasses. So they can double up as decorations too. There are lots of recipes online for everything from strawberry to chocolate brownie parfaits.
79. Go with chocolate (who doesn’t like chocolate?)
Most people love chocolate, meaning it’s sure to be a winner at a baby shower too. Just buy a few boxes of chocolate, and put them on a nice serving plate or cake stand.
80. Serve tiny sandwiches
Tiny sandwiches look adorable and they make for great party favors as well. You can present tiny sandwiches beautifully too!
81. Make a fruit platter
Arrange fruit on a platter or make cute little individual servings in bowls. Fruit is super tasty, it looks great, and it’s not too expensive either.
82. Get the food from Costco
Costco is a great place for buying food for a baby shower, especially if you’re going to have a lot of guests. You can buy platters, cakes, sandwiches and more there at low prices.
How to Throw a Cheap Baby Shower: More Tips
Here are a few more things that can help you to save a little more when hosting a baby shower.
83. Use coupons
Whenever you’re shopping for stuff for the baby shower, use coupons! It will save you so much money.
Here are some awesome coupon sites to consider:
84. Co-host the baby shower
You don’t have to take on all of the financial responsibility of hosting the shower. Ask other guests to help out. One guest could chip in on the decorations, another could get the favors, and someone could get the decoration.
If you’re on a tight budget, you should definitely get other guests to pitch in.
85. Use rebate apps to save more
Using coupons isn’t the only way to save money on your shopping.
You can also use rebate apps to save more. Rebate apps give you money when you upload a photo of your receipt. Some may require you to purchase specific items and then upload your receipt as proof of purchase before you get the rebate.
Here are a few rebate apps to consider:
Best Places to Shop for Inexpensive Baby Shower Stuff
Okay, so above, I’ve given you lots of tips and ideas for hosting a baby shower on the cheap.
In this section, I’m going to cover some of the best stores for buying baby shower stuff, from the food to the decorations.
- TJ Maxx – Best for baby shower prizes
- Dollar Tree – Great for cheap decorations and craft supplies
- Costco – Best for food and party favors
- Walmart – Good for favors, decorations and more
- Target – Great for prizes, decorations and more
- Amazon – Good all-round for supplies
- Trader Joe’s – Great for inexpensive flowers
A great baby shower doesn’t equal an expensive one. You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to have an awesome baby shower that guests love.
With the tips and ideas above, you can easily host a baby shower that doesn’t break the bank and that everyone is sure to love.
So give these cheap baby shower ideas and tips a try.