The birth of babies has been celebrated since the beginning of time. The parties known as baby showers came into existence after World War II when many were settling into new homes and the numbers of babies skyrocketed -- creating today’s generation of “baby boomers. Friends still gather to shower the mother-to-be with gifts; however, now the celebrations can be for both parents or same-sex couples. Decorate the shower with umbrellas as a simple play on the actual name of the shower. Purchase umbrellas and decorate them to use around the party in different locations to remind the guests to shower love, attention and gifts on the guest of honor.
Flora and Fauna
Decorate umbrellas with flowers and foliage to bring freshness to your shower. As the old adage states, showers to bring flowers. Greet your guests with an umbrella filled with flowers hanging on the front door in lieu of a wreath. Tie a decorative ribbon around the shaft of a closed umbrella to create pockets in the folds of the fabric. Select flowers with long stems to place in the folds and hang on the door. This technique works well for an umbrella with a hooked wooden handle. Incorporate umbrellas adorned with flowers into the floral centerpieces and buffet table arrangements. Hot-glue fresh or silk flowers around the edge of an open small umbrella and insert the handle into the center of a tall arrangement. Use masculine or feminine colors, or wrap the shaft of the parasol with ribbon for a more feminine look.
Glitter and Glitz
Add a bit of glam to your baby shower umbrellas by using crystals with a rhinestone hot-fix setter and sprinkling glitter on the fabric. At an outdoor event with plenty of room, substitute name cards with personalized umbrellas. Spell out each guest’s name in crystals on the open umbrella and tie it to the back of her chair. The umbrellas also serve as sunshades as the ladies are eating. Suspend an umbrella with fishing line over the buffet table that displays the name of the baby in crystals. Decorate umbrellas with glittery scrollwork or abstract designs by tracing the designs in glue and sprinkling glitter over it. After the glue dries, shake off the excess glitter and place the umbrellas in the yard or around the party.
Paint and Ribbon
Make your umbrellas come alive with paint. You can paint names, animals and other graphics onto umbrellas to convey the theme of the shower. Paint umbrellas with boy-themed visuals such as sports equipment, trains, building blocks or bears. Use the paint to create custom-colored umbrellas for the party by painting the panels to match the party colors. If you are having a teal and hot pink party, paint the panels of the umbrella alternating teal and hot pink to coordinate. Add ribbons to an umbrella to create a trim or as a fringe. Fabric glue will adhere ribbons to the seams of the umbrella to outline the panels. You can cut ribbons at varying lengths and hang them from the edges of umbrellas suspended from the ceiling to give the party some visual height.
Rain and Raindrops
Sometimes the rain must fall, but for a baby shower, it is only decorative. Decorate your umbrella with raindrops or streams of rain. Create raindrops by cutting out large teardrop-shaped pieces of blue construction paper and dangle the drops on filament line from the edge of the umbrellas. Hang one over the chair that the mom-to-be will sit on to open her gifts. Fashion streams of rain with a string of clear or light blue faceted beads hot-glued to the edges of the umbrella. When the light hits the beads, it will refract to look like falling water.