How to style and host a baby shower

While I love to entertain and style events, I know that planning an occasion like a baby shower can feel overwhelming for some. So I thought I would share the details of my recent baby shower – or baby sprinkle, as I called it – with you and show you what exactly went it to setting up the day.

Willow Swim baby shower plant based coconut cake

From where to host a baby shower through to should you play games at a baby shower, I will share my thoughts, ideas and tips to give you some inspiration if you’re planning a baby shower of your own.

For some, when they hear the words “baby shower” I know it likely invokes visions of quite a traditional kind of event full of outdated traditions or even a bit of a girly affair, however, when throwing a baby shower you can do it however you like. There are no rules and no must-dos. For me, it was just a welcome opportunity to take some time out with my sisters and closest friends to have a nice afternoon and some much-needed adult time ahead of welcoming baby number three. A simple afternoon of chatting and laughing around the table in the back garden. 

Willow Swim baby shower drinks table balloons

When it came to planning the shower for baby number three, as I work in styling and designing I wanted to be a part of the organisation. And my sisters and best friends also helped. I wanted to keep it simple, with flowers, a few balloons, some refreshing drinks and yummy food. I wanted to the focus to be on enjoying an afternoon with girlfriends. 

Here’s a breakdown of what I did.

Tips on how to style and host a baby shower

Theme and styling

You don’t have to have a theme for your baby shower. And even if you do, you can just keep it simple – it doesn’t have to be all baby, all pink or all blue. In fact, the. more simple and non-baby related the better. As I work in styling, I wanted things to be cohesive across the invitations, table setting, decorations, games and take-home goodies.

Willow Swim baby shower table scones flowers jam

Good ideas for themes are just picking a colour or a colour palette, keeping things simple and just adding flowers and letting the cake and food do all of the talking. The decorations were centred around the table setting, the flowers, the food and the gorgeous platters and crystal-ware we served everything on. Simple but very effective – and everything looks so beautiful against the backdrop of a garden.

We kept everything quite minimal and most items were borrowed from family and friends. Here are the items we used: 

Table setting with place settings for each guest

  • White cotton tablecloths and napkins
  • Flowers
  • Milk ware and crystal vases
  • Cake stand
  • Mix of crystal and milk ware platters
  • Tealight candles 

Drinks table

  • White tablecloth
  • Crystal water jug
  • Flowers
  • Candle
  • Drink dispenser
  • Wooden crate turned upside to hold drink dispenser
  • Foliage draped around wooden create
  • Large bowl platter for small bottled drinks
  • White balloon garland with green foliage

TIP: Pop the cake on a cake stand and place it on the table as the centrepiece.   

TIP: To keep in the theme, it’s a lovely idea to do your invitations, printed games and so on in the theme of the decorations. We created these in Photoshop and printed through Vista Print.

How to style a baby shower

Menu and recipes

When it comes to the menu for a baby shower there are a few things to take into account for the perfect menu. What the mummy-to-be likes, something that goes well with the setting and options that work well with the weather. After you’ve considered those things, the world is your oyster. I went for a cross of an afternoon tea and an Aussie garden party mixed with finger sandwiches, dairy-free scones, sausage rolls, caramel slices, cake and refreshing grapefruit drink.

If you scroll down, I have included all of the recipes if you’d like to add any to the menu of your next baby shower.

Willow Swim baby shower table chicken sandwiches


While games aren’t for everyone at a baby shower, we opted to do some as I think it’s a nice way to pass the time, have a bit of fun and get everyone mixing. We played the following games:

  • Name that song “Baby”
  • Guess the belly size (For this one, everyone gets to cut the string in their guesstimate of the size they think the mumma’s belly measures.)
  • Guess how man milk bottles (This is the old-school guess how many lolly milk bottles are in the jar game.) 

Take-home gift

I always like to put together a little thank you when I host an event. For my baby shower we made little thank you gifts with Belgium choc hearts from Candy Bar Sydney.

Willow Swim baby shower table setting chocolate lollipops

Recipes perfect for a baby shower menu

Dairy-free Chicken Sandwiches

Makes: Up to 16 sandwiches 


  • 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pinch of pink salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp dairy free yoghurt or sour cream
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley or herb of choice, optional
  • 3 Tbsp roasted pistachios chopped or nuts of choice
  • 2 Tbsp chives chopped
  • 5 Tsp vegan butter
  • 14-16 slices of fresh bread with the crusts removed


  1. In a saucepan heat enough water to cover chicken fillets. Add salt and pepper and when water begins to bubble, add the chicken.
  2. Cover and simmer on a low heat for six minutes, then leave in water for 10 minutes to cool. Remove and drain, then shred the chicken with two forks.
  3. Place chicken, vegan mayonnaise, vegan yoghurt or sour cream, nuts, herb of choice in a bowl and mix well.
  1. Butter bread to edges. Spread chicken mixture over half of the bread slices and top with remaining slices.
  2. Cut into thirds to make ribbon sandwiches.

Dairy-free Scones

Makes: 16


  • 3 cups self-raising flour. A little extra if the dough is too wet.
  • 90gms vegan butter chilled
  • 1 ¼ cups oat milk
  • Flour for dusting
  • Jam, to serve
  • Cream or plant-based cream, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  3. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Make a well in the centre. Add 1 ¼ cups of milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth making sure to not over-knead it.
  5. Lightly dust a flat baking tray with plain flour.
  6. Form dough into 2cm-thick rectangle. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut out 10-12 rounds. Reform dough into another rectangle and cut out remaining rounds.
  7. Place scones 1cm apart onto a baking tray. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light-golden and well risen.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Serve warm with toppings of choice.

Spinach and feta cheese triangles (option to make vegan, if you wish)

Makes: 18


  • 1 leek finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter melted
  • 700gms spinach leaves
  • 300gms of feta or vegan feta
  • ½ lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan
  • 1 egg or vegan egg (To make vegan egg, combine 1 Tbsp chia seeds with ¼ cup of water)
  • 1 pinch of pink salt and pepper
  • 25 vegan filo pastry, approximately (Note: If using straight from the fridge/freezer, make sure you allow pastry to thaw before opening the plastic packet)
  • 4-6 Tbsp oil of choice


  1. Sauté leek in a pan with 1 tablespoon of butter until soft.
  2. Add the spinach to the pan for three minutes, set aside to cool.
  3. Crumble the feta into a bowl adding the lemon zest, parmesan, vegan egg and salt and pepper.
  4. Add the Spinach to the feta bowl and mix well.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 7cm strips, quickly place all the pastry sheets in between two damp tea-towels. This is to prevent the pastry drying out.
  7. Take out three strips and oil them.
  8. Down one end place the filling, leaving 1cm around the edges.
  9. Begin to flip the filo and filling over itself, closing the filling inside the filo. You will begin to make a triangle shape. After every two turns of the filo brush with oil.
  10. Continue until you have used all your filling.
  11. Bake for 20mins or until lightly golden.

Refreshing grapefruit and rosemary drink


  • 6 grapefruits, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 12-16 cups purified water
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 grapefruit sliced, for decoration
  • Sprigs of rosemary for decoration


  1. In a drink dispenser, add and mix the juiced grapefruit, maple syrup and water. Stir well.
  2. To each glass, cut a piece of grapefruit and add that to the glass with a little sprig of rosemary.

Donna Hay’s caramel slice

Makes: 20 squares


  • 1 cup plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut 
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted 
  • ½ cup  brown sugar

Caramel filling

  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped 
  • 2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk 
  • ⅓ cup golden syrup

Chocolate topping

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the flour, coconut, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden. 
  2. While the base is cooking, make the caramel filling. Place the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup, in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and cook, whisking frequently, for 5–7 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly (see tip. Pour the caramel over the cooked base, spread evenly with a palette knife and cook for 15–20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly and refrigerate until cold.
  3. To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel mixture and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. Using a warm knife, cut into slices or squares to serve.

Tip: When stirring the caramel, scrape the sides and bottom of the pan so the mixture doesn’t stick.

Plant-based Vanilla Coconut Cake


  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plant-based unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups self-rising spelt flour
  • 2 cup plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp coconut essence


  • 250gms plant-based butter
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • Toppings of choice such as flowers or name plaque


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line the cupcake pans with liners.
  2. Beat the sugar and 1/2 cup of unsalted butter until creamy and pale. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. 
  4. Slowly add the flour to the sugar and butter mixture, while alternately adding the milk and vinegar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; beat until smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly among liners, you want each to be about three-quarters full. 
  6. Bake for 22-33 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Note: This cake will not brown on the top so make sure you check them after 22 minutes with a toothpick. 
  7. Set aside to cool completely.
  8. For the icing, mix the icing sugar and butter until creamy. Add some plant-based milk (1-2 tbsp) if you prefer the icing softer.
  9. Decorate as desired.