- by Barb Shelton
ABC Book to Make at a Baby Shower
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
A Baby’s ABC Book is a unique, personalized and usable gift created by the guests for the new baby! It’s a fun, productive, and even relaxing activity for a baby shower! You don’t have to be artistic to participate; even those who consider themselves totally non-artistic love this!
Our daughter, Sharnessa, has organized this project at several showers she's given. She had the idea for the book itself; I have come up with how-to's, enhancers, printables, and make-it-easiers – all of which I’ll be sharing right here in this blog post!
Because of how time-consuming making one of these is, she usually has this be the only shower activity – well, other than chatting, eating yummy foods from her beautifully spread table...
...and, of course, opening the gifts! (They homeschool; thus all the neatly filed books in the background, right.)
But you can still do a game or two in addition to making this book! In "My Best DIY Baby Shower Ideas" blog post, I give lots of easy, doable ideas for games, awards, prizes, and even how to lead a shower, including helpful printables!
The games section starts almost half-way down the page under "ACTIVITIES & GAMES." Here's what to look for since it's a very "loaded" blog post:
ON THE PAGES
For this set, I hand-wrote the capital and lower case letter-pair on each page using colored Sharpie pens:
I later realized that everyone's drawings had ample color, so I did my next set in black. People wrote their own titles for the items they drew, but it’d be more uniform to have one person with clear printing do all the title-writing.
Here are the finished pages of the book we made at Dana’s shower:
(Sorry about the odd colors/shadowing. They're all actually pure white, but the day I took the photos, the lighting outside was odd. At least you can see what the pages basically look like!)
Would you prefer to have these ready-made for you? Guess what! 😁 I have created...
READY-TO-PRINT LETTER PAGES!
Yep! A free printable of the alphabet pages for you to just print out! The letters are in three different fonts, so you can choose your fav!
They're ready to print onto 8.5x11-inch cardstock. (You can use plain paper, but it's flimsy and crinkles easily.)
(This is a PDF, so you can't edit it. If you want an editable Word version, let me know and I'll be happy to add it!)
Have an 8 x 8-inch scrapbook you’d like to use? Just print the alphabet onto the cardstock and trim each page to 8 x 8 inches. (Slice 1/2 inch off of the right side and 3 inches off the bottom.)
Sharnessa asked me to make a title piece to slide into the window on the cover, so here's what I drew...
Nothin' fancy; super simple. But I have since created some printable options...
Since there are many sizes of scrapbook covers, I have two options:
- This is a page you personalize and slip into a clear-pocketed-cover notebook. Notes and tips are in the printable. Here's a blank one:
I did the title square on the above page in 14 different colors to give you several color choices(!):
B) SMALL BLOCKS - Another option is just the square "Baby's ABC Book" graphic above which I made in 3 sizes and 12 colors. This one isn't personalized; you just attach it to the cover:
If your cover has a square opening, hopefully one of the three sizes of squares will fit into it. Matt it, need be, to make it wider/taller. I photo-shopped four different color blocks to show how it would look:
If the cover is plain and flat, you can adhere the graphic directly onto it. Then I'd (neatly/carefully) apply wide thick tape over it to protect it.
Now let’s talk about drawing the pictures. Guests may feel unsure about what to draw. Or they may get an idea of something to draw, but not really know how to draw it.
Some of us googled ideas. Below, mom-to-be Dana uses a picture she had googled to draw an X-ray. (That's me next to her.)
Two problems with that: It used battery juice, plus we had to keep making our phones pop back on.
To alleviate both frustrations, I created a printable with many ideas for what to draw!
The "ABC Book Idea Starters" printable is filled with images guests can refer to for ideas of what to draw for each of the alphabet letters! There are 8 pages, and it includes directions for utilizing this at a shower!
Here are all the pages included in this free printable:
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WHAT TO SET UP
AT YOUR SHOWER:
• THE BLANK ALPHABET PAGES
• THE IDEA-STARTER PRINTABLE
• COLORING TOOLS - crayons, felt tip markers, colored pencils. I got this Super Markers Set with 100 Unique Marker Colors. They come with a storage rack, but for the shower, I put them into containers to set around the room. (Canning jars work great!)
Another option is Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils (30) which are great! Instead of having to sharpen, you just twist them up!
TO FINISH THE ABC BOOK:
• a scrapbook, plus 13–26 plastic page protectors – 13 if you're putting the pages back-to-back, 2 per plastic page protector, or 26 if you want one page per page protector – my preference.
• an 8-1/2 x 11” Clearvue notebook, plus 13–26 8-1/2 x 11” plastic sheet protectors, and...
• a cover page
HOW TO DO
for the ABC Book
As logical as giving prizes for the “best” drawings might seem, especially in our competitive culture, I recommend not doing this. I'm serious. It makes the less-artistic guests feel that their contributions are inferior, totally unplugging the fun aspect!
In fact, I’m one of the somewhat artistic ones, and that would even make me feel uncomfortable. (Much as I love winning!)
Guests should not have to be artistic to go home with a prize. So here are three alternatives:
Give everyone a small gift just for coming and contributing to the ABC Book! Two ideas:
• Emergency Purse Kits - Guests can fill the bags with the contents assembly-line style right at the shower, or you could have them all made beforehand. (Click here for my how-to blog post on this!)
• Mini Me-Time Bags - Mine include: rose soap, lemongrass bath salts, breath mints, lip balm, Ande's chocolate mints, and, of course, a belly button brush. The bags I used are clear gusseted cellophane bags, 4 inches wide, 10 inches long, and 2 inches deep with the gusset. (I use these for lots of things!)
(Same-size bag; 2 different tops/labels.)
This printable contains both the tags and the toppers for the above Mini Me-Time Kit:
2) RANDOM SELECTION PRIZES
Fan out all of the alphabet pages face down on a table, (quickly; no need to be neat,) and have the mom-to-be pull out a page. Whomever’s artwork is on that page is/are the winner(s). This could be from one to three people since three drawings will typically (hopefully) be on a page, and one person could have drawn all three. Or there could be two or three different artists. One prize for each. Continue drawing pages until all the prizes are given out. (I suggest saying you’ll be giving one prize per person so that more people can win a prize.)
3) NON-COMPETITIVE AWARDS
Here are four of them: Give awards for “Most Colorful,” “Most Intricate,” “Most Cutesy,” “Most Humorous,” “Most Elaborate,” and “Most Challenging-to-Draw” – all of which could be “won,” artistically inclined or not.
One of them closer-up... (All six awards are the same, other than the title.)
The winner-selecting can be done by the mom-to-be or the shower host – or both.
To do so, spread out all of the book pages on a counter, couch, or table – to enable the judge(s) to view all the drawings. Set the certificate(s) next to the drawings that “earned” the award.
I wouldn’t tell guests about the awards beforehand so that they aren’t drawing to try to win in a certain category. Just let everyone to be free to draw for the fun of it.
Word - editable but not stable
AS FOR THE PRIZES...
I like my winners to be able to see what the prizes are and choose what they want. I've won many prizes that were things I already had plenty of, scents I didn't like, or colors that didn’t go with anything. My solution: wrap the prizes in clear cellophane bags and tie with a bow – which make the prizes look snazzier. Plus the clearness allows the item to be seen, so guests can choose something they like and can actually use.
(The top-left item that resembles a rattlesnake-rattler is a key chain my grandson made! He made/sold these to earn money, and I thought it'd make a great shower prize!)
Thank you, Dana (left, with daughter Ayda) and Sharnessa for letting me use this beautiful shower as my example!
I’d love to hear
your thoughts in
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