Our Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower is a unique gender-neutral party idea filled with lots of adorable favors, DIY project tutorials, free printables, games, decor, and more!
My brother and sister-in-law were expecting their first child and I was beyond excited to plan their baby shower. I love throwing a pretty party and this was my chance to go all out. After racking my mind for something unique, I settled on a hot air balloon theme with the catchphrase “Up, Up & Away, Baby Is On Their Way!”. Whimsical hot air balloon images that I purchased from Angie Makes were my inspiration for the theme!
They didn’t know what they were having, so I wanted a fun theme that was gender-neutral. While there is pink, peach, and aqua in the color scheme, I still think it works for any baby. At the end of the day, the shower is typically for the mom so it can lean on the slightly feminine side in my opinion! 😉
To bring this shower together for their friends and family, I started with this idea for a buffet of cupcakes and candy decorated with hot air balloon garland, tissue paper pom poms, and cupcakes. I am thrilled to be sharing all of these DIY projects and ideas I used to make this a memorable and beautiful baby shower!
DIY Hot Balloon Garland Decor Tutorial
- 4 sheets of peach cardstock
- 4 sheets of pink cardstock
- 4 sheets of aqua cardstock
- 6 sheets of cream cardstock
- 1 sheet of brown cardstock
1. To get started, use a circle cutter to make 16 4-inch circles in each color of cardstock, making 64 total circles.
2. Next, use a medium heart punch to cut out as many hearts as you can in the leftover paper on each sheet as well as 80 hearts from the brown cardstock.
3. Using a cloud punch, cut out 44 small clouds.
4. Arrange the circles in stacks of 3, using a variety of color combos for each stack. Be sure not to include duplicate colors in each stack.
5. Using your sewing machine with white thread, begin sewing down the very center of the stack of three cardstock circles. Once you have gotten to the end of the circles, do NOT cut your thread. Continue pressing on your pedal and pull the circles towards you until a 1/2 inch string is formed.
6. Now place 2 brown hearts, stacked on top of each other, under the pedal. Sew over them in the same fashion you did the circles. When you get to the end, continue pressing on the pedal and pulling the pieces toward you until you create a 2-inch string.
7. Now place 2 cream clouds, stacked on top of each other, under the pedal. Sew over them in the center in the same way you did with the circles and hearts. When you get to the end, continue pressing on the pedal and pulling the pieces toward you until you create a 2-inch string.
8. Continue sewing, repeating steps 4-7 until all of the circles are used up.
9. Once you are ready to hang the garland, unfold the layers of circles, hearts, and clouds so they accordion out for a multi-dimensional look.
Use the same process as above to sew single hearts every few inches into a garland. Once complete, wrap the garland around a piece of cardboard to store and transport without it getting tangled. String the garland for a dainty and beautiful touch to any area of the party.
Hot Air Balloon Gift & Card Basket
For an easy and impressive cardholder, fill a 36-inch balloon with helium and cover it with a balloon net. Tie the net to a woven basket and place a few books in it to weigh it down. This makes for a great first impression at the gift table!
Baby Bottle Cookies In a Jar Favor
Guests were traveling from across the country or hours away. I wanted to thank them for attending with a special favor they could take home. I made everyone cookies in a jar that looked like baby bottles!
To make the bottles, whip up one batch of these Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies in a Pint Jar. Download this FREE PRINTABLE for cookie labels with baking instructions and print them out on 2-inch round labels. Using a 2.5-inch scalloped punch, cut out 12 circles from your choice of cardstock. Center the sticker on the scalloped circle and punch a hole in the top. Tie the labels to the rim of each mason jar.
Using glue, attach an extra-large nipple to the top of each lid. Print and frame this 4×6 sign and place by the favors for an extra touch!
Baby Shower Cupcake Topper Tutorial
I love cupcake toppers, so of course I had to include some personalized ones on all of the homemade cupcakes. Using the same labels and punch that you used for the cookie jar labels, follow this tutorial to make cupcake toppers with these adorable balloon images. I made up some labels just for you that you can download for free HERE!
Baby Quilt Guest Book Idea
Instead of doing a traditional guest book, I wanted to make something unique that wouldn’t get shoved in a box and forgotten about. I decided to have each guest that invited to the shower decorate a 6inch x 6-inch quilt square. The guests could sew or create their square before the shower or they could use fabric markers I provided at the shower to design something special.
It was a complete surprise for the mom-to-be so I included the THIS CARD along with a 6″x6″ piece of white Kona fabric and small 3″x3″ pieces of coordinating colored fabrics in each baby shower invite. You wouldn’t have to include the coordinating pieces of colored fabric, but I did this to try and achieve a more cohesive look with the finished quilt.
When the guests completed their square, I had them hang them on a mini clothesline over the window so they were beautifully displayed and added yet another design element to the party.
After the shower, I assembled the pieces into a quilt for the baby by adding a 2″ strip of coordinating fabric between each square to really highlight each individual design. This is one of my absolute favorite parts of this shower. It was such a special way to not only remember the day but have something personalized from all of the baby’s loved ones for years to come!
I love how it all turned out in the end. Look at some of the fantastic creativity our family exhibited!
Unique Baby Shower Game Ideas
What is a baby shower without making the guests play silly games?! I didn’t want to dedicate a ton of time to games but wanted to have a little fun with things and force guests from different sides of the family to interact. We started with the Price is Right game.
Baby Shower Price Is Right
I had a small table set out with each of the items listed in-game as well as copies of the game card that you can download and print for free HERE. As guests were arriving and mingling, I made sure they took a moment to fill out a card with their best guesses for the price of each item. Toward the end of the shower we went through the list and the person with the closest price of each item scored one point. The guest with the most points won a prize.
This game did cause a bit of friendly heckling. They disputed some of the prices that I pulled from Amazon. The New Yorkers guessed high on everything because apparently prices are higher out there than in Minnesota. At the end of the day it was a fun game that got everyone a bit riled up and having a good time. 🙂
Baby Bottle Wine Chugging Contest
This baby shower was attended by mostly adults so why not have some adult fun?! I prepared 6 small baby bottles before the shower with each one containing 4 oz of wine. (I did put apple juice in one of the bottles in case we had a non-drinker who wanted to participate.)
I asked for 6 volunteers to play a game without them knowing what they would be doing. These ladies were a good fit as they fought hard to suck that wine through the tiny little holes. In the end, the winner, who was the first one to finish their bottle, got a nice prize for their efforts! 🙂
Baby Shower Gift Bingo
Once the mom-to-be got ready to start opening gifts, I handed each guest a bingo sheet and pen. If she opened a gift on your bingo sheet you got to mark it off. The first one to get a Bingo got a prize! You can download a free set of 24 Bingo Cards to print HERE.
Hot Air Balloon Thank You Postcards
I planned ahead and designed a Thank You postcard that fit the theme of the baby shower in advance. After the shower was over, I handed the mom-to-be a nice stack of these pre-made postcards so she could easily send all of her friends and family a personal card thanking them for their gift and attendance. You can download this design HERE to print your very own postcards.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the food for your party! I asked the co-hosts to each bring an appetizer in addition to those I was providing. It made for an exceptional spread of food where guests could grab a light snack or fill up on a full meal. A couple of my favorite finger foods for parties include this Fruit Pizza, Ham and Egg Salad Cucumber Cups, and my all-time favorite Chicken Artichoke Bites.
Whether you use one of these projects or all of the ideas for the baby shower you are planning, I hope you have a beautiful day for that special mom-to-be!
I know you can order from the Dollar Tree website and have your items delivered to a store for pickup as well.
Zita Berger says
I am helping with a shower with this theme and am going to use your Bingo cards. Thank you so much for making them available. I was wondering though, if I need 50 cards, how can I make them all different? If I just print twice there will potentially be too many winners. Any chance you’d also provide the basic template with squares without text?
Aaron C. says
I’ve heard of using balloons to match a theme of a baby shower but never thought of using balloons AS the theme. Thanks for sharing!
I am looking for the actual shower invitation for the baby shower? Did you happen to make one that you would be willing to share that we can edit?
Julie @Real Housemoms says
Hi Holly. Unfortunately, we don’t have any invitation printables. But there are some really cute options on Zazzle. My maid of honor used them for my bridal shower invitations and they were great quality! Hope this helps.
Love the creativity! Thank you so much for the inspiration and the downloadable templates!
Julie @Real Housemoms says
Our pleasure Mandy!
I am currently planning a shower for my sister in law… wanting to make the cookies in a jar party favors… but mason jars are expensive.. we plan to have about 40 or so guests… any suggestions?
Julie @Real Housemoms says
I would check out your local dollar stores, they make have something. I know you can order from the Dollar Tree website and have your items delivered to a store for pickup as well. Thrift stores are another great place to look for second-hand jars. Hope this helps!
I’ve often seen boxes of canning jars at thrift shops (Good Will, Salvation Army, etc) They’re usually inexpensive and sometimes brand new.
What a lovely party! I just printed out the “Price is Right Game” for my daughter’s baby shower. She is due in October.
Julie @Real Housemoms says
We hope you enjoy it and congratulations grandma!! 😉
This is adorable! I want to make a similar garland for my new babies nursery. I was planning on using hot glue but most tutorials have the garland sewn together. That seems like a better idea…..however I don’t use my sewing machine very often. Would I need to use a special needle for this? Can a normal sewing machine handle sewing through cardstock?? I guess I’m worried about somehow breaking my machine as I’ve never tried to sew paper!
Beautiful baby shower! Thank you for sharing!!
Danielle G says
Hi Sarah, any type of needle will pierce right through the paper!