Decorate onesies at a baby shower

These are hand-painted bodysuits made for Holden at Heather’s baby shower, which I hosted. Regular non-crafty friends made several of these in about a half hour.

I made it really easy for them, everyone actually enjoyed it, even the women who immediately whined, “I’m not creative!”

My college friend Meg, an experienced mom and author of The Rug Merchant (link provided for those who are looking to read quality fiction that is not about babies), emailed me to ask for tips on replicating this activity for her sister’s shower.

Here’s the official advice I shared with her to decorate baby onesies with fabric paint for baby shower purposes:

  1. Wash and dry the onesies or tee shirts before the party (no fabric softener) to make the designs stick well.
  2. Provide stencils (these are good), so that everyone can feel successful in their design ability.
  3. Use wax paper as a non-stick surface to put fabric paint on and dab with your paint brushes. Also insert a piece of wax paper between the two layers of the clothing so that the artwork does not bleed through.
  4. Offer only 4-6 colors of paint so that there is a common color palette amongst all the shirts produced by the party. Use “soft” fabric paint, not puffy or dimensional paint.
  5. Keep baby wipes or soap and water handy to wash off stencils and fingers.
  6. Use a Sharpie to put each guest’s initials on the tag of the onesie they decorated so that mom knows who they’re from.
  7. Set up a clothing line with clothespins so that the finished work can be displayed and appreciated while it dries.
  8. When the onesies are dry (24 hours), fold them neatly, stack them and tie with a ribbon. Deliver them to the new mom.

Meg reported from Albuquerque that this activity worked out fantastically and the shower was a success. Now she’s just waiting for that nephew to show up.

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