Cheap & Easy Baby Shower Ideas + Tips for Throwing the Best Party!

Jun 26, 2021 | Baby and Kids, Party

If you're planning a shower for a mama-to-be, you need to read this post first! We've got baby shower ideas, plus genius tips and tricks that will help you throw the best party without breaking the bank.

friends taking selfie at a baby shower, from Fun Cheap or Free

Baby showers are SO much fun, but if you're hosting one, it can get expensive (and stressful) pretty quickly if you're not careful. Luckily, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to shower your favorite mom-to-be with lots of love. We're about to prove it!

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We've got baby shower ideas galore–including themes, food, games, and decorations! Best of all, they're all easy to put together and affordable, too. You can stop scrolling Pinterest because we're here to save the day. Oh, baby!


Before you plan a menu, pick up decorations, or think through gift ideas, it's a good idea to start with a theme! Once you have a theme in mind, party planning is so much easier. Not sure where to start? We've got seven baby shower theme ideas for you to choose from:

  • Baby Safari Theme – Animals make for a great gender-neutral theme, and you can find decor to fit this theme at just about any party store!
  • Birds Theme – We threw an adorable blue-bird-themed shower years ago, and our friends are still talking about it! We displayed gifts in old yard sale birdcages and had a ball!
  • Alphabet Theme – You can take this theme in so many directions, and the decorations are easy-peasy. Assign each guest a letter and have them bring a gift that starts with their letter.
  • You Are My Sunshine Shower – This theme is a little more sentimental and oh-so-cute. Use sunflowers for your centerpieces!
  • Unicorns & Rainbows Shower – Celebrating the arrival of a rainbow baby? A unicorn and rainbow shower may be the way to go.
  • Teddy Bear Theme – It really doesn't get much easier than this one! Round up your extra stuffed animals to decorate.
  • Storybook/Fairytale Shower – Shower the baby with bedtime stories and decorate in the style of your favorite childhood book.

Of course, you can stick to a basic color theme, too. There are SO many possibilities. These themes are just some of our favorites!


diaper cake and decorations at baby shower, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, once you've picked a theme, it's time to start decorating! First, a quick word of advice: don't blow all your budget on decorations. That being said, here are a few quick tips:

  • Find Free Printables – Try to round up as many free printables as you can. There are dozens on Pinterest. All you need is some ink, a printer, and a few Dollar Tree frames to whip up some seriously cute decorations.
  • Repurpose Other Decorations – Don't be afraid to repurpose things you already have around the house–including decorations you used for other parties. For example, green tablecloths from St. Patrick's Day or Christmas make great supplies for a gender-neutral party.
  • Use Household Items/Toys – Round up teddy bears, blocks, letterboard signs, vases, mason jars, etc. We bet you already have way more than you realize.
  • Buy Centerpieces You Can Use Again – If you decide to buy new centerpieces for the tables, make sure to invest in pieces you can use again. For the record, we think it's perfectly acceptable to use flowers from the backyard!
  • Enlist Help – Ask the grandma-to-be to bring balloons, your friend Angela to bring streamers, and your cousin Susie to bring paper products. It's not rude! We promise. Most of your guests want to help and feel involved. So help them help you.
  • Use Gifts as Decor – If you do one thing only, make sure to set up a gift table. For one, it keeps clutter at bay, but it also serves as a festive focal point (aka free decor).

When in doubt, make a diaper “cake” and gift those diapers to the mama at the end of the shower!

Pro Tip: Don't forget to make the perfect playlist to set the mood! Riff off your theme, or go with a setlist of songs that include the word “baby.”


mini quiche for a party, from Fun Cheap or Free

Before you buy or make too much food, take a quick minute to read our party food rules. In a nutshell, we think less is more, and we are huge proponents of asking for help! If a guest asks what they can bring, tell them. There's no need to go broke supplying food for everyone. With that in mind, here are some easy, inexpensive food ideas:

  • Party Punch – This party punch is a must! It's easy to make, looks and tastes delicious, and is a crowd-pleaser.
  • Mini Quiche – These mini quiches are ADORBS! Perfect for a baby shower, they come together in just 10 minutes using ingredients you already have on hand.
  • Bagel Bar – If you want to stick with the “mini” them, go for bagel bites or mini bagels. You can get a bunch at Costco for super cheap!
  • Donut Holes – Buy them or make them! We have a recipe for donut holes you can make in under 10 minutes.
  • Cookies – No one will say “no” to a good cookie, and you can make these cookies with leftover candy.
  • Cinnamon Buns – Get it? Because there's a bun in the oven! Grab our cinnamon roll recipe and give it a try.
  • Fruit & Cheese Tray – No explanation needed!
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries – You can make your own chocolate-covered strawberries and decorate them to fit your theme!
  • Sliders – You can use any meat you have! Deli meat, mini burgers, crab cakes, chicken salad, pulled pork–you name it.
  • Ice Cream Sundae Bar – If you're throwing an afternoon summer soiree, this is a perfectly impressive (and fun) way to feed a crowd on the cheap.

Don't overthink it! When in doubt, opt for effortless finger foods like chips, dips, fruits, and veggies. Make the party less about food and more about fun.

Pro Tip: If you can throw a breakfast or brunch shower, go for it! It's much cheaper to serve breakfast than any other meal.


Jordan Page holding a bowl, from Fun Cheap or Free

Depending on your personality, planning games could be the best or most stressful part of throwing a shower. No matter your perspective, we think you'll love these baby shower game ideas:

  • Guess the Candy Bar – Some might call this gross, but it's a baby shower classic. Fill a few diapers with some smashed-up candy bars and have a taste testing. The person to make the most correct guesses wins.
  • Draw the Baby – Give each guest a paper plate and a marker. Have everyone place the plate on top of their head and draw the baby's first “portrait.” The results are nothing short of hilarious!
  • Guess the Birth Date/Weight/Time – Get all the guests to wager their best guesses for the baby's birthday, weight, time of birth, etc. It's always fun to see who was right, and it makes a super fun keepsake for the mama.
  • Baby Trivia – Consult good ‘ole Google and come up with 20-30 baby trivia questions.
  • Mad Libs – These $2.50 baby shower Mad Libs from Esty are beyond adorable!
  • The Bowl Game – This one has nothing to do with babies, but it's the perfect ice breaker game! And you don't have to buy a single thing to play the bowl game.

Pro Tip: If shower games aren't your thing, make your own rules! You can play charades, Pictionary, or board games that are great for a crowd. The only point of a shower is making memories, having fun, and showing some love to the mama-to-be. There's no wrong or right way to achieve those goals, so plan activities you think the mama will enjoy.


Oh, baby! This was a fun one, right?! We're in the mood to throw another baby shower now. Hopefully, these tips and ideas will help you have tons of fun and enjoy the process.

There's no such thing as too many ideas, so keep them coming! Do you have tips to share? Drop them in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "baby shower ideas" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking to do a little more party planning?

Happy planning!


  1. Randi

    This post brought to you by

  2. rachel

    Here’s a question for you to tackle sometime: how do you ask people to bring food to a shower (bridal or baby) if nobody has offered, when they are most likely already buying and bringing a gift? To me that just seems tacky so any advice is helpful!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Great question! I’ll have to add that to my Q&A video list because it’s a good one. But in brief, usually at least one person always offers when I throw a shower. So if you are ever invited to one, keep in mind that it’s truly helpful for the hostess when people offer so you should return the favor. But if no one offers, then I’ll throw it out there! For this shower we did the invites through a Facebook event. So I would post on the wall, “So excited for Bree’s shower! Please be sure to RSVP so we can plan on food and favors, and please let me know if anyone is interested in a group gift or bringing food to the shower and I can give you information on both. Hope to see you all there!” This works well too if you do an e-invite through Evite or similar. If it’s a mailed invite you will probably not get much communication with invitees so you’ll most likely fly solo on it.

      But honestly, I have had showers where I threw the whole thing by myself and no one offered to bring food. I knew of a few close friends who were coming and texted them asking, “hey are you going to ___ shower? Would you be willing to bring a small dish to share by chance? I’m scrambling to get everything together and it would help me so much!” And it’s really no big deal. If anyone asked me that I wouldn’t be offended or think it’s tacky, I would be more than happy to help.

      So there are a few perspectives on it! Hope that helps! XOXO

  3. Alyshia

    Very cute! Small world – that cute Nikki girl is my cousin! I love all her cute printables. Keep on rockin! I love all your tips!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Haha no way! Yes, it is a small world. Love that Nikki!

  4. Tia

    I absolutely love the chevron prints & the bright yellow shirt…do tell where one may be able to snag one 🙂 Mom’s to be’s style is nice too & the jacket made the outfit pop.
    Loved this post & the ideas are simply brilliant, keeping it simple paid off.

  5. Paula

    HELP! Where can I find the game “Finish Mommy Bird’s Phrase” so that I can print it out? I clicked on the link but it says unavailable.

  6. Hanna

    I loved everything you guys made !!! Well done !!! Where did you make the bottle tags and the other signs ? I loved the designs!!! Thank you 🙂


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