For my sister’s baby shower I chose a vintage circus theme to tie to the elephant theme of the nursery. I went a little elephant crazy to make sure they were represented. Decorations alone included an elephant made out of swaddle blankets, vintage circus prints of elephants, a Dumbo knit hat and knit elephant, and more! I’m no artist, maybe mildly crafty, and with two kids underfoot the game plan was keep it easy. Here are a couple things I learned along the way:
Scrapbook paper is cool! I found thick circus scrapbook paper (half off!) and decided to go the route of DIY food labels- the paper was too cute not to use. Naturally, I chose elephant-shaped food labels. The paper turned out to be perfect for food labels-not too bulky so it was easy to cut and not too thin so it held its shape when placed upright. It was two-sided paper with a different color or pattern on the backside. I loved how the backside image peeked through when the labels were propped on the tables. I cut the same elephant shape on another style of circus scrapbook paper and had guests write advice or encouragement for the new mama. Multipurpose elephant shape. Nice.
Don’t forget you’ll cut multiple copies of your shape. Make sure you choose a shape that isn’t too time-consuming to cut. A shape with curves and not too many tight angles works best -a whale, turtle, apple, fish, etc. I chose a very simple elephant shape that was basically one long half circle from the legs up the back with a little half circle in between the legs. The most difficult parts to cut were the offshoots-the trunk and the tail. I hated the tail by the end of the process. As I cut my elephants, the tail gradually grew in size and became less defined, and it nearly came off several times as I grew impatient with the process. So, yeah, pick a rainbow. I rainbow would make a perfect food label.
The fold is on top. This became my mantra after I cut a couple elephants upside down. Determine how many food labels you can make per sheet of paper and cut the paper down to size. Fold each piece in half. Line up your shape so that there is at least a quarter of an inch touching the fold (this will act as a tab to hold the folded paper together). Keep the fold on top when you cut or trace your shape and you’re golden.
Loosely tape the shape onto the folded paper. I cut the elephant shape onto a piece of lined paper and then loosely taped the shape onto the scrapbook paper. You could trace the shape with a pencil or simply cut around the taped shape, just save the taped parts for last.
Fun Fonts: There are lots of fun (and free) fonts out there. I found some circus fonts that I used quite a bit, but I chose a simple scroll font for the labels. It’s amazing, however, how something as simple as a font can enhance your theme.