Gold Safari Baby Shower

Gold Safari Baby Shower 7Remember when I wrote that post telling you I wouldn’t be sharing many parties on the blog anymore?

Well, I lied.

I recently worked on three really fun events, and I just had to share at least one of them with you. My DIY faux zebra rug was a preview, and today I’m sharing pictures and a little behind the scenes of my work on event design. (If that sounds about as interesting as listening to sports radio, just scroll through and look at the pics. I won’t be offended.)

Gold Safari Mood Board

When I’m hired to do an event, I typically present a “mood board” to pitch an overall vision with a few specific ideas, so whoever I’m working with can visualize the concept.

I learned pretty quickly that when conveying design ideas, pictures are much better than my 1,000 words (and hyperactive crazy hand gestures).


I get so excited to share the concept brewing in my head that I morph into the Micro Machines guy from the 80’s. It only took a couple deer-in-the-headlight looks from some sweet clients after my 90 mile a minute word-vomit for me to learn this lesson.

At the initial meeting for this baby shower, my client shared that her friend and mama-to-be was using elephants in her little boy’s nursery. She thought it would be nice for her friend to be able to reuse a lot of the shower decor in the nursery afterwards. We brainstormed a bit and decided a posh, gold safari baby shower would fit both mama’s personality and baby’s nursery.

After my sweet client saw the mood board, she responded with, “YES. Love it. Everything. Do it all!”

I stinkin’ love when that happens.

Better than spray paint fumes in an enclosed room. (Only half kidding, y’all.)

Gold Safari Baby Shower 11Gold Safari Baby Shower 12Gold Safari Baby Shower 5DIY faux zebra rug 3Gold Safari Baby Shower 3Gold Safari Baby Shower 1Gold Safari Baby Shower "Mocktail"Gold Safari Baby Shower 10Gold Safari Baby Shower 13Gold Safari Baby Shower 9Gold Safari Baby Shower 8Gold Safari Baby Shower 6Gold Safari Baby Shower 4

We had gorgeous weather and great vibes all afternoon…And that is my adorable client and friend trying to “steal” the faux zebra rug.IMG_6776

If you find yourself planning a baby shower and in search of a fun theme, try incorporating the colors or plan for the nursery.
That way some of the cute touches and splurges for the baby shower can end up being used much longer than just a few hours.

Plus most first time mamas are working to get the BIG stuff in their nursery…a crib, a glider that doesn’t cost more than a mortgage payment, maybe a changing table that doubles as a dresser. How much would she love to have some sweet little touches for the room just handed to her?

Kill two birds with one…gold elephant.

I know. That was terrible.

Baby shower shoesSOURCES:
-“Welcome Baby” banner and other signs: Minted
-Tassels from Hobby Lobby
-Invitations via Ciera Designs on ETSY
-Mongolian fur white pillow from PB Teen
-Gold dipped votives DIY project
-Gold animals- DIY project
-Floral design by Flowerama of Springfield
-Fabric squares and runners, custom made for the event

DIY Faux Zebra Rug

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Don’t worry vegans…no animals were harmed in the production of this rug.

Before I saw them popping up all over Pinterest, I first saw a gold zebra hide rug on One Kings Lane.

I swooned.

I craved.

I noticed the $739 price tag and hung my head in defeat.

BUT a few weeks later I came across this post on Home Depot’s blog about a DIY faux zebra rug that looked amazing and cost less than the tax on the OKL rug.  JACKPOT.

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I made this large rug for a client’s baby shower and nursery for only $54!!

Granted, it did take some sweat equity.

I geared up for a night of painting and planted myself and my supplies in front of the TV for a Real Housewives marathon. (Don’t judge me…I am fully aware that the entire franchise of shows is total rubbish. But it’s entertaining rubbish…And I watch them ALL.)

The baby shower I planned had a “Posh Safari” theme. Full post with loads of details coming next week. (I know…what a tease, right?)

The rug was planted under the “Mama Chair”, so the mom-to-be could be center stage for games and presents. It will also be used in baby boy’s nursery. Can you imagine newborn pics on this thang’?!?

Last weekend was baby-shower-pa-looza in my lil’ world. Sunday was the work “safari” shower, and Saturday I helped throw a shower for one of my closest friends expecting her first baby. (See a pic on my Instagram.) More on that later, but it’s just the rug DIY today.

DIY faux zebra rug stepsDISCLAIMER:  I did not use a template for either the shape of the rug or drawing the stripe pattern. (No, this does not make me Super Woman. My talents show up in odd places, and there are ENDLESS things I don’t do well…Like iron clothes. Or work out. Or follow cardinal directions.)


-*2 yards faux suede with felt backing
-Martha Stewart Gold “Multi- Surface Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint” 6 oz. bottle
-gold gel ink pen
-large and small flat tip paint brushes

STEP 1 Trace the outline of a hide on the back (felt) side of the fabric in chalk. 
STEP 2  Draw a line down the middle splitting it in half vertically. Fold in half and cut out shape using one side as your guide. This ensures that the shape is symmetrical.
STEP 3 Turn the rug so that the suede side is facing up. Starting with the “legs”, begin drawing the outline of stripes. I freehanded using Brittany’s DIY as an example. She has a trick using kraft paper for a template you can check out. (Don’t over-think this…zebra stripes are not perfect and vary.)
STEP 4  Starting at the top and moving downward, evenly brush on gold paint using large brush to fill and the small brush to outline. 
STEP 5  Allow to dry for several hours before handling.

* I purchased fabric from a local discount fabric store. I think the suede feels more like a genuine hide would, and the felt helps the rug to stay in place. You could use less expensive options like a drop cloth or vinyl. See other bloggers’ posts below for more info.
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I’m just one of many bloggers who tackled the DIY faux zebra rug. Here are several other ladies who had different methods or supplies but gorgeous results:
-First seen on… Caroline’s post for Home Depot
-Brittany of Brittany Makes
-Molly at The Poor Sophisticate
-Kristin at The Hunted Interior

DIY faux zebra rug 5DIY faux zebra rug 4bI’m thrilled that the client loved the rug, but it makes my heart a little sad not to have it in my home anymore.

Like the kind of lovesick sad you felt when a middle school crush moved away.

I miss it SO much that I’m considering making a smaller version for our entry. I even thought about using the same materials and technique  to make throw pillows…

Lord knows I can always use more of those.

Gemma’s Woodland Creature Birthday

Before I even begin to tell you about Gemma’s woodland creature first birthday party, I’m proclaiming publicly that her second birthday will be Elmo themed. I will buy everything from a party store and will likely invite guests via a last minute text message. Since that’s off my chest, now I’ll give you the run down on her first party!

After going back and forth for weeks about a theme, I finally went with “winter woodland creatures”. Gemma’s favorite toys are a bear and a fox from IKEA, affectionately known as Beary White and Foxy Lady in our house. I decided to use them as the starting point for the party. If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably had your feed flooded by all the pins added to my First Birthday Ideas board in a 24 hour period. It took a while, but eventually I got excited about planning a party that began from something Gemma loves and morphed into a theme that worked well for February.

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Wizard of Oz Birthday

Today I have such a a sweet party to share with you. My friend Laura’s little girl Olive turned one several months ago, and Laura hosted a Wizard of Oz birthday party in her home to celebrate. (You might remember Olive’s nursery that we collaborated on a while back.) Laura put together “Camp Liam” for her son’s party a couple years ago, so her bar for “just a little party” is much higher than most peoples’.

This party’s theme, “There’s No Place Like Home”, had a special meaning since Laura and her husband Craig just recently moved back to their native Kansas City after living in Illinois for several years. This sweet party is full of pretty decorations, and gorgeous food (which I can only assume was equally delicious). And just look at baby Olive clutching that macaroon? Too much cuteness!

I can’t believe it even as I’m typing, but NEXT month my own little Gemma turns one. How did this happen??? I don’t know if I’m ready for this emotionally. So, clearly the logical thing to do is avoid how I’m feeling and just plan her first birthday party.

Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do, and I have no idea. No good ones at least. I keep thinking of things that sound ok in my head, but come out a bit ridiculous. (Prime example is my nagging thought to plan A Goodnight Moon party because it’s her favorite book, and she was born the night of a snowstorm. Then again a creepy grandma rabbit in a rocking chair and “a bowl full of mush” just doesn’t scream celebration to me…Ugh. I’m taking suggestions. For real.
Cake via Classic Cakes and flowers via Victorian Gardens (Kansas City, Missouri)All images taken by the talented Laura Kackley of LARK Photography.