Small cardboard boxes painted to look like alphabet building blocks serve double duty for a baby shower: they make cute decorations, and can be filled with treats to take home as shower favors for guests. For easy folding, use a thin cardboard such as poster board. Choose a color scheme that matches the shower theme, such as pastels based on the gender of the baby or a gender-neutral color. Bright primary colors work too, especially for less traditional showers.
Things You'll Need
44-inch by 28-inch white poster board
Newsprint or a large sheet of white paper
Craft glue or clear tape
Craft paint and brushes
Cut poster board into eight 14-inch by 11-inch pieces by cutting in half lengthwise and dividing each half into four equal parts, 11 inches wide. Each full sheet will make eight boxes.
Make a template on a large piece of newsprint paper: Measure and mark 11 inches across from the top left edge, and again from the left edge about 14 inches down. With the straight edge of a ruler, connect the marks. Repeat at 10, 7, 4 and 1 inches from the edge, leaving three 3-inch wide columns with 1-inch columns on either side.
Measure and mark 3 inches down from the top left edge, repeating at about 12 inches across. Connect the marks with the straight edge of a ruler. Repeat at 6, 9, 12 and 13 inches down, leaving a grid of 3-inch squares with 1-inch columns of the left, right, and bottom edges.
Outline the four center squares in felt pen; these will be the sides of the box. On the top row, outline the left-of-center box and the 1-inch column; this will be the lid. On the row third from the top, outline the right-of-center square and the 1-inch column; this will be the bottom. On the second and fourth rows from the top, draw 2-inch slightly tapered tabs on either side of the center squares. Cut out the template.
Lay the paper template on a cut piece of poster board and trace. Cut along the outside edge with a utility knife. With a pencil, draw the inner lines onto the cutout to guide the folding; fold sharply on the lines, creating a box. Glue the side and bottom tabs to secure, leaving the top unglued.
Paint the sides of the box with letters and numbers inside square frames to resemble building blocks. Look at pictures of traditional blocks as a guide, if necessary. Allow the box to dry completely before filling.
Cut tissue paper into 5-inch squares and tuck two into each box. Fill boxes with candies, fold tissue over them and close the boxes.
Arrange the boxes on a table, mantel or buffet as decorations. At the end of the shower, give each guest a box as a favor to take home.
Other fillers may include small packets of flower or herb seeds or tiny gifts such as magnets or bath fizzies.
Always cut on a cutting surface such as corrugated cardboard when using a utility knife. Always cut away from yourself.