A few weekends back I had the absolute pleasure of co-hosting a backyard tie-dye baby shower for a lovely, creative, and low-key mama-to-be. Our guest of honor was clear from the start that while she loved the idea of celebrating her babe, she did not want the usual play-games-sit-around-opening-gifts format of a classic baby shower. Thus, our “baby chill” was born and an interactive activity like tie-dye immediately came to mind. It turned out to be the ideal way to bring together a group that didn’t know each other very well, while giving the tie-dye loving future mama and papa some awesome little keepsakes.
We were lucky enough to get a perfectly mild, sunny day. We could be outside in the backyard, which is key when using permanent dyes, so definitely consider weather! Instead of running wild with the tie-dye theme in every aspect of decor, we kept things fun but minimal while playing up the greenery of the yard. Let’s face it, nobody is over letter balloons, so this was a perfect excuse to set the festive tone with a great big “hey baby” as soon as everyone walked in. We continued the “hey baby” slogan throughout on both the invitations and the cake, which happened to be the famous Triple Berry Cake from Sweet Lady Jane in LA — yum!)
We had a large hedge wall to work with, so we saw this as our blank canvas of onesies. Not only did this make the theme/activity immediately obvious to the guests, but it also provided an adorable photo backdrop and a general happy baby feel. We created three simple laundry lines by tying twine to the tree trunks in the hedge and simply hanging the plain white onesies with clothes pegs. We bought the packs of onesies in 3 different sizes (3 months, 6 months and 12 months) to ensure the little one would have a year’s worth of tie-dye outfit options.
Our lunch option mimicked the simple but interactive vibe of the tie-dye activity. We bought a platter of delicious sandwiches and then created a DIY greek salad bar (inspired by a certain someone’s cravings) so each guest could have a deliciously customized meal. This last-minute purchase took our salads to the next level. The rose was flowing for the non-pregnant guests, and we also made a a delicious, non-alcoholic fizzy mango lemonade.
After fueling up, the creative juices started flowing and everyone jumped into the tie-dye full force. We purchased enough onesies for everyone to make one (with a few extras in case of mistakes). These tie-dye kits were a lifesaver. They provided everything we needed in one box: dye, rubber bands, gloves, and plastic table cloths. The box claims to be good for six people, so we bought two as our group was twelve people. However, since we were using such a small amount of dye for onesies, we had more than enough with one box.
We also bought extra gloves (so several people could work at once), and a secondary plastic table cloth for an extra layer of protection. We also found zippered sandwich baggies were excellent for storing the dyed onesies in a mess-free way. The dye needed to sink in for 6-8 hours after application.
In this case, we sent the mama-to-be home with the dyed onesies in the plastic zipper baggies, and she later washed and dried them at home. You could also wash, dry, and present them to her at a later date if she is not as intrepid! Overall, this was an excellent, quick, easy, fun, and personalized way to celebrate a new baby’s arrival.