melissa's bridal shower.

Finally, the promised pictures from Melissa's shower.

In general, I think the easiest and most cost effective way to decorate for a bridal or baby shower is to actually use the gifts as decoration. For Karen's baby shower, I decorated with diapers, bottles, toys, pacifiers, and baby clothes, then gave her all of these as her gift. Unfortunately, I didn't plan the decorations for the shower until well after I purchased the gift.

The colors for Jon and Melissa's wedding were black and white paisley, so I tried to use that where possible. And, please don't judge the pictures too harshly - I just snapped them quickly, right before the guests arrived.

To start with, I covered the dresser just inside my door with a table cloth (the ends are wrapped around the back and taped so the table cloth looks more fitted). There are thank-you notes, for guests to write their addresses, a journal for everyone to write wishes or advice, and favor boxes filled with small candy hearts.

A few days before the shower (oh, yes, this was very well-thought out in advance), I asked Melissa to email me a few pictures of her and Jon together. I transferred those into black and white, and put them in frames I already owned (this would have been a great place to use gifts from her registry). The letters are inexpensive paper mache letters that I painted black - I wanted to include the and symbol (&), but couldn't find it.

The centerpiece is pretty simple, too - I already owned the candles and basket, so I just tied them with inexpensive black & white printed ribbon and grouped them together. But my favorite part is actually under the centerpiece - the runner.

I don't use much black in my dining room, and couldn't see buying a runner just for this shower. Instead, I bought an inexpensive black flat sheet from Walmart, and ripped it in half. I used one half as a covering for the sideboard (not pictured), and the other half as this runner. To finish off the jagged, cut side, I just folded the end over and taed it down with packing tape.

I'm trying to think of ways to adapt this idea for Christmas decorations - maybe another sheet painted with white snowflakes? Though I think using iron-on hem tape would probably be a little smoother (and less ghetto).

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